Lots of opinions out there on what the Packers should do now that Aaron Kampman is back from his concussion and Brad Jones has looked competent. (Yes, I believe an "I told you so" is in order...)
I have a ton of respect for Kampman and I still think he’s one of the best defensive ends in the game – in a 4-3 scheme, that is. But we have to admit this experiment is not working. It’s not an accident that this defense gave its best performance of the season without Kampman in the lineup. Dom Capers blitzed roughly 11 percent more of the time – roughly 51 percent of the time as opposed to roughly 40 percent of the time during the first eight games – as it was clear he no longer had to worry about covering for Kampman.
Square peg. Round hole. You know the cliche.
Kampman should become a situational player. Have him rush with his hand on the ground in nickel situations and occasionally bring him in at LOLB when it’s clear the opposing offense is in a passing situation.
He’d be an expensive situational player, for sure, but that would be the best way to maximize his skills. It will keep him fresh and mentally focused on doing what he excels at.
I agree with a lot of this, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the whole "Capers blitzed more because he didn't have to cover for Kampman" Really? You're sure? Not saying it isn't possible but this seems like an awfully wide-brush to be painting with. Jones was steady and made a few tackles, looked good out in space, but looking good and making plays are two different things. Now, has Kampman made plays? Good question...
Chris then goes on in his post to detail how the Packers made KGB a pass-rush specialist when it became obvious he was over matched in his starting role, and that was indeed successful. And I don't doubt the staff has talked about it, at least amongst themselves. But I really don't see them going to Aaron Kampman and saying that, on top of playing him wildly out of position all year, they are now going to 'bench' him. Would making him a pass rush specialist be the best for all concerned? Probably - but Kampman got awfully touchy when he had to switch positions...but was still a full time starter. I can't imagine what the locker room session would be like if a rookie 7th round pick put him on the bench.
UPDATE: And then there's this from Bob McGinn:
I'm not sure Brad Jones played all that well. He had issues in coverage. His pass rush probably was average or below. He was respectable at the point. We should be evaluating him against the NFL standard at his position, not the rookie standard at his position. The Packers are in a battle for a playoff berth and this isn't time to look at rookies. If Aaron Kampman is healthy, he starts and he plays the entire game. I don't care what defense it is or where he is playing. Kampman is one heck of a football player. Have some people forgotten that? If so, that amazes me.
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