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5 Guys That Have to be Good: Jayrone Elliot

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5 Guys That Have to be Good: Jayrone Elliot

This marks the fourth offseason of my 5 guys that have to be good series.  This list is not a top five list of most important Green Bay Packers.  Not only will you find that elsewhere, but ultimately it's the players on this list that just might define the season.

Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews are going to play well.  If the offensive line stays healthy, it's going to play well.  HaHa Clinton-Dix is going to play well.

It's the players that are "in the margins" that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a heartbreaking playoff loss and a 14th World Championship.

My old lists are a telling tale.  My 15 guys that have had to be good either weren't or got hurt for the most part.

2013: Terrell Manning, Greg Van Roten, Bryan Bulaga (ACL), Jeremy Ross, Datone Jones

2014: BJ Raji (torn biceps), Brad Jones, Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, Datone Jones

2015: Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, BJ Raji, Casey Hayward, Sam Barrington (broken ankle)

These are the guys that needed to be good for the Packers to get back to the promised land.  They weren't, and Green Bay didn't.  Who needs to step up for a return to Titletown?

Here's the first installment from on Quentin Rollins.

When the Packers signed Julius Peppers in the 2014 offseason, it shocked everyone.  Not only did signing a big name free agent buck Ted Thompson's normal game plan, but Peppers was well passed his prime.  Somewhat surprisingly, Peppers is going to play out his contract with the Packers, playing in 2016 at the age of 36.

The key to maintaining Peppers' effectiveness at that age is snap count management.  Green Bay cranked Peppers down from 808 snaps in 2014 to 700 in 2015, and might look to further specialize his role in 2016.  The obvious question, then, is who replaces Peppers, both in 2016 and beyond.

Jayrone Elliot is cost-controlled through 2016 and Green Bay has the opportunity to match any contract offer that he may receive in 2017.  That puts him in a slightly less precarious position than Datone Jones and Nick Perry, as both players are playing on expiring deals in 2016.

The outside linebacker position in Green Bay has been strengthened this offseason by the more "full-time" additions of Clay Matthews and Datone Jones.  Matthews will play 85+% of defensive snaps for the Packers, whether rushing from the inside or outside.  He's a "field-tilter" on a defense that doesn't boast a ton of those. 

Despite those additions, Jayrone Elliot is going to have the potential to have a huge impact on the 2016 defense.  Elliot played just 177 defensive snaps in 2015.  Producing three sacks, two passes defensed, an interception, and a forced fumble is an impressive set of numbers for a player who played so sparingly.  That begs the question, why wasn't he playing?  Did the coaching staff screw up or was Elliot not up to par in practice.  McCarthy and his staff have long maintained that game reps are earned throughout the week.

His week two performance against the Seahawks was a revelation.

If Elliot can find a way to play 500 or 600 snaps, simple math would tell you that he has the potential to be a double digit sack producer in a pass rushing rotation.  A player like that is worth his weight in gold.

A season like that would be very helpful for the 2016 Packers, but might help Elliot and the Packers moving forward.  The Packers added Kyler Fackrell in the 2016 draft, but Green Bay is going to have to make more than one long term decision at the outside linebacker position after the Super Bowl celebration season.  

If Fackrell is a player and Elliot is part of the long term plans, Green Bay would only have to choose one of Perry, Jones and Peppers to form a rotation with Clay Matthews long term.  If Elliot can't earn more snaps he's likely out of the program after this season, and Green Bay heads into next offseason with a lot of questions at the pass rusher position.

Jayrone Elliot has to be good.


Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tarynfor12's picture

Cannot see the article. ...severely faded or it's my phone.

Packer_Pete's picture

it's black font on dark green background.... in a web browser one can highlight the text and then get's white font, but on a phone may be difficult...

In any way, maybe Ross you can re-post with a different font color?

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I know my eye test was not good a year ago but this was way bad. I am seeing the eye doc tomorrow maybe I should have a special test done lol.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

Thanks for the tip on highlighting it my eyes improved a lot by doing that it worked.

Jersey Al's picture

LOL Your eyes are all fine... I fixed the issue...

al bundy's picture

Seems like he did not get the palying time he should have. He was a phenom in pre season and then bench sat. Another, lets play the high priced guys and the high draft picks, not the ones making plays

Since '61's picture

I would like to see Elliot get more snaps this season . He seems to always be around the football and with more playing time and therefore more experience he should make even more plays. We'll see how he does in pre-season again this year and hopefully he gets to play more often during the regular season. Thanks, Since '61

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

He broke assignment to make the pick against Seattle. After that he began pressing, going for the big play instead of playing his assignment. Or same thing DesertPack Said. +late knee injury.

Spock's picture

I read the same thing, I believe this is the article from you are referring to:
In it he sure sounds like he is getting his act together. I'd love to see his playmaking more!

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification, guys!

ben's picture

Nobody thinks Elliot should get more snaps than me. Elliot may be the most productive defensive player per snap for the packers the last 2 years. Hell he shouldn't just get more playing time, he should start. Elliot at LOLB, Clay at ILB, Perry at ILB, Peppers at ROLB is without a doubt the best possible base LB combination the Packers can put on the field.

that said, No, OLB may be the deepest position on the roster and Jayron Elliot certainly does not "need to be good" for the packers to succeed.

"Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews are going to play well. HaHa Clinton-Dix is going to play well."

HaHa Clinton-dix is not in those players leagues. Not even freaking close. Your in for a rude awakening in more ways than 1. Dix is the most over-rated safety since Atari bigby, a liability in coverage over the top, making tackles in the open field, and taking loser angles leading to huge game-breaking runs.

There are 2 players the packers need to be good. Or 2 player at 2 positions actually. Kenny Clark or Mike Pennel up the middle. And Barrington or Martinez also up the middle. That's it. Neither Ryan, thomas, mcCray, nor Bradford are the answer in there. But Clay, Perry, Martinez, Barrington, and even Fackerell, could be.

The packer's would be wise to use their talented versatile depth at OLB to help finally shore up their defensive middle. Perry's game would better fit in there and Elliot is way too productive not to get more opportunities.

Bedrock's picture

You really missed the point being made. Elliot needs to be good to allow Peppers to be fresh. But first, he needs to prove he can be trusted to do his job.

Perry at ILB? He doesn't have the instincts to play there, let alone the ability to run sideline to sideline.

Sorry, but Dix is going to disappoint you this season by taking his game up another level.

Nick Perry's picture

ben always misses the point, he hates the Packers too much to see the point. He's thought HHCD sucked since the day he was drafted, nobody else does, JUST ben. HHCD could be an All Pro this year and ben would find reasons to hate.

ben's picture

for some reason the fastest linebacker on the Packer's roster "doesn't have the ability to run sideline to sideline."

weird, but expected

Perry doesn't have the instincts to play ILB??? Is that what the 1st round pick has proven over the last 4 years? or is it that he doesn't necessarily have the instincts to play 3-4 OLB or the vital outside pass-rush edge moves to be effective out there?

again, weird. So in the box, lame, non-logical, yet expected

What Perry does extremely well, possibly best on the team is to stuff blocks and bull rush. Both of which would be most effective from the ILB position.

Dix will have to be in the wrong place at the right time for 6 lucky ass tipped interceptions to make the pro-bowl. Reminds me of the AJ Hawk Bandwagon a few years ago when he was getting lucky. Its a lose/lose here for me as nobody here has the objectivity to recognize Dix's play for what it is, average and limited with gaping holes. But keep an eye out for my weekly report, How HaHa Got Joke-Showed any way.

zeke's picture

"Its a lose/lose here for me..."

I think you perfectly captured what it must feel like to be a Vikings fan interacting with people out in the world. Well done.

holmesmd's picture

Lol. Ok dude... I haven't read a more outrageous post since COW last posted. SMH. What team do you watch? HHCD is one of the better safetys in the league even last year. Get it together

ben's picture

All of them. And I don't know about one of the better safeties, but definitely one of the luckiest. Too bad you can't be at wrong place at the right time all the time. Getting beat, being late, and bad angles will catch up with you.

although dix does have a very good under-rated veteran safety in Morgan Burnett to play with. Rollins and Randall are ahead of their time. (and the cornerstones of Ted's best draft class) Shields is a top 6 corner. Hyde can play football. I like Gunter. ( he and Hyde should get a run at Dix's job at safety) Goodson has some talent.

Don't get me wrong I'm right. I'm not saying Dix is terrible, just vastly over-rated whether you know it or not.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

So, Goodson "has some talent" and HHCD is terrible. And you want PERRY to play ILB??? Do you smoke METH regularly?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

It would be nice if Elliot played well, but it is not necessary. It could be Datone, Perry, McCray, or Fackrell.

On defense, GB needs someone to play well at NT, LDE and ILB. That translates to Clark, I have no idea, and Martinez/Barrington.

RobinsonDavis's picture

Agreed. Although, I may be purposely missing the point with the "fringe" type player. Why buck what the coach's are eyeing as their needs for the coming year as they design their game plans? My 5 are Nelson, Clark, Barrington, Ryan, & Cook. If I had to add another 6 it would be Adams, Martinez, Bakhtiari, Guion, Lacy, and Ripkowski. What the heck?!...Why not the whole damn team needs to get better, including the game planning?

packfan44's picture

Great analysis and explanation to our writer, I hadn't thought of it that way but sure does make sense!

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

If Martinez could play coverage in Dime and to some extent in Nickel, that will go a long way towards improving the defense as a hole. No more broken play qb dumpoffs or wheels up the sidelines. Also, Packers have to stop the qb from running on 3rd down.

guzzi2000's picture

I agree that Elliot needs to be better, but, for a reason
not mentioned by previous posters. Will he be needed to fill the void for Matthews? Something that has been bothering me since the Pack announced that Matthews would be moving back to OLB is the fact Matthews was injured a lot when he played there. With his style of play I think the outside exposes him to a lot of potential injuries. When he was moved to roving type position the defense improved and he was on the field more and not standing on the sidelines in street clothes.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

He's got a point..

RobinsonDavis's picture

I agree!

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