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A.J. Hawk: "As You Get Older, You Should Get Lighter"

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A.J. Hawk: "As You Get Older, You Should Get Lighter"

Linebacker A.J. Hawk made the rounds on Radio Row at the site of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City on Wednesday, telling Laura Okmin of Fox Sports about how he's dropped weight and feels in good physical condition.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (34) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bobby D's picture

He can circle those piles even faster now that he's dropped some weight.....

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm not sure if I'll ever see another player in my lifetime who is as consistently healthy and productive as Hawk, but who gets so much criticism from the fans. He's missed two games in 8 years. He averages over 100 tackles a year. Would I like to see more FF and INTs? You bet. Would I like to see more tackles for loss? You bet. But damn folks, the guy had 118 tackles and 5 sacks this year on a pretty depleted defense. Be happy someone was making some plays.

jeremy's picture

I was satisfied with his performance. I'm not sure what people are expecting from him. Patrick Willis had 102 tackles 3 sacks and 2 total turnovers, Hawk had 118 tackles 5 sacks and 2 total turnovers. I'm not trying to say he's as good as Willis but there are much bigger issues on the defense than AJ Hawk.

beardownpackup's picture

Thank you, Mark. Just....thank you. AJ will be appreciated when he retires a GB Packer, but really, we shouldn't wait that long to praise his consistency, AVAILABILITY, and football intelligence, imo.

KennyPayne's picture

As you get older should the fans expect more production out of a top 5 pick?

Or should TT continue to throw good money after bad.

I can think of no other a Packer who has been paid so much (over $40.000,000) for so limitless production.

4thand1's picture

Yes he was a top 5 pick. Yes he's the Packers all time leading tackler. That's in the history of the Packers. Would he be better with better people around him. I think so. People love to hate on Hawk and I don't get it. Maybe he should check into rehab, or beat his wife, or play dirty and showboat on the field. I'd take 10 A. J. Hawks on my team.

cLowNEY42's picture

"I’d take 10 A. J. Hawks on my team."

That would be one bad defense.

Point Packer's picture

Yep. Very slow.

beardownpackup's picture

Eh... Pretty sure he meant AJ's toughness, availability and character (all 3 of which happen to be exemplary in the case of Mr. Hawk, imo). & im sure you would agree.

Do you think he'd really put Hawk at cornerback?! haha

TXCHEESE's picture

Markin, you're right on. Not everyone is CMIII. Was Hawk picked probably too high? Yes. That is not his fault. But he has been super steady for very long. Guy took a pay cut, never whined, but just keeps on producing.

Jamie's picture

Hawk had quite possibly his best season as a pro. His quickness was noticeably improved, with no noticeable fall off in other areas.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I agree that he had his best year in GB. But it is still not a very high bar to clear if he were to be replaced.

They need to work on replacing the far less reliable Jones first. But given the struggles they have had finding ILBs, they should take multiple shots at it and maybe get Hawk replaced this offseason, too.

cLowNEY42's picture

When he hits people HE goes backwards.
That's not good when you're an NFL linebacker.

We need better than weak, slow, and healthy.

ArodMoney's picture

I don't understand how no one else sees this. Yea he led the team in tackles, but almost every tackle was at least 5 yards downfield. He's literally the complete opposite of a playmaker. And who cares if he never misses a game when he's a replacement level player anyways

jeremy's picture

I think what people are saying is that there are other positions on the defense that need upgrading way more than Hawk. The list of players on defense who contributed more than AJ in 2013 is way too short.


If you want to complain and ask for upgrades look at any other defensive player not mentioned in this post, when they are better, we'll talk about upgrading Hawk.

Jordan's picture

The ILB position for the Packers needs upgraded. It's nothing personal against Hawk or brad jones. I like hawk and jones. Just not as starters. I think Ted Thompson is smart enough to know that. But he has to prioritize filling holes on the roster. In a perfect world, BJ Raji would have turned in to an all pro player like Vince wilfork. Aj hawk would be an all pro. That didn't happen. I don't even think hawk has ever made a pro bowl.

This year, there is a hole at safety and defensive line. Lots of other positions need upgraded like tightend. It's nothing personal against quarless. I like quarless. The packers won a Super Bowl with quarless and not Finley. But the position could still use an upgrade.

Bert's picture

I'm not as down on Hawk as many folks either. He's not an elite ILB by any means but he is steady and is available every Sunday. Could we upgrade? Sure. But for now I don't see him as THE problem with the Packers D. I think our LB problems stem from the fact that we have 1 real quality OLB (CM3) who has injury issues and then a steady but unspectacular ILB (Hawk) and then not much else. Perry? eh. B. Jones? eh. Neal? eh.yada, yada.

cLowNEY42's picture

There's a lot of dead weight on the Packer defense.
All of the FA's are a blessing...


Let 'em all go.
Pull the bandaid off.

I'd rather get a whole new group and deal with the unknown as opposed to paying these guys more money to be average at best.
Just wish Hawk and/or Jones were free agents as well.

Evan's picture

I agree - though I wouldn't lump Pickett and Jolly in with those other guys.

I think Hawk is fine as long as the other ILB is stud - which Jones is not.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree mostly with your guys' takes on this.
For about 3/4 of the season I agree with Pickett being on that list. But then he went out and had a hell of a game against the 49ers.

The only player on the list above that I still think can be good that most don't is Raji.
I still think he was played out of position and not used to his strengths. He is a NT not a DE.
His best year was at NT. I think he if played NT again he would be better.
I have no problem if they bring him back, but only if he plays NT.

Evan's picture

Yeah, the stats surely support the NT vs DE argument...but I'm just not sure it's that simple.

cLowNEY42's picture

I just don't think Raji wants to be in GB.
F*ck him.

Evan's picture

Yeah, turning down $8 mil a year? Get real, dude.

I'd be shocked if he gets that on the open market.

jeremy's picture

Good thing we feel the same way.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

i think this is likely the reality. can't say that i blame him entirely (getting moved away from NT), but there are more professional ways to deal with not liking northern Wisconsin.

that being said, i wouldn't be surprised if Raji was in purple next year. they should just have a sign at the MN border "welcome disgruntled former Packers"

cLowNEY42's picture

"I wouldn’t lump Pickett and Jolly in with those other guys."

You could argue this.

I just kinds feel like they need some new blood. Even if you keep these guys, you're still going to have to start on their replacement plan... which would involve the development of guys already on the roster (Boyd, Jones, Daniels) or drafting at the position.

Either way I think I'd rather just throw the young guys in and let 'em grow.

Let's face it - even though Pickett and Jolly were two of their best DLmen... the D still pretty much sucked while they were there.

Seeing as signing a couple FA vets to man those positions is completely out of the question (bummer) - it's time to let the young guys take over.

As for Neal...
Even though I think he could help in certain situations, I pretty much feel that having both him and Perry at the position is a bit redundant. They're both essentially the same guy... athletic, strong, injury-prone D ends playing out of position. I'd rather have Perry and a draft pick. Worst case (probable) scenario is that Matthews gets hurt again. Would the D really be any worse off if they had to go with Perry and Mulumba or a rookie than it would be if it was Perry and Neal. Either way you're pretty much screwed.

Let Neal go.
Draft a player with more potential who's more suited to the position.

Evan's picture

"I just kinds feel like they need some new blood. Even if you keep these guys, you’re still going to have to start on their replacement plan… which would involve the development of guys already on the roster (Boyd, Jones, Daniels) or drafting at the position."

No doubt. Neither of those guys are long-term solutions. I think Pickett has one more year left in him and Jolly, if healthy, can go for another 2-3 years. But fresh blood is definitely needed.

jeremy's picture

Neal will be cheap and we have no OLB coach.

Stroh's picture

Don't know how "cheap" Neal will be. Far more upside that Walden IMO and he got 4/16M. If that's the market, Neal should get more than that. Guessing 4/24M would be in the range for Neal. Neal also offers scheme versatility, that Walden didn't, which should create more competition for his services.

I would love to keep him along w/ Perry and Matthews since they're both a little injury-prone.

jeremy's picture

Watch Thompson resign Jennings...

jmac34's picture

Jennings is an RFA so I wouldn't be shocked if he is back

redlights's picture

I might have been the biggest detractor of Jolly as last year began. But he brought some attitude! Pickett is a hard worker, stout, mentor-type for one year. re sign those two; build on Daniels and Boyd and D.Jones. I'd like to think that Neal would pay off after sticking so much into him. Draft another Boyd to develop and we're "adequate" for next year; a higher ceiling than floor.

I view Hawk like Burnett; they are adequate if they are paired correctly. That's the challenge - get better partners for them. B.Jones is an adequate backup.

I think that this is what Tramon and Paris Lenon are alluding to. That being that veterans can bring depth, experience and maturity that a rookie UDFA can't.

Evan's picture

"I view Hawk like Burnett; they are adequate if they are paired correctly."

I had the same thought when I wrote above "I think Hawk is fine as long as the other ILB is stud."

That got me thinking - that's probably a pretty big red flag. If these are truly good players, shouldn't they produce regardless of circumstance?

I know it's a team game and everyone needs to be doing his job, but is it wrong to be THAT dependent on who's lining up next to you? Or is that normal?

I don't know.

Aldon Smith's struggles without Justin Smith were well documented last year. Would Patrick Willis be as good were he not lining up next to 3 all-pros? How much easier do the Seattle safeties make the jobs of their CBs? And vice versa?

Jordan's picture

Hawk is an average player. Burnett is an average player. There's nothing wrong with having solid average players on the roster. The problem is having too many average players. Hawk "was" overpaid. Burnett was overpaid. Both hawk and Burnett are good team guys. And they're good guys off the field too. They are what they are. Superstar Matthews was hurt. Superstar Nick Collins hasn't been replaced. Superstar Woodson had his weaknesses but made game changing plays is not on the roster. Tramon Williams is still good, but not as good as he was in 2010. Packers had veterans coming off the bench in 2010. There you have it.

The 2010 defense was dominant and was as good as I've seen in the modern era. Unfortunately it's not 2010 anymore. ;)

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