Campbell & Barnes Will Play Important Roles vs. Lions

Against a Lions team that utilizes their RBs and TEs heavily, De'Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes are going to play important roles on Monday.

This Green Bay Packers defense needs to be better in all phases--we all know that. And in order for this unit to rebound in a big way against Detroit, they're going to need linebackers De'Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes to play well.
 
Now, after reading that, I imagine many of you are thinking, "oh no!" or perhaps some variation of that that I'm not willing to type out. And understandably so--it's not as if linebacker play has been a strong suit of this defense in recent years.
 
In Week 1, Campbell would finish with six tackles while Barnes had seven, and they only had one missed tackle between them, according to PFF. In coverage, the duo would combine to allow four receptions but only for 20 yards. 
 
Although admittedly there weren't really any flash plays from the two, particularly when it comes to Campbell, I didn't think that they performed as poorly as what I'm seeing some say--they certainly weren't great but they were okay.
 
In fact, Andy Herman of Packer Report, who grades every play for every Packer player, had the linebacker unit -- which included Oren Burks for a few plays -- as the highest-graded defensive position group and the only one with a positive score on the defensive side of the ball. 
 
And no, this isn't the be-all-end-all, but it is a positive that's worth noting.
 
A linebacker unit made up of Campbell and Barnes is never going to be elite by any means, but in this Joe Barry defense that utilizes five-man defensive fronts often, my hope is that we see more playmaking ability from the linebackers than what we've seen in the past, given that more blockers are being occupied upfront. 
 
As far as the roles that Campbell and Barnes will play in Week 2, there are two big reasons that they will be so heavily involved in this week's matchup with Detroit. No. 1 is the Lions' running backs that can affect the game both as ball carriers as well as pass catchers, and No. 2 is their dynamic tight end. 
 
Against San Francisco, the Lions totaled 116 rushing yards on the ground, averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a team. Jamaal Williams posted 54 rushing yards, while D'Andre Swift tallied 39.
 
The duo combined for 20 rushing attempts, and as long as the game is relatively close, I'd expect a heavy dose of Williams and Swift as the Lions try to control the clock and play to the strength of this offensive line.
 
In the passing game, you can once again expect to see a lot of Swift and Williams, along with TJ Hockenson. This Detroit receiver room is very thin, and chances are that these three will be the most heavily targeted players--or at least they were Week 1.
 
Hockenson and Swift led the way on Sunday with 11 targets each, with both players hauling in eight receptions and a touchdown. Hockenson finished with 97 yards and Swift with 65. Williams had eight receptions of his own on nine targets for 56 yards.
 
With the running back and tight end position being so active within an offense, we are going to hear Barnes and Campbell's names called often--and hopefully, it's for good reasons. But as we all know, it takes all 11 defensive players to win a football game.
 
Of course, the defensive front will be crucial in slowing the Detroit run game and keeping Campbell and Barnes clean from blockers so that they can make plays. 
 
With Hockenson's ability as a pass-catcher, the Packer safeties and cornerbacks will have to be involved in coverage--and the same goes for the running backs as well. Not to mention that tackling in the open field is always important.
 
While the overall defensive performance -- good or bad -- is not going to fall squarely on the shoulders of only Campbell and Barnes, the Green Bay Packers are going to need them to play well against the Lions.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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5 points

Comments (25)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Lphill's picture

September 17, 2021 at 11:32 am

No need to draft inside backers high , right ?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 17, 2021 at 11:40 am

"Obviously you think that position is more important than we do..."

You = everyone else in the universe.

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:05 pm

patrick queen looked awesome in the ravens game. BUT. they still lost.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:02 pm

If GB cannot hold the Lion run game in check and force Geoff to pass 45-50 times, I would caution Packer fans to prepare to sweat, bite nails, etc. I expect GB to win, but what it looks like is a guess at the moment. I hope they paint us a better picture this week.

8 points
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Bure9620's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:52 pm

This is exactly the game I expect

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Leatherhead's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Well, it’s Friday. That must mean another article about the defense. There’s no point in dissecting the offense after it scores 3 points and turns it over 3 times. We all know we didn’t convert any 3rd downs while it was still a game. Why? Has anybody taken a good look at that? Of course not.

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mnbadger's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Couldn't agree more LHead. I did the unthinkable and ranted on AR's attitude and willingness to take what was given last week, but that message was not received well. I'll relax when we have somebody not wearing #17 get the majority of the pass attempts. Or have have five guys each with at least five targets. Our offense will be more efficient when that happens. When AR holds on too long and only looks to DA, the whole thing breaks down and is easy to defend. GPG!

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jlc1's picture

September 17, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Your points are correct. Sadly the defense is still a bigger problem. Ouch!

6 points
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nostradanus's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:13 pm

I had no problem with the ILB play last week (although I believe the TD pass Amos gave up was partially on Campbell) that being said I thought their play was solid.

I do have 2 burning issues with this defense however:

#1 - This issue is with the fat guys in the Defensive Line including Kenny Clark (one of the Defenses highest paid guys!) these marshmallows remind me of a bunch of Cows (not Bulls) standing around in a pasture, chewing their cud and letting pranksters (Offensive Linemen) Cow tip them and then wallow around on the grass being laughed at! Pathetic! I now am wondering if the much heralded Defensive Line Coach Jerry Montgomery is all that? Maybe he doesn't really have covid, maybe he is just embarrassed to show his face after that weak performance by his group!

#2 - Issue #2 is with Jerry Gray the Defensive Backs Coach, maybe there is a reason he was unceremoniously fired in Minnesota?!
The secondary once again played passive, soft, uninspired, confused or whatever term you want to use, they were just bad (Jaire excluded) King continues to show why is he no better than a street FA Corner in the NFL, why he continues to get paid after the debacle in the Championship game is baffling?! The rookie Stokes was OK, Chandon Sullivan is still Chandon Sullivan (not very good)
Savage was constantly out of position and is allergic to tackling anybody, when he does he usually ends up injured. Amos is solid but unspectacular. Seems like the only guy that wants to hit is #41 Black who I expect to see much more of in the near future. This is an average group (again Jaire excluded) and they need to have perfect communication in order to be successful. That is Jerry Grays responsibility and he has not been up to the task.

ND

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PearlyBakerBest's picture

September 17, 2021 at 07:49 pm

Chewing their cud. True sconnie.

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nostradanus's picture

September 17, 2021 at 09:00 pm

😹

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jyros's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Also worth noting… Joe Barry’s overall scheme (uh-oh) and Kevin King’s (uh-oh where’d he go!) coverage😱

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Lphill's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Rumor is the Packers are looking to trade for an inside linebacker , Joe Shobert was available before the season . .

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dobber's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:29 pm

He's already been traded once this off-season...I don't think Pittsburgh is in a hurry to move him.

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MITM's picture

September 17, 2021 at 05:48 pm

He wasnt saying we should trade for Schobert he was saying he WAS available for trade at one point because the steelers traded for him - and now we cant trade for him

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Coldworld's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:37 pm

Where have you seen this?

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:09 pm

in his head. where inside linebackers dance through fields of wonder

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 19, 2021 at 03:51 am

Pro football rumors for one. That reports the Steelers trading a 6th rounder for Shobert. Problem is that Shobert has not been the same player he was in 2018. Might have been worth a shot since Jax was so intent on moving him that they paid half of his 2021 salary.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/08/15/jaguars-will-pay-3-65-m...

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MITM's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:30 pm

Welp, Packers are in the market for an ILB via trade according to todays reports. LOLOLOL, keep ignoring LB and DL while The NFC Souths DL/LBs keep ramming our own heads up our own asses. Pathetic. Barnes and Campbell should be fine behind a line with 3 playable DL - but we dont have 3 legitimate starters. But go ahead, trade for a LB who will make no difference in a shit scheme behind a shit line.

9 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:42 pm

Well they signed an OLB, which makes more immediate sense since Z is on IR: Ladarius Hamilton. At the combine he was fairly impressive if not fast over 40, though quick over 10.

Bench Press: 27 reps (Friday) - Tied for 10th-most out of all defensive linemen who participated (38)
40-Yard Dash: 4.89 seconds (Saturday) - Tied for 16th out of 38 participating defensive linemen (and had a 1.84 10-yard split)
Vertical Jump: 30.0 inches (Saturday) - Tied for 17th out of 32 participating defensive linemen
Broad Jump: 9'6" or 114.0 inches (Saturday) - Tied for 14th among 29 participating defensive linemen
3-Cone Drill: 7.66 seconds (Saturday) - 16th out of 27 participating defensive linemen
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.49 seconds (Saturday) - 11th out of 26 participating defensive linemen

https://meangreensports.com/news/2020/3/1/football-hamilton-shines-at-nf...

It is possible that the reports were garbled and OLB was the focus throughout, but it could be that news on Z changed plans.

2 points
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canadapacker's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:54 pm

But once again - can he and will he tackle - and how was his tackling in college. I am tired of this crap that we rank players. When Baltimore and Pittsburgh select draft picks they select mean guys who will TACKLE - especially in the open field.
Once again watching or ILB back playing for the Giants - where was he ? Martinez was nowhere except coming in late - 12 tackles 5 solo non in the hole - and bad coverage in the middle of the field totally exposed. Time to focus in on how and who we draft. Maybe they dont score well as above but they stick their nose in. And as Brian Urlacher used to say - we dont want any loafers - time to count the loafs on each play - chase down each runner.

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Coldworld's picture

September 17, 2021 at 05:04 pm

He appears to be a high energy and high motor type and good tackler from what I’ve read. But he is not an ILB as I explained. He’s a 260 pound OLB.

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nygary's picture

September 19, 2021 at 08:07 am

What the fuck is wrong with gute. Maybe he needs glasses to see what a dumpster fire this DL is. Clark is the only legit starter we have. This team will never win anything with that line. Wasted money on Cobb that could have been used on DL help at the start of free agency.

2 points
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jlc1's picture

September 17, 2021 at 03:53 pm

If that headline is right then I am worried. Very worried.

1 points
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LayingTheLawe's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:09 pm

I think it's more Chandon Sullivan that will need to shine and make tackles after the backs and tight end have made catches.

I know this was a defense article but I rewatched the game - after taking some antinausea medicine. The offensive line was not great, but ok. The playcalling was not great, but ok. What seemed to be really sub-par and bad was Aaron Rodgers. He looked like the 2018 and 2019 model of Rodgers who refused to throw on time to the open guy over and over.

On the critical play that started the blowout avalanche - the double nut interception as it will forever be known - he was late with the throw. Adams was open instantly but Rodgers hesitated. Maybe Adams can not beat the defender to the corner for a TD, but its only 2nd down so Rodgers needs to make that throw on time. That seemed to happen over and over. Early on, that throw to Jones on 3rd down was so late. If Rodgers throws it right away it might be a big play. Even if he throws it a little later it's an easy first down. But he waits so long that Jones is now trapped on the sideline and now it's 4th down.

Hopefully, that was just a bad game - but he sure looked more like the frustrating Rodgers of 2019, the one that led them to draft Jordan Love, instead of the magical, throwing it in the rhythm of the offense MVP Rodgers of 2020.

2 points
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