Cory's Corner: Inside Linebacker Matters — Deal With It

The inside linebacker position has been overlooked in Green Bay for too long. 

The inside linebacker continues to haunt the Green Bay Packers. 

"I think the way they value the inside linebacker position especially in that defense, it wasn't as valued as other places I guess in my opinion," said former Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez, after signing a free agent contract with the Giants.

Martinez is right. The last time an inside linebacker was drafted higher than the third round was in 2006 when the Packers took A.J. Hawk fifth overall. And the ghosts of that position were aiive and well when the Colts came back from 14 down in the second half to beat the Packers 34-31 in overtime. 

"(Ted Thompson) kind of just said, 'Maybe they'll get off my back now, you know,'" said Packers director of player personnel Eliot Wolf in 2015 after the Packers drafted Michigan's Jake Ryan in the fourth round. 

The Packers knew it was their biggest hole, yet they continued to overlook it. Now that ignorance is coming back to haunt this team because the defense has a very soft middle. The Packers are givng up 4.4 yards a carry this season, which puts them tied for 18th. Last year, Green Bay gave up 4.7. That's the worst the rushing defense has been since 2015 when the Packers allowed 4.5 a carry en route to losing to the Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

The defense couldn't get off the field because it could not stop the run. In the second half, the Colts only faced two third downs longer than four yards. Indy just continued to ram it down Green Bay's throat on early downs because the Colts knew there was nothing the Packers could do to stop it. Rookie Jonathan Taylor came into Sunday's game racking up a total of 61 yards in his last three games. He ran through, around and over the Packers to the tune of 90 yards on 22 carries. 

The age-old line has always been that the NFL is a passing league. There have been 87 300-yard passing games this season already. Patrick Mahomes leads the league with six and even though Cam Newton may not be able to throw very well, he even has two. However, if a team wants to go deep in the playoffs, you must stop the run. The running game continues to move the sticks and it keeps the opposing offense off the field. Green Bay ran six plays and accounted for 10 yards in the third quarter because the defense had its hands on its hips and was gasping for air. 

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst learned under Thompson. And we all know that Thompson's biggest need in every single NFL Draft was value. He wanted to squeeze every single morsel of water from every rock. But the Packers have passed on guys like Patrick Queen, Willie Gay, Devin Bush and Darius Leonard. 

Inside linebacker matters because he is the quarterback of your defense. Many of you may not want to hear this, but this unit has gotten worse with the loss of Martinez. He remains one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and is No. 2 in the among all defensive players in tackles. He is one of the reasons why the Giants have made a sudden resurgence — and why the Packers have cratered. 

Inside linebacker isn't as sexy as quarterback, left tackle or edge rusher but it is important when the games start to matter. 

And now that it's late November, these games mean a whole lot. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (90)

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CJ Bauckham's picture

November 24, 2020 at 06:34 am

Bush went two picks before ours in '19. Watt plays olb.

Point stands, though. Would be nice to have a good one.

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fastmoving's picture

November 24, 2020 at 06:53 am

"He is one of the reasons why the Giants have made a sudden resurgence — and why the Packers have cratered."
Whoooooatttt??? What did I miss, when did the Giants made a resurgence? And when did the Packers have cratered? Is it already a story if you just turn the facts (the standings, the games) upside down?
Hope we can avoid the Giants in the playoffs. Our only chance is the first seat. They may go 4 to 12 in that strong division and be dangerous as hell.
But Corey is always just kidding around in his corner.......

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marpag1's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:12 am

LOL. Dude, it's your own fault for reading. Cory is the T.J. Rubley of CHTV.

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dobber's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:22 am

I have TJ Rubley on the phone and, dude, he's pissed...

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:49 am

fastmoving,

The Packers started out hot at 4-0 and have now lost two of their last four. The defense cannot get off the field and stop the run. The Packers will win the division because the division is awful, but I don't see the season going deep into January.

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4thandinches's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

Facts from your own article: "The Packers are giving up 4.4 yards a carry this season, which puts them tied for 18th. Last year, Green Bay gave up 4.7."

There haven't been a lot of personnel changes on the defense from last year except for losing Martinez. And the defense has not been as healthy this year... So, not sure I agree with your police work here Cory.

That said, I think a fast inside linebacker would improve the D. I just don't think that describes Blake Martinez and I certainly don't want him for 10ish mil a year.

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Guam's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:14 am

I think Cory's fundamental point about ILB is correct, but he kinda lost me with the Giants comparison too. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that Gute could have done much about that problem in last year's draft since Queen was the only guy available when the Packers drafted and he has not played particularly well this year. It was widely acknowledged that last year was not a good draft for ILBs.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:40 am

Jordyn Brooks, Patrick Queen were the next two picks after we picked a 3rd string QB. Queen is playing a hell of a lot better then Jordan Love.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:24 am

I like Martin better than I like Queen long term. Queen has had issues as well.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:40 am

I liked Gay for their ILB @ #2 but LeFleur wanted Dillon to acquire some semblance of a power run game. It hurt the cause when Deguara went down and took away the lead blocker/receiver. We saw the results on the short yardage misfires this season.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:43 pm

Offense had some real depth issues last year. Understandable that Gute would draft for those positions. To his credit he did draft and pick up ILB (Martin and Barnes) who have preformed pretty well for rookies. Losing your H-Back and your FB gets pretty banged up that Gute had pick up is par for the Packers luck.

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Guam's picture

November 24, 2020 at 11:20 am

I agree that a playing Queen is better than a sitting Love, but I would have preferred either Claypool (WR) or Blacklock (DL) to Queen.

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4thandinches's picture

November 24, 2020 at 02:12 pm

I think if Love winds up being an mvp for this team in the next decade, he'll have been the right draft pick no matter how good any of the inside linebackers become. QB is just that important. We all know he's not going to be an mvp this year and that's not the debate. Bottom line, Gute really put his chips all in and time will tell (like 3 years time). If Love is good, Gute will have acquired his long-term QB like his 2 predecessors. If not, I can't see him having as long of a tenure as Wolf and TT.

Regardless, I don't see the point in complaining about the Love pick after every 5 yard pass completed in the middle of the field, missed lb tackle, and/or team loss. Its not the pick I was expecting but the GB scouts know a lot more about football than I ever will, work on this full time, and have access to resources I do not. I'm gonna sit back, enjoy the ride this year, and hope Love turns out to be good down the road. If he doesn't, I'll join those that are wondering if Gute is a good judge of talent and the right man for the job in 2023 and beyond.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:42 am

Let’s be honest, GB will never get a decent ILB until Gutey is fired and they get a GM from outside the Ted Thompson tree. Otherwise, they will continue to draft undersized safeties and cornerbacks and DL/OLB tweeners too small to play DL and too stiff to play OLB. And, of course, your occasional FB/ H-back gadget guy and long-term QB development project.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:50 am

And that's exactly the problem. They are trying to go up against tremendous size with speed and it is costing them between the tackles.

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4thandinches's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:43 pm

So we should draft a DL? Now we're in agreement! ;) Thanks for writing the articles and generating discussion!

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cow7's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:00 am

Everything about this defense, regardless of scheme or alignment, would improve if the players on the field could just tackle better.

Playing dime is fine.
Playing 2 DL is fine.
Rushing 3 is fine.
Playing soft is fine.

As long as players swarm to the ball.
As long as ballcarriers are brought down immediately.

Watch good defensive teams. They allow underneath catches... they just bring the receiver down instantly once the ball is caught. 1st and 10 becoming 2nd and 7 is a lot different than becoming 2nd and 3. 3rd and 13 becoming 4th and 8 is a lot different than becoming 4th and 2.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:09 am

That goes back to tackling, where the Packers rank 25th.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:40 am

It goes back to the DC. DC sets the tone and priorities. It’s pretty clear Gute picks within the Framework of his coaches, whether by choice or by edict from Murphy to give LaFleur what he needs.

To be fair, that’s not a bad idea in principle and it tied in with Murphy appointing LaFleur to install his vision. LaFleur clearly wished to reshape the O for the future this off season. Injuries and Covid mean it’s too early to see how he will use the picks, but D was clearly the priority.

That maybe good, because next year someone else whom LaFleur picks to be DC is going to want to reshape the defensive roster and LaFleur will have a personal stake in his appointee’s success.

Going to need all those draft picks with the lack of cap room to play in FA, likely jokes from departures (possibly King, Jones, Linsley and cap casualties too). We know we need to restock WR talent, will almost certainly need running back(s).

For that reason, I’d be inclined to keep King and focus on the reshaping the rest of the D with our backfield depth carried over. Jones is just out of our league financially now and Linsley has adequate replacements on hand. We have adequate tackle depth with Bakh signed, if we keep Wagner particularly. I can see a prospect pick late, but otherwise no additions on the O line. Keep King and we can focus on D plus WR and RB.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:50 am

Tampa pretty much drafted defense the past three years and picked up bad boys like Suh and JPP to set the tone. Pettine's scheme was exposed last year, yet Gutedkunst goes along with the "plan" and bags a remnant from the failed scheme in Kirksey, (how many games absent in 2020). Not a fan of this D after watching a 2 man front challenging a seven man offensive attack.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:19 pm

If you are talking about the wisdom of retaining Pettine, certainly hindsight confirms it was lacking. That doesn’t seem to me to be Gute’s call though. His job is to provide the HC his boss appointed with what he needs. Personally I think Pettine’s now making the D worse than it needs to be.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:11 pm

It's a football decision. That makes it Gute's call. Now should MLF have a say, of course he should. Now does he, I say no. Main reason is MLF may be seen as having too little experience as a HC. The other and I hate to say it, is the bitter aftertaste of Murphy as de facto owner. My fear is the executive committee may have swung too far after Murphy in protecting Gute's position as GM. If we use CHTV commenters metrics, MLF would get the boot for the crappy special teams and offensive brain farts along with Pettine for being 'too soft' with his defense. Neither is going to get fired mid season, that's just silly. Now what happens after the season is anyone's guess. A lot will depend on what Gute's long term plan is. Knowing him, he will announce to all at the end of his season presser.

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cow7's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:26 am

That's what I said...

"Everything about this defense, regardless of scheme or alignment, would improve if the players on the field could just tackle better."

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Dzehren's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:06 am

Mike Pettine’s inability to make in game adjustments is also adding to the problem.

GB is also missing a big DT that can occupy 2 blockers to stuff the middle (Like Howard Green from 2010).

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Guam's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:08 am

Concur Dzehren and I would add MLF to that list. The Packers do not seem to fair well in the second half as the other team always seems to out adjust them. Frustrating.

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dobber's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:24 am

Apparently the Packers made another run at Snacks, trying to sign him off Seattle's PS before they moved him up to their 53 last week.

As you point out, they don't need a Snacks. They need an immovable object guy for about 20 snaps per game...even AZ figured it out and pulled Domata Peko off the FA wire this week.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:42 am

Howard Green!!!

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2020 at 01:02 pm

They could have had him as a FA but the packers are a very cheap outfit when it comes to part time help. That's another story. They could have had the best special teams coach in the NFL but they undercut his value and he signed elsewhere. They want a team to pack a stadium not win championships. That is what they have shown me and that starts and stops with Murphy.

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:56 am

That is exactly what I told my Dad while watching the game together. Pettine is just unable to adjust during the game or at halftime. It seems like he watches video on his next opponent all week then decides what scheme he will use ALL. GAME. LONG.

Sunday it was the dime. At the half it seemed Frank Reich said to his O, "when get the ball to start the half, we are going to pound them men! Pound them!"

Pettine just watched his D give up first down after first down as he stood on his dime.

Pettine is just not a very good coach.

Can you imagine Jim Leonard in Green Bay with ML? Two creative, active coaches who find the best strategy and schemes to best utilize their players to attack the opposition.

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Daniel Thomas's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:13 am

Without Martinez: “The Packers are giving up 4.4 yards a carry this season”

With Martinez: “Last year, Green Bay gave up 4.7.”

It sounds like they have improved this year.Also, wasn’t he playing during last years embarrassing NFC title game?

Need to rebuild the D-line (Lowry is not good) and add a stud at ILB.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:44 am

And we have done so having been more consistently run on with a revolving door of inexperienced ILBs and out one true hybrid being unavailable half the time. I liked Martinez, but the nostalgia doesn’t match reality even before one considers the cap aspect.

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cow7's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:08 am

By the way...
It's not the ILB's, it's the DL.

Kirksey and Martin would be more than capable (with more playing time together and more help in front of them).

Running backs need quality big guys in front of them.
ILBs do as well.

Lancaster, Adams, Lowry, Keke, Winn are all pretty bad.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here... but I would not have given Clark all that money.
He doesn't rush the passer well enough to warrant it OR this scheme doesn't allow him to do so (either way he's being paid too much to just eat double teams).

Two GOOD DLmen could have been acquired for what they paid just for Clark.

Anyone ever say after a game "Clark won the game for them"?
Nope.
He got paid like Jones or Donald... and he ain't that.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:02 am

This is valid argument, but you can't forget that Clark gets doubled every game. When that happens, Lancaster and Lowry need to fill the void and make things happen. That isn't happening, which causes the dominoes to fall.

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cow7's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:28 am

That's what I said.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:29 pm

Lowry shouldn’t be on the field. Play Adams ( if healthy) Keke and Winn. One of Pettine’s great failings is sticking to players who are out performed by sitting teammates.

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stockholder's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:05 am

Cow- Everything you wrote up to Clark is correct. Donald got moved outside. And the same should be done with Clark. He is getting double teamed. And he's been injured. The packers need 1 grave digger and I'm going to say a younger Daniels would be the right moves. Not one of the current DL has replaced Daniels. And I just don't see any of them doing it. Look how much money Raji made in GB. Gute should have gone after one DL in Free Agency. And he should of stuck to his guns about drafting LBs.

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Razer's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:19 am

...It's not the ILB's, it's the DL...

This is so very true and the problem stems from the same issue. Gutekunst, like Ted Thompson, doesn't value these positions. We have bargain shopped and mis-drafted D-linemen for a decade. Aside from Ray Lewis, few linebackers are going to flourish when the holes are big and O-linemen are getting to the second level.

As for Kenny Clark and his payday I am not sure if it is too much or not. But - if you only have one good guy on your D-line - he becomes a lot more valuable. Just wait until Davante Adams next contract comes around. Given we don't have much behind him, you can't afford not to pay him. Draft better or you have few options.

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Befuddled's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

Hawk and Bishop weren't superstars, just good solid players like Martinez but they had Raji, Pickett and Jenkins in front of them.

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cow7's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:34 am

I wouldn't pay Davante, either.
Throwing $ at mistakes makes the mistakes bigger and harder to get away from.
No one behind Davante is a mistake.
Overpaying him would just make the mistake bigger.

Name a Super Bowl winner that had 1 go-to wr.

Not since Rice.

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Booner's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:14 am

Cory,

you hit the nail right on the head brother! Guty learned from Thompson and this is why our team is struggling poor drafting and total failure in ignoring the middle. LOVE really! That's our first round draft choice when you have a HOF QB with a lot of tread left on the tires? This is on Murphy for hiring this fool to run the team! You would think they would have learned from Thompson's mistakes! Failure repeat the Course!!!!!!!

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:17 am

I think for the first time in a while I like our present and our future at ILB. Kirksey has come back pretty strong and adds the nice veteran presence. I really like Martin and Barnes. I think both are going to have bright futures.

Martin I think needs to be on the field a lot more. The key for Pettine is finding a way to get Martin and Greene on the field together. There are a few plays each game that Martin just explodes through a hole to make a stop. We haven't had an ILB do that for a long time. Martin is only going to get better!

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dobber's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:37 am

I think Martin and Barnes (sounds like an ambulance-chasing law firm) could lead the Packers to let Kirksey go early and generate some needed cap room. Still, Kirksey played 100% of the snaps on Sunday which tells you what Pettine favors. They played so much nickel and dime that Martin only got 22 snaps. I think we'll see more base out of this team against the Bears this week, though.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:45 am

I really like the future with Martin and Barnes. I think they have a very bright future. They both have speed.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if they would let Kirksey go early. He has missed 1/2 the games they have played so far. Its kind of hard to tell how good he is for this offense. I felt he was better in the colts game then he was the last 2 games.

It was a shame that Martin didn't get on the field more. There was a play late in the game when the Colts were trying to run the ball and keep the clock going. Martin found a seam and knifed his way through for a tackle for a loss on Jonathan Taylor. There was a holding penalty and it got screwed up.

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Dzehren's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:48 am

I sure hope we see more base defense against the Bears. I am really getting tired of seeing 2 down DL when we know the other team is going to run the damn ball.

The Smith brothers should be attacking the line of scrimmage not dropping into coverage so much as well.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:25 pm

Pettine’s has taken his great assets added last year who brought pressures and used them to shore up the run D, something that wasted their value, undermines the rush and is ineffective against the run. If that isn’t a definition of a CB man out of ideas, I don’t know what is.

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I hope so that's a good reason why we were not stopping the run. To fix this run issue 3-DL hand in the dirt, 2-OLB, 2-ILB. A kid in H.S can see that, but not our DC.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:56 am

Greene is a Strong safety, that leaves Amos or Savage to pull off the field. Big nickel type guy, but is he effective when the D line cannot clog up the run lanes and leave guards and centers to wail on the DBs. Need ZA or Gary with a hand on the ground and go four man fronts with Martin and Kirksey/Barnes cleaning up the way LBs are trained to do. Montravious cannot stay healthy and Pettine doesn't seem to care about run stop with Winn sitting most of the game etc etc. Not much you can do with a front office contributing to the malaise.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:04 am

I'm still not sold on Kirksey at ILB just yet. I want someone that is a solid leader as well as a solid player. He needs to be able to make everyone accountable on the field and act as another coach, and I'm not seeing that.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:50 am

I felt this was his best game since coming back from injury. I thought he was starting to get back into the groove of it. He isn't a top LB in the league but he was good I felt.

I feel that making the others accountable on the field is on Pettine. Pettine is in charge of it all on the field. Who plays what they are going to play and everything.

Honestly I could see them moving on from Kirksey even in the offseason. I don't know what his salary cap numbers are, but I could see them going with a cheaper option with Barnes and Martin and drafting another ILB.

I like Kirksey but could see them doing a move like that.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 25, 2020 at 05:39 am

I agree. It was Kirksey's best game. He was awful the first two games, true, but I think he was quite solid against Indy.

That said, he has $6M in cap savings if released in 2021. That's a tempting target even if he rights himself for the rest of the season if there is a competent replacement. So, as wrote recently, I am watching Martin and Barnes closely. On the cap stuff and next year, I know people want to enjoy this season since we are winning, but I look at who can be replaced.

I am not sure if either Barnes or Martin would be considered Kirksey's immediate backup or if they play the other ILB spot better.

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Razer's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:53 am

The players need to play and the coaches need to make the players accountable. A poorly coordinated defense isn't going to be rectified or policed by players who are struggling to figure out the scheme.

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dobber's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:29 am

"The last time an inside linebacker was drafted higher than the third round was in 2006 when the Packers took A.J. Hawk fifth overall."

Hawk was an OLB coming out of OSU and played OLB his first few seasons in GB before moving inside with the transition to the 3-4 when Bob Sanders was "let go" and Dom Capers was hired.

I think you need to go back to Nick Barnett in the first round, 2003, although he was an OLB in college, I think he played exclusively MLB with the Packers.

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Lphill's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:26 am

Its just amazing how the Packers overlook the inside linebacker position , no other team feels that way , also when is Pettine going to realize that Winn makes an impact even with the limited snaps he gets? Why is he not playing more, I like Lancaster at nose, with Winn and Clark at tackle, rotate keke and Adams , less Lowery , I get to see Martinez often I live in NY he is leading in tackles because the Giants are letting him play .

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stockholder's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:14 am

Until the packers give up on the Capers mentality. The ILB will always be a hole. You just don't draft LBs and say you made the Defense better. Bg did a Sherman. He wanted a bargain in Kirksey, and say he was better then Martinez. Ignoring the injury history. The replacements just don't have it. And the costs to fix a hole will "OPEN ANOTHER ONE". Wolf understood it when he wanted us to get off TTs back. What made this defense better was the the Smiths and their pass rush. Now even they can see the DL is, and always was the problem. And No matter who you put at ILB. His days are numbered until they fix that DL. BG only wanted to prove he could replace CM3 and Peppers. He took Gary not to push the Smiths. But the thinking in GB is any DE can play LB. And BG wanted his CM3. Every Super-team has a good DL. The ILBs knew what to expect. These guys just don't know what is coming. The DL has been the failure and even super man won't help. Gute had a chance to help this defense and he turned away from it. His last draft was the biggest blunder by a packer GM since Sherman. It's time to replace Gute. His stubbornness will keep this team from reaching the super-bowl.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:07 am

Last draft could actually be very good. Love is an oddball admittedly, but there is nothing more questionable in football than writing off a draft class halfway through the first season in the year of that draft. To compound that, you seem to be blaming Gute for getting pass rushers? Short memory I assume.

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stockholder's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:22 am

The experts disagree with you. Love was passed for a reason. I blame Gute for taking Gary. And Not taking a DL out of Clemson. He hasn't replaced Daniels. Got that! Your DL sucks because he had a chance to get a DL. Not Learning projects that will never become All-Pros.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:54 am

The experts? That’s just ridiculous. I may be wrong, often am, but to claim consensus on Love is laughable. The same logic presumably made Rodgers a worse pick and the trade for Favre franchise killing.

Daniels was a disruptor. He was decent against the run. Later he was downright poor in the run game as injuries took their toll. I’d say Keke may be a replacement, too early yet. I’d also say it’s not a Daniels type we need but help in the run game that would also help Clark be more disruptive.

In this game in the cap era there will always be learning prospects, and some prospects will wash out. Gute has done well picking up depth. Lazard, Redmond, Lancaster (NT only), Sullivan, Greene, Barnes come to mind.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

Lawrence vs Gary, I still take Gary. More speed. Pettine doesn't know how to use talent. Gary is getting healthy and making plays but sitting behind P.Smith who should have been moved at the trade deadline for Leonard Williams.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:16 pm

He was picked at the spot the"experts' predicted he would land btw 26-30. Herbert, Burrow and Love were the best QBs from this class. Love and Herbert have the running ability.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:36 pm

Burrow’s injury sounds to be at the bad end of the scale. He could be struggling to play much next year. Just goes to show there are no guarantees.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 25, 2020 at 09:03 am

Comes down to luck.

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Razer's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:08 am

...Now even they can see the DL is, and always was the problem...

I agree wholeheartedly. As I have stated many times before, the trenches set the foundation for what you can do on either side of the ball. Our poor and inconsistent D-line play translates into problems at linebacker and secondary. Good defenses start with D-lines that control the point of attack and let the specialist focus on their craft. Our secondary probably worries more about the run than coverage.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:38 pm

I think you are right on your comment on the secondary being concerned about the run. I think that extends to the OLBs too much of the time.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:48 am

When your coach plays one ILB until after the run game has done it’s damage it suggests you may be missing the point. If your DC is focused on d/bs there are limited opportunities for ILBs.

Actually, Martin could be our best ILB in a very long while, but he needs to play and yet is barely used. Barnes also has promise, when he is healthy again.

The roster building recently has been, as I see it, to shape the roster to the desired of the coaches. While it’s ongoing, Pettine isn’t a coach who is saying I need a premier ILB loud and long from what I see on the field. Despite that, we may have drafted one who will grow into that role this year.

Not playing 2 ILBs consistently in that game hurt us, hurt Martin’s learning curve and didn’t help us against the short pass over the middle. 2 ILBs plus Greene should be a regular sight. Yet we don’t learn.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:28 am

Honey Badger is on top of the A gap ready to bring heat. White and David stand in gaps poised to shoot it or drop to cover or the perimeter stunts just like Belichick let his LBs challenge the line. This guy keeps his defense fixed in the turf like statuary. Gary has to start, let Za set up the mis-match and keep P.Smith holding the edge.

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Fabio's picture

November 24, 2020 at 08:50 am

I recognize that Martinez can be a good player, but he doesn't seem to me to be causing havoc in New York. I also always have in mind the two games against San Francisco last year where it was systematically ASFALTATO (as they say in Italy). However, on Sunday, like all the other times, when the Colts had a 3rd and short we never found a solution (run or pass). We on the short courses always find many players who make the task difficult, while the opponents always have grasslands where they can run freely. To be honest, I would have gone from Back (with enormous pain) and hired someone at the ILB who could make a difference. For the future I hope that MLF improves the Play Book of passes in hand because in certain games our Runningbacks do not make a difference (perhaps not only because of them) and therefore for the future I would also switch to Jones (and perhaps also to Williams). The problem is seeing who you can take in next year's draft. If I think about who we have not taken this year ....... I feel bad. Excuse me if my comments are not relevant or adequate. (in Italy we have soccer ....). Greetings from Siena (Italy)

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Denzel Shareef's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:07 am

Agreed. It would also be helpful if our defensive coordinator would play our best ILB more often. It's clear that Kamal Martin is the best we got. Eyes don't lie. So why would he split time with Raven Greene? Also, if your weakness is stopping the run, wouldn't it be best to discourage teams from doing the thing you're weak at? If Raven Greene is on the field on first or second down, I'm running it unless I'm down by 21 in the fourth quarter. Period. That's how the Colts came back. Just wait for the Titans or come playoff. Smashmouth football is a comin'!

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4thandinches's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:56 am

This is my line of thinking these days. Our strength is the secondary and pass rush. Let's dare teams to pass against us by putting some men in the box and see if the secondary can hold up. I'd like to see the Pack at least give it a shot instead of dying the slow death of 6 yard runs.

I also agree that Martin looks like the most explosive linebacker we got. I'm guessing he's not always in the right spot which is why Kirksey gets all the snaps. Hopefully Martin learns quickly and takes the reins later in the year or next season.

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Denzel Shareef's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:54 pm

Exactly. I further this point by saying RBs are not WRs and unless you see the Alvin Kamaras of the world every week, I'd rather be at a disadvantage in that match up in the passing game than to see us get steamrolled down the field all game. I get that TEs factor in this too, but there is much more risk in the passing game i.e. sack, fumble, int. It's simply harder to get a turnover if a team runs it 30/35 times a game vs. the opposite.

If we're going anywhere, we'll need the OFFENSE to rack up points early to force teams to pass. Hope for nice weather.

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Razer's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:28 am

Don't know if it was mentioned but the photo that Cory chose to headline this article shows a fair amount of grabbing by the Colts O-linemen. Lowry is not blocked, but being held and prevented from turning to the play. Smith is getting his nipples massaged by his man. Given the 5 straight 4th quarter holding calls, I wonder how much hold was going on in the trenches throughout the game. Maybe the 2nd half adjustment was a dark little secret.

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2020 at 12:48 pm

Some sure truth there. The main thing is not using what you have to stop the bleeding. In the first half we used more large bodies on the DL and multiple ILB. Not so much in the second half. That's what makes it so hard for fans to understand the lunacy.

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:36 am

The last best ILB the Packers had was CMIII several years ago when MM jumped in to help Crapers coach his awful D. It was arguably CMIII's last productive year as a player. He's sitting by his phone now.

Even AJ Hawk, a good guy off the field was a dud on it. Maybe TT taking him as the 5th overall made him gun shy.

I was unhappy Martinez was allowed to walk with not even an attempt to get him to stay. I think he and Martin would have been a nice duo.

And Cory is correct...the TT legacy of valuing the ILB position like the Long Snapper is alive and well within Gutey.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:56 am

CM III was not a great ILB, he was serviceable. The myth has grown as much as his hair did.

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MITM's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:36 am

He was graded in the 90's by PFF as an ILB for us.

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Rebecca's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:26 pm

And he was in th grade at the time.

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Rebecca's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:26 pm

And he was in th grade at the time.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 25, 2020 at 05:54 am

Do you have a subscription? I see 61.2 in 2015, 60.5 in 2016 with Martinez starting 9 games, and back to the eighties in 2017 when Martinez was the starter.

If CM3 was earning 90s as an ILB, he must have been pure crap as an OLB.

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PatrickGB's picture

November 24, 2020 at 04:15 pm

I think our long snapper was a fifth or sixth round pick. So I kinda agree.

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dobber's picture

November 24, 2020 at 07:32 pm

Hunter Bradley was a 7th round pick.

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stockholder's picture

November 24, 2020 at 09:59 am

Gutes drafts. Not one player has become All-Pro or made the pro Bowl. It's to bad we do have to deal with that too.

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MITM's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:22 am

His drafts suck and it doesnt get talked about enough. He traded Damarious Randall for Deshone Kizer. Randall was nothing great but also was our top DB at that time. He signed Jimmy Graham over Jordy Nelson. We should have known back then we were in trouble.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:54 pm

Randall was a malcontent who just joined the Seattle PS. Jordy was done. Graham was too, I concede. However, not much more than a wash. Graham was, I thought, Ball after negotiations with his predecessor hit rocks: that was the mistake.

No player in the pro bowl by year 3. How long did it take Bakh and how high have we we drafted? Whatever Gute is he’s a step above that justification.

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MITM's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:22 am

His drafts suck and it doesnt get talked about enough. He traded Damarious Randall for Deshone Kizer. Randall was nothing great but also was our top DB at that time. He signed Jimmy Graham over Jordy Nelson. We should have known back then we were in trouble.

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2020 at 01:23 pm

Jenkins could have been last year. Definitely in the future. I will give props where they are. I like Degura who got hurt right away. I like the depth on the OL. I don't like a lot of things he did at the top of the draft though and he should have gotten us DL help in FA. I like this RB Weber kid he picked up.

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Denzel Shareef's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:57 pm

Yeah, but Alexander should be soon.

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Rudedawg67's picture

November 24, 2020 at 01:22 pm

First off should have drafted TJ Watt, Enough said. I’m just spitballing here but it seems we don’t have the personnel to play a 3-4 defense. We may not have the personnel to play a 4-3 defense but we could give it a shot. It couldn’t be much worse could it?

Lastly the DC sucks. I watched some of the game against Indy and when it was like 3rd and 10 I felt like it was 3rd and 1 because there was no imagination in the pass rush scheme and I felt Indy was the only team that was going to stop Indy. The DBs play way too soft coverage on third and long and that is because of the defensive scheme.

We could use someone young like Jim Leonhard as DC.

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CoachDino's picture

November 24, 2020 at 03:46 pm

Who ever said that ILB wasn't important? It's just not more important than WR,QB,LT,Edge and CB. Currently the Packers don't have the money to sign a FA ILB for 2021 much like this past offseason. They have invested their capped money on QB,WR,LT,IDL. So who would you sign and who wouldn't you sign? There isn't an ILB drafted in 2019 that is playing any better than what the Packers have.

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crayzpackfan's picture

November 24, 2020 at 06:46 pm

I have read through all the comments. So many insightful facts and opinions. What I have gathered in my reading, is the very obvious truth that GB has fallen short on defense through the years. They have sincerely relied on HOF QB’s to be their light at the end of the tunnel. This has landed them in the Super Bowl 3 times since 1996 with two titles.

Yes, many teams would curb stomp a baby rabbit to have that. However, 28 years of having two HOF QB’s back to back alone is something many teams never get even one of. We have only two titles to show for it. That’s one title per HOF QB. Through stretches it has been a lack of a running game, sometimes a lack of talent at the WR/TE spot, but the majority of time it has been because of inept coaching/personal on defense. This cannot be argued.

TT drafted DB’s and DL hybrids galore and the results gave us (from 2011on) zero Super Bowls and humiliating losses in the playoffs (4th and 26 ring a bell and many other meltdowns). Free agency and trades for the most part, have been non existent. Hanging onto past their prime coaches has been another issue.

Gute is now doing the same thing. They still have a top 5 QB, and now a young innovative HC, yet, they hang onto a terrible DC, he’s trying to be a cute draft and develop GM, not addressing obvious weaknesses, and again, backpacking on an elite QB to sell hope and tickets.

I love the Packers. I’m a 50 year old man and have been behind this team since I was able to comprehend. I have been a lone wolf as my entire family growing up we’re Viking fans. Montana Young, back to back HOF QB’s, how many titles? Shit, Starr in the 60’s alone has more titles and two SB’s himself than 28 years of Favre and Rodgers combined.

I apologize for being extremely long winded here. I’m aware of the fact that I’m completely editorializing with this post. I suppose I could’ve easily summed this up in a paragraph. However, armed with Spotted Cow, too much time on my hands, and I think a sound argument, GB should have at a minimum 3-4 more titles over the years. It’s frustrating. IMO, this coming draft, they need to seriously evaluate who to keep/let go, draft a run stopping defense (nothing cute..real position players), consider a new DC, and land a real, high end WR in FA. I just think we can do better.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 25, 2020 at 06:13 am

You don't sound crazy, at all events.

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Branden Burke's picture

November 24, 2020 at 10:29 pm

The packers haven't had a real difference maker at ILB since desmond bishop. Barnett, hawk, and martinez were ok.

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