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Cory's Corner: Mike Daniels isn't a secret anymore

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Cory's Corner: Mike Daniels isn't a secret anymore

Packers fans know all about Mike Daniels.

Now the entire nation should. Yesterday’s Seahawks-Packers game was broadcast to 80 percent of the country and Daniels put up numbers. He had 7 total tackles, with 2½ for loss, and 1½ sacks in a 17-9 Packers win that could have major playoff implications four months from now.

Daniels has been the heartbeat of the Packers’ defense for two years. But the brawny defensive lineman hasn’t been a household name because he hasn’t put up the numbers. In five seasons, he averaged 4.4 sacks a year. But what gets lost for the stat seekers is that in the 3-4 scheme, Daniels is supposed to be the leadoff man for the linebackers. Also, he usually gets doubled or at least chipped by a running back making his path much tougher.

On Sunday, the nation saw Daniels dominate to the point that he was the best player on the field. That’s not hyperbole. In a pass-heavy league that’s quarterback-driven, Daniels took the game over and made the Seattle offense look pedestrian.

With 10:39 left in the third quarter and Seattle clinging to a 3-0 lead, Daniels gave the Packers the momentum that they wouldn’t relinquish. He raced past former first rounder Luke Joeckel, who was playing left guard and attacked quarterback Russell Wilson. And as Wilson turned to escape, Daniels made a nifty move with his left hand to jar the ball loose from Wilson’s hands, while his right hand was able to continue the process of making the tackle. The ball popped loose, Kyler Fackrell got it and one play later, Ty Montgomery scored the first touchdown of the day.

“We just knew that the only way to get them off the field is to stop them,” said Packers linebacker Nick Perry, who had 1½ sacks. “I think that was the most important thing that we wanted to do at that given time.”

Daniels is a beast but let’s not forget that he was a fourth rounder. He was criticized coming out of Iowa because many NFL scouts thought his smaller size would really hamper him.

That hasn’t happened because he has proven that he can beat you with his speed and his unquestioned power is some of the best in the league.

Green Bay’s defense had a lot of question marks heading into this season. Clay Matthews and Perry were banged up last year and because of that, there wasn’t a strong pass rush.

The Packers got three sacks, but what I liked most about what they did was how well they contained Wilson. Remember, his skill set as a quick-running quarterback has been the Packers’ kryptonite for years. Wilson was allowed a 20-yard run and a 29-yard run. That’s it. Most of the time, Wilson didn’t have a lane to escape to, and that’s exactly how to beat it. The Packers were smart in that they provided pressure but they barely overpursued. It’s a lot easier to do that when you’ve got a guy like Daniels that won just about every one-on-one matchup.

There’s a reason that Daniels’ cap number is No. 2 on defense and No. 5 overall. He’s worth every penny of his $10.4 million this year.

After Daniels had arguably his best game of his career, the rest of the football world now knows what Packers fans already do: Daniels is an unguardable force that suddenly makes the defense a lot better. 


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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

Today: Mike Daniels.
Tomorrow: Kyler Fackrell!

Bearmeat's picture

um... how can I say this with a straight face..... LOL!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Why not Justin Harrell?

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

TK, your stuff is pure gold. Now this is what I come here for.

(Dear suck)

Mojo's picture

I've gotten more than a few chuckles with TK's posts. And that's when he's being serious. ;)

Since '61's picture

Doug - I agree, TK is the best. Thanks, Since '61

HankScorpio's picture

Most Packer fans have known Daniels was the real deal for a good long time. It will only help Daniels continue to wreck havoc if Kenny Clark can continue to play like he did. I'm also looking to see Dean Lowery take some pressure off Daniels. And Quinton Dial. And Ricky Jean-Francios. Maybe even Montravious Adams, if he can get healthy.

Things are looking good along the DL in GB.

Bearmeat's picture

If the DL can play at 80% as well as they played on Sunday, the LBs and pass rush will be just fine and this team will be really hard to beat by anyone.

Johnblood27's picture

now now gentlemen, lets not start patting each other on the back quite yet...

MAYBE, just maybe the seahags are very over rated and their offense is pedestrian (no WR, poor OL, poor RB) and...

MAYBE, just maybe the seahag defense is older and over rated as well, maybe they are not the class of the NFC as thought.

Remember, every summer the viqueens are also thought of as a good team...

MAYBE, just maybe the Packer D found a weak opponent to dominate and some regression to the mean is to be expected.

MAYBE, just maybe Mike Daniels is an above average DL who dominated inferior talent this week and not DPOY material.

Dont get me wrong, I am the guy that wants to see the Pack look like '96 again, #1 O, #1D etc. I love blowouts in the Packers favor, I do not love the stress I feel when it is a one score lead and the opponent has the ball.

I also think that the Packer O will be much better for most of the season after the first week wrinkles are now out and the Packer defense will see very pass heavy opponents which will drop their ratings based upon yards, also garbage time points will pile up.

Lets beat the Falcons, Queens and Cowgirlz, then we can crow a little.

The TKstinator's picture

Your "voice of reason" is not welcome here, good sir!

Duke Divine's picture

#3. This aging Defense you speak of held Arodge and Company to 0 points in the first half and 17 total.....

Finwiz's picture

Yeah, what's with the "aging defense" comment?
The delusion is rather thick around here. Or is it lack of football knowledge? I'm not certain.

Point Packer's picture

Joeckel and Britt we're supposed to be the long bright spots in that otherwise underwhelming Seattle O-line. Daniels crushed them.

fastmoving's picture

And all this Daniels everybody’s darling stuff should be a reminder how things over time can change. Especially in regard of every other player on our roster, who is judged at the other end of the spectrum right now.
I’m a big Daniels fan right from his beginning and that’s probably why I can remember pretty well how he was rated by the most people here.
I’m sure most guys already forgot, but in his first and second (to a lesser degree) year, he was seen as a situational backup at best, who got no shot to be starter someday. Leaving alone an exceptional one. To small, to slow, to heavy (did some guys say he had to short arms or something??) fare not athletic enough.
Just funny how thing can turn out and how unpredictable this whole player development thing is. We just never know, no matter how smart we feel about ourselves.

Couch Cleats's picture

Daniels was awesome Sunday and I don't think many were surprised. He's been steadily improving for a long time and now finally has some good talent next to him as well.

I know Seattle's line sucks and they will run into much better but I have to say, it's starting to feel like we are finally going to get OUR chance to be the bully.

There are a lot more physical players on the D now than we have had in the past. The 2 new additions from SF are both physical and even our rookie additions in the secondary like to hit.

Perry too. When healthy, he has a pretty devastating bull rush. I also noticed Ryan and Martinez meeting RB's at the line instead of 5 yards downfield. Trying to curb my enthusiasm but it just feels like the D is going to stun some teams that are used to a soft defense in GB.

OK, my helmet is on - let me have all those "Homer" slams now.

Lphill's picture

Maybe he did good because the play around him was improved including Clark who we saw in the pre season looking good , I am not taking anything away from Daniels but like someone said earlier let's see some consistency from the entire group .

Since '61's picture

Daniels will have another national audience this Sunday evening. If he can get pressure up the middle against Ryan like he did versus Seattle he could become a house hold name because Ryan is nowhere near as elusive as Wilson. Atlanta will be a much truer test for Daniels and the entire Packer defense. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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