Cory's Corner: Nick Perry, please stand up

There are a lot of things that motivate pro athletes.

The two best things are money and disrespect.

Coming into this season, Nick Perry satisfied both. This is a contract year for the 2012 first rounder and he stands to make plenty of money if he continues his Pro Bowl pace. And he’s had nothing but disrespect since many people have said he is made of glass because he started 16 games from 2012-2015 and this season he has started all seven and leads the team with 5½ sacks.

Perry was exposed in the Falcons’ 33-32 win over the Packers on Sunday. He was held to one tackle and was virtually invisible because his running mate, Clay Matthews was out because of a nagging hamstring.

That’s not exactly the best way to audition for a shiny new contract. If he wants to be a premiere outside linebacker, he needs to be able to stand alone.

Perry did exactly that against the Lions in Week 3. He tallied six tackles and got a couple sacks.

The Packers need to know what they have in Perry because they need to know if he’s worth a contract. And if not, general manager Ted Thompson is going to go out and draft one. Guys like Jabrill Peppers, Charles Harris or Carroll Phillips would be welcome additions.

Matthews has been getting more and more hamstring problems recently and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. And that’s why the Packers desperately need someone else to fill that quarterback seek-and-destroy void.

Perry turns 27 in April and he’s running out of time to make mega millions — which will likely be his last major contract.

So where does that leave us with Perry? He’s kind of stuck right now. He needs to find out how good he is. The Packers need to find out how good he is as well, which will mold their future for the next four years.

The Packers are 4-3. They aren’t out of it yet, but they keep inching closer and closer to the magic number of six losses, which put them square on the playoff  bubble.

If the Packers roll the dice with Perry, they will want some incentives that would guarantee Green Bay a measure of some stability and they wouldn’t have to break the bank for a guy that just cannot stay healthy.

Coming into this season, Perry was expected to have another ho-hum year. Now that he’s having a career year, let’s pump the brakes. Perry is a high-energy player, but it appears that he’s making his way back to the average.

The Packers will need Perry if they want to make a playoff run this year. They don’t need him if they want to continue their sustained defensive success next year.

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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 (56)

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2016 at 06:35 am

Perry definitely didn't have his best game against the Falcons.

But he has shown this year to be a valuable player. He has been almost dominate in the run game. And has added a really good pass rush. For us to get to the playoffs and make a run, we will need Perry to keep playing at a high level.

We will see if that means he gets another contract with the Packers or if they decide to let him go.

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NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2016 at 06:35 am

Perry has been pretty solid all year but I wonder if Thompson keeps him no matter what he does. Does he keep him if he finishes with 10 sacks and continues to be solid against the run? Like everything it comes down to money. Would Perry be better than Matthews next season and beyond might be the question.

If Thompson was to cut Matthews for example he could do so after this year and have $4,100,000.00 in dead money in 2017 or cut him after next season without any dead money at all.
IMO Ted almost has to try and sign Perry and make a decision on when Matthews goes. The Packers are paying Matthews almost 14 million this year and over $15 million next season. The dilemma might be if Thompson is willing to pay over $15 million for Matthews next season and let Perry walk or take the dead cap hit for over $4 million and sign Perry and cut Matthews.

They have Frackrell waiting in the wings. How many times have we watched TT cut a player early rather than late. Keeping Perry, cutting Matthews, and signing Perry may be what is cheapest in the long run. And when it comes to Ted, we know he's always 2 to 3 years ahead.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:22 am

Two reasons why Perry disappeared on Sunday...
1. ...no CMIII: who do you account for first in your protection schemes? Typically #52. No #52? Protections look for Perry.
2. ...Capers not pressuring the QB and dropping into coverage to protect his inexperienced and undertalented injury-depleted secondary. I'd like to know the number of downs the Packers sent more than 4 on Sunday relative to other weeks. It wasn't many.

Some have suggested that Perry's early surge was due to the fact that this was a contract year for him. Last year was a contract year, too, folks. This is his first healthy year, and offenses are accounting for #52 first. That changes with time if Perry continues to get pressure and disrupt the pocket. The two will help each other in the long run, but the key is that they need a THIRD rotational player to step up when one of those two is down or we'll see what we saw on Sunday. I just don't think Peppers is that guy anymore.

This is where DPF jumps in and tells me I'm wrong. I'm ready for it... (braces self)

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:25 am

'1. ...no CMIII: who do you account for first in your protection schemes? Typically #52. No #52? Protections look for Perry.'

A lot of truth to this one. Offensive coordinators always say they have to know where Mathews is on each play. When they have a RB in to block, they typically go towards Mathews side, which allows others to have 1 on 1 opportunities.

Mathews may not always have the stats, but he does draw attention of the offense.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:41 am

Agree. Need a third guy and Peppers is no longer able to consistently be that guy anymore. Peppers was a very nice move to try and win it all when the O was running like a machine. Times have changed and D has taken on more importance in overall scheme of things.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:27 am

That's not to say that Peppers doesn't still get pressure (he had a sack on Sunday), but they don't always use him on the outside to spell CMIII or Perry, he's frequently rushing from an interior position. I actually expect him to play more snaps as the season progresses, so we'll see how he responds.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:19 am

NP - Hasn't anyone told you it's not polite to talk about yourself in public? lol

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:51 am

...especially in the third person. Sheesh.

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NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2016 at 03:30 pm

BUT I always have Dan (DPF) to make sure to mention "We" didn't speak about ourselves correctly.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 12:45 am

Well, if the defensive game plan was to drop Perry into coverage, that's a crappy game plan. OTOH, GB doesn't have an OLB who can drop into coverage other than CM3, who was inactive.

I'll have to listen for Capers' comment. I hate wading through coach speak.

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Finwiz's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:36 am

CM3 does not cover well, I do not agree with this comment. Their best cover linebacker at this point is the Stanford rookie, Martinez. IMO

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:46 pm

Martinez is an ILB who was drafted in large degree for his coverage ability. CM3 is an OLB who was drafted in large part due to his ability to rush the passer. Martinez should be better in coverage than CM3. Martinez has been pretty good in coverage, at least up until his truly awful performance against Atlanta, and he has been pretty good overall. Very promising rookie.

I think CM3 covers pretty well for an OLB, Finwiz. You don't. Okay, we probably will never agree.

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Finwiz's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:28 am

Nick....this is an interesting discussion I was actually thinking about myself. Given the number of injuries CM has every year, he essentially plays only 10-13 games, I'd think a decision to have him take a pay cut, or an outright release could be in the future. Something just sticks in my craw about him sitting out the final plays of that Seattle playoff game because he was "tired". Can't seem to get over that. I like him as a player, but he isn't very durable, nor is he consistently disruptive. I just don't think he's worth what they are paying him.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:53 pm

I agree, Finwiz. CM3's $15.2M cap hit next year is very high. There is $4.1M in dead money for 2017. Always difficult asking a player to take a pay cut. His cap # for 2018 is $11.4M.

Maybe I should look at CM3's cap hit as averaging $13.3M over the next 2 seasons (i.e., 2017 and 2018). Still seems high to me,, if not as egregious.

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NickPerry's picture

November 03, 2016 at 05:38 am

I'm not an advocate for a Matthews release, but our GM does tend to go with younger, cheaper players which means Packers fans might wake up one morning and Matthews is in San Diego or released. Out with the old, in with the new if you will. With Thompson you just never know, keeping Veterans has not been something associated with him as GM.

Shields is another that might be let go or just retire. Without researching what happens to a players remaining salary if they retire, I'll assume Shields is cut. Shields cap hit next year is $12.125 million. If the Packers cut him they the dead money for 2017 on Shields would be $3.125 million. If Thompson were to cut both he's added $20 million to his cap. In Thompson's eyes it may be worth the $7.2 million in dead cap money.

Again, I'm not an advocate for it, just something I'd bet TT is thinking about. Especially with the injury history.

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carusotrap's picture

November 01, 2016 at 06:53 am

I'm going to lose my Packer fan decoder ring over this one, but I agree that Clay's value needs to be reevaluated. He's obviously top-tier, but he and his hamstrings spend a lot of time on the bench, and you have to wonder if you're spending a hell of a lot of money on a guy whose string of endorsements is way longer than his games played.

I sometimes wonder if the single most important criteria in the NFL these days might not be finding players - any players - who can actually play more than two games in a row instead of guys who dislocate their shoulder peeling an apple.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:02 am

Its not a coincidence that the last year and a half that Mathews played every game because he was moved in at ILB. Mathews is better at OLB, but his body simply doesn't hold up to take on OT down after down.

I think Capers needs to do more to move him around. I think that would preserve him a bit.

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marpag1's picture

November 01, 2016 at 05:32 pm

Nah, you can keep the decoder ring. I don't think CMIII has been a truly dominant player for several years now. But there are two very different questions that need to be answered:

1) Is this the kind of player that you want on your team?
2) Is this player's contribution worth the amount of salary cap space that you have committed to him?

I don't think there is any question that CMIII is a good player. But it's that other question that kinda gnaws...........

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:24 am

1) CMIII is a high-energy, playing like his hair is on fire guy (which leads to soft tissue injuries, also). You have to have guys like that.
2) I would argue that in the modern cap era no player who doesn't play QB is worth $15M/yr.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:04 pm

I'd have to be on the other side of that argument @Dobber

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:35 am

True

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 12:50 am

I think there are a few Non-QB players who are worth $15M per year. CM3 isn't one of them.

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Lphill's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:08 am

Take note of what the Patriots did ,their best pass rusher wanted a huge deal and he got traded to the Browns. Nick Perry take what the Packers offer or then walk , we need a full time player not a part timer.

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Handsback's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:23 am

The Falcons and the Cowboys showed what you need to do to neutralize Perry. A big contract means he has to figure out how he makes an impact every game. I think TT lets him play out the season to see what he can do healthy. CM, I don't know what you do with him. Glad I'm not the GM.

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:40 am

...Glad I'm not the GM...

Very difficult decisions for sure. If the guy plays well over time, with consistency and is available each week then it is easy enough to pay him. Nick Perry has a body of work that does not support a big contract other than playing well as of late. CM3 is becoming that guy as well. His play is going the other direction relative to his contract. If you could get a 2nd rounder for him from a AFC team, would you take the deal?

Glad that I am not the GM as well.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:40 pm

Keep Perry of course and they are not so deep with healthy reliable talent, so they MUST use their first pick on an OLB,. They have to. Defense is on the rise and we need to build on that with or without Matthews. Matthews is no longer a difference maker anymore without help, or being moved around for the element of surprise. This team needs a Mack. Someone who can get by anyone, anywhere. Thats the reality.

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:47 am

I agree with this. Julius Peppers won't be back next year, CM3 will be another year older and we need guys that can get after the QB. Frackell may be a good rotational guy and someone may find where Jayrone Elliott disappeared to but that's about it.

The question is - how much do you have to pay Nick Perry?

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:31 am

"Keep Perry of course and they are not so deep with healthy reliable talent, so they MUST use their first pick on an OLB,. "

Ugh. That early-round wish list for the 2017 draft just keeps getting longer and longer...

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:59 am

I hear you on the draft list. I am not sure where my list stands now. I think that we are okay in the trenches but its a dogfight outside of those positions.

OLB - pass rushing
CB - Shields is done
TE - for a change
RB - Lacy doesn't fill me with confidence and isn't worth a big contract
WR - can we get some separation

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 10:11 am

I don't think Lacy will command a big contract. His injury history and his documented weight issues will likely push his signing value way down. I think he comes back to GB on a relatively inexpensive 1 or 2 year deal. Some will balk at that, but he's still young and you can't try to fill all of those slots you mention in a single draft...this would take some pressure off the draft and allow them to develop a late-round flier or try to find a serviceable UDFA as a backup.

Hell, maybe Don Jackson takes the bull by the horns down the stretch and makes this all moot.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I agree about Lacy. Still young and have other pressing and potentially pressing needs. Thinking about Lacy the other day, thought came to me that we rely too much on him being the lead back, and while I know MM prefers larger RBs, a 2nd RB is a necessity, ideally a speedier back who can catch as well. Montgomery has shown what a running threat pass catcher out of the backfield adds to this O. Cobb had just been too small for that. Cant we find a back like that in the middle rounds.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:45 am

I know. Always multiple needs for a difference maker at a position of need and end of round picks to find one. Guess next year TE will be at the top.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 10:00 am

So much of CB depends on how Randall and Rollins play when they return. Gunter has been decent and Goodson hasn't been terrible. If they don't regress, the CB depth looks good (although not so strong at the top as we hoped). If Randall or Rollins stink it up down the stretch, CB is a marquee position in this league and they might be forced to go that way in round 1 again...

They've got guys they like (Dorleant on IR, Hawkins) to work with, yet. I thought they might take a shot at a cover guy this year, but they didn't.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:50 am

Deleted

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NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2016 at 04:00 pm

Ugh...The wish list IS getting longer. IMO the Packers need to draft a WR, OLB, RB, TE, and CB, maybe close to that order. I agree they need an OLB, but I'd bet Thompson will look at Frackrell as the next Packers OLB instead of spending a 1st rounder on one in 2017.

One other thing to consider will be if Capers is even around next season. I'd imagine it would be to difficult to switch to a 4-3. I hoped for Wade Phillips after 2014 and IF they made a change after last season possibly Jim Schwartz. Yes he plays a 4-3 Defense but he's a hell of a DC.

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Horse's picture

November 01, 2016 at 07:52 am

This got answered by itself: "because his running mate, Clay Matthews was out..."

Perry wasn't the only guy who wasn't at his best on Sunday. Besides them, you can include Capers.

It's a highly complex team sport, not a video game. At some point the missing pieces are more than the sum of their parts, like at the Georgia Dome.

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Big T2's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:35 am

League minimum is what you offer Nick the "fairy" Perry. Keep CMIII just because of the awesome commercials he makes.

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:53 am

1) Perry is a Pro Bowler against lesser teans.
2) using Matthews as an excuse means Perry will likely never be a stand alone player.
3) keep him for no more than his true value, what he's getting now or yearly prove its.
4) Can't use Elliott as a comparison for disappearing Perry.....he wasn't a 1st rd pick.
5) Over pay Perry and mediocrity will be served generously.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:21 am

You really are a Perry hater who won't give up aren't you?

Just admit it - you were (we were) wrong about him. He's played well this year. Is he Von Miller or LT? No. But that's why there are only a couple of those guys.

Perry, when healthy, is a very good player. He has become an all around OLB. Better than 90% of them in the league. Dude deserves a good contract. Take it out of CM3s contract. lol

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:50 am

Whoa.....a Perry hater I'm not but merely one who felt from the beginning he isn't the guy many thought, than hoped and now adore with good play against lesser and invisible against better. Perry has bee blessed to find a good show of recent but he is no more than a blind squirrel finding a nut and having others who suffer the same blindness cheer him then find excuse when hungry yet again.
Perry needs to play well every game since the injury issue is no longer an issue.....period.

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SpudRapids's picture

November 01, 2016 at 11:19 am

Blind squirrel finding a pro bowl nut... The fact that you don't recognize his talent at all prooves you are a Perry hater. You know Nick Collins wasn't healthy until his 4th and 5th years and he turned out pretty good. How about we let the season play out as a whole and we can revisit our assessment of Perry?

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I recognize Perry's talent for what it is. ...an average at best outside linebacker with opportunity to have extra shine against the right/lesser opponent or higher talent playing alongside him. He will not dictate a game based on his own ability and that is why he is a 1st rd pick bust overall.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 08:59 pm

You said it Bearmeat.

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TCLAX33's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:33 am

I think like razor, pay your QB then go out and find those role players CM too many injuries for my liking. They need to draft better first rounders are killing them NP is ok DJ so so, last two corners being injured they were coming into their own. With all these injuries I would think strength and conditioning should be questioned. Live in Boston and dispise the Pats but am now about to realize Bill Belichek is every bit as good the coach that Vince was. Collins trade remind me of Jim Ringo deal. Just who is the boss of this team. Bill and Vince

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NMPF's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:38 am

The guy has pretty much been the glue on a D that is neck deep in injuries. Give the Falcons some credit in neutralizing the 1 player they needed to. Someone else needed to step up. One thing I did notice was Capers did not move him around that much. If the Packers truly believe Perry is a must have talent that must be constantly accounted for by opposing O's then they should be using him in said way. Rush him from the left, right, middle whatever it takes to find the mismatch. They do it with CM3 & Peppers.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:55 am

Great point. But that requires a willingness to adjust, god forbid. Maybe next week, month or year.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2016 at 10:14 am

I would argue that Perry isn't someone they're going to move around like they could CMIII. He's not nearly as good in space, and putting him in a position where the offense can force him into coverage would give them a matchup that they could very well exploit.

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NMPF's picture

November 01, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Not sure what Packer games you are watching but Perry attacks the LOS on 95% of his plays. Why would you not move him around and keep him attacking? The D dictates an attacking LB's responsibility on each play not the O.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 01, 2016 at 10:21 am

Cory, I agree with you. Nick Perry need to show he is real threat by himself and himself only. I already mention that he has good season mostly because Clay Matthews is doubled almost every snap when he is in. Also, Nick Perry is so good against run because teams are rarely choose to play on the side where is OLB who is doubled. So, after all, we do not have that excellent depth at the OLB position because others are not so successful to attract special attention to themselves or to exploit attention Nick Perry is getting...
Regarding Clay's contract, I can not see TT will cut him. I think he will play out of the contract and maybe earn smaller one for the next 2 or 3 years...

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Packer_Pete's picture

November 01, 2016 at 10:40 am

Accountability and availability - based on that famous mantra, Perry has clearly outplayed Matthews this season. The Falcons have one of the better OLs in the NFL, and they were probably fully aware of Capers bend but don't break game plan. So with all the injuries, who really did they have to account for? Limited blitzing, Peppers as we all know makes a play here and there but not consistently anymore, Datone Jones is really not that good, Fackrell and Elliott are situational players at this stage in their career (and Elliott most likely will never be more than that). From the DL, only Daniels. So that leaves Nick Perry as the only remaining pass rushing threat besides Daniels. And no matter what, you can always take one guy out of the game by scheming and game planning. And that is what happened. The problem was, nobody else really stepped up, and the safeties were held back downfield because of Julio and the other receivers, with the inexperienced CBs. I wouldn't really blame Perry for that, he has played well this season. Question is, if Matthews has his injury bouts, which are quite frequent, who else will be able to step up? Or when will the CBs come back and Capers has more options for blitzing?

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2016 at 03:13 pm

Well said. When you boil it down, we don't have many healthy difference makers on defense. It would help if we had a stud or two at ILB/Safety. We are competent at best outside our front 7.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 01:09 am

Very well written.

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EdsLaces's picture

November 01, 2016 at 11:11 am

So we are telling the guy who had one bad game all year to get with the program?

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stockholder's picture

November 01, 2016 at 12:12 pm

I still say TT will sign Perry as long as he doesn't have to over pay him. Peppers is to slow now. Perry would be the new peppers. The big question is Datone Jones. He will get every chance as Perry did. I'd sign him now. There is not a team anywhere that would not sign Mathews,Perry or Jones. So you guys should write everything positive about them, much like you did Drop Adams. It takes 3 years now for TTs draft picks. (Which is to bad because TT still does not like to sign veterans. ) It closes windows and opens up guys milking injuries. I would sign Jones. Not every pick can be a mathews. Or even a find like Shields. The problem is keeping them on the field. And signing what we have. It's totally different from the offensive line, and saying next man up. Every draft we should go for a pass rusher. Game changers. Defense wins championships! Can Perry, Mathews, Jones, Rush. WE know they can. Stats should show pressures. They can pressure. We should not take a step back by giving up on jones ,Perry or Mathews. And if we can't get the next great pass rusher, maybe the next great RB.

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al bundy's picture

November 01, 2016 at 01:15 pm

Nick Perry, who I never liked since his High School days. ya I know all about the guy, IMHO has been a bum. The only reason he had a good college career is he played with a lot of talent next to him at USC making him look better than he was.
I had him a three round pick at best and I was closer than the dumb ass analyst who had him late 1 but more likely 2.
I knew this guy would show up this year, his contract year because he is all about da moooooney.
They should trade him but I doubt any team has a need for his type. Low ball the sucker.

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NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2016 at 09:05 pm

"I had him as a three round pick at best'.

I guess Ted couldn't understand WTF your scouting report said.

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