Cory's Corner: Plenty Of Tough Love For Kevin King

The inconsistent King will likely start at cornerback to begin the season, so buckle up. 

What is the first thing you think of when you see the name Kevin King?

Is it the reception percentage of 70 which King gave up in 2020 — the highest of his four-year career — or is it King’s dominance against the Bears that saw him tally five pass break ups last year?

King has been a case study in tough love. You love to see him active on defense in 2019, a year in which he had five picks and even had a sack. But then you turn around and see King getting torched down the left sideline by the speedy Scott Miller in the NFC Championship Game to give the Buccaneers a commanding 21-10 halftime lead. 

So with all of that background, can King start for the Packers this year? Can he beat out the rookie Eric Stokes? 

For as maddening as King has been, I see the 26-year-old as the starter for the season opener. Starting a rookie is a tall order and remember, King has four years under his belt.

Which is why the Packers only signed him to a one-year deal. The Packers were unwilling to commit long term dollars to the Jekyll and Hyde cornerback. They wanted to give themselves some insurance in case Stokes doesn’t mature as quickly as they had hoped. 

I have also read the other side. What if Stokes surprises in camp? Does King have to be fearful of making the roster? I would say no only because the Packers only have a cap hit of $1.9 million earmarked for King this year. That’s a small price to pay for depth. 

I’m willing to bet that King made the majority of you all throw things at your TVs over the years. You’ve probably walked away in disgust or just closed your eyes and shook your head in horror. 

So be warned. There is a great chance that King will start the season at cornerback. And history tells us that no matter how much we fall in love with King’s big plays, we will simultaneously fall into a pit of despair. 

That’s the microcosm of Kevin King: shadows of pain through the glimpses of greatness. 

 

-------------------

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

NFL Categories: 
2 points

Comments (31)

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

July 20, 2021 at 06:26 am

King may sit yet; there’s still plenty of time for him to get injured.

+ REPLY
-1 points
2
3
Savage57's picture

July 20, 2021 at 06:37 am

Everyone in the stadium knew the one thing that couldn't happen on that last play of the first half was let the receiver get behind you, except apparently, Kevin King.

Mistakes with game-changing effect have consequences. Just ask Brandon Bostick.

+ REPLY
5 points
7
2
Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2021 at 07:56 am

As Amos said, he just didn’t have time to realize the matchup and call a time out. He wished he had. This one is on the coach who called it and then didn’t call a TO, not the player who lined up as called or the safeties who typically make calls on the field and handle deep support who were both up too. Bostick did exactly the opposite: what he was told not to.

+ REPLY
8 points
8
0
Savage57's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:13 am

King had coverage, lost contact with Miller while looking in the backfield and got torched, rationalization and excuses notwithstanding.

+ REPLY
3 points
5
2
Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:52 am

If you put a player in that position what do you expect? King, as Amos implied they all were, was done when the ball was snapped. Of course that was what we all saw ... throwing to King who was hobbled was just the best option and no safety deep settled it if the ball found the receiver.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:31 am

King knew or should have known that Scotty Miller is really fast. TB just took a deep shot to Brate with Preston Smith in coverage that fell incomplete with 18 seconds left. 14-10 game. 17-10 game at halftime isn't a killer, especially since GB was set to receive the 2nd half kickoff.

DC should have given safety help with that matchup. But King has to know that Miller is fast as well.

+ REPLY
4 points
6
2
flackcatcher's picture

July 21, 2021 at 01:20 pm

King was already playing as deep as he could in that defensive set. This is on Pettine for not altering the secondary call, and for Lafleur for NOT calling a timeout with so little time remaining so Pettine could reset his defense. To let your personal dislike for someone get in the way of doing your job. That's a firing offense. And I don't think that Gutekunst has forgotten for one second what Lafleur non action cost the Packers.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
porupack's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:18 am

Very good point, and All the breakdowns that keep occuring is exactly 50.0% the player and 50.0% the coaches for not having players completely tuned and prepared. Or at least close to that percentage of responsibility.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
packerbackerjim's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:01 am

Everyone except King and…..Pettine.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
LambeauPlain's picture

July 20, 2021 at 10:48 am

Everyone in the stadium knew it...all 17 fans.

King has bad habits like peeking into the backfield and poor footwork that lets receivers turn him around and separate.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Rossonero's picture

July 20, 2021 at 07:05 am

He's never played or started in 16 games in his entire 4 year career. I think it's his lanky build, but for whatever reason, his body just isn't built for the kind of punishment of a full NFL season. He came close in 2019 playing in 15 and starting 14, and of course that was his best season: 5 INTs, 1 FF, 1 sack.

The key is for him to stay on the field. If history is any indicator though, I have my doubts. I hope he can stay healthy and be humble enough to learn from his mistakes. He just seems to have mental lapses in games and he can't take any snaps off. He should try to learn as much as he can from Jaire Alexander.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2021 at 07:48 am

We know King had merit when healthy. By mid season last year it was pretty obvious that he was impaired athletically. The question was at that point, why did we feel compelled to play him and what did that say about Pettine and his staff and the players behind him?

If King has recovered his mobility he will have a role for as long as he stays healthy. Hopefully the difference this year is that if he is not we will have options that we are prepared to use. Ideally one of those will challenge him for playing time as the season progresses. My suspicion if all stay healthy is that Stokes and Ento will be on the roster and have more faith from their coaches. Hollman is at a make or break point as is Jackson.

If King is recovered, that will show in camp. If he’s still as slow as last year, he may find himself inside or on the bench to start the season. That said, I think the Packers medical staff knows what slowed King (and restricted his mobility) later last season and believes it transient and that is why the Packers brought him back. That just emphasizes the questions regarding his continued use and depth, but Pettine is gone and we look to be deeper in terms of potential on the perimeter heading into camp.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
porupack's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:24 am

A very level headed opinion.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:50 am

LOL. Very well, I shan't write what I really think.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
stockholder's picture

July 20, 2021 at 07:51 am

I look forward to having King as CB. Lets put everything behind him and blame Pettine. The Packers have played better with him. Then without. And had Jackson shown up. Well I doubt Stokes would have been drafted. I'd worry more on Alexander being re- signed, then the play of King. In other words. Give it a rest!

+ REPLY
2 points
7
5
porupack's picture

July 20, 2021 at 12:32 pm

<<<<I look forward to having King as CB.>>>>>

me too.

<<<<Lets put everything behind him and blame Pettine.>>>

no. that is not how you learn from mistakes. Cory's pic should be handy as bulletin board material if ever needed, should KKing not be seeking revenge and honor against every WR sent his direction.

<<<<<Give it a rest!>>>>>

That's not how you coach or manage a team if one of the season ending gaffes occurs. Remember, 50.1 percent of the fault is KKing and 49.9 percent is on Pettine. Ask KKing if he plans on giving it a rest, and will never think about it again.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Bearmeat's picture

July 20, 2021 at 07:58 am

Tough “love”? No. The dude was mediocre in 2019 and has sucked the rest of his career. I understand why Gute signed him for the year, but I don’t agree with it. It’s not love. He sucks.

+ REPLY
-4 points
2
6
Handsback's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:05 am

A quick question...was Redmond hurt when he dropped that interception right before the half? If not, why not ask if he makes the team? My point is KK had been hurt and frankly probably was at 70-80% effectiveness during that game. I question why he was even starting? A healthy KK is starter on any team in the NFL. His problem of being available is a huge issue that the Packers have addressed. If he's healthy, he will start. If Stokes makes an impact, then I could see KK being the nickel back. KK has a ton of talent, he just can't stay healthy. The team has to plan around that for this year.
My decision during the Bucs game would have been to start Savage in the slot and move Sullivan over with shading help from a safety. But forewarned, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night so I probably have no idea if that would have worked.

+ REPLY
8 points
10
2
porupack's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:36 am

Good article Cory. We'll see lots of comments on this one for sure, one of the top 5 comment generating topics (lol) but probably second only to the Rodgers affair (over 100 comments!).
Glad they signed King. CBs are just too valuable to cut up bait too early. The coach has very much to do with the success of the backfield, and how players strengths are elevated, and weaknesses addressed or schemed to minimize. Science says the responsibility is 50.1 percent on the player and 49.9 percent on the coach...or close to that. A lot of team discussion in Packers' organization and CHTV puts a big share of blame on Pettine, so it is smart to extend 1 year to see if he turns it around. Clearly the packers consider him worth a new coach and 1 year contract to a) see if they can scheme and coach him up for more consistency, b) mentor young CB and/or give the young ones a chance to be more ready, and c) have depth and backup for the 17 game season, and d) perhaps use him on spot duty depending on the receiver. Very smart to hang with him, and he will have learned from that near career defining gaffe. By game 5, we'll know what GB has in King; a vastly improved player seeking revenge on every WR sent his direction, or traded for a 6th round pick in 2024. Injuries, well, that doesn't seem very good based on experience, so, at least GB gets some of that return on value early in the season.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
TheVOR's picture

July 20, 2021 at 08:43 am

Really, REALLY, liked this player coming out. His career and injuries have turned into a steady decline, peaking with giving up that TD in the championship. That was horrible! That one pretty much destroyed our chances against an eventual SB champion. Give a Tom Brady that look and you pay, period!

I’m fine with the signing, if he doesn’t start it’s quality depth for sure and the price tag is little more than a vets minimum. Let him compete, but at this juncture I think GB must know what they have. I’ve always liked this football player, but giving up that play in a Championship game was so mediocre, I can’t see him having some miraculous comeback season, or that he even has a significant career after last season. Possible, but the evidence on the field says something different.

+ REPLY
7 points
8
1
Packers0808's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:42 am

Yes King looked bad in that Champioship game but let us not forget his injuries and other players like Rodgers, Redmond, Jones etc also not performing their best either in that loss! Football is not a one man game or one play game that ,makes a difference!

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
LambeauPlain's picture

July 20, 2021 at 11:06 am

Every time I saw Kevin King blow coverage (70% of the time when targeted last year alone!), I thought...well, that could have been TJ Watt.

That said, KK has played very well at times, even last year when hurt. But he is just not that good in man/press coverage. Peeks into the backfield too much and footwork gets messy when in man and receivers get past him.

If he stays healthy (for a change) he could be a valuable player as starter until Red is ready or as backup or playing in nickel, dime.

However, what may help him most is Barry playing a lot of Zone. That will keep receivers in front of him. Zone could really help Jackson too.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
PatrickGB's picture

July 20, 2021 at 11:27 am

I agree. I expect Barry to adjust his scheme to the players rather than adjust his players to the scheme like Pettine did. King is a good (but not great) CB. And like others have said the team needs good CB’s. I wish we had four Alexander’s on the team but we don’t. The chess match is where and when to position the ones we have. And I am sure that TB knew where our weaknesses were. Only a few seconds left in the half and the defense expects a run? Come on man! That’s a coaching problem.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
packerbackerjim's picture

July 20, 2021 at 02:26 pm

Situational awareness was in short supply all the way around.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Dragon5's picture

July 20, 2021 at 11:48 am

"What is the first thing you think of when you see the name Kevin King?"

Take your pick...

TJ WATT
BUST
INJURED
UNDERACHIEVER

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
Rebecca's picture

July 20, 2021 at 12:53 pm

That covers it. All of the above.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Lare's picture

July 20, 2021 at 12:16 pm

We can all blame Pettine for King's mistakes, but remember that King was primarily coached by Jerry Gray all year.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Stroh's picture

July 20, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Not to mention the play call at the end of half came from LaFluer not Pettine.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
LambeauPlain's picture

July 20, 2021 at 02:59 pm

Huh.....I must have missed Matt made the D call...all season he never did. Where did you read/see that, Stroh?

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Dragon5's picture

July 20, 2021 at 03:07 pm

So was PFF's #1 rated corner, Jaire Alexander.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
badaxed's picture

July 20, 2021 at 09:54 pm

King sucks. Enough said!

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.