Film Review: Ty Summers

Andy Herman takes a look at the play of Ty Summers from Thursday's preseason game.

Matt LaFleur’s first game as head coach. The debut of first round picks Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage. A ferocious battle at the wide receiver position for 1-2 remaining roster spots. It was only preseason and the vast majority of marquee players and starters were sitting out, but Thursday’s first preseason game still felt like an important first step in a new era for the Packers.

If nothing else there was a lot to watch for. As mentioned above everyone was champing at the bit to get a glimpse of what first round picks Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage were going to bring to this team. Fans were also hoping for even a small glimpse into the mind of Matt LaFleur and to see how he was going to run his offense.

But for all of the players that Packer fans were excited to see in action, few, if any, expected that the player everyone would be talking about after the game was 7th round rookie linebacker Ty Summers. What’s even more incredible is that everyone was talking about Summers even though he didn’t tally a single touchdown, sack, interception, or even a tackle for loss. Even though the big play avoided Summers, it was impossible not to see some of his raw natural talent and ability shine through on the field.

Summers ended the day with 10 tackles (9 solo) and a couple of big run stuffs throughout the course of the game. He showed off his instincts and ability to read an offense, his sideline-to-sideline speed, and his ability to tackle in the open field. You didn’t need to be a pro scout to see the athleticism and upside that Summers displayed on Thursday.

When I made my initial scouting report for Summers I noted how he was the quarterback of TCU’s defense. Serving as the main signal caller, Summers seemed in constant control and was constantly in communication with the rest of his team.

In the scouting video I also noted his elite athleticism, his sideline-to-sideline ability, and that he had a tendency to miss too many tackles. On Thursday, we saw a little bit of all of that. While Summers had a big game and showed what he was capable of doing at the NFL level, he also left 3-4 plays on the field that he would have loved to have back. Summers said as much himself after the game.

In the video above we see him get handled by the offensive line on multiple occasions, miss a huge third down tackle on Joe Webb, and also completely overrun a play. These are some of the same things that showed up in college and that he’s going to have to get corrected in order to be relied upon as a starting caliber linebacker should he be called upon.

But while form a coaching standpoint you can pick apart some of the things that happened later in the game when his legs started to get tired, it’s impossible to not watch his play from Thursday and be excited about him as a prospect moving forward. For years Packer fans have clamored for an inside linebacker who wasn’t afraid to diagnose, read his keys, and shoot the gaps to make big plays. Not only did Summers show that ability, but his explosiveness gave him the extra advantage to get through the line quickly and really disrupt the play.

There’s still lots of work to do. Ty’s going to need to wrap up better, he’s going to have to show he can be consistent in coverage, and he needs to play under control. He also, like most players this time of year, needs to work on his conditioning so that he’s still able to do in the 4th quarter what he did in the 1st quarter.

With the recent injury to Oren Burks, the rest of the linebackers are going to need to step up. In somewhat of a surprising move, it was undrafted free agent Curtis Bolton and not Ty Summers who got the call with the ones with Burks out this week. How long that lasts remains to be seen, especially if Summers can continue to play the way he did Thursday.

Regardless of whether Summers is the number two linebacker behind Martinez or not, one thing is abundantly clear—Ty Summers is going to make the initial 53-man roster. A team simply doesn’t find a player like Summers in the 7th round just to cast them aside come cut-down time. Summers has displayed enough potential that even if he doesn’t make all the corrections needed by the end of camp, he’s still in line for a roster spot. His talent is too good to let go this early.

There’s no question that Summers still has a lot of developing to do, but his first game was a memorable one and gives him a ton to build off of. In a game where everyone came in talking about Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage, he made them leave talking about Ty Summers. Not bad for a 7th round pick.

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Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Comments (18)

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Coldworld's picture

August 13, 2019 at 09:33 am

Although I got it wrong on initial viewing, Bolton looks streets ahead in pass coverage.

That’s not knocking Summers, but I see Summers being the second ILB up in run downs and Bolton in passing downs. The division of the grey area plays will depend on what they show from here on in.

I was also reasonably impressed with Sheldon and have been by Crawford at times in off season. Those two will be fighting it out for a fourth ILB spot. Both are good special teamers. Jones could end up backing up Bolton at least partially.

Overall, I’m not unhappy with that prospect. Going forward, if Summers rounds off the rough edges, he could change the Martinez equation. He has shown that he can handle the calls at a very early stage.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

August 13, 2019 at 10:54 am

Streets ahead.. lmao. Great reference

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Lare's picture

August 13, 2019 at 10:00 am

"He has shown that he can handle the calls at a very early stage."

That is probably what impressed me the most. Not only was he playing in his first NFL game but he was heads up enough to be relaying the play calls & Pettine's adjustments.

Sure, Summers missed a couple tackles and overran a play, but these guys are playing against other talented professionals, nobody has a perfect game.

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murf7777's picture

August 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Lare...I agree with your thoughts about his potential but be careful what you ask for as those misdiagnosed plays will drive us crazy when it really counts and possibly cost us a game or two. Let’s do it the Belichick way and find an aging low cost vet to get us by a year or two and bring summers and Bolton along slower. Their talented but raw.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 13, 2019 at 10:12 am

It's always great to read Andy's work and he's a fellow UW0 alum.

I'm pretty excited about Summers and Bolton. Although I'd like the Packers to grab a veteran for the group when one becomes available. I just don't see Burks ever staying healthy enough to be counted on.

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murf7777's picture

August 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

J.J..I’m with you all the way. Gutey please find us a low salaried ILB vet for a year or two to bring these two studs along slowly. Let them play some situational plays as they learn.

I will go out on a line and predict that if we start either summers or Bolton by game 5 there will be many detractors wanting him benched! Doesn’t mean I don’t see the potential just too early to trust full time.

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Coldworld's picture

August 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Not many seasoned cover types available. Teams can’t get enough of them. Plenty of slow thumpers. We have Martinez. A thumper won’t fit the Burks role at all.

If we sign one it will be to back up Martinez for a season and likely will play as little as Morrison did. This is kind of like the find me a great cheap vet QB but I don’t know who kite. Illusion based upon risk aversion and hope not on the available talent pool.

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Coldworld's picture

August 13, 2019 at 02:27 pm

UPDATE:

@TomSilverstein
“ILB Oren Burks said he originally thought he would need to have surgery to repair an injured pectoral muscle and would be out for the year, but after consulting with a specialist it was determined it would heal on its own. Said it’s day to day and no time frame has been given.”

Probably no trip to the IR if true. Whether he plays in preseason I do not know.

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Coldworld's picture

August 13, 2019 at 02:28 pm

Duplicate deleted

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egbertsouse's picture

August 13, 2019 at 10:54 am

What is the deal with all the UW-Zero grads on this site? I grew up in Oshburg and went to the Zero for one year before they ended student deferments and I got drafted. The only thing I remember is that Commander Cody was an art teacher and St. Patrick’s Day was insane. Beer killed most of the rest of my brain cells.

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Lphill's picture

August 13, 2019 at 11:32 am

Summers is a great pickup I said it on draft day I watched him in college and at the combine, amazing he was still on the board.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 13, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Ty has only been playing LB for 4 years. His upside it very big. It is up to Olivadetti to harness his athletic gifts and his “want to” desire into “will do” consistently on the field.

I like both Summers and Bolton.

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greengold's picture

August 14, 2019 at 11:18 am

Actually, Ty has played a number of positions on D over his career. His first year ever playing LB was as a freshman. His Sophomore year was his last full season playing ILB exclusively. As a Junior and Senior he played a mix of ILB and DE, which accounts for the dip in his stats both years at TCU. All this from a former QB in HS.

This is one talented, versatile kid, and possibly the most athletic on the team besides Rashan Gary. Both "Elite" ratings in SPARQ and RAS.

I do like Bolton too. Great ILB. We have more depth there than people might realize.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 13, 2019 at 01:14 pm

Nice we are seeing so many positives from this years training camp. Lots to be excited about!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

August 14, 2019 at 09:27 am

I haven't watched Bolton too much, but I will watch more against the Ravens. I do like the way Ty Summers stays in CONSTANT with our defense making no excuses for lack of communication which was always a problem with the Packers "D".

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 15, 2019 at 04:41 am

Read an article that speculated a Josh Jones for Joe Shobert trade. Think that would be good for both teams.
I like how Summers attacks the hole knowing that the running back will see it too. Often it seems are ILBs wait to see where the RB will go then make the tackle 5 yards downfield.

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Lphill's picture

August 15, 2019 at 05:36 am

Someone mentioned Summers only played linebacker for 4 years, well under TT the Packers many times drafted players with 4 years or less at the position or drafted a player to play a different position so my point is I will take Summers with 4 years.

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greengold's picture

August 15, 2019 at 09:47 am

Summers did play LB all four years, but, his very first year he played LB was his first ever, as he was a QB in HS.

His 2nd season at TCU, he played ILB exclusively, and had a great statistical year, as a Sophomore.

His Junior and Senior years, he played both DE and ILB, switching between both positions.

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