Greene Getting It Done

Outside linebacker coach Kevin Greene has presided over a revolving door of outside linebackers opposite star backer Clay Matthews and none of them have been a true detriment to the defense.

I will admit to being excited yet skeptical when the Packers hired Kevin Greene to coach their outside linebackers two years ago. Living in Carolina for four years when he was with the Panthers, I got to see him play quite a bit and I loved him as a player.

But when it came to the idea of the Packers being his first full time coaching gig (he had been a coaching intern for the Steelers during training camp in 2008) I was lukewarm at best. Yes, he was a passionate player with an amazing drive that made him one of the best pass rushers ever in the NFL. But I was reticent about what kind of a teacher he might be. (Not that I had anything to base this on mind you. But I'm a fan. It's what we do.)

Needless to say, not only has he done yeoman's work with the outside linebackers, he has squeezed every bit of productivity you could possibly hope for out of a clown car-like procession of outside linebackers opposite Clay Matthews. From Brad Jones to Brady Poppinga to Frank Zombo to Erik Walden, the Packers defense has barely skipped a beat regardless of who the Packers have had on the right side.

I mean, read that list of names again. A seventh round pick, an undrafted free agent, a mid-season street free agent - and Brady Poppinga. I mean, that is not exactly a cattle-call of All-Pro talent on display there. And yet Greene has lined each of them up at some point this season and all of them have acquitted themselves admirably. (Admittedly, some more than others)

Having watched Erik Walden spring to life against the Bears, I just thought it was time I paid a little respect here in my little corner of the Internet. The guy is doing one hell of a job his first time out as a coach.

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Comments (23)

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Andyman's picture

January 03, 2011 at 02:39 pm

"A seventh round pick, an undrafted free agent, a mid-season street free agent - and Brady Poppinga."

Best line of the article. Hilarious.

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JerseyPackFan's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:32 pm

No words can describe Brady Poppinga.

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PackersRS's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:47 pm

Well, some words can, but they shouldn't be posted in a respectable website.

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WayneF's picture

January 03, 2011 at 04:32 pm

Which has exactly what to do with this one? ;o)

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IdiotFan's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:36 pm

Exactly what I was going to say - nice order of ranking!

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PackerFanJon's picture

January 03, 2011 at 02:41 pm

Nice article. You have to believe if Capers takes a head coaching job, Greene is going with him.

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PackerAaron's picture

January 03, 2011 at 02:54 pm

I think Dom Capers is more of a head coaching candidate in the minds of Packer fans than in the minds of NFL owners.

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PackersThad's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:06 pm

Dom Capers is so much better as a DC than as a general coach because he can focus solely on defensive schemes and new types of blitzes. If Capers had to manage a roster and deal with offense and special teams...well, he'd be Dom Capers of the Houston Texans!

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PackerFanJon's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:47 pm

MM was asked about Capers getting another chance at being a head coach at today's press conference. Could be a lot of jobs open.

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PackerAaron's picture

January 03, 2011 at 04:58 pm

Yeah, I saw that. I just think he's ready to settle into a Lebeau-type existence here in Green Bay. I could be way off base, but I think while there will indeed be lots of jobs open, most owners will go with young, hungry guys (ie cheap) rather than older retreads like Dom. Plus, with Super Bowl winning resumes out there (Billick, Gruden, Cowher) I just don't see a guy who failed twice, albeit in expansion situations, getting the call.

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Piet's picture

January 03, 2011 at 09:44 pm

I echoed this sentiment to you today on twitter. I think (and hope) Capers will be the Packers version of LeBeau and settle in comfortably for years.

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norman's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:49 pm

Agreed. Just like Mike Martz on the offensive side is unlikely to ever get another HC opportunity, I think Capers is unlikely from the defensive side. And that's all right with me (although if the Bears ever decide to can Lovie and promote Martz that would be just swell by me).

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Scriptura's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:20 pm

Please Packers, sign Capers to a 23-year DC Contract

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JerseyPackFan's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:33 pm

I`m just pleased as hell we didn't get the wrestling Kevin Greene.

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jeremy's picture

January 03, 2011 at 03:54 pm

The fast twitch abilities of the other OLB's (esp Poppinga) paled in comparison to Clay Matthews in that video.

Here's to hoping that unlike Brad Jones and Frank Zombo, Eric Walden can sustain his recent successes into the future.

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BrianD's picture

January 03, 2011 at 04:07 pm

Together as a unit, the OLBs you listed had 7 sacks and 103 tackles. They'd end up tied with Cullen Jenkins for 2nd in team sacks and would also tie for 2nd with Desmond Bishop for total tackles. I'd say that's a productive year for the position.

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Doug In Sandpoint's picture

January 03, 2011 at 08:30 pm

Thanks for this Aaron. I made the same shout out this morning in an earlier post on the GB&U except I misspelled Greene's last name and gave him credit for all backers (forgeting that Winston Moss does the inside). I may be the Poppinga of this blog...ocasionally seviceable but a noticable dropoff in talent from the starters.

Also loved the "clown car-like procession of OL's"...priceless.

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lebowski's picture

January 03, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Kudos to the Pack for spotting a talent and bringing him aboard. Ex-players, no matter how great, don't often become good coaches. See: Mike Singletary.

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NickGBP's picture

January 04, 2011 at 02:06 am

To be fair if Kevin Greene became a head coach his head would likely explode. Singletary would've probably been fine if he stayed as a linebackers coach. Nothing against either of them but I wouldn't call either of them "smart"...they couldn't run a complicated scheme like a Dom Capers as a DC, and they certainly couldn't operate an entire team. Nothing wrong with that of course, but the blame is more on the owners for thinking Singletary could handle a head coaching job with no experience. Don't think the Pack would make the same mistake ;). (not that you were insinuating they would)

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JerseyPackFan's picture

January 04, 2011 at 09:56 am

Totally agree. Anyone who watches NFL Network and watched last seasons "Sound FX" with Mike Singletary as the head coach can tell this guy is a great position coach and NOT a good head coach.

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GotHisBack's picture

January 07, 2011 at 03:07 am

Wow! What insight, What do you know about Dom Caper's scheme and Kevin Greene's smarts?? You have no clue to either one I'm sure, because if you did..you would clearly understand that for Coach Greene to be able to accomplish what he has with what he was given in this defensive scheme would require more "smarts" and coaching ability than you can even begin to imagine. Talk about what you know not what your "smarts" tell you.

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BubbaOne's picture

January 04, 2011 at 07:56 am

Wasn't Robert Francois also part of that "clown car-like procession" or was he in the dressing room still putting on his makeup?

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tyler21's picture

January 04, 2011 at 10:52 am

Funny that the cowboys drafted walden and cut him, their coaching staff is so terrible.

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