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Packers' Lowry Is Trying to Take His Game to the Next Level

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Packers' Lowry Is Trying to Take His Game to the Next Level

It took some time, but eventually, persistence paid off for Packers defensive lineman Dean Lowry.

He showed up in a big way in back-to-back games last season during the six-game winning streak to finish the regular season, tallying a sack both against the Texans and the Seahawks a week later.

The 6'6", 296-pound Lowry only finished the season with six tackles amidst his 158 defensive snaps, which isn't impressive by any means. However, three of those tackles came during the final five games in which he registered his two sacks as well.

His sudden glimmer of promise helped light the way for optimism in 2017 when dealing with Lowry, who spent a majority of his rookie season learning how to play in the interior of the defensive line.

During his college career at Northwestern, Lowry was more on an island along the edge of the defensive line and was used to beating opposing pass blockers with quickness at the point of attack. Now, with the Packers, it's a matter of splitting the gaps and finding the creases en route to reaching the quarterback.

Lowry was eventually able to make an impact. Maybe not 13 tackles for a loss like in his senior season as a Wildcat, but definitely enough of an impression to believe he'll make a jump in year two.

"The speed of the game has slowed down from last year," Lowry said in June after one of the Packers' OTA practices. "Just being able to have that technique and those fundamentals down. It allows you to play a lot faster and allows you to maximize your ability out there."

Lowry wasn't remotely close to the same department shared by Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion and Kenny Clark in terms of defensive snaps in 2016, but with Guion suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Not to mention, Guion's suspension paves the way more prominently now than ever before for Lowry to earn his keep in 2017.

"Instinct was one thing I didn't have last year coming in from college," Lowry said. "They don't come naturally... Now, my instincts have really taken off this year. It allows you to play faster, it allows you to recognize formations, expect certain things and just go out there and play."

Like Jayrone Elliott against the Seahawks the year before, Lowry came alive against them in last season's affair and he'll have an opportunity to do so again when the Packers open their season at Lambeau Field in September to the visiting Seahawks.

Lowry, until then, is hoping to improve his overall physique. He added five pounds over the offseason and is aimed for higher spurts of productivity in his sophomore season with the Packers.

"My goal will be to just keep my weight," Lowry said when asked about the last six weeks before the start of training camp. "I want to keep my quickness and get more powerful, but also be able to move at that weight. Going into a year like that, it's mostly about injury prevention and making sure your body is fresh for camp."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Handsback's picture

I think it's the Dline thats going to make a difference between last year and this year. They have good depth, some star power, multiple players being able to play different positions, and young to boot.

Turophile's picture

If both Clark and Lowry progress as they have showed signs of doing, plus Mike Daniels of course, that D line could look pretty good. Even better if Montravious Adams progresses quickly. Then it will be down to Perry, Matthews Fackrell (and maybe Biegel), to take advantage off the edge.

It would not surprise me at all this year, to see more three man fronts, instead of two man fronts. Get the best men on the field.

TheVOR's picture

I guess what worries me is I don't view them as being terrifically different, it's the same cast of guys except for Montravius Adams, and Francois. Other than that its the same cast of guys. It's hard for me to believe we're going to be any better really, unless guy's like Clark and Lowry really step up, in combination with maybe Jayrone Elliot. I see GB back in the old familiar stomping grounds of needing/expecting players to make a big jump in performance. Problem is, if that doesn't happen, you're not really better, you're the same, and they weren't really that good last year. Really REALLY need several guys to step up.

Turophile's picture

So, apart from Clark and Lowry being in their crucial second year, apart from Francois, apart from Montravious Adams, the D line is the same as last year............HUH ?

VOR should become VOP (P standing for pessimism).

dblbogey's picture

The VOR was one of 3 people who ruined the Packer Report comment section for me. Constantly bashes Ted Thompson, McCarthy and the Packers in general. Have yet to agree with him on anything.

dobber's picture

He might have to get his own special seat on the worry bus.

NitschkeFan's picture

Lowry and Clark will see hundreds of more snaps, Adams and Francoise weren't even on the team and will also count for hundreds of snaps. So everything is the same?

That's pretty dumb really.

pooch's picture

Elliot no more than a journeyman player at best Lowry is extremly raw,dont expect anything untill 3rd year.These preseason predictions are silly but you have to write about something

dobber's picture

Elliott has been good in a defined role (see QB, get QB), but struggles when he needs to adjust and play outside that role. How he does this season will be predicated on whether he can be more assignment-sure without losing his ability to pressure the QB. Frankly, they need him to be good.

stockholder's picture

Lowry knows how to play. He'll be just fine. I see a much bigger roll.

Handsback's picture

Here is what I think about the Dline, Daniels is a monster-right? Clark was strutting his stuff in the Dallas game, and they have one if not the best Oline in the league.
Francois is a great NT and looked very good against the Packers last year. He's still young so he should still be bringing the heat. The article was focused on Lowry, so if that trend continues, he'll be at least OK. Finally we get to Mt. Adams....he threw Oline guys around at the Senior Bowl like they were high schoolers. So yes I think the Dline will be much stronger and have better depth than last year. I also think they will use 3-man fronts more than last year.
As much as I love the name Ringo, not sure he makes the team this year.

Tundraboy's picture

Lot of reasons to be more optimistic. Clark and Lowry were good picks that will only get better. Adding Francois is an experienced, upgrade from last year. If Adams plays like his senior year to any degree, we are better.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am pretty optimistic about our DL. I like Daniels and Clark, and have high hopes for Lowry (thought he was a steal). I also thought Adams was too good to pass up in the 3rd, despite real concern about motivation. RJF is a nice rotational player with some versatility. He is not, and never has been, a great NT. NT isn't even his best position, and he hasn't played there very much in recent years. He is not old or decrepit, but he was drafted in 2009, and turns 31 this November. His previous team would not pay him $3M per season, and we only paid him $2M. Lets not place such high expectations on RJF. He looks to be a handy player to have on the roster, not a difference maker.

GBPDAN1's picture

I'm expecting good things from Clark this year. The kid is very young and has a lot of potential. I hope Lowry proves that his alligator arms are not a problem.

Donster's picture

If the defensive line can improve just 50% over last season on getting pressure on the QB, then this team can win it all. If not, the Pack will have another 10-6 season and bow out in the playoffs.

Mr.Bigg's picture

The defensive Backs hold their man in check for 1/2 second longer than last year....Our defensive line is a 1/2 second better/faster/smarter than last year... Now we have something. Now we have a nervous QB on the other team. Now we have a frustrated opponent ... this is where I see the "hope" for a better defense in GB.

dobber's picture

My thought has been, the last several years, that the Packer pass rush has always been something that gets to the QB in its own time...more eventual than overwhelming. The DBs were always good enough, and deep enough, to do exactly what you said. That didn't happen last year. You could reverse the idea: if the pass rush is 1/2 second faster to the QB, the DBs don't need to cover as long. I was hoping for this approach in some way (go get another edge player!). We'll see how it works out.

dobber's picture

Lowry is picked here to focus on, but as many have said above, you could point to two or three guys that you could say the same things about.

The NFL is all about getting production on cheap contracts. If Clark and Lowry can move ahead of where they were last season and play quality ball as they suck up the snaps vacated by Guion and others, this DL will be just fine.

This front 7 did a decent job, yardage-wise, stopping the run in 2016, but my question is: how good was it, really, last season? PFF rated the front 7 pretty highly (I'm skeptical of PFF, but we really don't have any other metric to use aside from aggregate stats). Remember 2015 when teams did the Packers a favor every time they threw the ball? When you get a 180 like this (teams did the Packers a favor every time they ran the ball in 2016), it makes you wonder just what's goin' on.

The defense saw something like the 5th fewest run attempts against in 2016, and was middle of the pack in ypc surrendered. If this defense weren't giving up 65% completion percentages and opposing teams were forced to be more balanced in their offensive approach, would that front 7 have fared as well? I just don't know, and I'm a little nervous that we're going to see the defense revert to 2015 form (where we beg teams to throw and not run) in 2017.

The offense is going to carry this team. The offense--and not the defense--is likely going to have to be what dictates what the opposition does offensively. A columnist said the other day that this was a defense designed to play from ahead, and I suspect that's what the Packers are going to need to do this year. A commenter said that if this defense can be middle-of-the -pack, it will make a big difference this season. I'm expecting middle, but hoping for better.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of jump Lowry and Clark make in year 2. Both players I think will be major contributors in their 2nd year. Clark was really coming on as the season went on and Lowry really played well too.
Giving them a year in the weight room, should do a lot for them.

I brought this up in a previous comment, but Lowry reminds me of a bigger version of Kampman. He just has that relentless motor that doesn't stop. That is what you look for with mid round type of player. Give Lowry the year to add strength and combine that with his size and motor, we could really see him take a big step this year.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

In my view, Lowry should be starting, and Capers should use more 3-man fronts.

D-Line is our second most talented unit on defense after safety, so let's get more snaps for the big athletes like Lowry.

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