Questions Remain at Inside Linebacker

The Packers need its players to make significant contributions at inside linebacker in 2020. 

This isn’t the first piece I’ve written about the inside linebacker position, and that’s because a trend is developing in Green Bay. Back in April about a week before the draft, I was adamant that the Packers needed to finally invest high draft capital in the position to shore up the middle of the defense long-term. 

Now of course we’re into the month of June with in-person training camp (hopefully) right around the corner, and the roster doesn’t look much different than it did in mid-April. 

We know the Packers moved on from inside linebacker Blake Martinez in free agency, a starter for the team who ended his time in Green Bay with three interceptions, 17 passes defensed, 10 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, 29 tackles for loss, and 512 total tackles in the regular season. In 2018 and 2019, Martinez played 99% of defensive snaps for the Packers, and that production won’t be easily replaced. 

Green Bay went on to add linebacker Christan Kirksey in free agency, a player already familiar with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine through their time in Cleveland together. While Kirksey’s started only nine games his last two seasons due to injury, Pettine told the media the team has no long term concerns regarding Kirksey’s injury history whatsoever. 

Behind Kirksey, though, is where everything remains so up in the air. The Packers are gambling that they’re getting the 2016-2017 version of Kirksey who started all 32 games for the Browns while tallying eight passes defensed, two forced fumbles, six sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, and 286 total tackles. He played 100% of snaps for the Browns in those two seasons. 

So if the Packers get that Kirksey, his contract is an absolute steal and the Packers have saved key cap space that can be used to re-sign players like David Bakhtiari and Kenny Clark. They’ve also immediately replaced Martinez’s snaps on defense. If Kirksey gets injured, however, the team could take a major step backwards at the inside linebacker position. 

The story right now is the lack of development from the team’s recent draft picks. In 2018, when rookie third-rounder Oren Burks got injured during the preseason, the Packers brought in Antonio Morrison to take snaps opposite Martinez. Morrison started eight games for Green Bay and played 28% of snaps on defense. 

In 2019, after undrafted rookie Curtis Bolton was lost in the preseason and Burks suffered a second injury, the Packers signed B.J. Goodson to fill in alongside Martinez. Goodson started nine games for Green Bay and played 24% of snaps on defense. He, too, left in free agency and signed with the Browns. 

The Packers have to be hoping that their stable of young draft picks can rise to the occasion and play alongside Kirksey in 2020, or they’ll be looking to free agency once again for an established veteran to share the snap count. 

For context, Burks is entering his third year in the league after playing only 179 total snaps on defense his first two seasons. In 2018, Burks started four games and played 18% of snaps on defense. In 2019, he didn’t start a single game and his snap count decreased to only 6% on defense. While he has contributed over 500 special teams snaps in his two years with the team, he’s yet to make the jump a team would typically expect from a third-round draft pick.

Seventh round pick Ty Summers is entering his second season with the Packers after playing 72% of special teams snaps and zero defensive snaps his rookie season. 

Behind Burks and Summers, the Packers will return Curtis Bolton, the promising undrafted free agent from Oklahoma who suffered a preseason injury and was lost for the year. They also drafted Kamal Martin in the fifth round of the 2020 Draft and signed undrafted free agent Krys Barnes of UCLA. 

But again, we’re circling back to the fact that while there’s a lot of young, developmental talent in this linebackers room, it’s all still unproven developmental talent. 

It’s hard to fathom what would happen to the defense if Kirksey lost playing time to injury, and that’s why the inside linebackers position remains a question mark. 

While the Packers of course are optimistic they’ll get a full season out of Kirksey, Burks is the next man up having played only 6% of defensive snaps in 2019, and the rest of the room has yet to take a single defensive snap in the NFL. 

And none of this is meant to discredit the guys that are currently in the locker room, because again, the potential is there, but it also feels like the Packers became spoiled by Martinez’s stability over his last three seasons as the full-time starter. Losing Martinez was a loss for the defense from a consistency standpoint as much as a productivity standpoint.

It’s possible that the Packers brought in Kirksey for insurance as much as anything else, and the team has high expectations that the trio of Burks, Summers, and Martin could even overtake Kirksey for playing time as the season progresses. But at least entering the season, Kirksey is going to be the starter at inside linebacker. Even if he’s only a stop-gap player for a season or two, he’s a key piece on defense both as an established veteran, and in allowing the young players in the locker room time to develop alongside him. 

Inside linebacker is going to be one of the better battles in training camp this season, as each player will be competing for a share of what’s likely anywhere from 20-40% of snaps on defense. If the players in the room develop the way Green Bay expects them to, the Packers hopefully won’t need to turn to free agency once again late in the preseason to find a player like Morrison or Goodson. 

The inside linebacker position could very well become a strength of the team in 2020 if all goes according to plan, but if all of the dominos begin to fall the wrong way, the middle of the defense could take a significant step backwards instead. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (57)

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dobber's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:23 am

"It’s possible that the Packers brought in Kirksey for insurance as much as anything else, and the team has high expectations that the trio of Burks, Summers, and Martin could even overtake Kirksey for playing time as the season progresses"

Perhaps, but I don't think you sign an ILB for the money they're paying him just as an insurance policy. They're expecting him to start and play a lot. The Packers have bodies for the other ILB spot. They're going to throw this mess against the wall and see what sticks.

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joejetson's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:29 am

Summers and Bolton both showed potential last preseason. Although Martinez was 'steady' he wasn't a playmaker. They need more impact plays- forced fumbles, interceptions, sacks, tackles for loss- than Martinez provided. Who knows if Burks can ever stay healthy? One of these guys has to step up and grab this opportunity.

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splitpea1's picture

June 05, 2020 at 11:17 am

That's for sure--impact plays from this position have been far and few between over the years. They're big momentum-changers, and at the very least, they force punts which hopefully give our offense favorable field position. I don't understand why the Packers don't value the importance of ILBs. They had a chance to draft P. Queen, but we all knew it probably wasn't going to happen. Some think he might not be big enough to get the job done, but he's fast and can zip around all over the field to make plays. Oh well, that's water under the bridge. We better hope Kirksey stays healthy. There's always the possibility of Burks or Summers making a quantum leap or K. Martin developing rapidly, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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Gort's picture

June 05, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Each and every one of Martinez's league leading tackles was a play. I will agree that he wasn't the big pretty splashy highlight reel plays, but all those tackles now need to be made by someone else.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:10 pm

I agree with that assessment. However, Blake is not the kind of player who might take that defense to the next level. Kirksey may, or may not be, either, but he's more affordable, with more upside than Blake.

Again, it's a gamble by the Pack... one I truly hope pays off.

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Archie's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:36 am

It was clear that in spite of his tackle totals, Blake Martinez lacked the athleticism and explosiveness to be an impact player. We had to get better at ILB and that wasn't going to happen by re-signing BM. So I'm good with the fact that we have assembled six fairly young and athletic guys in the hopes of finding one or two who can upgrade this position. What happens, happens, but we had to try to improve. And don't forget Raven Greene, who may absorb a significant number of snaps at ILB. He was superb in that role last year until his injury. Should be fun to watch the competition play out.

Keep it coming Maggie, you and Perri are great!

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Leatherhead's picture

June 05, 2020 at 09:28 am

It is clear you under value tackles. We are going to miss those tackles this year.

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dobber's picture

June 06, 2020 at 10:23 am

I think people will be surprised by how well he'll show in an even front with some stout DL in front of him for the Giants.

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MITM's picture

June 06, 2020 at 06:36 pm

Count me as one of the ones who wont be at all surprised when he excels in an ACTUAL defensive scheme

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:22 pm

I, too, have high hopes for Raven Greene. One thing to keep in mind about the hybrid safety-linebacker position is: remember Johnnie Gray... Packers HOF'er, whose career was cut short at the line of scrimmage. Raven is already showing a vulnerability to injury. If you stack him at the line, his injury risk is increased. I'm not saying he can't be a great player. I sure hope he goes on to have a Pro Bowl career...

I'd much rather see a true, playmaking linebacker at the position, but everybody wants one, too... they're not easy to add to your team.

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dobber's picture

June 06, 2020 at 10:24 am

Johnnie Gray--one of my favorite all time Packers. Great players on some not-so-great teams.

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Lare's picture

June 05, 2020 at 11:37 am

Without any help on the DL, the linebackers & defensive backs will take a lot of punishment this season trying to stop the run.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:25 pm

That, too, was my concern in the draft and FA period. I really thought we would find another DT to play inside. Maybe the team likes what they see from guys like Keke, etc.

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Gman1976's picture

June 05, 2020 at 09:10 pm

I have got to believe that we must be looking for another “grave digger” for the defensive line. We need the beef up front.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 05, 2020 at 10:41 pm

Not Pettine's style.

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PeteK's picture

June 06, 2020 at 08:03 am

Agree, if they don't feel comfortable during training camp with their DT additions, a deal will be made.

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Gort's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:59 am

ILB problems in 2019 were everyone not named Martinez. My fear is that ILB problems in 2020 will be everyone not named Kirksey.

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nostradanus's picture

June 05, 2020 at 07:36 am

Maggie thank you for the article and yes it’s really mind boggling that the Packers haven’t invested higher draft resources into this position.

They did draft A.J. Hawk with the 5th pick in the first round years ago and they got, a Blake Martinez” type of player. They also had guys like Brian Noble, Bernardo Harris and Desmond Bishop were all drafted in later rounds and it seemed to work out ok. Of course that was a different era.

If you take a look at past NFL drafts at the ILB position, competent ILB can be had in every round. The great Zack Thomas was drafted in round #5, Cory Littleton this years big free agent prize was originally an UDFA.

In other words it doesn’t seem to be a big priority for the Packers and they seem to think they can fill this position with mid round draft choices, UDFA, veteran castoffs and big safeties. Will this and if they get it wrong, they will be gone and we start the conversation over, simple as that.

*Kirksey was a damn fine ILB and leader for the Browns, he’s still fairly young and had no injuries to speak of until the last two years.

*Bolton was the darling of training camp last year until his untimely injury.

*Burks also has has early injuries that have slowed his development but he has tools and its year #3.

*Martin has size and athleticism and exciting possibilities.

*Summers was great on Special teams last year (as was Desmond Bishop) he may surprise a bit in year two.

*Barnes was a key player at UCLA and was Mr. Clutch in their defense, always seeming to make the big play.

I also expect the Packers to grab a veteran “camp cut” guy as they did last year with Goodson.

Personally I like our “rag tag” group of misfits but I also prefer mutts over purebreds.

That is all...

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:28 pm

Well said... good perspective.

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stockholder's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:17 am

ThE ILB is the heart of the Defense. It's been a long , long Time, since the ILB gave us peace of mind. Seeking one still; shows the stunning disconnect. This was again reflected in the latest draft. While Kirksey addressed the loss of Martinez. Gutey has the packers super-bowl Out-look on hold. How can we expect guys that had injury issues, put this defense in a happy place? Seriously! Kirksey, Burks, and Bolton? How can we be satisfied when we've had better. I get Pettine's defense doesn't emphasize ILB. But for the last 10 years it's been pathetic. For me, it's a power outage. Frankly the whole team is affected by the ILB position. If Pettine doesn't give Summers a chance to prove himself. If he doesn't give a rookie more reps. Pettine will undermine the whole defense. The "HELP Wanted" is so obvious.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:30 pm

Oh, come on, Stockholder, show some optimism. We haven't even played any games, yet. Let's at least wait and see what we have.

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mnbadger's picture

June 05, 2020 at 09:53 am

I'm sorry, but summers hasn't proven anything. With 73% of ST snaps he had limited production. There's a reason he didn't get defensive snaps.
Yes he's fast, strong and has great effort but is totally out of control. Think of a less talented CMIII.
Hopefully they can throttle him back, if not I don't see him making the team.
I hope I'm wrong.
GPG

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MITM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 11:25 am

FWIW Ty Summers led the entire NFL in tackles during the 2019 Pre season, and also had a long pick 6 against the Chiefs. He also missed his tackles here and there as well.

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wildbill's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:15 pm

Summers has the speed we need but his tackling is what I think really kept him off the field. Just a guess but I think proper tackling technique can be coached so maybe he will be a hidden gem

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Lphill's picture

June 05, 2020 at 09:21 pm

You are wrong Summers will play inside linebacker at some point.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 05, 2020 at 10:11 am

Thanks Maggie. The Packers FO (and perhaps the coaches) don’t seem to value the MLB position. Martinez himself (my paraphrase) mentioned that his role was simply to clean up what other players missed. So he led the team in tackles. Perhaps that meant that his role was secondary to the defense. He was a safety valve. Yet the fact that he ended up having to make all those tackles showed that the defense was not doing its job up front. Kenny Clark is great but we need someone besides him up front if we are going to keep the current defensive scheme.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:34 pm

The "clean-up" approach only works if your front 4 is beating their guys consistently vs. the run.

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ricky's picture

June 05, 2020 at 10:36 am

Kirksey is a hope and a prayer. Hopefully he stays healthy, but nine games in the last two seasons makes that proposition very unlikely. The real question is why the Packers are so unconcerned about production by the ILB's. As noted, this has been going on for years, as the defense continues to wallow in the lower ranks of the league. Pettine can say he's just fine with the personnel he has, but what is he going to say? That he is being hamstrung by Gutekunst not giving him enough players to properly run his defense?

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hobowilly's picture

June 05, 2020 at 07:52 pm

Hi. IMHO, Gutey has spent quite a bit for Pettine and by-in-large, i think he's improved a devoid D he inherited. Alexander, was first, followed by the Smith bros in FA, along with Amos, then Gary and Doc Savage. I believe it's a pivital year for coach Pettine and secondly, GB's middle defense has been a mess for years, which really wasn't improved that much since hiring Hawk #5 in the draft. Hawk never lived up to his draft capital--i think Blake played much better than hawk when you consider where he was selected. YES, YES, someone will have to make those many tackles, but what about not downfield as we've watched since the middle years of Hawk.

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Lphill's picture

June 06, 2020 at 09:15 am

Hawk played in different defense at Ohio , in GB he flourished when he had Desmond Bishop on the field , he was a solid player and great Packer.

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TheVOR's picture

June 05, 2020 at 11:41 am

This is not only an issue this year, it's been an issue for a while. With Blake Martinez, you saw all these huge tackle numbers every year. He was nothing if not a very active football player. We were horrible last year with him, and I'm not a huge addition by subtraction guy, we didn't get better switching Martinez for Kirksey. We also once again did nothing for the position, anything that was part of this draft or UDFA pool is a project.

Burks.. What can I say that I don't already know, dudes not an NFL starting ILB.. He's just not, he's demonstrated exactly that he does not have an NFL body, he's not an NFL ILB. The rest are roster fodder... They were 100% lined up to take Queen if they really wanted to address the spot, but I'd have to say I was not a big Queen advocate.

I was however a huge Germaine Pratt fan in last years draft, a player GB absolutely should have drafted, and a guy who probably would have been a #1 - #2 talent in this years 2020 draft class.

The Packers have failed miserably to address DL/ILB.. I'm not expecting some roster miracle jump from anybody on this roster. They screwed the pooch in this years draft, and the last 2, to address ILB..

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ILPackerBacker's picture

June 05, 2020 at 11:54 am

Summer's got zero snaps on defense, and there is a reason. The 49ers destroyed and humiliated the packer defense and Mike P in particular, and there is a reason.

There is better than a good chance that those reasons are the same reason. Bad coach, bad design from that coach, bad choices of which players to be on the field.

Go back and watch Kyler lay down and fold over repeatedly. Watch him on the first td of the game. Snap count is a large part of coaching and Mike P is not good at situations or changing his scheme to fit the players he actually has nor what the team on the other side is doing.

5 games were won when very limited coaches quit running and played into what Mike P was doing. FIVE. Even those idiots (one of whom was replaced by MM) will see what happened in San Fran and not stop effective running to pass.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:37 pm

Good point... can't argue with you on that. Hopefully, the team has recognized that, and is making changes to the scheme.

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MITM's picture

June 06, 2020 at 06:33 pm

Because Pettine sucks thats why. If they were going to sacrifice/sabotage the entire 2020 season with this offseason/draft for the future, then why bring Pettine back on a count of continuity? Makes no sense.

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fish's picture

June 05, 2020 at 01:14 pm

Kirksey is an upgrade over Martinez. Martin is potentially an upgrade over Martinez. Bolton is probably the best of the remainder.

Burks may be athletic, but he picks the wrong gap to cover on runs repeatedly. He doesn't have that instinct that would allow him to be a starter. If contracts and cap hits weren't a consideration I don't think he makes the 53.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:39 pm

Personally, I think Burks is the odd-man out. Pre-season will determine whether he sticks, or not.

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crayzpackfan's picture

June 05, 2020 at 01:40 pm

Maybe you fine folks can enlighten me. ILB/MLB is definitely a need in GB. It has been for quite some time now. But what kind? I read all the articles and follow up posts here, and we all see the scheme that our defensive coach wants to do, however, there seems to be a lot of gray area between what some think we need and what GB is actually doing.

Do we want an aggressive run stopper, a coverage LB, a pass rusher, or someone who kinda does all 3? A beastly run stuffer doesn’t seem to fit the scheme on this particular defense, leaving most of the responsibilities pretty much up to Kenny Clark and the lack of DL talent. Do we need someone who is only good at coverage, leaving very minimal help at stopping the run, or do we need the guy who is good at only sprinting through gaps and destroying QB’s while leaving voids in run and coverage support? Perhaps the Swiss Army Knife guy who sorta does all 3 okay, while not doing great at any is the right guy?

I’m just confused with what direction this team is taking with defending the middle of the field from line of scrimmage to 15 yards deep. I’m certainly not the prophet who has the answer here. But I’d enjoy reading what you guys and gals think. There is a void there to fill. With what? Give me your knowledge. Take care everyone. Enjoy your weekends. Go Pack.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 05, 2020 at 02:51 pm

This team does not have a Kuekley or Vandersch (Sorry about the spelling) who can do it all. Also the team did not select a middle linebacker high in the draft. So the plan is to pressure with the outside backers and some rush up the middle. The assignment for middle of the defense then goes to lighter players who can fill in quickly as well as cover the receivers. That’s a tall order for most players. “Hair on fire” rushers are going to get burnt when they get out of their gaps. Pettine’s defense requires that the MLB and DBs cover for them. That’s asking a bit much against an aggressive run offense with fullbacks, running backs, tight ends and guards running right at them.

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gkarl's picture

June 05, 2020 at 02:33 pm

Well hopefully we have enough duct tape and bailing wire to hold this group together. Add in a double dose of patience washed down with an extra large bottle of potential and add in a few hail mary's for good measure and you have the 2020 packers ILB's.

It no secret why this seems to be the formula we have ever year and why the position group isn't stronger. Randall, Rollins, Jones, King, Alexander, Jackson and Savage all first or second round picks. The top end draft capital on defense has been spent elsewhere and maybe rightly so, that remains to be seen.

For this year though we'll have to trust the coaches to get the most out of the players they have and maybe get the FO to add some late veteran help but unless some of these things happen its our weakest position by far.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 05, 2020 at 02:59 pm

I am not a coach yet I keep wondering why a big two gapping DL would not help keep blockers off our defenders in the run game? I am not being sarcastic. Would that really hurt our pass rush? I am sure one of our educated readers could help me understand it. Thanks in advance.

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Lare's picture

June 05, 2020 at 04:58 pm

I suspect we'll see a DL added at some point to help stop the run. It'll either be before the season or a few games in if the defense is getting gashed for big runs and Gutekunst/Pettine are forced into doing something.

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:42 pm

Agreed.

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flackcatcher's picture

June 05, 2020 at 06:41 pm

By the end of season it became a numbers game, one that the Packers lost. Basically if you are a team like Green Bay who plays only two DL in most of their base, then it falls to the OLB to squeeze and pinch down those gaps in the run game. Both Green Bay's DL and OLB were worn down by the high number of snaps they were force to play. But playing both OLB inline means Pettine is giving up size for quickness in the run game. Most of the time it worked, because both the Smiths and whatever SS was playing the Hybrid position/ILB had their snaps limited as the Packers defense was pretty effective in getting 3 and out. What exposed this defense was two factors out of Pettine's control. One was the collapse of the offense in the latter half of the season. The other was the lack of depth in both the OLB and the DL. Simply put, they ran out of gas, and the defense got run over in SF. Packers believe that both are short term problems, and they have the answers already in hand. We will find out if they are right, when (if) the season starts...

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:44 pm

Good point. I'm with you on that.

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hobowilly's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:13 pm

Thank-you Maggie, great (yet frustrating) topic. I would share there's not a knowledable fan out there that doesn't see GB has a very porous middle defense and it's been that way for a number of years. My recollection was that the D was "ahead" of the offense last season (first for MLF) and was getting things done by smoke & mirrors for the first third of the season.

Way more than the phenomina of a breakout season for a WR, we need someone to bring it from this position in the field. From what i've seen, the # of snaps Burks took last year on defense is self explanatory--he's not the solution. Someone on the roster has to step up, but i hesitate to think it will be the new guy Martin, and so the Kirksey plan is probably the best hope. It could be Tim Williams?!

Loved what Nostradanus, the VOR and crazypackfan have shared here. Thank-you!

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GLM's picture

June 05, 2020 at 08:47 pm

With the focus on offense in the draft, my guess is the team wants more ball control, time-of-possession on offense. If successful, this will keep the defense fresh.

We've seen that before, where a good defense is a powerful ball-controlling offense.

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Packers0808's picture

June 05, 2020 at 09:03 pm

Kiirskey I would bet is going to be a surprising good sign! He will be especially good if he stays healthy!

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flackcatcher's picture

June 06, 2020 at 01:23 pm

One other point to Maggie's post. Since 2009 the Packers have been sliding OLB inside due to the changing skill set. So the move to a more big back/SS is more evolutionary than a radical change. Under Dom Capers this defense also played two DL as the main base with two elephants in line and the hybrid (football hall of fame) DB Charles Woodson playing in the OLB slot. Under Capers this was a big physical defense, and when healthy they mauled offensives. (as pointed up thread was pretty rare during Capers tenure.) So the Packers have devalued not the position, but the type of player coming out from the systems in college football. All Pettine is doing is (like Capers before him) adjusting to increasing speed and skill of the players and the NFL rule changes trying to make the game more 'fun'.

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Slim11's picture

June 06, 2020 at 02:03 pm

This tendency to move OLBs inside, and out of position, goes back to the Mike Sherman era. IIRC, he drafted Nick Barnett and penciled him in as the starter as a rookie. Barnett went down during their SB XLV run and AJ Hawk was moved inside with Desmond Bishop. Hawk was drafted as an OLB.

Yes, this process is evolutionary. But, at some point, one has to wonder what type of player is required to fit the new demands. That player might not exist...yet!

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MITM's picture

June 06, 2020 at 06:12 pm

Aj Hawk was a 4-3 OLB, never an edge player in the 3-4 Capers installed. An off the ball linebacker will always be the ILB in a 3-4. He wasn't moved inside because Barnett went down, he just wasnt starting for whatever reason at the time - and ended up having his best season once he took over, aside from his rookie year when he was playing his natural position.

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Slim11's picture

June 06, 2020 at 06:29 pm

I think he was because MM's reasoning was "to get the best 11 players on the field at the same time." I disagreed. I agree with your observation about his rookie season...I thought it was excellent. I wonder if his career might have been better if he remained outside with a 4-3 defense.

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flackcatcher's picture

June 06, 2020 at 07:07 pm

I always thought AJ would have to move inside anyway because of the increase quickness on the edge in the pro game. Hawk's football IQ was pretty much of the scale, so he as a perfect fix for Capers system as signal caller. Moving both Bishop and Bennet inside was as much about covering the TE and RB on the edge as it was protecting the inside gaps in the run game. We all tend to forget, how drastically the game changed from 2010 till today, when the NFL voted new rules for the passing game.

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flackcatcher's picture

June 06, 2020 at 07:09 pm

... Barnett ... (getting my Packers mix up... :-)

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flackcatcher's picture

June 06, 2020 at 07:25 pm

For years, I thought the Packers were devaluing the ILB position along with FB. I was wrong. What the Packers wanted at those positions was so rare that they were not going to risk the high draft choices necessary to acquire those players for their system at the time. But they did it this year, so Gute and his team must believe the talent level exists for Pettine and MLF systems.

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GLM's picture

June 09, 2020 at 08:03 pm

Yes, but we didn't really draft that guy. We acquired him as FA. Better to get a vet to call the defense, anyways.

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mrj007's picture

June 08, 2020 at 08:00 pm

Hope cannot continue to be the substitute for an actual strategy. It seems like the team hopes for the best every year- and then the games begin and we are mostly disappointed. It just feels like another article of hope. I’m looking forward to an actual report that shows progress.

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CoachDino's picture

June 09, 2020 at 08:35 pm

Was it just me or did Ty and Curtis miss a ton of tackles? I'm not sold on either one being an impact player. Oren Burks is tough to judge due to an injury history - The Pack sees him in practice so maybe they are aware of something we aren't.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers sign a veteran that is cut similar to the past.

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