The Right Move

After spending most of this season calling for Desmond Bishop to take over the middle linebacker spot, I'll admit I think McCarthy and his defensive coaching staff are making the right call moving Hawk to the middle linebacker spot. After watching Bishop exclusively in the Vikings game, it's clear that he is not ready for prime time. Almost every snap, Bishop takes what coaches call "false steps" which constantly find him late to the action. That's why you continually found him making the tackle five to eight yards down the field. He can certianly hit. But the game seems a bit too big for him at this point. Now, would a week of practice make a difference? Possibly. And from all accounts, McCarthy is working out Bishop and Chillar in the middle as well as Hawk. But right now, Hawk and his playing experience make the most sense.

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Comments (7)

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Andrew in Atlanta's picture

November 13, 2008 at 11:00 am

I hope you are right. His locker room interview yesterday was as exciting as watching paint dry. Bishop is more emotional like Barnett was, and while the experience of Hawk is more important right now, I do worry about the defense falling asleep when Hawk is calling signals in the huddle. I kind of feel like this particular injury to Barnett is not like the others. I feel like it's going to end up really, really good or really, really bad. It's time for Hawk to step up.

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PackerAaron's picture

November 13, 2008 at 11:03 am

I don't worry about Hawks demeanor. I do worry about the fact that he has looked slower to react than usual. That said, he looked in command of the huddle on Sunday after Barnett went out.

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Ron La Canne's picture

November 13, 2008 at 11:45 am

I’m going out on a limb and make a prediction right now. Our run defense will show marked improvement this Sunday. AJ in the middle is a step in the right direction. He should have been there since year 1. Barnett’s physical strengths are more suitable to the outside. One of his biggest weaknesses is over pursuit, especially this year. Of course, the outside guys in a 4-3 don’t get the glamour Barnett had planned for himself in his contract. Barnett cares about Barnett. He is not now or ever was a team player.

AJ alone will not result in the revitalization of the run defense to the level needed. That is a project for next year I’m afraid (TT wake up).

Speaking of playing with emotion, Justin Harrell is being roundly criticized by teammates, off the record. He just isn’t playing with the reckless abandon required of his position. MM needs to get this group playing at a level above their capability in order to win the 6 of 7 remaining games they need to get to the playoffs..

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DaveK's picture

November 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm

I think Hawk looks really slow out there and I wonder if Chillar ends up in the middle with Poppinga and Hawk at their usual spots. I agree with your "false step" assesment of Bishop. Twice I remember him really overplaying a head fake by the RB out of the back field. Taylor would give him a little fake inside, Bishop would jump it, and Taylor would be moving wide open towards the sideline for an easy catch and run.

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Andrew in Atlanta's picture

November 13, 2008 at 02:22 pm

Ron, where did you hear about the comments regarding Harrell?

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Ron La Canne's picture

November 13, 2008 at 05:56 pm

Andrew, Gary Ellerson on WSSP in Milwaukee was talking with Rob Damaske of the GB Press Gazzette when the subject came up. In a later interview Gilbert Brwon said he is hearing similar rumblings from his contacts.

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packerhigh's picture

November 13, 2008 at 05:57 pm

I agree that Hawk in the middle might be a mistake. Against the Vikings as well as other games this year he looked slow and confused.

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