TJ Slaton's Presence Could Create More Opportunities for Kenny Clark

You know the old saying among Packers fans, “get Kenny Clark some help!”

For the last few seasons now, the Green Bay interior defensive line has lacked consistent production from players not named Clark. The further emergence of Kingsley Keke in Year 3 would certainly provide this unit with a welcomed boost and more production, but it’s the addition of TJ Slaton in the fifth round of this year’s draft that could unlock an even more impactful Clark—a scary proposition for any opposing offense.

Under former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, Clark was the primary nose tackle. The reason being that he was really the only player on this defensive front that fit that role.

When it comes to the job of a nose tackle, that’s not exactly a position that is going to fill the stat sheet. Rather, it’s a position that creates for those around them. The nose tackle is often times there to eat up space and occupy double teams, freeing up their fellow interior defenders to make plays, along with the edge rushers and linebackers as well.

The reason that we still see Clark making plays is pretty simple, he’s just that good. According to PFF ($$), Clark has totaled at least five sacks and 30 pressures each of the last four seasons, including 69 pressure and nine sacks in 2019. But there is the potential for more.

In the new Joe Barry defense we can expect a nose tackle and two 4-tech defenders based on what we saw from the Los Angeles Rams defense in 2020. Once again, the nose would be a position that Clark is expected to fill, however, the recent addition of Slaton could provide him with more freedom.

Listed at 6’4” - 330 pounds, Slaton is a traditional nose tackle, who early on in his career will likely have his presence felt more against the run than the pass, but with the athleticism that he possesses for his size, his ability as a pass-rusher is an area of his game that could develop over the next few years. The 19 pressures and two sacks he tallied during his final year at Florida isn’t eye-popping by any means, but it’s not nothing either, especially in the role that he was asked to fill.

“Obviously, T.J.’s a monster,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said after the draft via the Wisconsin State Journal. “He’s got great size, great length. He’s really tough to dig out inside there. He’s one of those guys that can clog up the middle, eat up space and find the ball. If teams want to run it on us, I think specifically as we get later in the season, we have an ability to go in there and get big. And that was why we selected him.”

By adding Slaton to the mix at nose and having him as the one to occupy those guard-center double-teams, that will allow Barry to slide Clark over the the 4-tech role in this defense. From there, that means more one-on-one opportunities -- which is always a good thing -- and the chance for Clark to make more impact plays.

While anything we hear or see during OTAs and mini-camp should be taken with a grain of salt, according to Larry McCarren of Packers.com, Clark is already seeing fewer snaps at the nose. This is certainly something to keep our eyes on as training camp and the preseason unfolds.

“To the D-line, where nose tackle Kenny Clark is spending less and less on the nose. Getting a playmaker like Clark away from the constant center-guard double-teams should allow him to make even more plays.”

Because of Slaton’s skill-set and the additional freedom he affords Clark along the defensive front, I was immediately a huge fan of this selection. With all of that said, Slaton still is a fifth-round rookie who has to adjust to life at the NFL level—it isn’t my expectation that he is going to come in and assume this role full-time right away.

However, hopefully over the course of the season, we see his snap count expand, and over the next few seasons, he becomes that missing piece along the defensive front who may not log a ton of his own stats, but his teammates will feel his presence and Clark will have the opportunity to make more big plays.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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6 points

Comments (64)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
ricky's picture

July 09, 2021 at 06:24 am

I certainly hope you're right, But this hype sounds very familiar, as we heard similar things about Montravius Adams, who was drafted in the third round a few years ago, and never made an impact. Keke seems like he has some upside, because he's shown it on the field. But other than Clark and Keke, there are just JAG's and projections.

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porupack's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:17 am

Agree with you regarding MAdams and KKingsley, etc. But what I like is that getting Slayton has a very specific strategy. Not necessarily to set the Dline on fire himself, but that even if he was average, he allows Clark to move and be more impactful. Seems that is what Paul was emphasizing. Whereas, I never really understood specifics as to draft choice MAdams nor KKingsley other than BPA.

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Rossonero's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:39 am

Excellent point. He's a 5th round draft choice who PFF had projected as a 7th rounder or UDFA. He's a project, but if he can be coached up quickly and just be a space eater, then that will free up Kenny Clark.

Cons from PFF:
Attacks with his hands wide, and placement suffers.
Late to react and cut off easily on wide runs.
Plays higher than you'd like out of his stance. Better centers got under him.
Had issues finishing last year. Eight missed tackles on 40 attempts.

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 11:42 am

Kenny Clark was "projected" by some scouting publications to be a 3rd or 4th rounder.

Not saying TJ will dominate but he could ignite some excellent synergies in the front 7.

My concern with TJ is his stamina. In college he would go full bore for a few plays and have to come off. Good to see he has already shed some weight getting "down" to 330 lbs.

5 points
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greengold's picture

July 09, 2021 at 06:20 pm

Yeah, Rossonero. 5th Round pick, from what was considered a weak DL class.

Despite that, Slaton was a good choice for his outstanding size, speed and athleticism. 6-4 330. Carries his weight well. Explosive first step. He can get off blocks with power to drive. Strong club move.

Pad level, feet and hand technique can all be taught. Slaton was picked for his pro traits that can’t be taught. Thought he was #2 NT in this draft behind Alim McNeill. Thought TJ would be long gone by R5.

While it’s good to temper enthusiasm, TJ Slaton has a chance to be a big plus on this line. I think Kenny Clark’s mentoring could speed some of that up for him. Something tells me those two are going to be like peas & carrots, like Gilbert & Santana, both of whom are still inseparable. I see them around town together a lot.

I do think after some dust settles, Gutekunst will bring in another DL off waivers or via trade.

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NickPerry's picture

July 10, 2021 at 03:46 am

"like Gilbert & Santana, both of whom are still inseparable. I see them around town together a lot."

You see Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson around town together STILL? I'm curious GG, wheres home?

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greengold's picture

July 10, 2021 at 11:19 am

Oh yeah. I live in Milwaukee. I see those dudes maybe a few times a year. They are SO fun. I must have met Santana 10 years ago. Last time I saw them was at Solly's and we were yukking it up about the Bucks. They are really wonderful guys. Fun loving. Affable.

Most of the time I see them in places nearby to my painting studio in Milwaukee's Third Ward. All kinds of great bars, restaurants, hotels just down the street or around the corner, and my work is in many of them. Gilbert & Santana still talk regularly with Sean Jones and some of the other players. They're tight.

Bucks, Brewers, Packers. Can't help but see players all the time down here. Christian Yellich loves the Shake Shack right across the street from my place. He used to live two blocks down the street, but moved after he signed his recent contract. Just saw Donte this morning on his way to shoot around. Of course, he's in a cast, but that doesn't stop him. He lives right behind me here - We were talking last week and he said he was going to bring his girlfriend down to the studio. It's a very fun place.

Go Bucks! Go Brewers! Go Packers!

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The_Justicar's picture

July 11, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Off topic I guess but my interaction with Dotson also found him to be a nice guy. Had lunch with he and Sean Jones in Coral Gables about ten years ago (business meeting) and both are great guys.

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Coldworld's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:57 am

Adams and Keke were both seen as disruptive more than stout against the run. They looked more like attempts to replace interior rush initially with perhaps the potential to improve against the run with physical development in Keke’s case. Personally, I thought Adams was getting to that point last year, but couldn’t stay healthy enough to really make an impact. Keke is finally looking like he has added the lower body strength this year apparently.

Behind them, Lancaster is a clogger. He’s got no burst but great strength. That’s why he’s depth as an NT, but I’ve long wondered why, even with that, we couldn’t use Clark more effectively. Pettine seemed unable to get away from the concept of making Clark do the dirty work and relying on lighter penetrative types for pressure. In fact, Clark is and was more of a threat had he not been somewhat neutered by his role.

A stronger Keke, Slaton and Clark seem to offer more. Will we see them together? Will they be used in 2 DL looks or with Gary? Pettine would have had Lowry out there 60 percent of the time at least. Immediately the DL is weaker and the load on Clark greater with diminished threat. Surely Barry will realize that and Clark benefit?

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:17 pm

Slaton is much better than Montravious who was a spectacular reach and an air ball with a three pick. His scouting report was a lazy guy who may "see the light". Another egregious whiff by Ted and Company. If you expect Clark to be a three/four tech and Slaton inside, qui soit? This guy Barry better be more creative and multiple with 4/3/4-2 looks tossed into the packages to utilize these men with girth. If they show up with Lancaster as a four/five tech, I will switch to watching golf.

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Archie's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:13 am

Watching TJ dunk a basketball makes me optimistic about his chances. Looks to be an excellent find/fit by Gutey. Never understood why we let Mike Pennell go but this guy could really pay off for a R5 pick. He will likely need a couple of years to begin to reach his potential. However, until then, he can still help free up Kekey and Clark some while he gets on-the-job training. Front 7 looking better than it has for a long time. Just wish Rodgers would stop his cat and mouse BS - either get onboard or drop the pretense.

If Gutey's 2021 draft turns out to be really solid, the railbirds booing on him will have to shut up.

11 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:59 am

If nothing else, maybe he can get his hand on balls like Jolly used to.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 02:19 pm

Jolly was a real ball grabber. His ability to do this was just nuts.

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wildbill's picture

July 09, 2021 at 03:51 pm

Ok had to read that twice....just saying

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

July 10, 2021 at 06:17 pm

A real sack leader.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:21 pm

"WE" did not let Pennel leave on that certain Wednesday. Gutedkunst and low-ball did. He fortified the KC run defense enough to stifle the 49r ground attack that had previously Annihilated the paper-mache' Packer defense
to the tune of 285 yards on the ground. See any correlation in the Stockholder/Rodgers critique of the brain-trust? I thought not.

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porupack's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:12 am

Paul, excellent nuance on this development, and pulling in the early observations at spring camp testing out the shifting of Clark which should exploit Clark's skills that others don't have. Its a pretty pragmatic investment to get a big body in the late rounds with that kind of athleticism. It is a great plan B, since they didn't have the luxury of drafting a high 1st rounder.

I admit, its hard to break away from our prognostication based on draft round. The CHTV comments are full of criticisms of GM based on draft round, that they didn't do enough. A fifth rounder to address a longstanding weakness, we say??? We hand out our D- grade.

So, its nice to see your nuanced take. This particular 5th rounder, could very well leverage our previous 1st rounder into yet a higher producer....so that is a pretty damn good strategy when a team only has one pick in the first round (like most teams), and the bottom of the round at that. If Barry was able to influence the draft picks, then already my confidence in the D has risen.

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2021 at 02:53 am

I thought Tyler Shelvin was a little more NFL ready, but I didn't want to use a 3rd on Shelvin (he went 122nd - top third of the fourth round).

That said, Slaton is a nice consolation prize and I was happy to see him still on the board in the 5th.

Who can say which player will turn out better, anyway?

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greengold's picture

July 11, 2021 at 08:00 am

Yeah, there was a lot of prognosticator talk Shelvin was the perfect fit for the Packers, but he had big drawbacks, so big that I took him off my list.

He’s 6-2 350 who showed himself to be poorly conditioned, too large, and wore down. Tyler Shelvin really offers ZERO in pass rush.

I liked his positives, but felt TJ Slaton was the better choice for us, with better size, weight distribution, athleticism & explosion.

It’s tough to call that one, but I think Gutekunst drafted the better player all around. Better value as well if TJ produces. Neither player had giant experience, nor filled up stat sheets. Shelvin is an immovable space eater in the run game who will only give you two downs.

Slaton seems far more athletic, more explosive, more capable, with more upside. His frame/ body mass is pretty well dialed in as Pro ready, vs. just a big fat guy. Slaton actually conditioned himself out of the 350s down to 330. Was enjoying taking on more snaps as his final season progressed, into the mid 60s, kind of like Kenny Clark. I like the pick, but I could be wrong.

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MITM's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:15 am

Slaton is just a body this season. D Tackles (think Raji, Clark) breakout in year 2 - even Quinnen Williams from the Jets was night and day from year 1 to year 2, and these guys were first rounders not fifth rounders. I do like Slaton and think he will help this team especially if he picks up a work ethic like Rashan Gary - it just aint gonna be this season. The DLine will continue to be a problem, and 1 Clark/Keke injury away from full on disaster.

3 points
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porupack's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:20 am

MITM, but Paul is suggesting that Slayton doesn't have to be a rookie of the year, nor anywhere close. He has to come in and just occupy space and be just good enough to command 2 OLinemen. That is a reasonable expectation for an athletic rookie.

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MITM's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:49 am

No I get that, that is what I mean when I say he is basically just a body this year - however it is still easier said than done. To ask a 5th round rookie to eat up double teams and consistently win is asking alot in his rookie season. There are plenty of vets who cant command or split a double team themselves, and a few of em are already on the Packers

3 points
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PeteK's picture

July 09, 2021 at 09:13 am

You never know. Jarrett, Reader, and Atkins were all drafted 4-5 round. However, you're correct, it did take the 2nd season for them to develop.

2 points
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Stroh's picture

July 10, 2021 at 08:12 pm

Could not agree more. There is very little chance Slaton makes any kind of impact this season. I like the pick in the 5th for sure. But even at FL he wasn't seen as a pure NT who was great against double teams to open teammates.

He certainly has plenty of potential but he's a long way from taking the NT job and freeing up Clark this season. Even in '22 might be a stretch. IF and that itself is a pretty big IF he develops into a reliable NT it won't be this season.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:55 am

If your happy with consolation picks. 2021 was your draft. Because thats just what we got. Yes, lets believe what were told. " That 2021 was the worst year for DL." And now your telling me Gute got his man? Ok Im a believer, and Gutes' the greatest GM since Lombardi. At least on this site. I really have to agree with you on everything written. Were that desperate. And of course every word that comes from Gute is gospel now. So I too am hoping that Slaton turns into the next gravedigger. Because I just Love big bodies that look like mountains and are Rock solid. And who cares if Baremore was the best of the lot. We got Clark help.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:34 pm

I liked this draft. Disagree with your take profoundly. Given where we picked, I very much like how it fell. My only gripe was the number of late O linemen perhaps. Picking for now, plus an almighty battle for O line depth.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

July 10, 2021 at 09:16 pm

No-

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nostradanus's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:14 am

Dude can dunk at 330 pounds!

He’s an athlete big time!

Coach him up man and let’s go pack!!!

7 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:49 am

Nost,
I agree! Most of us do not realize how tough it is to dunk a basketball. You have to be both explosive and athletic. Now throw in being 333 to 340 pounds. Unbelievable!

Now the rest is really up to TJ. Is he going to have a work ethic like M. Adams, or is he going to have a work ethic like Jaire, or Gary? It really comes down to how badly he wants to be the best. The talent is there but is the motivation and drive? It is this aspect that no amount of draft research can determine and why the draft is so hit and miss.

5 points
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nostradanus's picture

July 09, 2021 at 01:39 pm

I’m 6’5, 220 and have played hoops most of my life, still can’t dunk! You either have it or you don’t.

2 points
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Johnblood27's picture

July 09, 2021 at 03:01 pm

Im only picking you last...

just sayin...

4 points
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Stroh's picture

July 10, 2021 at 08:37 pm

Not true at all. If you're doing the correct lifting any person at 6'4 who has any athleticism should be able to dunk. I would assume most 6'4 professional football players can dunk at 300 lbs. Squats and more importantly the power lifts like cleans help athletes produce the power needed to dunk. Cleans and it's variations should be standard lifts for football starting in HS and for almost every sport that requires athleticism. So not surprising to me in the least and honestly not impressed that Slaton can dunk.

0 points
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Lphill's picture

July 09, 2021 at 09:40 am

The bottom line is Clark is not a true nose tackle , not hefty enough , another position the Packers failed to address.

-2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Not so sure Lp.

Clark is 6'3" and 315 lbs....TJ is 6'4" and 330. So 1 inch and 15 lbs make TJ a true Nose but not Clark?

I think Clark has been an excellent Nose, but can be an even better 4 Tech using his sublime leverage, strength and movement to get off blocks.

1 points
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Stroh's picture

July 10, 2021 at 08:50 pm

True or not, and I think mostly not, Clark has been an exceptional NT. So it's kind of absurd to say it's not his true position. I will say he's capable of playing any interior DL position or technique, but the power positions are his best most natural positions. IMO 3 tech is probably his least effective spot. He is very much a power oriented DL and certainly not in the mold of Donald or other elite 3 techs.

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:02 am

"However, hopefully over the course of the season, we see his snap count expand, and over the next few seasons, he becomes that missing piece along the defensive front who may not log a ton of his own stats, but his teammates will feel his presence and Clark will have the opportunity to make more big plays."

If it's all about getting Clark to be the playmaker the DL will fail as like the OLB when it was hoped that Perry would enhance Matthews's playmaking, when the 'Claymaker' actually became clay waiting for Perry to be the enabler. How about getting a DL guy that can make plays and the pressure on Clark is reduced.

Did Matthews suffer from the failure of the Nick Perry fiasco and its yearly denial, perhaps or perhaps it was Matthews and his stopped usage of PEDS, but drafting Perry because he was a USC player like Matthews didn't help Matthews one bit, but did waste 7 years of waiting for Perry? This has been the issue with the DL for years as it was with the OLB position.

3 points
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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:43 am

My guess is that next year we focus on the D-line in the draft and free agency. Gute seems to focus on needs selectively, often double dipping at a position. Once he handles his top need to his satisfaction he moves on. We’ve seen it with corners, then running backs, and offensive line. If Slaton overachieves for a 5th round pick, it might lesson the need next year, but I still think that will be the focus. Meanwhile, we’ll get by with what we have.

5 points
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splitpea1's picture

July 09, 2021 at 11:50 am

Depending on how it goes with Lowry and Lancaster, Gute might take that plunge and double-dip on the DL--that would certainly be a welcome approach in my mind. Hope springs eternal.... Also depending on the contract situations with the WRs, here might be another area of potential double -dipping.

0 points
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Packers0808's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:57 am

Just makes one wonder if Gino Adkins has another decent year left in him to take a flyer on and give Slayton more time to further develop and get some experience?

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 11:56 am

IDK. Atkins spent his entire career with the Bengals. The fact they let him go tells me he's done. And the fact he remains a FA also tells me other teams think he is done too.

3 points
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HarryHodag's picture

July 09, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Atkins also might have been too expensive to keep. One year on a cheap deal would be worth it. The Packers need to have more d-line production outside of Clark.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Could be...but that fact Cincy didn't keep him on a one year cheap tells me a lot. They have seen him play for 11 years. They may be concerned about his shoulder injury too.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2021 at 03:01 am

He had surgery in mid-December for a torn labrum. Rapoport indicated that he might be cleared by July 1 or so and had a visit with the doctor for the cowboys in July. Cincy saved $9.6M by releasing Atkins. He couldn't be traded at his scheduled contract price given the injury. He was scheduled to make over $11M in cash for 2021.

So, he might still be rehabbing. Or age and injury may have caused a decline.

1 points
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Packers0808's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:02 pm

Don't really know w/o taking a look to see what the tank still holds! We have had some luck in the past with some "washed up" guys like many thought of Woodson for example at the time!

!

-1 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

July 09, 2021 at 07:43 pm

Nobody thought Woodson was "washed up". His attitude was questioned, not his athletic ability.

Woodson was a 1st round pick (4th overall) and a Heisman Trophy winner, and eventual 1st ballot HOFer. Geno Atkins has been a very good NFL player who was a 4th round pick. Kind of apples to oranges. Plus he's, I believe, about 3-4 years older than Woodson was when he signed with GB.

Worth a vet's minimum for a look see probably. But he's no Charles Woodson.

0 points
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Packers0808's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:01 pm

You got your priorities all knotted up in your undies! Comparison was not ability but on the thoughts people had about Woodson. There have been many accounts I read about Woodson back then who thought his better day were behind them. Why do some of you people become so unwound and always think they are the only ones right or who opinions are the only right ones!?

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Coldworld's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:46 pm

Because he is right. Woodson was seen as a guy who had been a problem to coach and wasn’t exploiting his talent to it’s potential. No one I recall at the time believed he was over the hill if he wanted it and would buy in.

The following is a pretty typical take: “ Woodson who found his career at a crossroads in 2006 when there were no takers in free agency other than Green Bay, a place he had no desire to play. Once Woodson adjusted his attitude, he became dominant in a way he never was with the Raiders. Woodson was turned loose to capitalize on his package of coverage skills, tackling, ball-stripping and instinctive play and built the statistical resume necessary for first-ballot election.” https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mercurynews.com/2021/02/07/a-raider-or-...

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Packers0808's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:58 pm

Guess one of two things you don't read much or the same things that I read or read!

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2021 at 03:04 am

I assumed we were talking about 2011 when TT let him walk and then he played reasonably well to pretty good for several more years.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 10, 2021 at 09:02 am

This is a discussion board, where people share their 'opinions'. I simply disagreed with yours...calm down. You're the one who has obviously become "unwound".

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Packers0808's picture

July 10, 2021 at 01:09 pm

Your choice of the word NOBODY is what should make you realize it is tine for YOU to calm down not me! Because obviously there were many in your word NOBODIES who thought different than you is what I was saying!

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 10, 2021 at 01:45 pm

Whatever....lol. This isn't worth arguing about.

You have a wonderful day.

1 points
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HarryHodag's picture

July 09, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Question: has Slaton put on pads yet? I would be cautious about him taking plays from a Pro Bowler until we see if he makes the team. There's a reason he was around in the sixth round in a year with few quality d-linemen.

-2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 01:05 pm

TJ was long gone by the 6th round. He was drafted in the 5th;-)

There were only 19 DTs drafted and Slayton was the 12th selected overall. But I think his college career shows he is a football player.

4 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

July 09, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Weak draft for DL, but hopefully Gutey has given Barry and Montgomery the opportunity to make lemonade from a class of lemons.

What Barry will do more than Pettine did is have 3 DL on the field more often than not. TJ can be a valuable rotational piece to help power the trio. He may only see less than 50% of the plays, but that can work.

I do see the prospects for both Smiths and Gary to be on the field together a lot, with Z and Gary, even Preston playing one of the 4 techs a fair amount.

I do wholeheartedly agree with Paul that finding ways to let Clark play a lot more 4 tech can unlock some exciting synergies in the D front. TJ increases that likelihood added into the Keke, Lowry, Lancaster mix.

Dark horse for DL...Jack Heflin, rookie FA from IA and Northern IA. Really good college career with good 4 tech size. And a former HS Wrester.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 09, 2021 at 08:50 pm

I’ve heard a lot of people tell me I need to watch Heflin, who was not on my radar. I will be in camp. It would be great if he and Cronk live up to the belief of people who I see as generally pretty acute on this type of thing. Those are two big men a lot of people like way more than one would think given how they were acquired.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:33 pm

Live up to the P squad

0 points
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joejetson's picture

July 09, 2021 at 10:13 pm

I could see them using Slaton on passing downs where he can utilize his athleticism to apply pressure, and not have to worry about missing a run gap assignment. Turn him loose at 6'4" and 230#.

0 points
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Qoojo's picture

July 10, 2021 at 10:47 am

Unless the packers hit the lottery, a 5th round DL is not going to do much or play much during his first season. Almost always it's a case of needing an offseason to add more strength, and a year or two to figure out the pro game.

The only hope of changing "Kenny Clark and the JAGs" is for Keke to emerge this season, as nothing has really changed.

2 points
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greengold's picture

July 10, 2021 at 11:35 am

Qoojo, I think the draw was Slaton's Pro ready size coupled with the speed. Yeah, he's going to be raw, but he could surprise. Kingsley Keke coming in at over 300 lbs is encouraging. He needed some good weight and power added to his frame.

I agree with you this is still an area of need for improvement. Another add at roster cutdowns or via trade wouldn't hurt. Guessing I'm not alone in having zero confidence in Lowry & Lancaster.

1 points
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Qoojo's picture

July 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Yeah, i think we have seen all that Lowry and Lancaster have to offer. But you never know what will happen with new DC. Pettine was all about the pass game.

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greengold's picture

July 11, 2021 at 08:34 am

Yeah, I’m always hesitant here. I wanted both run out of town on greased rails two years ago, but keep wondering, “was it the DC???”

I think we’ll be seeing a lot of improvement on D.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2021 at 03:10 am

Yes, I agree. Yet it is possible: Fifth-rounder DJ Reader was good as a rookie and played 404 snaps in 2016 (71 snaps more than Clark).

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The_Justicar's picture

July 11, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Being a former gator like TJ I appreciate any article on TJ. I sometimes miss articles but one thing I haven’t read that you get down here in south Florida (where TJ went to high school)….as a youth he moved into the home and family of Dave Lamont, who was/is a college football announcer for espn. TJ was friends with the Lamont’s son and while I cannot recall if he was officially adopted by the family, Dave was often on local radio show to talk college football and was asked about TJ during his recruitment to college and his experience at Florida. Got to hear a lot about the young man and seemed like a genuinely good person so I’m pulling for him to succeed.

CheeseheadTV writers….feel free to write a story about TJ going back to high school and the Lamont family - it’s probably a good story. 😀

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