With Guion Facing Suspension, Raji Needs To Be Ready

Letroy Guion could face possible suspension from the NFL for his offseason legal trouble. The Green and Gold need a return to form from their former top ten pick.

Pete Dougherty has an interesting column over at PackersNews.com regarding defensive tackle Letroy Guion.

The veteran defensive tackle is being counted on to continue his surprisingly strong play from last year to help the Green Bay Packers defense up front in 2015. 

However, as Dougherty points out, there is a decent possibility that Guion could begin the year suspended. 

From Pete:

The NFL hasn’t notified Guion of his punishment for violating its substance abuse and personal conduct policies — that ruling is likely to come down before the start of training camp. He might be suspended for four games, two games or even none. My guess is two, though any suspension won’t be final, because Guion will have the right to appeal.

Regardless, Guion’s arrest makes it a given he’ll be in the NFL’s substance abuse program, if he wasn’t already. The rules for the policy are a little arcane, but he could end up in either Stage 1 or 2, depending on enforcement.

This, of course, makes the return of B.J. Raji from a torn tricep even more important, especially early in the year. 

Much has been made, rightfully so, about Raji's less-than-stellar play when he was last on the field for the Packers in the regular season and playoffs. Not to put too fine a point on it - he was downright bad back in 2013.

Of course, he was playing mostly defensive end then and the switch back to nose tackle coupled with a promising showing in last year's training camp, prior to his season ending injury, has many Packers fans hopeful of a return to 2010-era Raji. Fans have visions of Raji dancing in their heads. 

There's no guarantee that Raji can ever come close to replicating his 2010 form, but even if he supplies only another competent big body, he will go a long way to helping shore up the sometimes-soft middle of Dom Capers' defense.

It will be very interesting to see how Capers deploys both these big men on run downs. You could possibly see Raji at nose and Guion at defensive end on some early downs, though I tend to think Capers will most likely use them on a rotational basis at nose. While the play above is fun to watch, it's obviously a once-in-million type play. What the Packers really need from Raji is a return to this kind of thing.

Notice how Raji braces for the double team and then splits it? Now look at Guion taking on a double team.

Guion does a good job of fighting through the wash and making the tackle, but notice how high he is off the snap of the ball? The low man almost always wins, and that's something that Raji did very well back in 2010 when he was at nose.

That is not to diminish what Guion did for the Green and Gold last year. He did yeoman's work, especially after missing nearly all of training camp due to injury. Once he got his legs under him, Guion was impressive.

With the possibility of a Guion suspension looming over the defense, Packers fans better hope that Raji has his legs under him from the opening kickoff. 

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Comments (8)

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Tundraboy's picture

June 11, 2015 at 08:25 am

Guess he'll miss the Seahawks game which sucks. Wanted all hands on deck for that one.

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Nick Perry's picture

June 12, 2015 at 05:50 am

I think Guion get's 2 games, appeals and ends up serving a one game suspension. He misses the Bears game and is back for Seattle. If he's suspended for any more which is obviously possible (that's was a lot of weed) maybe TT would consider signing someone like Red Bryant or Kevin Williams. Both are damn good stopping the run. BUT I'm sure whatever Guion receives the Packers will roll with the players they have. With that said, Terrance Knighton would have been awesome in Green & Gold at just $4 million for the year. Hmmm, why do I do this to myself.

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Tundraboy's picture

June 12, 2015 at 09:01 am

Think your right. There will be the inevitable delay on the decision and we will squeak the Seattle game in.

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The TKstinator's picture

June 12, 2015 at 02:29 pm

It's not like he took air out of any footballs. Slap on the wrist at most.

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Evan's picture

June 11, 2015 at 09:28 am

Raji was looking like Gilbert Brown in the 49ers clip.

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Clay Zombo's picture

June 11, 2015 at 01:08 pm

Thats the difference between a guy thats 6'2" and a guy thats 6'4". I still think that Guion is a better fit for the 3-4 DE position than the NT position simply because his height and length.

I cant wait to see a base 3-4 look with Guion, Raji and Pennell on the field at the same time. Thats a more suitable and athletic version of the Raji Pickett and Howard Green base they used in the run to the SB in 2010.

Pennell and Guion are both 6'4" making them ideal 5 techniques as 3-4 DEs compared to that other trio who were all 6'2".

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ScottH's picture

June 11, 2015 at 04:33 pm

Thanks for taking the time to put the video clips in the article.

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Imma Fubared's picture

June 11, 2015 at 06:31 pm

So if he gets replaced by Raji does the pipe come out, the beat down, the tossed off the team, the pick up by other teams and missing four games, then has a new job? Lets hope not

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