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Jones gets his chance

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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In some ways, the Packers are right back where they started at outside linebacker when Dom Capers took over as defensive coordinator in 2009. From the start, converted defensive end Aaron Kampman was a mismatch for Capers’ 3-4 defense. When Kampman blew out his knee midway through the 2009 season, the Packers turned to Brad Jones, a rookie seventh-round pick who started the final seven games. He had four sacks and seemed like a promising prospect to be teamed with fellow outside linebacker Clay Matthews. Jones held onto the starting job to start the 2010 season but played only six games before his season ended because of a shoulder injury, while Matthews flourished. In his absence, Frank Zombo and Erik Walden shared the position. Then last summer, Jones hardly even factored into the competition to start, a job won by Walden. Now, the Packers appear ready to go back to Jones for Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Giants. Perhaps it’s a move out of desperation, but the Packers are hoping Jones can provide some juice in the pass rush and play solid against the run that Walden and Zombo have not. Jones started the regular-season finale against Detroit — his first start since Week 7 of the 2010 season — and had six sacks and his only sack of the season. Previously, he had played mostly on special teams. “Brad should get a good opportunity,” Capers said. “We looked at all three of those guys outside, and you’ll definitely see Brad play some in this game.”

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