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Jones, Lattimore adjust to new positions

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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When players change positions in mid-career, it can be an indication their chances of making the roster are slim. So when the Packers moved Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore to inside linebacker, it seemed to be a sign that the former outside linebackers are on shaky ground. Not so says their new position coach, inside linebackers coach Winston Moss. “They’ve shown a lot of promise,” Moss said during last week’s mandatory minicamp. Jones’ play on special teams — he tied for second on the team with 11 special teams tackles last season — gives him a leg up for a roster spot anyway, but Moss said he thinks Jones, who is entering his fourth NFL season, is a natural at inside linebacker. “He has a real good skill set from being able to blitz and fitting with the run,” Moss said. “He brings a lot to the table, so I’m very interested to see what happens when the pads go on.” Lattimore, who made the team last year as an undrafted rookie, was more of a project anyway at outside linebacker. A former defensive end in college at Middle Tennessee State, he played only 30 total snaps on defense last season, according to ProFootballFocus. He was active for nine games but in six of them played only on special teams. “Lattimore is a very talented kid; his skill set is a little more raw,” Moss said. “But there’s some things that he does that are so flawless and so effortless that we want to give this guy every benefit of the doubt and every chance in the world to try and show up and make some plays. He’s got a lot of talent. We’ve just got to develop it and be patient with him. If he puts it all together and really dials it in, he’s got some special qualities.” It’s a crowded group at inside linebacker. In addition to starters Desmond Bishop and AJ. Hawk, the Packers have Jones, Lattimore, D.J. Smith, Robert Francois and rookie fifth-round pick Terrell Manning.

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