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LB Smith looking for expanded role

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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If thePackers are looking †to get second-year linebacker D.J. Smith onto the field, their dime defense might be an avenue. Smith has been working as an every-down player with the No. 1 defense so far in camp because Desmond Bishop still is recovering from a pulled calf sustained late in his offseason training. Included in Smith's work with the No. 1 defense is as the lone inside linebacker, ahead of A.J. Hawk, in the team's dime package. Smith today said Bishop if healthy would be the dime linebacker with the starters. But with Bishop out indefinitely, Smith is getting a long look from defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who going into the season said he was looking to†get some of his top backups on the field in specific down-and-distance packages. If Smith plays well enough while Bishop is out, he at a minimum could play in some or all of the Packers' passing-down packages in the regular season. Another possibility is replacing Hawk and playing alongside Bishop in some of the team's nickel personnel groups. "As long as Iím going full speed and no mental errors, I think it will work out well," Smith said.  

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