Brice catching on in Packers' secondary
GREEN BAY - Unless you're an astute follower of the dime package in the Green Bay Packers' defensive scheme, you probably haven't noticed Kentrell Brice.
But that doesn't mean others haven't.
Most notably, defensive coordinator Dom Capers and safeties coach Darren Perry.
Brice, an undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech, defied all odds and won a spot on a roster full of talented safeties and cornerbacks. He seemed headed for special teams work at best and the weekly inactive list at worst during his rookie season.
However, he has been active all three games and has made his way into the dime package both as a sub when Morgan Burnett sat out against Detroit and as a regular when Burnett moves into a linebacker role.
The 5-11, 200-pound Brice, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds and registered a 42-inch vertical at his pro day, has played 30 snaps from scrimmage. He has only one tackle, but the coaches trust him.
"I think he had probably as good a camp as anybody we have on defense," Perry said. "I think he’s earned that right to get out there and get snaps. We’re just trying to find ways to get our best guys out there on the field.
"He’s certainly earned that and we’re hoping to get more out of him, and I’m hoping to get the same type of play we got in the preseason. He knows what he’s doing and he certainly has the ability."
Brice was on the field when Detroit's Marvin Jones scored on a 73-yard pass down the sideline in the final minute of the first half. Brice moved up to cover a route in front of him and left rookie Josh Hawkins to cover Jones.
Hawkins tripped and then slowed down because he thought Jones had stepped out of bounds. Brice was correct in his decision to cover the route in front of him, but he also slowed down and then couldn't recover in time to bring Jones down.
"We have to hustle through the play and finish, which has been one of our mantras for the whole offseason in terms or finishing plays, pursuit, the whole deal," Perry said. "That was nothing more than a guy relaxing a little bit and kind of taking it for granted that one guy was going to make the (tackle). He’s got to finish through the ball."