Morning Buzz: Assessing the offseason
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab an extra strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
We’ll start with Ryan Wood’s latest, on the evolving interior of Dom Capers’ defense.
This change wasn’t overnight. Burnett played some nickel linebacker last season. Joe Thomas (6-1, 227) played the most snaps among inside linebackers because of injuries, though his original role was dime linebacker with Ryan and Martinez in nickel.
Jones represents the next step. He’s not unlike other hybrid safeties-inside linebackers around the league. Think Deion Jones (6-1, 221, 4.45) of the Atlanta Falcons and Deone Bucannon (6-1, 220, 4.49) of the Arizona Cardinals.
Now, there are a lot of moving parts in the middle of the Packers’ defense. It’s far too early to know how it all plays out, which is why reps will be interesting during next week’s organized team activities. The best guess is Ryan and Martinez still will be on the field in running situations, with one of them rotating to the sideline on passing downs.
I wrote on Mike McCarthy defending his decision to stick with Dom Capers:
Long time Packers personnel man Tim Terry is joining former Packers executive John Dorsey in Kansas City as the Chiefs director of pro personnel. Michael Cohen has the details:
Elsewhere, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has his offseason grades out for the NFC North. Barnwell gives the Packers a B- after assessing their moves in free agency and the draft.
While the entire piece is quite extensive, here’s a sampling of Barnwell on the Packers:
Linebacker could be a problem again.
Inside linebacker is hardly a new issue for the Packers, who seem vehemently opposed to ever investing on the interior. They are relatively deep with passable options, but Blake Martinez , Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas don't appear to offer a ton of upside. It wouldn't be a surprise to see second-round pick Josh Jones take snaps at inside linebacker against pass-happy teams like the Lions.
On the outside, depth is the issue. Clay Matthews is perennially an injury concern, although he made it through all 16 games in 2014 and 2015 before sitting out four games last season with a hamstring injury and playing in a reduced role later in the season thanks to a shoulder injury. On the opposite side, Nick Perry had an 11-sack season out of nowhere and picked up a five-year, $60 million extension.
Perry will earn $38.9 million over the first three years of the contract, but if he doesn't maintain his 2016 level of production, the Packers will be in rough shape. Julius Peppers returned to Carolina this offseason, and the only player the Packers brought in to replace him is Wisconsin product Vince Biegel , a fourth-round pick who profiles as a special-teamer. The role of rotation edge rusher will likely fall to 2016 third-rounder Kyler Fackrell , who played just 151 snaps as a rookie.
The Packers Wire gives us five things to know about Vince Biegel:
Rob Demovsky writes on the budding friendship between two rookie running backs:
Lombardi Ave. questions the depth at outside linebacker after Vince Biegel’s injury:
The Power Sweep wants to know, what’s the best Packers play you ever witnessed?
Bill Huber writes on Kevin King:
Aaron Rodgers spoke with reporters on the golf course about being a perfectionist: