GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers are rotating their young defensive linemen consistently early in training camp with a clear emphasis on developing their interior pass rush.
Mike Daniels has carried the Packers' interior pass rush for years. In Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry, the Packers hope they’re finally starting to find more defensive linemen who can shoot gaps and push the pocket.
The Packers, playing two linemen in their nickel, have alternated Clark and Lowry alongside Daniels throughout camp. At times, they’ve allowed the two second-year linemen to share the field in nickel with Daniels on the sideline.
For Clark, a first-round pick last season, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said pass rush remains a work in progress.
“Whether he’s in on third down or whatever,” Trgovac said, “coming from the nose and that tilt position (shaded on the center’s shoulder), it’s more of a challenge to rush from that tilt than it is to rush from a wider position in there. But I think he’s still working on it, getting better at it. He certainly has the ability to work it. He’s quick. He’s got some good quickness in there.”
Trgovac said Lowry’s versatility can be an important asset. He continues to play throughout the defensive line, something he started as a rookie. The Packers like Lowry’s length, despite 31-inch arms that are shorter than standard for defensive ends lining up across offensive tackles.
“He can play outside and go inside and do some things in there with his movements,” Trgovac said. “Just his length helps him a bunch. He’s a good football player. And I know his arms didn’t measure the longest out of the scouting combine, but his overall length is very good. And you’ve got all that.”
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