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AJ's Future

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Ted's Zombie Army, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Ted's Zombie Army

    Ted's Zombie Army Cheesehead

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    Well, one of the things that stuck out for me from the Arizona playoff game were the glaring missed tackles by AJ Hawk. I saw two that would have stopped drives. I'm not putting the loss solely on him but it brought to mind something I had noticed before .

    Like Kampman, I think AJ is a good player, but a fish out of water on the 3-4 defense. He doesn't quite have the speed to defend the open space. Because we have some depth at linebacker, and because he's near the end of his contract, do you think he would be a candidate to offer in a potential trade for an o-lineman or d-back?
     
  2. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    And the last 4 seasons?

    To be blunt, A.J. is nothing more than Average (and I'm being nice) at best in all categories: Speed/Pursuit, Tackling Ability, and Coverage.

    I was thinking about this a few days ago as well. I even made a post in the Draft section. I was thinking one possibility might be to unload Hawk, Kampman, and a decent draft pick as a package for an established Offensive Tackle (Joe Thomas would be a dream but I doubt that would happen) and maybe a lower (6,7) draft pick. As you said, our linebackers are pretty deep, I think we can afford to put Hawk on the block.
     
  3. JamesCA

    JamesCA Cheesehead

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    I think it's possible he could be trade bait but he has shown himself to be a solid player. I think as a #1 draft choice the expectations were for him to be an Urlacher which he's not but he's played well if not spectacularly. The question would be if after a full year in the 3-4 he can fit in. He's played better in the second half of the season. As far as blown plays, well Barnett ran after the wrong guy in coverage on a touchdown so only Matthews played really well and it was obvious they tired him out towards the end of the game by blitzing him all the time.
     
  4. DILLIGAFF

    DILLIGAFF Cheesehead

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    I have been critical of Hawk for the past 2 years, I admit I got on his bandwagon the second half of the season. He is a great team mate, but he is an average player with as many strong suits as weaknesses.

    For this team and defense to take it up another notch we need a dynamic player at the inside LB position. I believe our secondary is taking a lot of blame for that playoff loss when our front 7 was not able to stop the run or put pressure on Warner. We have one good pass rusher with our starting LBs (Mathews). Jones will improve with an off season NFL workout program. I think Hawk and Barnett are who they are.

    Combine this with Hawk's big contract and Chillar being resign, I say he would be good trade bait to get a veteran Left tackle. Say Hawk and Nelson plus a 2nd round pick or something.

    In the draft you pick the best player available, if that happens to be an inside LB this year, that would be great.

    Improvement in our pass rushing from our front 7 will make a lot of the problems in our secondary go away with the talent we already have. Our pass rushing/blitzing was a concern for Dom Capers against the vikings, Steelers, and the Cardinals. That was a major weakness that Dom struggled with when he faced a good QB.

    An example of Dom Capers concerns about Hawk's effectiveness can be illustrated in the first Lions game where Hawk (healthy) only got 9 reps in a shut out. A 6 million dollar man sitting the bench.
     
  5. dansz15

    dansz15 Cheesehead

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    I actually am interested in seeing Bishop getting in the mix a little bit more... He seems like he could be decent. I love Barnett but he is not an effective blitzer and is good at what he does which is helping plug the middle. I think Brad Jones showed flashes of potential starting ability this year doing what everyone hoped Kampman would.

    Long story short, I think another ILB wouldn't hurt them, in fact I think AJ should be dealt but to be we don't make these decisions. Lets just hope we get an o lineman and some depth at anywhere in the DB's for next season. I have a website that in a month or so has an in depth look at all the decent prospects in the draft if anyone is interested in seeing what is out there. I just don't want to spam the thread with another site.
     
  6. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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    Dansz i look forward to the website. I have to agree that AJ hasn't really met expectations ever since we drafted him. Bishop is probably the most underrated player on our roster. He shows his brilliance in the preseason every single year but never gets the chance. Though i am a bit skeptical though, he didn't really fit in well in '08 when barnett went down.
     
  7. GBFANATIC

    GBFANATIC Cheesehead

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    Awesome forum. Im looking forward to having many great discussions with you fellow Packer Backers.... onto the topic at hand...
    I completely agree with Mr.Stylez in that AJ is average at best. Don't get me wrong, I like AJ. He is a leader within our organization but when it comes to fixing our problems and finding those "pieces" we need to perfect our team next year AJ may not be part of the answer. His best season statistically (feel free to debate) was his rookie year with 3.5 sacks, 112 unnassisted tackles, 43 assisted, 2 picks, 1 ff, 2 recovered and 9 passes defended. In the same 4-3 scheme the next two years he was limited to approximately 80 tackles each season and totaled 4 sacks over the 2 seasons. He only had one interception and 4 passes defended in that same 4-3 scheme. The 3-4 switch is a little tough to analyze after one season, but I will anyways. Aj had 67 unassisted and 22 assisted tackles, 1 SACK, 2 interceptions, and 4 passes defended, with 0 FF. I watched every Green Bay game this season either on tv or when I went to Lambeau and consistently saw AJ fail to make the big hits and consistently saw him getting outran and missing tackles on pursuits. Thankfully a new star emerged in Matthews. Barnett still seems to produce consistent results. We do have depth with Chillar and Jones at LB as well. If I'm not mistaken, AJ will be coming up on a contract year (which we all know players tend to give it their all to get that extra buck). If we decide to keep him he needs to refind himself in the offseason and come back and make the big hits that we expected out of him.
     
  8. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    Jones has made more of a positive impression on me in his rookie year than Mr. 5th overall ever has. I also forgot to mention the most notable and obvious of his flaws was being about to get off of blocks. Blockers seem to own AJ. Sorry if there are Hawk lovers reading this, but I'm just being honest.
     
  9. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

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    Did anyone else notice in the Seahawks game just before his INT he put his hands up?
    It's like he was signaling to the QB "Throw it here. I'm open!" And then it was thrown to him!
     
  10. ThinkICare

    ThinkICare Cheesehead

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    "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel expects the Packers to replace AJ Hawk as the team's starting middle linebacker this offseason.

    Hawk finished 2009 with 89 tackles, but made few big plays and was often beaten in coverage. Brandon Chillar and Desmond Bishop are in-house options to take over, especially if Hawk refuses a cut from his $4.1M salary."


    Anyone see that? IDK if it's that news worthy since it's just an opinion from 1 Wisconsin news source.
     
  11. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    Definitely news worthy. Thanks for posting that. But, it says nothing about a trade. Not starting him doesn't really do anything. There's more value in a trade than keeping him on the bench. Again, not really going to get much in return for him alone. He would need to be parlayed with a draft pick or another player.

    Also.. Someone suggested putting A.J. with Jordy Nelson. I have to disagree for the fact I don't think we should take away weapons. I think Jordy will be a great weapon in fact. I hope no one is judging him on his kick return ability. I'm sure it's not his choice. The kid has great hands and good speed. Rodgers said he wants Tauscher back. I agree. Clifton? Not so much. He is a injury prone guy much more than Tauscher is. And If Aaron made it known he wants Tauscher to stay, by all means TT needs to resign him. Especially since many of us will agree Tauscher is one of the team MVP's of the season.
     
  12. PackerManLV

    PackerManLV Cheesehead

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    Damn, I thaught I was the only to see this, gosh in coverage he reads the rb to late and when he tries to jam the tight end of the line it seems like he gets muscled. Also when he blitz he never gets off blocks kind of annoying to me. Am I the only one seeing this or am I trippin.
     
  13. DILLIGAFF

    DILLIGAFF Cheesehead

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    Where there is smoke there is fire.
     
  14. Ted's Zombie Army

    Ted's Zombie Army Cheesehead

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    While Barnett may be not a great in size, he still can run guys down and make plays. I'd like to go back to the Pac-10 for linebackers because they play in a conference that is all about speed and athleticism. That seems to be the ticket in the 3-4 and in the league in general. I think you could package AJ with a guy like Donald Lee to get the help we really need at O-tackle or D-back.

    That's an interesting thing that Aaron said about Tauscher. I think you have to find a way to resign Mark. He had a good comeback year, but more importantly, he can really help the younger lineman with their game.
     
  15. dansz15

    dansz15 Cheesehead

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    nfldraftcountdown.com

    in a month or so they will begin to have in depth player analysis and projections. Great site, shows pretty much all your options and great to have up during the draft.
     
  16. DILLIGAFF

    DILLIGAFF Cheesehead

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    I don't think Barnett is the answer, but we can't clean house. He has a big contract also but fits the 3-4 scheme better IMO than Hawk. I think Barnett pared with a quicker and more dynamic player would be an improvement over this year. Kind of like getting a star receiver makes all the other receivers look and play better. Barnett may be better next year going into the second year after the knee injury.

    I think in the draft/Trade/free agency we should get the biggest impact player at Out or Inside LB. We could have average inside LB play if we get another true pass rusher opposite of Clay Mathews. And I mean true impact player, anything less and I will take my chances with Brad Jones, I know he can handle the job and his potential is unknown.

    I truly believe if we get another stud at LB, most of our secondary problems will go away. I believe there is a cause and effect relationship, and the secondary has taken a lot of heat for the poor play of our front 7 at times.

    If no true impact player at LB can be acquired, then you go for a CB or Safety.
     
  17. ThinkICare

    ThinkICare Cheesehead

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  18. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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    A ILB that would really fit in with our 3-4 is Pat Angerer from Iowa. The guy reads coverage like a DB and that's why he gets interceptions, something that fits in with the trend in our defense. He is a bit undersized but could definitely make a London Fletcher type of impact for his stature.
     
  19. DILLIGAFF

    DILLIGAFF Cheesehead

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    I agree there are more options in this draft than going after a safety or CB to help our defense.

    You bring up a good point, Hawk and Barnett where picked to play a different kind of defensive scheme. Round peg square hole thing. A different kind of LB with DB skills fits this defense better than what Hawk or for that matter Barnett possess.
     
  20. Ted's Zombie Army

    Ted's Zombie Army Cheesehead

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    I saw Angerer in Madison against the Badgers. He does have very good drop back skills. Totally messed up the middle for Wisconsin that day.
     
  21. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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    Barnett actually fits perfectly in our defense. The reason why I mentioned Angerer in my other post is because linebacker coverage matters a lot when you're playing in the 3-4. Barnett isn't a linebacker known for his pass rush but more for his ability to cover man-man. He currently leads all young linebackers with 9 career interceptions since 2003. However the thing that with the 3-4 that we aren't looking at is the defensive line. There are going to be instances much like we saw in the vikings games and the wild card playoffs that for experienced qb's you need to cover the ENTIRE field. In order to do that you have to send your entire crew of LB's and Db's for coverage and rely only on a 3 man pass rush. Infortunately we can't bring pressure with only 3 guys, that is what is hurting us more than just Hawk blowing his assignments or even Jarret Bush. The Packers need to figure out how to bring the heat when everyone is dropping off. We know what blitzing clay and chillar gets you but now you have to work backwards so you can get everyone to cover while you front 3 gets the job done.
     
  22. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    Barnett is a top 10 or 12 linebacker.. not sure why anyone would wanna get rid of him. :dontknow: Plus no one mentioned his value to the Defense leadership wise. He's a very vocal leader out there. I see Raji becoming one of those too.. Man I can't wait til next season.
     
  23. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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    Well Green Bay also needs another safety to compete with Bigby right? Anyone up for a little reunion? Darren Sharper and Anthony Smith are both free agents next season.
     
  24. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    It may sound stupid, but I am hoping Brandon Underwood will turn out to be a good surprise for us. He is a true Safety after all, not a CB.
     
  25. cantstop12to85

    cantstop12to85 Cheesehead

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    I like the sound of that...underwood is a quick dude and he relly is a safety at heart but i feel like he didnt get a lot of chances to prove himself this year, but when he did he showed a ton of potential. Also, getting rid of Barnett would be god awful for our d, did anyone notice how bad we were last year wen he tore his acl and was out all season. He is a developed young leader and commands the field wen he's on it, and the other players WANT to listen to him and do thats what has made us successful, tho his pass coverage could sometimes use some work he's a truly solid tackler and most definitely a keeper.

    Now Hawk on the other hand could stand to be replaced and has been fighting with mediocrity for the past couple seasons.The man who has shown the best qualities at the position (in house) would have to be Brad Jones. The man has shown that he can penetrate a professional O line and hes just a young blood. Give this guy a couple more years and he'll be a machine. Desmond Bishop has been around for a couple years and hasnt gotten to many shots because of AJ's presence and Im not so sure how well he will do but i cant really judge the guy till ive seen him play against some talented squads.
     

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