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Article - Grading the Packers Defense

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Grading the Packers: The defense


    Defensive line

    Aaron Kampman, DE

    Broke the team record for tackles by a defensive lineman with 105 and
    improved his pass rush. Posted a career-high 6½ sacks and forced a team-high
    three fumbles. A high-effort guy who is scheduled to become an unrestricted
    free agent. He's the team's top priority to re-sign before March. Committed
    two penalties (one offsides and one roughing the quarterback).

    Grade: B


    Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, DE

    Failed to record double-digit sacks for the first time since his rookie
    season of 2000. After matching his career-high with 13½ sacks in 2004,
    managed only eight in '05. Teams often had success attacking his side on
    running plays. His salary will jump from $1 million in 2005 to $3.85 million
    in '06, so his production better increase, too. Had four offsides penalties,
    two fewer than last season.

    Grade: C


    Grady Jackson, DT

    Started slowly, perhaps because he missed all of training camp, but became
    the run-stopping defensive tackle he had been in previous years. Played in
    all 16 games for the first time since 2001. An unrestricted free agent who
    wants big money but probably won't get blockbuster deals like Sam Adams, Ted
    Washington and Pat Williams. The Packers wouldn't mind having him back for a
    contract similar to the two-year, $2.31 million he signed last time. Had
    four penalties (two for encroachment, one offsides and one neutral-zone
    infraction).

    Grade: C-plus



    Cullen Jenkins, DT

    Made perhaps the biggest one-year improvement of anyone on the roster.
    Started 12 games and proved to be sturdy against the run. Also had three
    sacks, blocked two PATs and a field goal, recovered one fumble and had seven
    pass defenses. Was not penalized.

    Grade: C-minus


    Colin Cole, DT

    Like Jenkins, took a big step from last year and was stout against the run.
    Was the highest-ranked non-starter on the team's tackle stats. He posted 62
    stops and had two sacks. Committed four penalties (two holds, one facemask
    and one running into the kicker).

    Grade: D-plus


    Mike Montgomery, DE

    Rookie showed flashes of pass-rush ability in limited play behind KGB. Had
    only one sack but probably will be thrust into a bigger role next season.
    Committed two penalties (one roughing the passer and one on special teams).

    Grade: D


    Donnell Washington, DE

    Was active only once (at Atlanta on Nov. 13) but didn't take any snaps. Hasn
    't played a down after missing all of his rookie season due to a foot
    injury.

    Grade: F


    Kenny Peterson, DT

    Came close to getting cut in training camp but finally found a home as an
    inside pass rusher and a backup defensive tackle. Had career highs in
    tackles (29) and sacks (three). Committed only one penalty on special teams.

    Grade: D


    Corey Williams, DT

    Productive season was derailed by strained calf muscle on Nov. 6 against
    Pittsburgh and missed the next four games. Still managed 34 tackles and two
    sacks in 12 games and has a promising future. Committed two penalties (one
    hold, one offsides).

    Grade: D-plus


    Linebackers

    Nick Barnett

    The third-year middle linebacker flourished under defensive coordinator Jim
    Bates, had his best season and established a club record with 196 tackles.
    Still had occasional mix-ups in coverage but had one interception, three
    passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Committed
    four penalties (two holds, one pass interference and one roughing the
    passer).

    Grade: C-plus


    Paris Lenon

    Started 12 games (seven at the strong-side position and five on the weak
    side) but probably should be a backup and a special-teams player. Played
    through two different hand injuries and ranked sixth on the team in tackles
    (79).

    Grade: D


    Robert Thomas

    Acquired from St. Louis for cornerback Chris Johnson on Sept. 3, Thomas
    probably was a one-year, stop-gap player at the weak-side spot. Without a
    training camp to learn Bates' system, Thomas was behind from the start.
    Missed six of the last seven games with a quadriceps injury. Committed two
    penalties (one pass interference, one illegal contact).

    Grade: D


    Na'il Diggs

    Started only six games because of a pair of medial collateral ligament
    sprains, the first on Aug. 8 and the second on Nov. 13. When healthy, didn't
    seem to fit into Bates' system. Because he's owed a $600,000 roster bonus in
    March and scheduled to make $2.3 million in '06, there's a good chance he
    will be released. Committed one illegal contact penalty.

    Grade: D-minus


    Roy Manning

    One of two undrafted free agents to make the team coming out of training
    camp, made two starts at the strong-side spot and occasionally subbed in on
    the nickel package. Didn't play as well as he did in the preseason but is
    considered a promising prospect.

    Grade: D


    Brady Poppinga

    One of the top special teams players, got into the mix as a third-down pass
    rusher in a 3-2 dime alignment and had two sacks. Sustained a torn anterior
    cruciate ligament on Dec. 11. Could have been a candidate to replace Diggs
    as the starting strong-side linebacker but probably won't be ready for the
    start of the '06 season.

    Grade: D-plus


    Kurt Campbell

    Rookie seventh-round draft pick tore his ACL on Aug. 1 and spent the rest of
    the season on injured reserve.

    Grade: Incomplete


    John Leake

    Claimed off waivers from Atlanta on Dec. 14 and played the final three
    games, mostly on special teams. Might get an invitation to training camp.

    Grade: Incomplete


    Atari Bigby

    Rookie was promoted from the practice squad for the last two regular-season
    games but was active for only one game. Small (5-foot-11, 218 pounds) for a
    linebacker.

    Grade: Incomplete


    Defensive backs

    Al Harris, CB

    Plays the position like a technician and regularly locked down opponents'
    best receivers. Didn't give up a touchdown pass until Week 15 at Baltimore.
    Moved inside at times to cover the slot receiver for the first time in his
    career. Cut his penalties in half from last season, committing six (two
    illegal hands to the face, two facemasks, one illegal contact, one hold).

    Grade: B-plus


    Ahmad Carroll, CB

    Was atrocious early in the season, lost his starting job for a week but got
    it back because Joey Thomas was no better. Penalty problems from a year ago
    continued in the first half of the season, when he committed 10 in the first
    eight games. Had only two in the second half of the year but still gave up
    too many big plays. Showed some promise late in the season as a kickoff
    returner. Committed 12 penalties (four pass interferences, three holds,
    three illegal hands to the face, one delay of game, one offsides).

    Grade: D-plus


    Mark Roman, S

    Improved his tackling from a year ago, finishing second to Barnett with 105
    stops, and had two interceptions but dropped several other potential
    interceptions. Another year under Bates might bring a similar improvement.
    Committed three penalties (one illegal contact, one pass interference, one
    hold).

    Grade: D-plus


    Nick Collins, S

    Rookie second-round pick used the combination of speed, power and smarts to
    be the team's second-best defensive back. Dropped several potential
    interceptions but looks like he has playmaking ability. Might be good enough
    to play cornerback someday. Committed two penalties (one unnecessary
    roughness, one on special teams).

    Grade: C


    Mike Hawkins, CB

    When healthy, the fifth-round draft pick was the nickel defensive back.
    Missed five games due to a variety of nagging injuries and never showed the
    play-making ability he did in the preseason. Rare combination of speed and
    ball skills makes him an intriguing prospect, but he's still a project. Did
    not commit a penalty.

    Grade: D


    Marviel Underwood, S

    Rookie fourth-round pick ended the season as the dime defensive back but
    rarely made plays on the ball. Looks like another Marques Anderson.
    Committed two penalties, both on special teams.

    Grade: D-minus


    Patrick Dendy, CB

    Rookie undrafted free agent was promoted from the practice squad for the
    final eight games but was inactive for four. Played mostly on special teams
    and occasionally in the dime.

    Grade: Incomplete


    Therrian Fontenot, CB

    Rookie spent the first 16 weeks on the practice squad but was promoted for
    the regular-season finale and played mostly on special teams.

    Grade: Incomplete


    Jerron Wishom, CB

    Rookie was promoted from the practice squad for the final six games and
    played mostly on special teams.

    Grade: Incomplete


    Jason Horton, CB

    Blew coverage on Minnesota's Koren Robinson in Week 11 and gave up a 35-yard
    completion that set up the game-winning field goal. Two days later was
    placed on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury.

    Grade: D-minus


    Jeremy Thornburg, S

    Claimed off waivers from San Francisco on Nov. 2 and looked like a
    special-teams demon until he injured his shoulder a month later.

    Grade: Incomplete

    ==================================

    I think this guy is bonkers..... opinions?
     
  2. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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  3. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    definitely bonkers, my friend. Al is an A++ with a smiley face. Although if I were teacher, id write "see me after class" roar.
     
  4. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    Pretty harsh for a defense that went from 27? to 7th in one year.
     
  5. JbShell

    JbShell Cheesehead

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    considering that sometimes what seperates 27 and 7th tends to be but 10-15yards I wold say the D gets a C plus as a whole which IMO is a huge up from the F last year.


    Offensively the Pack gets a D from me
     
  6. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    I read that article yesterday and meant to make a post about it. The grades are too harsh. Only two players got higher than C's, five of them got C's (of one kind or another), fourteen got D's, and there was one F. I'll grant that the defense was not as good as its ranking suggests, but it was an average defense anyway. So the grades should've averaged out to around a C. Al Harris deserved at least an A minus, if not an A. What more do they want from this guy? The following grades were also too low:

    Colin Cole: D+
    Kenny Peterson: D
    Cory Williams: D+
    Paris Lenon: D
    Na'ill Diggs: D-
    Brady Poppinga: D
    Mark Roman: D+

    I mean, c'mon, these guys were all in the C range. D is for "bad," and none of them played badly.

    In the offensive grades, I was also annoyed with the D+ plus that they gave to Antonio Chatman. He did a decent job filling in for injured starters. Give the guy a C, for crying out loud. When they mentioned his punt return average, they said that it was "skewed" by his 85 yard TD return, as if that shouldn't count.

    The Press-Gazette is always harsh with their end-of-season grades. They just get nasty for some reason.
     
  7. CalifPacker

    CalifPacker Cheesehead

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    That's a lot of D's for a much improved defense. Think that guy didn't see last years D.
     
  8. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    No way does Kampman get a better grade then Grady...

    (Kampman is a mediocre overachiever...Grady is a run stopping force that shouldn't be underestimated.....)

    (This guy's a tool...)

    People who write articles like this never played the game.....
     
  9. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    I have one observation after mulling it over thru dinner....

    The guy that wrote this, is not exactly a Packer fan.... ya think? (Seriously)
     
  10. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    I'm wondering if the dude even saw these guys play.
     
  11. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Is that the Rob Demervsky guy? I read a packers special pullout in the paper I think Sunday that I didn't much care for.
     
  12. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    This idiot gave Barnett a higher grade than he did for Collins. That right there, IMO, should render his entire analysis without any merit whatsoever.
     
  13. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Grady deserved at least a B, but Kampman earned his B. Up till this year I thought he was mediocre, but now he's developed a pass rush. He is actually a good DE now who will draw interest from other teams as a free agent. Thompson needs to hang onto him.
     
  14. PackwillBEback

    PackwillBEback Cheesehead

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    Ahmad Carrol=F-----

    But the guy is whack...
     
  15. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    Low turnovers forced via fumbles and interceptions put it in the bottom 25%

    Lack of sacks and QB pressures by the D-line a big factor. The D needs help.

    The D-line is where the previous GM failed with Jamal Reynolds, Joe Johnson, Hunt, Peterson, Washington, Tru-Luck, got Vonnie Holiday mad enough to leave, etc.

    Will Kampmann sign a TED contract? He signed a Viking one that was matched. DE prospects are a strength of the draft where the Packers 1st pick is located.

    Grady is too old to be wanted by TED. KGB has proven too small with a tendency to go inside taking himself out of the play or the offense using his speed against him with a screen pass.

    The D-line must improve.

    Now the secondary has improved scheme-wise from a dismal 04. Collins will improve and Underwood might as well.
    I do not believe the Packers will be Super Bowl caliber with Carroll starting. This draft has few good CB's so the Packers are likely to suffer with him another year. The D-line is higher priority.

    LB's will likely lose Diggs and not have Poppinga for awhile. Barnett looks small and unable to shed OL blockers. LB's are relatively cheap and should be acquired at a reasonable price in free agency.

    Quite frankly the entire draft could go to defense. Let's look at the draft.

    DE- Kampmann if signed will lessen the need for more than one but a good #3 DE is needed who will eventually replace KGB. #1 pick?? possible.

    DT- Grady Jackson's roster spot must be replaced and it won't be bust Washington. #2 pick??

    LB- Diggs and his 3+ million contract will be a cap casualty. Poppinga may be on PUP. This appears to be a good deep draft for LB's. Good value will be found in later rounds. Hawk if available will be tempting but look for fourth round(102 pick depending on compensatory pick(s))

    Safety- A #4 will be added behind Roman, Collins and Underwood. This could be a free agent such Little or late round pick.

    CB- With other priorities it may not get addressed properly this year.
    Possible project like Hawkins drafted but I doubt it.

    If no trades, I think 1st round DE, 2nd round DT, 3rd round OG, 4th round LB, 5th round LB (maybe RB, OT, WR??), 7th round lucky grab bag pick.

    It would be nice if Bates and his staff are retained.
     
  16. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    I would agree with most of this - good post, btw - but, I beg to differ on Peterson(98) and as well as the outlook on Holliday.

    Didn't Vonnie have a lot of money coming his way? He got offered a pretty lucrative contract to go to KC(?) wasn't it... He's over at the Eagles right now, I think. Just the same, I haven't heard the Sports Reporters knockin' everyone down with reports of him being the next Howie Long, etc. Vonnie was one of the better ones we had 'at that time' - but Sherman was NOT a good money manager, and VH went where the $$$$$ was. I wasn't aware that he left for any other reason(s) than that.

    Personally, I like Peterson - he has actually improved probably moreso than any other Player with the Bates scheme. I'd like to see GB keep him around for another year or two and see what happens - he's a pretty big guy; got to meet him outside the gates at Lambeau the Saturday morning before the game against the Steelers.

    I prefer to watch the scrimmage line moreso than wherever the camera forces you to watch the ball - and Peterson was holdin' his own more often than not.
     
  17. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    No Kidding DePack, the improvements here were fantastic for one year.
     
  18. HatestheEagles084

    HatestheEagles084 Cheesehead

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    Grady can be a run stopping force like in some games...or he can fade like in other games

    the fact that Mike Montgomery got a D...he hasnt played long enough to piss someone off that much, Montgomery did positive things in his 8-12 plays a game
     
  19. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    IPBprez,

    While I agree on with what you said about Peterson, his contract will be running out. I believe the new D line coaches are better than Jethro and are working well with Kenny, Corey, Cullen, and Colin. Peterson did not get proper coaching.

    Holliday signed with KC for less money than was offered in Green Bay. I believe he was upset with big money going to less productive players like Johnson, Reynolds et al.

    A high #1 is so expensive you should not pick where it affects the locker room. That's why DE makes sense. Kampmann if he signs with Green Bay will have a nice contract. KGB has a good contract.
    Peterson is restricted and Montgomery is in year two. A big money rookie least affects team here.
     

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