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Bigby to Attack?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Another canidate?

    Bigby to Attack?

    Battle station
    Bigby vying to start at safety
    By LORI NICKEL
    lnickel@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: June 7, 2007
    Green Bay - Atari Bigby is a fighter. Even his name - Atari - loosely translates to mean "attack" in Japanese.

    So it didn't seem off the wall that when discussing his playing style, the third-year Green Bay safety borrowed a line from the film "300":

    "The greatest honor is to die in battle."

    Bigby laughed and must have felt the need to explain.

    "It's a macho thing."

    Actually, it's a competition thing. For all his scrapping, the 25-year-old undrafted free agent might have landed in a battle for a starting job.

    Less than two months from the start of Packers training camp, there is some speculation about whether the Packers will make a change at safety. Bigby, 5 feet 11 inches and 211 pounds, is healthy, physical and pressing a group of young, inexperienced but promising group of defensive backs who have caught the eye of coach Mike McCarthy for the entire off-season.

    "I don't know what I am pushing on the field, but when I am out there I feel like a starter," Bigby said Thursday after the Packers completed their second organized team activity practice open to reporters in the Don Huston Center.

    Lapses by safeties
    Last season, the Packers were solid in pass defense, thanks to the defensive line's pass rush, cornerback Al Harris clamping down on the opponents' top receiver and cornerback Charles Woodson's eight interceptions.

    If the Packers did get beat, it was usually the linebackers who caught the blame, or the safeties. Veteran Marquand Manuel, the Packers' free-agent pickup last year, and Nick Collins gave up 9½ touchdowns combined. Manuel's share - 5½ - was the most by any Packers safety from 1994-2006.

    Manuel had just one interception and knocked down four passes. Nagged by early injuries, he missed 15 tackles, the most on the team. However, he did lead all Green Bay defensive backs with a career-high 103 tackles.

    "Marquand started 16 games for us last year," said Green Bay assistant coach Lionel Washington, who has built a reputation for developing young defensive backs. "You've got to put a lot of stock in that, also. The guy played well for us last year and he's going to come back and play hard for us this yearHe's going to come out and play hard and do what it is going to take to win a spot on this team. I think there's no better love than competition. Guys can go out and compete; they know that the jobs are up and out there. That's why guys are getting good, because of the competition out there and they know there's a vacancy for jobs."

    Not getting in depth
    Washington wouldn't get into jockeying positions on the depth chart just yet, but he did say Manuel had competition in Bigby.

    "Of course, there is competition," Washington said. "Everything will be up to Marquand and the way he handles himself and Bigby and the way he handles himself."

    On Thursday, Manuel declined to comment.

    Bigby joined the Packers' practice squad in November 2005 after tryouts with Miami and the New York Jets.

    In 2006, he led the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe with 61 tackles. But he came back to Green Bay and broke his hand while making a tackle during the Family Night scrimmage early in training camp. He needed surgery and didn't get promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster until Week 10. Even then, a hamstring injury sidelined him for two late games.

    He has no such burdens of playing catch-up now. Playing on the second-string defense in practice, behind Manuel and Collins, he can demonstrate that he's more of a well-rounded player.

    "Last year I was in Europe so I didn't have this time to get to know the system," Bigby said. "This year I feel like I know what is going on.

    "I'm not afraid of anything. In college I was put into a situation where I had to be a bloody-type player. I was put in the box a lot. But now I am showing that I can play in space. I am smart enough."

    Going way back
    Bigby and Manuel went to Miami Senior High School together (Manuel was two years ahead). They are workout partners this off-season.

    "I know his work ethic and I know his intentions, and those are good," Bigby said.

    But Bigby said he was also ready for playing time. The knock on him is that he has played in just six NFL games to Manuel's 75.

    "Seeing things at full speed. Once he gets a feel for that, everything is going to take care of itself," Washington said. "Mentally, he's sharp. You can tell just by his instincts, the way he runs the defense, he makes all the checks back there. He's sharp in the classroom.

    "The way he displayed some things last year, I think he could be that type of player. I think he could be that type of punishing player where the receiver goes across the middle, he's going to put something on him."
     
  2. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    He led with 103 tackles, no ****! They knew he was the weakness so they kept throwing it towards his area!

    edit, that's about Manuel
     

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