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Highly paid Gbaja-Biamila has reduced role as specialist

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Green Bay - Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is caught in a Catch-22 as he prepares for his 100th game in the National Football League.







    The Green Bay Packers' veteran defensive end wants to be on the field for every play but acknowledges that he might be just as productive, if not more so, as a pass-rushing specialist.

    And if less is indeed more, "KGB" likely will have to settle for a situational role after starting 60 of the last 61 games, including all 13 this season at right end.

    Defensive line coach Carl Hairston indicated that 305-pound Cullen Jenkins, who replaced the 250-pound Gbaja-Biamila on early downs and was effective against the run in the Packers' 30-19 victory over San Francisco, would start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

    "It could be a permanent thing," Hairston said.

    Gbaja-Biamila, who has 63½ career sacks and is five away from the late Reggie White's team record of 68½, seems to be taking his demotion in stride. He was upbeat in the locker room Thursday and insisted that he would make the most of whatever playing time he got.

    "Right now, this is the situation I'm in," he said. "I'm content with that and I'm going to try to be faithful with it. If they want me to play 100 snaps, I'll do that and be very faithful with that.

    "Of course, I'd like more opportunities. This means I just have to do everything with less opportunities."

    Gbaja-Biamila started in the base 4-3 defense against the 49ers and was single-blocked by tight end Vernon Davis on the first two rushes, which totaled 78 yards. Frank Gore ran through Gbaja-Biamila's attempted tackle on his second carry and the play ruptured into a 72-yard gain, the longest rush against Green Bay since 1998.

    After that, Jenkins played end on most early downs the rest of the way and Gore gained only 52 more yards in 17 carries.

    "I probably consider myself more of a tackle," Jenkins said. "But I actually like being able to play both and get out there and show my skills at end, as well. I try to help wherever I'm called on to help. If it's being more stout against the run or whatever, that's what I'm going to try to do."

    Gbaja-Biamila wound up playing 13 snaps in each half for a total of 26, or 47.3% of the downs. In the first 12 games he had played 77% of the downs.

    On the plus side, he said he thought the reduced role helped him on passing downs because he had more energy and was able to get off the ball quicker. He did not have a sack but was credited with four hurries and three tackles.

    "I definitely felt fresher," he said. "I think that's just the law of averages. . . . If you play less snaps you're going to feel more fresh. It allows me to get off the ball, so there's some pluses. There's some negatives, but there's a lot of pluses."

    Hairston said Gbaja-Biamila was willing to accept a reduction in playing time if it would help the team.

    "He's a true professional," Hairston said. "We've talked about it and whatever role you get, you've got to accept that role and play to the best of your ability. That's what he's doing."

    Gbaja-Biamila said being a pass-rush specialist also would help his game because he would not have to worry as much about stopping the run.

    "When you're playing every down you've got to play within the scheme of the defense," he said. "If you're playing every down and you anticipate run you play the run first. If it turns out to be a pass or play-action, then you react to it. But if it's an obvious passing down, you play the pass and if it's a run you react to the run. So there's two types of thinking.

    "Now that I'm a situational player I can focus on playing the pass every time I'm out there. I don't care if it's first down and short, I'm playing pass and I'm going to react to the run. So I am going to get off differently. To me, every time I'm out there my ears are already pinned back."

    Since 2001, Gbaja-Biamila has 62 sacks, fifth among active players. He has three years left on his contract after this season and is scheduled to make $5 million in 2007.

    If his role as a situational player becomes permanent, the Packers could ask him to take a pay cut.

    "If that comes, I'll deal with it accordingly, just like any type of challenges or major changes in your life," he said. "You just deal with it and you pray about it. I'd talk to my wife and we'd pray about it and I'd talk to my agent and we'd just move accordingly.

    "It might not ever happen. The salary cap is going up, too. I could sit here and be worrying about something that may never happen."

    In the meantime, Gbaja-Biamila is preparing to play in his 100th game as a pro. He learned about the impending milestone Thursday.

    "I didn't know it was 100 games," he said. "It's good that I've been blessed to play that many games in the NFL. The average (career) in the NFL is three years and I've surpassed that by four years by God's grace. I'm just thankful I've been able to play the game that long."
     
  2. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I have always liked KGB and his attitude, and this just goes to show he is a professional and will act like one...He should take a pay cut cuz if he truly is only going to play like half the snaps as before, it only makes sense

    even tho mostly everything thinks he was not doing well agaisnt the run its about time something was done to fix it..
     
  3. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    i have a fee1ing this is KGB's last season as a Packer
     
  4. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    dead wrong. hes awsome man. I love him almost as much as Ahman Green!
     
  5. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    maybe if they ask him to take a pay cut and he refuses...
     
  6. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Why is he wrong? He's likely right unless KGB takes a pay cut. They won't pay a specialist that kind of money.
     
  7. flapackfan

    flapackfan Cheesehead

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    Did anyone see that 49er game? KGB got run over in that first quarter. The guy can not stop the run. First he got blown off the ball, then he had Frank Gore completely wraped up with both his arms around him and Gore ran through him and proceded to scamper another 65 yards down field. He may be a very nice guy but he is a huge liability vs the run.
     
  8. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    I thought this too until I read an article about how important a pass rusher can be and mean to a team.

    I think if he proves very effective in the role these last few games we will pay him the 5 mil simply because we have the space an need the pass rusher.
     
  9. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    This may or may not make sense to some of you, but the problem that KGB has is that the poor guy got miscast by Mike Sherman. I don't think there were many people in or out of football that didn't realize that KGB's strength was as a pass rushing defensive end. The problem was that Mike Sherman miscast him when he paid him that huge contract. Because making that kind of money also meant he had to be an every down player. That's not KGB's strength. That poor guy has been getting run over for years. Every coach who coaches against us knows that they're going to run the ball over KGB. I love KGB and I love his motor. I really think that he can have a long career if he only has to play on passing downs, because that is where he will make his impact. Right now he's not an impact player because his weaknesses over shadow his strengths.
     
  10. flapackfan

    flapackfan Cheesehead

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    Hmmm........

    Your exactly right. When he first came out he was an End/linebacker type who could rush the passer. Now he got a big contract and alot of people (myself inlcuded) forgot that and want more production. I guess since Reggie White people want an all around stud in Green Bay but those guys are very rare.

    I like KGB alot more now that you wrote that, thanks.
     
  11. GakkofNorway

    GakkofNorway Cheesehead

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    I propose restructure contract or cut him.
     

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