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Risking the Wrath of the Hodge lovers: A glance at the LBs..

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Bruce, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    It is nice to be debating which of the talented young LB will emerge into players
    and how much playing time each will earn from hard fought competition.
    At the very worst Hodge provides quality depth and special team competition.
    [​IMG]
    No one on this squad is going to dislodge Barnett from the middle.
    He has performed well each season without much help and is still loaded with upside.
    He has been a Pro Bowl alternate each season -
    - this should be the season that he gets the nod outright.
    [​IMG]
    Hawk is going to be a lock for the WLB position, and barring injury
    (knock on wood) he will be there producing for years to come.
    [​IMG]
    I think Poppinga 6-3 245, when (if) fully recovered is an exciting SLB.
    However, his injury will likely set him back.
    He may even have to start the season on the PUP list,
    but by season's end I expect him to be claiming the position.
    [​IMG]
    I'm guessing that Taylor 6-2, 240 holds down the job until he is ready...
    [​IMG]
    ... but would not be completely shocked if Manning beat him out -
    - the leap forward in maturation from rookie to 2nd year player is often huge in the NFL.
    [​IMG]

    I also would not be totally shocked if Hodge dislodged both,
    but I would be surprised -- esp since it would mean starting two rookies on the outside -
    - so I predict he backs up Barnett.

    It is a nice problem to have -- talent that makes choosing your starting LB a true competition.
    That is not a problem the Packers have faced in many years.

    This does not even factor in added long shot competition like
    Kurt Campbell 6-1 227 23,
    Kevin Schimmelmann 6-3 228 20,
    Byron Santiago 6-1 242 20,
    Tracy White 6-0 236 25

    Young hungry LB -- you gotta love it
     
  2. NDPackerFan

    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Poppinga IMO is going to be a very good player. Sounds like he may be recovered already from his knee and is chomping at the bit to get back on the field! Hawk has all the tools to be the next big thing of LB's in the NFC and maybe the NFL...Barnett has been real solid in the middle up to this point.

    I know I'll be chastised for saying this, but if Hodge is what they say he is...shouldn't Barnett move to the outside and allow his speed to take over? Just a thought....now let the bashing begin. :)
     
  3. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Barnett will never be moved (in GB).

    It is discussed EVERY year...

    and EVERY YEAR, GB and Barnett say that he isn't moving...

    but that never stops people from talking about it.
     
  4. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    If Poppinga turns out to be a player I will be surprised. I still believe that Barnett is out of place as the middle linebacker. I do think Hodge is going to be a player and good one. He's got a nose for the ball, is smart, and is relentless in pursuit.
     
  5. billv

    billv Cheesehead

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    next year, our LBs will be Barnett, Hawk and Hodge, but I think Hodge won't see a lot of playing time this year until about mid season.
     
  6. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    Like Tauscher.
     
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    Be prepared to be surprised. Poppinga was a monster on special teams and had just claimed the starting job after a two sack performance when he went down to injury.

    I know you and a good number of fans think Barnett is out of place in the middle, but that is not an opinion shared by Donatell, Slowik, Bates or Bob Sanders -- all guys who make a pretty decent living making such evlauations.

    Like I said I like Hodge and believe he will eventually be a solid NFL LB, but he is small, not particularly fast and could use adjusting to the NFL before being pushed into the lineup.
     
  8. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    IMO I have always wondered why Poppinga wasn't used as a DE. We lacked depth last year at DE, and I thought Poppinga was a player who had a motor, quick first step, and above all else a lot of smarts (like Kampman) to make a difference at DE. I really think LB is not the best position for him, especially now since we have so much depth there.

    But I am no DC, they must have their reasons.
     
  9. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Nice post, Bruce.
     
  10. pyledriver80

    pyledriver80 Cheesehead

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    Boy, Ben Taylor is getting no love. Taylor is a poor mans AJ Hawk. I think he will surprise many of you this year. Hodge will back up Barnett. Poppinga may push Taylor for the job if he is healty and Manning islooking really good.
     
  11. GakkofNorway

    GakkofNorway Cheesehead

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    lol I love that poor mans AJ Hawk comment! :D
     
  12. calicheesehead

    calicheesehead Cheesehead

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    The fact that a player like Hodge will be a backup demonstrates the strenth of this LB group. I can't wait to see our D in action this preseason.
     
  13. paxvogel

    paxvogel Cheesehead

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    I think our defense will be better although the DL is still only average. We will be better in secondary and LB and have more depth but rookies seldom do much the first half of the season, takes a while to adjust no matter how good you are. A guy like Hawk can get away with more pure talent in college but in Pros will be in a MUCH faster game with teams that have all players at major college level in terms of talent.
     
  14. pyledriver80

    pyledriver80 Cheesehead

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    Yeah, though Hawk has the ability to become a force right away. What will help is playing beside Barnett. Then again we are going to need the D-Line to make some plays to help out Hawk and company. I like Manning alot as well. I think he will spell the guyson the outside and Hodge will spell Barnett. I don't expect to see Hodge on the field much however.
     
  15. Drich318

    Drich318 Cheesehead

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    Re: Risking the Wrath of the Hodge lovers: A glance at the L

    You make very good points. But I love what TT has done with the LB position. Barnett is solid in the middle. Hawk is a starter. Then the other is open.
    Poppinga has alot of talent and plays with a reckless abandon. Hopefully he can temper it alittle bit, and play the pass better, b/c if he doesn't he'll always be a situational LB. (pass-rushing specialist)
    Taylor is a veteran and only a one-year fix for the team. He'll probably start and offer his experience to the younger LBs. He is just a stop-gap for either Manning, Poppinga, or Hodge
    Manning has talent, but still very raw.
    Hodge is raw too, but was a leader in college for a very good team in Iowa playing against very good competition. (Big Ten)
     

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