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The inside linebacker situation heading into the playoffs

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by 7thFloorRA, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. 7thFloorRA

    7thFloorRA Cheesehead

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    I was quite concerned when Bishop and Hawk both went down as I didn't really know much about the backups. I remember Francois being on special teams but knew very little of DJ Smith. They have both more than impressed me over the past few games in which they have played a significant amount of the snaps and I think some playing time is in order for them even when the starters are healthy. Here is what I see heading into the playoffs.

    Bishop- Back to starting as soon as he is fully healthy. He is a beast and is a big part of stopping the run and can rush well when called upon. On a known passing down when he is not blitzing he kinda sucks in coverage against the more skilled TE's.

    Hawk- Once fully healthy he will return to his role from the season opener against Philly last year.

    DJ Smith- I think he has show alot these last few weeks. He is good in coverage and can rush the passer. His tackling has been solid from what I have seen. He has been out of position a few times but that is to be expected given his inexperience. He is better than the AJ we saw prior to his injury. AJ can take his place on goal line or short yardage situations.

    Francois- He seems really athletic and there is a place for him in the mix. He can spell Bishop on long yardage passing situations as he seems to have some coverage skills and is athletic enough to make plays on the ball.

    I really think having Smith and Francois in the mix shuts the door on one of the major flaws of the defense which was linebacker pass coverage.
     
  2. Chicocheese

    Chicocheese Cheesehead

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    Francois has really impressed me. Francois, Hawk, and Matthews all on D at the same time is just sheer awesomeness!
     
  3. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    Francois has looked really good to me. Granted I haven't payed attention to how he performs on every play incl. shedding blockers/stopping the run, but man is he athletic. Matthews, Bishop, Hawk, Francois. That's a pretty good LB situation.
     
  4. A12ROD903

    A12ROD903 Cheesehead

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    I would not be surprised if we see DJ and Bishop starting inside.
     
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  5. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Agreed. I think that DJ Smith and Bishop are the two most athletic ILB on the roster. I guess the question that is hard for any of us outside of the Packer organization to answer is how well either of those guys can relay the plays and most importantly, realign the defense in response to offensive shifts. Hawk was outstanding at handling the calls last season and was doing a good job this year as well.
     
  6. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Francois plays the pass reall good but he is weak against the run. Watch him on running plays. D.J. Smith is going to be a really good limnebacker and Francois may well be.
     
  7. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I honestly havent seen a drop off at all in the LB position since they both went down.
     
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  8. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Then you didn't watch the Giants game. Top quarterbacks will find ways to exploit the holes. I'm not trying to slight Stafford or Palmer, but Stafford is for all purposes completing his first year in the NFL and Palmer is still struggling with the Oakland offense. Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will feast on our ILB as they are now and so will Brady and Roethlisberger if we make it to that stage. I'm not trying to be an alarmist but more to point out that there are holes that Capers is compensating for right now but can be exploited by top5 QBs, who will will be facing in the playoffs and beyond.
     
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  9. Dan115

    Dan115 Guest

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    You are correct.
     
  10. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    A top nfl QB exploiting our defense for big gains? Yeah I don't know where you have been all season but that's nothing new.
     
  11. CarolinaPackerFan

    CarolinaPackerFan Packers fan in Panthers country

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    DJ Smith! App State alum doing it big! I'm wanting a jersey asap
     
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  12. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    That's fair. The defense hasn't played well no matter who was in that spot. Hard for me to argue!
     
  13. Aaron rodgers is god

    Aaron rodgers is god Cheesehead

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    The thing about these guys that impressed me so much is their pass coverage. I haven't been seeing people pass on them. Usually when a team gets hurt the other offense tries to expose them. Instead we exposed the offense with some interceptions by Francois and DJ. Bishop has been a beast all year he is our best all around ILB. Hawk I'm not so sure. He hasn't impressed me. He has been very sloppy with his tackling and pass coverage. He should still be our starter but maybe we should take him out on passing situations and third downs.
     

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