1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!
    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers.

    You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
  2. Announcement is LIVE: Read the Forum Post

What is our ILB situation?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by adambr2, May 20, 2013.

  1. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,108
    Ratings:
    +3,182
    This makes no sense: Hawk is "junk" yet he should start ahead of Jones in this poster's opinion so Jones can back up all the LB spots. No, the best player available at each spot should start. If one of them gets injured, the best remaining player at each spot should play, etc. BTW, IMO your continuing to call Hawk names while refusing to deal with any objective criteria in evaluating his play is "junk".
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Ratings:
    +337
    Does Hawk crash the line like Poppinga used to, no he does not. He also isn't built like a classic 6'3-6'4 255 -260 pound SLB either. However, if you have not noticed Hawk being employed in a traditional SLB role of cleaning out lead blockers then I have to believe you're not actually watching the games. He certainly is employed to attack the LoS ahead of the WILB, leaving the WILB unmolested angles of attack. This isn't even open for debate... you are wrong here.

    As for footspeed both players can be summarized as follows, Bishop has great instincts initial burst and short area quickness but is very lacking in top end speed and will get burned in foot races. Hawk on the other hand tends to react slower than he should, has mediocre short area quickness but has very good speed when running in a short line. Bishop ran a 4.8+ 40 on a fast track on his pro-day(no combine 40) while Hawk ran a 4.59 at the combine.

    As for your remarks on Bishop's physical play, I never disputed this specifically stated that he's exceptional playing against the run and attacking the passer. However, his lack of "roving ability" certainly has created problems for our defense and presents one of the reasons why we were so dependent on the nickel defense back in 2011 owing to Bishop's poor coverage skills.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 3
  3. slaughter25

    slaughter25 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    727
    Ratings:
    +211
    The more I think about it the less I worry about the contract given to Brad Jones. But, that wasn't until I remembered how the Packers handled Brandon Chillar thanks to someone I don't remember if it was this thread or not.

    But, we are not going to see Brad Jones every down. Nor are we going to see Hawk or Bishop every single down. There are going to be formations week to week based on the opponents and game situations that are going to highlight each of these 3 in different pairings. Of the 3 I imagine Bishop taking the most snaps due to his blitzing abilities on obvious passing downs. But there are certainly times we will see the Packers really try to get the most athletic guys on the field for certain situations. That's where Brad Jones fits in IMO.

    Unfortunately we do not posses 2 ILB that are complete players right now. So, our remedy is to mush 3 guys into 2 depending on what the opponents are doing that week.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,894
    Ratings:
    +1,431
    You are remembering Brady Poppinga a lot more fondly than I do.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,924
    Ratings:
    +1,379
    The last time Hawk ran a 4.59 was at the combine. He is 7 + years removed from that time. I doubt he could break 5.0 now.

    I think we all would like the luxury of being measured against what we once could do.
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,609
    Ratings:
    +2,548
    My disagreement is partial. I'll reference the following link to 2010 highlights (when both players were at their best) in my comments:



    To your point, the play at 2:10 in that clip is a representation of Hawk doing the job you attribute to him. Unfortunately, it's hard to find the low light clips. Too frequently, Hawk does not get off the blocker as well as we see in that play. As a consequence, when you see Hawk at the second level it's too frequently chasing from behind or late. He scores a lot of irrelevant assists. Hawk does not so much "clean out those pesky blockers" as hang back to be engaged. He's more the guy who makes tackles from behind on 15 yard gains rather than stopping them from happening in the first place. I would characterize his play when Bishop is present as "working supervisor". He was asked to do more in Bishop's absence, with mixed results.

    As far as long speed is concerned, Bishop's better than the 4.8 you cite. He pulled a muscle at the Combine which is why he did not run the 40 there. I suspect he was not fully recovered two weeks later at his Pro Day. To illustrate, see the Bishop pick at about 1:06 in the above clip. Note the additional gear he kicks in at the 20 yard line when he senses a tackler closing on him. That ain't a 4.8 guy. Compare the speed evident in that Bishop pick to the Hawk pick at 0:40 in that clip...there's no Hawk juice, no next gear, turning the corner. By 2010, Hawk could not recapture that Combine number. He's even a bit slower now than in 2010. It's generally recognized Hawk has lost a meaningful amount of the speed that made him a high pick. Are you certain YOU watch the games?

    I think Hawk draws a bit more abuse (just a bit) than he deserves because he did not play up to the post-2010 contract. He's OK at best in the run and cover games though his ball skills leave something to be desired, and he is not an effective blitzer. He doesn't make plays...of his 8 career picks in 7 seasons, most have been gifts (see clip for examples). 2 forced fumbles in 7 seasons. 13.5 sacks in 7 seasons. I don't think there is player in the league who has taken as many snaps as Hawk and has made as few impact plays.

    Bishop is not without blemishes, but when you watch the above clip it is clear he's the more dynamic player. In the run-blitz-cover equation, he's the best we've had inside in a long time in the first two aspects of the position. I've already acknowledged he's not that great in coverage. I think it's a case of how one's greatest strengths can be a weakness...Bishop can be characterized as a straight line burst player, which is certainly a virtue closing on RBs and QBs. Being that kind of player often does not translate to staying with a receiver out of his break. He's not Pat Willis, but close enough to be very valuable.

    In conclusion, I believe the general perception that Hawk is not carrying anybody's water is correct. Water carriers do not take pay cuts. His comments after the fact seemed to indicate he thought he deserved the cut or was fearful of not even being around for 2013 if he didn't.

    Again, I think "working supervisor" is an apt characterization of Hawk's play.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,609
    Ratings:
    +2,548
    I think the situational rotation concept is right for these 3 guys, assuming Bishop is a reasonable facsimile of his former self (and Hawk has not lost yet another step :eek:). I believe it was after the 2010 season Capers stated he wants 3-down players. By necessity we have since drafted for and implemented heavier situational rotations on the D-line and at #2 safety.

    As far as not possessing 2 complete 3-down ILBs, I don't think anybody does at this point except for SF. Then again, you don't need that particular strength to win.
     
  8. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    I have a feeling he's going to take a shitload of hard hits this year. If I'm a DE, I'm smacking him no matter what, even If I have to take a personal foul or two. I'm going to look at the ref and say, "I thought he had the ball because he took off running!" If every DE/LB in the NFL took that approach, that would be the end of it.
     
  9. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Ratings:
    +337
    He whiffed a lot of ball carriers and he couldn't cover... but the man was a beast at crashing the line and smashing up lead blockers.
     
  10. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Ratings:
    +337
    HRE,

    My disagreement is partial. I'll reference the following link to 2010 highlights (when both players were at their best) in my comments:

    I actually think that Hawk's best season was his last year. In 2010 he still played the position like a converted outside linebacker, too passive, too timid and too conservative. Last season he actually played like a proper Buck and it showed up on film. Even Bob McGinn had to give him some praise, must have stuck in his craw.

    To your point, the play at 2:10 in that clip is a representation of Hawk doing the job you attribute to him. Unfortunately, it's hard to find the low light clips.

    This isn't the role I attribute to Hawk, this is the text book definition of a Buck linebacker in a fire zone defense. The Buck fires first leaving the Mack to make the play. It isn't just at 2:10, he also fires first at 1:27 among other plays. You cannot deny that in a Capers scheme the Mack is going to make more plays than the Buck. Indeed everyone who plays at that position winds up looking like a good player. Barnett looked good, Smith looked good, and Jones was on pace to put up 120+ tackles and 3+ sacks last season, if we extrapolate his 10 game stats to a full season.

    Unfortunately, it's hard to find the low light clips. Too frequently, Hawk does not get off the blocker as well as we see in that play. As a consequence, when you see Hawk at the second level it's too frequently chasing from behind or late. He scores a lot of irrelevant assists.

    Too often.... the primary role of the Buck is to stop his man in the hole and prevent the lead blocker from expanding the rush lane. For the Buck getting off a blocker is like a DB jumping an underneath route. Its a gamble and if it doesn't work out bad things happen. If the Buck tries to slip his blocker, let's say to the weak side of the formation and the back sees it happening there's a chance the back simply cuts strongside and stays with his blocker slipping both the Buck and the Mack, and letting a runner and a lead blocker crashing into the secondary. Generally if AJ Hawk is pursuing at the second level there's a good chance that one of 3 things happened 1) The Mack whiffed, got ran over or jumped the wrong gap (Barnett used to love doing this), 2) The SS whiffed, got ran over or jumped the wrong hole, 3) the OLB was blown up. You may wonder why I didn't include a mistake by Hawk, probably because if a player in Hawks position get's blown up he wont be making a pursuit, nor will he be in position to chase down the ball carrier if he jumps the wrong gap.

    As far as long speed is concerned, Bishop's better than the 4.8 you cite. He pulled a muscle at the Combine which is why he did not run the 40 there. I suspect he was not fully recovered two weeks later at his Pro Day. To illustrate, see the Bishop pick at about 1:06 in the above clip. Note the additional gear he kicks in at the 20 yard line when he senses a tackler closing on him. That ain't a 4.8 guy. Compare the speed evident in that Bishop pick to the Hawk pick at 0:40 in that clip...there's no Hawk juice, no next gear, turning the corner. By 2010, Hawk could not recapture that Combine number.

    You can't compare a player running in a straight line with a player cutting and changing directions. Bishop's pulled muscle may have been an issue but his lack of top flight top end speed was evident even back in college and it was one of the reasons why he was a 7th round pick. However, like I said he does have tremendous burst and acceleration, he probably Matches Matthews in his first 10 steps. As for Hawk his speed has depended on his weight. When he was playing at a hair under 260 he couldn't run but last season playing between 240-245 he looked more like the player they drafted.

    Bishop is not without blemishes, but when you watch the above clip it is clear he's the more dynamic player.

    Don't get me wrong I love Des Bishop, but I have misgivings about him in that position. To me his best position is as a 43 Mike where his coverage responsibilities require less range. I wouldn't be opposed to giving him snaps at the Buck with Jones on the field, but I have some serious concerns over his durability. He's never lasted an entire season.

    He's OK at best in the run and cover games though his ball skills leave something to be desired, and he is not an effective blitzer.

    He has great hands for a linebacker and he does show some good man cover ability, not many players at his position will turn around to play the ball with the confidence he shows. HOWEVER, he's awful in zone coverage... no feel no instinct.

    In conclusion, I believe the general perception that Hawk is not carrying anybody's water is correct.

    You can believe what you want, but carrying the mack's water is what the Buck does. As for taking a pay cut, how much do fullbacks get paid on average again?
     
  11. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,323
    Ratings:
    +519
    Am I being completely unrealistic in hoping that Terrell Manning is going to contribute significantly this year and will be ready to compete for the starting position at ILB next year?
     
  12. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,108
    Ratings:
    +3,182
    What is the Packers' ILB situation? It's not great IMO but I/we hope it's good enough. The OLB spot opposite Matthews should be better and so should the DL. The spot opposite Burnett better be since they didn't bring in another player there. If those spots are better - and the CBs stay healthy, the status quo at ILB should be good enough.
    Probably, but I'm right there with you hoping.

    I agree with HardRightEdge that Hawk gets more criticism than he deserves but (all this according to nfl.com) Hawk hasn't forced a fumble in the regular season since 2007. That's at least 78 games depending upon in which game the magic moment happened in '07. In his NFL career in 110 regular season games he's forced 2. 500 tackles, 214 assisted tackles: 2 forced fumbles. This stat and my eyes confirm for me the biggest knock on Hawk: He's not a difference maker. (By contrast Bishop had 2 FFs in both 2010 and 2011.) BTW, nit pick: Bishop was a 6th round pick.
    "Captain Conceited" huh? IMO McGinn is one of the best beat writers around and has been since he started covering the Packers for Milwaukee papers. I've never met him so I don't know how he comes across in person and I really don't care: I do care how he elevated the reporting on the Packers. He's well respected by his peers and he's got contacts around the league.

    As some who have posted here for a while know, I am opinionated and don't hesitate to advance strong opinions (hopefully mostly backed up by facts/stats). So I don't "accuse" others of being opinionated. In the same way, someone who posts strong opinions as well as this:
    - should be careful of accusing others of being conceited.

    As to McGinn apparently having something against Hawk in your opinion, here's a McGinn piece written in July of 2011. It looks like a balanced piece to me: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/126496868.html
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. 98Redbird

    98Redbird Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    799
    Ratings:
    +234
     
  14. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Ratings:
    +337
    Agreed, it's kind of tough with the league becoming more and more specialized. It used to be that you had fairly set and defined roles for the Will sam mack, ILbs. But now with the recent developments of the tight end position it's hard to find someone who can play old school smash mouthed football and yet cover cats like Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. Especially now that teams can keep franchise caliber running backs on the cheap. It's easier than ever for offenses to roll out multiple personnel groups to really create some mismatches.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. PackerFlatLander

    PackerFlatLander Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    481
    Ratings:
    +294
    AJ Hawk is a good dude. Never been in trouble off the field, works his *** off, etc. But, the problem is, while he isn't flat-out terrible, he also has never been as good as the 5th overall pick should really be. In terms of performance - it does strike me as a bit odd that he's even still in Green Bay. It isn't often that a 5th overall pick remains with the same team, seven years later, with zero Pro Bowls (I believe), and again - there's never really been anything super special about him. I'd argue that Hawk makes the ILB position more of a weakness, with him there.

    Again - no intention to diss him, he's very easy to like. But, he is what he is and it's all he'll ever be.
     
  16. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,286
    Ratings:
    +1,453
    I can agree that Hawk is not some steller player, but he is durable. The coaching staff must see something we dont in order to keep him around. Then again, we had chillar, popinga, zombo the slow zombie, and a couple other that have since been told to hit the dirt road.....so hawk is still around which means he is better than what we have had. I am shocked and awed that they gave brad jones such a contract deal......that guy is the one who SUCKS. If anyone wants to kick dirt in the face of a player, it should be jones getting the slander, not hawk. Jones just stands there and lets the ball fly past him (several occasions last season), he watched the RB go around him, and he got run over for a TD easily......he is flat footed on most his plays. It is pretty bad when my 11 year old son who plays pee-wee football ( for 6 years now ) and plays DE and OLB can sit and watch the game with me and even he said....."wow, jones sucks, he let that guy go right around him"......a true assesment from an 11 year old...lol
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. profile_removed

    profile_removed Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    608
    Ratings:
    +20
    What I said was starting Jones weakens the unit. Read the post thoroughly.
     
  18. profile_removed

    profile_removed Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    608
    Ratings:
    +20
    He's held up well outside. He might be better inside, maybe, but he can play all 4 positions.
     
  19. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,108
    Ratings:
    +3,182
    I read it and quoted it accurately. I also read some of your other comments about Hawk. Here’s a sampling: “As long as AJ Hawk is wearing a helmet with a G on the side we've declined! He's crap in coverage, he's a horrible tackler in the run game” … “Hawk is at best a joke in coverage” … “Hawk is NOT even a below average tackler. He's total and absolute crap!” … “It isn't even that he can't keep up with TE's, he doesn't seem to grasp who his man is in coverage, let alone taking correct angles/lanes to be in proper position to defense a pass.”

    Now one may assume even though you can’t help but call Hawk names and could hardly have a lower opinion of his play, you still think Jones is worse at ILB. Except in the ‘guess the final roster’ thread you posted:
    So on the one hand, you post you’re against Jones starting at ILB because he can back up the other four LB spots (he can’t) and you’re in favor of Hawk starting ahead of him. But OTOH you advocate Jones makes the roster and Hawk gets cut. BTW this is the same post in which your “surprise cut” is Morgan Burnett!

    I don’t think you are doing well evaluating talent and your posting on ILB is particularly confused and contradictory. It would be better for you if everyone read your posts less thoroughly.
     
  20. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Players don't draft themselves. If you have an issue with his performance in relation to his draft position, your issue is with the Packers scouting department, not Hawk.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  21. PackerFlatLander

    PackerFlatLander Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    481
    Ratings:
    +294
    Fair enough. Ted and his scouts certainly don't get it right every time. But, the fact is, Hawk was rated very high in that draft, by almost every team. He and Vernon Davis were neck and neck, pretty much. Therefore, I would still argue that Hawk has never lived up to how highly he was rated and that isn't really his fault, or any scout's fault. It just is what it is.
     
  22. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,609
    Ratings:
    +2,548
    On this we can agree, especially in Capers' defense where roles are blurred to begin with. It begs the question, what is Hawk's specialty?

    I would add that run option offenses in college have changed the kinds of players coming out...converted strong safeties is recent a trend. While I believe the running QB will be a passing fad in the NFL because of the injury risk, the characteristics of the converted SS in college (a bit smaller, a bit quicker, while still enthusiastic about hitting people) translate to the NFL game.

    I had a dream last night where Jones defended a pass. I'll go with that as one element of Packer specialization. ;)
     
  23. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Ratings:
    +337
    Man Ive gotta get back to work...

    Hawk really doesn't have a specialty and quite frankly he doesn't ideally fit the Defense. He's not the big physical thumper who will destroy and blow up lead blockers and he isn't a cover guy either. However, he plays with a lot of toughness, guts, abandon and he's less of a liability in coverage than your typical SILB. He still doesn't blitz well from the interior, but he's improved. He makes good run fits, takes good angles and he's developed some good anticipation for the inside runs. I'd rate him as "above average", but we could do better. What sticks in my craw, when people on forums go on about replacing Hawk with a backup WILB, everybody who plays that position for this team looks like a stud.

    Agree with you on the converted SS, although those are getting a little small these days as well. I'd like to see us adopt more of a Pit type Defense where instead of a WILB AND SILB you basically have a Will type LB and a Will/Mike hybrid. That way we could play more base defense and probably use our OLBs in a more creative fashion. This would also translate into better interior blitzing.

    Agree with you on running QBs, another reason I'd like to see us use more of a Pit type defense.

    Agree on Jones but I suspect they're looking at him as a 3 down player. If he learns to play in the middle with more confidence he could certainly fit that bill. Trouble is it usually takes at least a year or two to convert from outside to inside, heck it took Hawk 3 years.
     

Share This Page