And why wouldn’t he be? Green Bay Packers safeties coach Darren Perry says his charges — Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings — are playing well this season.
He’s the only one saying that.
Burnett has been underwhelming since signing that big-money contract extension during the offseason. The Packers will dole out more than $26 million for Burnett over five years. Part of that was an $8.25 million signing bonus.
What has he done since then? Well, he missed the first three games of the season because of an injury. The Packers safeties were terrible in those games and have improved slightly since Burnett has returned. Still, he hasn’t made the type of impact you’d expect from a guy who signed a big-money extension.
Burnett has 50 tackles, but no turnover plays at all.
Then there’s Jennings, who has been a liability. He’s started all 10 of the Packers’ games and has 44 tackles, but like Burnett, no turnover plays.
In fact, the Packers are one of only two teams in the NFL whose safeties haven’t made an interception this season. The other is Jacksonville.
So what does Perry have to say? Nothing to see here, move along.
Perry defended Burnett has having a solid season, outside of several plays against Philadelphia, which was probably Burnett’s worst game as a pro. Then he had this to say about Jennings.
“M.D. is fine. He’s been starting for us,” Perry said. “He’s not the reason we haven’t done what we’ve wanted to do defensively. It’s not one guy.”
It may not be one guy, but one guy can certainly make a difference and Jennings — or Burnett for that matter — aren’t making an ounce of difference. That is, unless you consider that the safeties were awful when Jerron McMillian was starting and now they’re slightly less awful.
We’ve talked about it here at headquarters. Ted Thompson made a huge mistake when he didn’t address the safety position in the offseason. You have to look no further than the contributions Kenny Vaccaro is making for New Orleans and Matt Elam is making for Baltimore.
We’re the Packers though. We’ll just develop these undrafted free agents into serviceable players. It will just take us 10 years.