Mike Daniels is Probably Going to Fill That Leadership Void

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Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

If this offseason is any indication, third-year defensive lineman Mike Daniels is intent on filling the gigantic leadership void on the Green Bay Packers defense.

We noticed it last night, although there have been indications since the end of last season. We saw a link to some article where Daniels was apparently blathering on about how awesome Julius Peppers is, what he brings to the team and so forth. And then we realized, Mike Daniels has an opinion on everything.

He’s certainly been the most outspoken member of the Packers defense, if not the entire team, this offseason. Not too long ago, he was the guy saying he was tired of the Packers defense getting pushed around. That they needed to get tougher. Calling out his boys.

When the hell is the last time that’s happened? In fact, when is the last time any Packers defender has said anything worth remembering?

I’ll tell you. When Charles Woodson was in town.

But Charles and his leadership qualities were too old, so he had to go. Quality move, Big Ted.

Clay Matthews was supposed to fill that role when the Packers gave him a gigantic contract. He paid some lip service to that fact, but let’s be honest. Clay Matthews is not a vocal, heart-and-soul kind of guy. He’s a playmaker. He goes hard. He’s got nice hair. A guy you’d love to play with. Not necessarily a guy you’d sell your soul to fight for.

Johnny Jolly filled that role as much as he could last year. Most of us probably remember the halftime speech at Dallas or, prior to the season, how everyone kept pointing out how Jolly brought a certain excitement to the team.

Even though the Packers won’t say it, they’ve moved on from Jolly much like they did with Woodson — in a very calculated way. Don’t need his leadership. And forget that he was one of the only bright spots on the defensive line last year. Just have no use for guys like that!

However, unlike when they moved on from Woodson, it looks like there’s actually someone in house ready to fill the void. Whether the Packers agree or not is unimportant. Mike Daniels obviously thinks he’s the guy.

And why the hell shouldn’t he be?

Daniels had a breakout season in 2013, registering 6.5 sacks and staking a clear claim to being the team’s best defensive lineman, despite not even being a starter.

There’s nothing stopping Daniels from becoming a starter this season and improving upon his numbers. He’s already expanded his role from an accountability standpoint.

If you’re waiting around for Matthews or, say, A.J. Hawk to turn into leaders of men then, well, we hope you’ve got a nice thick book to read. You’re gonna have some time to kill.

If one guy is going to lead the Packers defense into battle this season and actually have guys following behind him, our bet is that guy is Mike Daniels.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

7 Comments on "Mike Daniels is Probably Going to Fill That Leadership Void"

  1. Danville Pack

    Great points! You nailed it. There has been a void since Woodson left. Let Daniels be that guy. The defense needs it, especially if DC is going to continue to hide in the press box during games, or wherever he is up there.

  2. Howard

    My question is who is going to be the vocal coach on the sideline now that Kevin Greene is gone? Players like Daniels are needed now more than ever to fill the Greene void.

  3. James Bennett

    This is very encouraging stuff; I thought Daniels seemed like he might be a DL to build on, esp. late in the season. It would be even more encouraging if we have reason to expect the same agenda from Jerel Worthy.

  4. Just Some Guy

    I really hope Big Ted signs Johnny Jolly. Maybe I’m just dreaming, but the intangibles that guy brings are incredible. You can’t have enough guys like that on your team. I personally love what he brings to the team.

  5. K.L.

    Let’s not forget about Jamari Lattimore. If I remember correctly he is the one that gave the emotional speech at halftime of that Cowboys game, after which the team came back to win the game. He has the ability to rally the troops. He could be a real leader.

  6. kb

    I think you overrated jolly a bit. He honestly didnt add much outside of a little juice to start the season but even that seemed to fall off along with his play on the field. According to pff he averaged a stop less than half as often as daniels and on par with pickett and raji who were all towards the bottom of the nfl at their positions. His pass rush was non existent, he didnt bat balls at the LoS like we were so used to in the past. I see the youth on the team easily feeling his void on the field. Players like boyd worthy or even thornton dont have far to go to do this. As far daniels goes, he may not be very known outside of gb but he wasnt just the best player on the dl last year but also one of the best players on the defense and probably top 5 on the entire team. That in only his 2nd season and when he really wasnt even a full time starter. Ill be very disappointed if he isnt starting at de this season. Every1 knows how good of a pass rusher he is but he also graded out as by far the best run defender among packers dl. I believe he was top 10 in both areas according to pff. Im more excited to see him this season that just about any other packers. Hes finally bringing in that juice weve been hearing about for years. He isnt just talk…

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