Change Coming For Packers’ Defense?

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Jermaine Whitehead

Based upon what we’ve heard this week, change could be coming for the Green Bay Packers’ defense. We’re reading through the tea leaves here, but this is what we know.

The Packers safeties are a weakness.

Although he’s had some moments here and there, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix reverted to the form we have long chastised him for last week against the Lions.

No play is more telling than this one.

I mean, you just got bitched.

And yes, Clinton-Dix did say that when asked about said bitching by Kenny Golladay.

“That’s not the first time that kid has stiff-armed me,” Clinton-Dix told the Wisconsin State Journal. “That’s the second time in two years. So I don’t know. I have a problem with that kid all the time. I even tell him that. He’s got these big dinosaur arms, and I can’t figure out how to get away from him.”

Yes, Golladay is turning into a pretty damn good receiver, but that was fucking embarrassing.

Also, what the fuck dinosaur had big, long arms?

Dummy.

Second, Kentrell Brice has been a dud all season.

Brice has plenty of speed, but he is less assignment sure than Clinton-Dix. In other words, he’s even dumber than the guy who thinks dinosaurs have long arms. As such, Brice has given up plenty of big plays this year. He’s made none that I can recall.

So this is the obvious spot where change may come. Clinton-Dix likely isn’t going anywhere, but let’s be honest. Here’s a guy who isn’t good in coverage and misses too many tackles. He’s possibly serviceable in the box, but playing centerfield?

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Point made…

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Bitched.

Brice has the speed to play centerfield, but not the acumen.

The Options

The Packers have two options here.

One, get rid of Brice and give Jermaine Whitehead the opportunity. We’ve been saying it for weeks. Whitehead has played better than Brice in the opportunities he’s had.

Brice has 323 snaps on the season. Whitehead has 104.

We know one guy sucks. We’re not sure about the other guy. He might be good. Let’s see the other guy!

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine seemed to suggest that was a possibility this week. While not specifically singling anyone out, he made it clear he wasn’t adverse to sitting anyone down. Or maybe just slowly phasing them out…

“If you have a player that in a limited role is playing well and you want to expand that, then you find ways to expand it,” Pettine said. “We’re also not afraid if a guy’s not playing well to go ahead and make a move to get him off the field altogether or just lessen (his role). And sometimes (lineup changes are) game plan driven.”

Refreshing, considering Mike McCarthy would never say anything like that.

The other thing we’ve noticed is Pettine has been raving about cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The Packers signed Breeland a few weeks ago.

They may have got a steal. Breeland was one of the most sought-after cornerbacks on the free agent market. He actually signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Panthers early in free agency. However, they voided the deal because the dude cut his foot and got an infection in it while on vacation.

Then the Packers came in when they suffered some injuries at corner. At the time, Kevin King was down with his annual injury and Davon House had just gone on injured reserve. Breeland: fantastic option.

Of course, the guy pulled his hammy at some point. Probably walking through the door at 1265 — lot of guys tend to do that.

But now he seems ready to roll. And…

“When he’s been out there and full go, he’s impressed,” Pettine said. “Even the reps on the scout team. Some of the young receivers didn’t really know who he was, they just thought he was some other scout team corner. Next thing they know, they’re getting beat down a little bit. The reps he’s been out there, he’s been impressive.”

Here’s the question. How are you going to get this impressive guy on the field?

Not at the expense of Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, Kevin King or Josh Jackson.

Maybe at the expense of one of your shitty safeties.

It has been said that Breeland might actually be better at safety than cornerback. He’s been pretty good at corner so far in his career, but he’s certainly not a speedster. Though, as Al “Solid” Harris has shown us, you don’t NEED to be a speedster, you just need to be a wily son-of-a-bitch.

Harris could jam a fool at the line better than anyone. If you got past him, which you didn’t, he would be outrun. Sam Shields, on the other hand, had and probably still has, recovery speed.

We don’t know what the Packers have in Breeland. Haven’t seen him on the field. However, if the Packers gave him some time at safety to see what he can do, would anyone be opposed?

Hell, the guy is impressive. Maybe the Packers could actually have a real centerfielder for a change.

One thing we know for sure is, they don’t have one now.

About The Author

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

22 Comments on "Change Coming For Packers’ Defense?"

  1. Jschizl

    One thing that looks like a real possibility is Mike pettine is not McCarthy. He plays the best player. Regardless of status. House is gone got sat. They had Alexander above other vets. Hopefully he doesn’t McCarthy it and not let someone who is a difference maker on the field

  2. Cheese

    What a stupid angle to go at a ballcarrier from. Then again we are talking about HHCD. If Breeland can play safety at a high level that would be great. Maybe they can insert Josh Jones finally too.

    • PF4L

      No shit right….he should have been aggressive and took him out (direct) from the side using the sideline how they are trained to. Pro bowl players don’t over run and get stuck in front. He got what he deserved, he got bitched slapped. I don’t give fuck if he went to the Pro Bowl, he’s the least deserved Pro Bowler since Jeff Saturday got voted in as a Packer. No disrespect to Saturday, hell of a player on the field, and a stand up guy off the field.

      • Cheese

        Jeff Saturday to the Pro Bowl as a Packer, lol. What a joke. The guy got benched partway through the season for Even Dietrich-Smith and then wins the popularity contest to go to Hawaii, or wherever they had it then. Not to say he didn’t earn that status in Indy, but the Pro Bowl doesn’t care what year or what team you were productive with as long as you’re still in the league.

  3. PF4L

    “He’s got these big dinosaur arms, and I can’t figure out how to get away from him.”

    I don’t know Clinton…..how about you figure out the right angles and how to tackle him, not get away from him.

    The safety position was much like the O-line position, nobody was looking at it like a concern in the off-season. But guess what….here we are. Losing Burnett was a hit, but in the off season we don’t talk about our losses, we’re too busy rah rah’ing our draft and free agent picks. Until, those don’t pan out either.

    Brice wasn’t as good as the hype surrounding him (gee, that never happens in Green Bay). Breeland for whatever reason was passed on by a reported 13 teams. So, i think there is more to that story than we know.

    Josh Jones is a 2nd round pick in his 2nd year. Maybe it’s time to plug him in at strong safety and see if he can ball, or if he’s a bench utility player.

    Are we a better team this season through 5 games than last season? The stats say yes, but the eye test and the team’s record tell a different story.

  4. Pro Football Focus has Dix as a top ten safety (7). PFF must put an emphasis in their grades on INTs. It is good to have a safety that has the ball skills to be able to track a pass and catch the ball. Some say Dix just intercepts overthrow balls and that may be true. I sure thought his last interception was impressive.

    Dix to me, has left his coverage in the red zone at least three times resulting in TDs. It is always hard to say if Dix was doing his job when he left the back middle of the end zone open. It sure appeared all three times the corner was expecting middle help. Maybe missing all the time in camp has left Dix with not fully understanding the calls and adjustments.

    I think the issue with Dix being less than physical in tackling is obvious. Dix can see INTs get you a big payday in the NFL. PFF feels highly of Dix. Dix is protecting his payday. Dix is not going to throw his body around, or into tackles, or the pile until he gets paid. Dix made business decisions regarding his health late last year and is doing the same this year. Dix wants a large sum of guaranteed money and last year and this years contracts did not include such. Interceptions help Dix potentially earn more money (good). Throwing your body into tackles or scrums on the goal line could get you hurt for an extended time and reduce your value and leverage in your next contract (bad).

    • PF4L

      Interceptions are sexy. That’s why i say he’s only two away from another Pro Bowl. You get 5 of them as a safety, then you get a paid vacation to play (pretend to play) in the Pro Bowl. PFF can say he’s the 7th, or the #1 free safety in the leaque, i don’t gaf. i watch the games, i see different.

      If anyone plays not to get hurt, i wouldn’t want them on my team, point blank, whether your the owner, the coach, team mates, or a fan. If i was a player in his locker room and that was going on, i wouldn’t even acknowledge his existence, because that is horseshit. That’s why i had a problem with T Willy back when, because he was playing to not get hurt.

      As far as PFF, i respect it, but with caution.

    • PF4L

      I still watch all the games MJ, because i’m a lifelong fan. But currently under this regime, my wallet is on lock down concerning the Packers.

      • MJ

        Well, that’s probably the only language they understand. If they see the bottom line declining, maybe Murphy realizes the profit comes as a side effect of having a winning franchise and tries to steer the ship back on course.

    • Cheese

      I’m going but I’m not sure how much extra time I will have, and my friends might give me weird looks if I said I was meeting up with some poster from an internet forum lol. Otherwise, I’d be up for it. I don’t know how we would get in contact without posting personal info.

      As for PF4L’s stance, I agree. I’m only going to hang out with friends and extended fam. If it wasn’t for that I would never pay full price for a ticket. I’m more than fine with tailgating the whole game or scalping a ticket for $20.

      • MJ

        Yeah, the idea was to meet in the parking lot, for example, with tons of people around, not in some creepy alley at night. We shake hands, introduce ourselves, maybe talk a little bit about football and I let back to your friends. It is my first visit to Green Bay, so I want to see every square inch in the stadium and Titletown area, I wouldn’t have lingered for too long anyway.

        The personal information issue could have been worked around had I had the idea to meet some people from this forum some days in advance. I could have posted an expendable email address, and plan to meet at somewhere public near the stadium at a given time. It would be a bit rushed now, though.
        Best wishes to you and the rest of the TP guys.
        MJ

        • Cheese

          Well, if you see a guy wearing a #41 Spencer Havner jersey there’s a very high probability that it’s me. I usually hang out in the Oneida parking lot. There are no creepy alleys near Lambeau, and if there are it’s nowhere I haven’t been before.

        • PF4L

          You must be from out of State MJ seeing as it’s your first visit, you’re probably already there. Soak it all in and when you get back, tell me about the goose bumps you felt walking into the stadium. It’s a hell of a feeling and can drive grown men to tears.

          • MJ

            Trotting into the stadium with the tour, seeing the four Lombardis, that was touching the sky.

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