Even though Johnny Jolly led Green Bay defensive linemen with 39 tackles in 2009 and was a key cog in the league's top-ranked run defense, we're told the team is confident it has what it takes to overcome his indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. By all indications, it would appear the Packers were preparing for the worst as far as back as late April, when they selected DE Mike Neal in the second round. More hints came in mid-May when eyebrows were raised with the announcement that 2009 first-round draft pick B.J. Raji was being inserted into the starting lineup at nose tackle, with veteran Ryan Pickett, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract extension, shifting to Jolly's starting DLE spot. With Neal, seventh-round rookie C.J. Wilson and former first-rounder Justin Harrell, who is saying he has never felt healthier, also in the mix, the consensus is that the Packers believe they have have more than enough manpower to compensate for Jolly's departure.
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