Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Shakeup at inside linebacker possible for Packers

About the Author

Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

Recent posts by Dan Arkush

Baylor WR Williams in first-round conversation

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 2:26 p.m.

Thompson: Packers not worried about leadership void

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 12:26 p.m.

Seahawks GM likes 'win-win' QB situation

Posted Feb. 21, 2013 @ 6:53 p.m.

Old-school Arians feeling young at heart

Posted Feb. 21, 2013 @ 4:51 p.m.

Packers RB Harris looks like a real keeper

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 1:32 p.m.

Related Stories

Green Bay Packers: 2013 team needs

Posted March 07, 2013 @ 4:32 p.m.

Thompson: Packers not worried about leadership void

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 12:26 p.m.

Packers release C Jeff Saturday

Posted Feb. 18, 2013 @ 7:34 p.m.

Packers announce release of DB Woodson

Posted Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:06 p.m.

Vikings should keep Harvin ... for now

Posted Feb. 07, 2013 @ 5:42 p.m.

Packers WR Donald Driver calls it a career

Posted Feb. 06, 2013 @ 8:01 p.m.

Packers WR Driver retires after 14 seasons

Posted Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:54 a.m.

Vikings will explore free-agent WR possibilities

Posted Jan. 25, 2013 @ 9:54 p.m.

14-year veteran C Saturday to retire

Posted Jan. 25, 2013 @ 2:56 p.m.
Posted June 16, 2012 @ 3:01 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

The inside scoop on the Packers’ situation at linebacker is dramatically different than it was a year ago at this time, when there was great uncertainty at the right outside linebacker spot opposite superstar Clay Matthews.

Entering this year’s training camp, Packers first-round draft pick Nick Perry already has established himself as the clear-cut starter opposite Matthews — with Perry presumably lining up on the strong (left) side and Matthews moving to the right side. Now, the uncertainty in the unit has emphatically shifted to the inside spots, specifically the position manned so ineffectively last season by A.J. Hawk after signing a new five-year deal on the eve of the NFL lockout.

The way we hear it, Hawk, a consistently weak link in coverage last season who was also typically a step slow against the run, could be on a pretty short leash, with second-year pro D.J. Smith having shown more than enough as a rookie to mount a serious challenge for the starting ILB job alongside Desmond Bishop.

It’s also worth noting the extra competition expected from LBs Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore, who have moved inside this offseason after playing on the perimeter last season. Team sources agree that Jones, who's undersized like Smith, should not be discounted as a potential key contributor. Jones actually did a pretty solid job after grabbing the starting ROLB at the tail end of last season. He always has been decent against the run with good leverage, as well as being very tough and instinctive.  

Comments ()


ABOUT TRUST ONLINE