The Green Bay Packers Pass Rush is Still a Major Question Mark

In terms of pass rush effectiveness, last season was sort of a revelation for the Green Bay Packers. They didn’t have an amazing pass rush by any means, but considering how dreadful they were in that area the three seasons before last, it felt like they were elite.

The Packers ranked 13th in the NFL in overall pass rush by Pro Football Focus for the 2014 season. While that does not sound impressive, they ranked 29th, 27th, and 27th the three seasons before that by PFF. So 13th sounds pretty damn great after those previous three seasons.

Mike Daniels showed that his 2013 season was not a fluke by putting together an even better 2014 and emerged has a bonafide threat from the defensive line.

Clay Matthews was great, per usual. Posting double digit sacks for the fourth time in his six seasons and once again leading the Packers in that category. He also managed to play in all 16 games last year for the first time since his rookie season.

Mike Neal, Letroy Guion, and Nick Perry all had respectable seasons as compliments to the star pass rushers on the team.

Most importantly, Julius Peppers was fantastic. He may have only put up seven sacks on the year but he was continuously a disruptive force and ended up leading the Packers in QB hurries and QB hits. He looked refreshed and rejuvenated last season and was the spark this defense needed.

Which is the problem.

The Packers didn’t add anything in free agency to improve their pass rush and seemingly didn’t do anything that will impact it immediately with their draft.

That means the Packers will need to count on the same players that were on the roster last year to replicate what they did last year, if not improve upon it. This is not an impossible or unreasonable task, especially with a healthy Raji coming back to play nose tackle and with Datone Jones hopefully stepping up a little more than he has shown thus far in his pro career.

I truly believe that Mike Daniels can replicate his season from last year, if not improve upon it.

However hoping that Matthews, Neal, and Perry can stay healthy for a full year and be productive at the end of it is a little bit of wishful thinking. Throw in Letroy Guion having another solid season and it starts to make things even more iffy, even if he is going to be less relied upon with Raji back.

Finally and probably most importantly, hoping that a player who will turn 36-years-old in the playoffs this year to be the same athletic freak and disruptive force that he was last season, seems like you are asking a lot. If Peppers falls down to Nick Perry levels of productiveness, the pass rush takes a major hit.

We have seen for five seasons what the pass rush looks like if there isn’t a solid compliment to Matthews rushing the edge on the opposite side of the defense and it isn’t good.

If the pass rush starts to fail, more pressure gets put on Matthews and he may be forced to stick at outside linebacker instead of being moved around the defense to where he can be of most help like he was last year. This hurts not only the pass rush, but the run defense as well.

If the pass rush ends up closer to the 2011-2013 form than where it was in 2014, suddenly there is a lot more pressure put on a secondary that will have two rookies stepping into non-minor roles this coming year.

I look at the pass rush this year just as I did coming into the season last year; a complete unknown. Just because Peppers was great last year and Matthews was able to stay healthy, doesn’t mean either should be counted on to happen again.

A lot is riding on Matthews, Neal, and Perry staying healthy, as well as Peppers continuing to defy time and be a defensive force in the twilight of his career. If those things don’t happen, there is a fair chance that the defense takes a big step back this year. That may be fine in terms of winning the NFC North (once again) but it makes it incredibly tough to win the Super Bowl.

——————

Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.

——————

  • Savage57

    So basically, if the Packers pass rushers get injured, their ability to get pressure on the QB will suffer because of it.

    Got it.

    • marpag

      Precisely. If everything goes to heck in a handbasket, then everything is going to go to heck in a handbasket.

      • Tundraboy

        Droll very Droll ! Well said.

  • dobber

    I think many of us were pulling for an OLB in the first couple rounds of the draft: a fresh body who would work into the rotation this season to spell Peppers (reduced snaps for him are a must this season) and help pick up some of the slack when Matthews slides inside. This would also address what appears to be Nick Perry’s departure after 2015. There will be a lot of pressure on Mulumba and Elliott to show that they can help, and even then OLB might still be a priority for the 2016 draft.

    I agree that the secondary might have helped make the pass rush more effective a year ago. The Packers many times seemed to be content to play coverage and allow the rush to get to the QB in its own time. I think they’ll have to play more aggressively this season.

    • marpag

      I think that improving on the D-line is actually more important to this year’s pass rush than improvement at OLB. Having Mike Daniels and two JAGs on the line just doesn’t get it done.

      I have hope for Raji… I really do. During his (short) time in camp last year he was looking great. Bob McGinn went so far as to say he was looking almost unblockable. I’m not really hoping for quite THAT much, but a solid DT would really help to open things up.

      • dobber

        I agree, but how much is Raji going to play in obvious passing situations?

        • marpag

          Good question, dobber. I guess right now the only answer is, “He’ll play as many snaps in passing downs as he earns.” There was a time earlier in his career when Raji almost never left the field. In the beginning he was a fixure in nickel and passing downs. Coaches were always going on about how they had to limit his snaps. Of course, that was some years ago….

          • holmesmmd

            Raji is stronger and in better condition today than he has ever been in his life! I believe the DL will be markedly improved this year and the entire defense will be as well. Too much pre-season concern IMO.

            • dobber

              I was speaking to a friend yesterday about this very topic. A brief transcript…
              Friend: I hear Raji is in great shape…
              Me: You mean round?

              • TedTomsin

                dobber,
                Just reminding you and others that Holmes is a medical doctor. He was the guy we relied on last year to provide key info on Aaron Rodgers’ injury. If Dr. Holmes says Raji is in the best shape of his life than that’s pretty damn good in my book.

                Thanks for the update on Raji Dr. Holmes. I was hoping he was in great shape but didn’t know for sure until you posted. By the way, I do agree with you on the defensive line. I think they are going to have a heck of a year. Major improvement all around. It’s almost inevitable they do as they are all young and still improving.
                Ted

              • I wonder if Dr. Holmes knew he was rendering a medical opinion? If Raji looks to be fit this year, his contract year, that is of course good news.

              • TedTomsin

                Who cares what he was rendering. He’s a doctor and said he’s as healthy as he’s ever been. What more do you want Reynoldo? Would it be better if Archie or Captain Nemo said it?
                Ted

              • No, but it wouldn’t have been better, but their opinions wouldn’t be worse either. Not to denigrate Dr. Holmes in any way, as I think doctors are underpaid in our society, but unless he was at practice in person and got pretty close to Raji, or better yet, examined Raji, I am assuming that he is simply going by the same media reports that the rest of us are. You do like your appeals to authority figures, Ted.

              • TedTomsin

                You are trying to denigrate Dr. Holmes and you just did. You had to question him. I actually am beginning to think you are Stroh or you’ve been arguing with him so much that you in fact turned into him because what you just did questioning a medical doctor is exactly what Stroh would do. Now please just drop it Reynoldo. You’ve done enough damage the way it is. Jeez. At least apologize to him for crying out loud.
                Ted

            • Tundraboy

              Gotta think and hope.

            • Peter Maiz

              We don’t really know about Raji’s condition. His agent made that comment.

              • holmesmmd

                Actually, I was referring to the statement made by Raji’s personal strength coach . It was reported on numerous occasions during the off season.

              • Peter Maiz

                I stand corrected. But let’s hope Raji is at his best!

        • Mike Sherman

          Only a few years ago Raji was expected to be our 2nd best pass rusher after Mathews. Best on the DL and better than whichever UFA OLB was lining up opposite CM3. Raji, Jones and Daniels will be rotating in the nickel and If they all stay healthy, all 3 could have big years.

      • Razer

        Totally agree with ‘marpag’. If our D-line doesn’t win in the trenches, then we are always fighting against a wide open 3rd down play call. We need the big bodies to force opposing offenses to play 3rd and long. We need Datone Jones, Mike Pennel, Boyd and Raji to join Guion and Daniels as consistent run stuffers. The pass rush will be there if teams can’t run on us.

        • Nick Perry

          I’m really looking forward to see what Daniels, Raji, and Guion do as a defensive line unit. If Raji could get even remotely close to the 2010 version, this could be a impressive D-Line, maybe better than 2010.

    • NemoOutis

      I had hoped that TT would use one of our 6th round picks to select BYU’s Alani Fua to learn from Peppers. Extremely versatile, he often moved around the field in a single game, rushing the passer from the slot, A- gap and outside linebacker spot. He frequently covered slot receivers. At 6′-5,” 235 lbs., he’s very fast, running a 4.59 40 at his pro day, and a 6.83 3 cone drill at the combine. Arizona got him as an UDFA, paying him the team’s highest signing bonus. A great kid, very mature, willing to learn and work hard. Watch out for him as he puts some bulk on his tall frame and develops over the next several seasons. .

    • Jeff

      I think Hubbard can be the man this year as long as he realizes he is not God’s gift to football and plays up to his potential he could be the sleeper on the edge this season!

      • dobber

        He certainly looks the part and has the length and bulk to play out there. It would be great if he became an impact guy: like finding that $20 bill in your coat pocket that you completely forgot was there.

      • Tundraboy

        I agree. He looks like he means business.

      • Nick Perry

        Hubbard stayed in Green Bay this offseason to rehab and then train. MM saw him around the facility working hard all offseason so I think you’re right about Hubbard.

  • NemoOutis

    One very important aspect concerning last year’s pass rush, which may affect this year’s, that Mike did not mention in his article was the excellent work done by our starting CBs last year. Tramon Williams and Sam Shields — backed-up by Davon House, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward– were so good that Capers could often guard against the run with 8 men in the box and was able to blitz 39.3% of the time, often going to “cover 0” with no safety help for the CBs. The play of the CBs was noted by Bob McGinn of the Journal-Sentinel in his excellent article of 1/3/15, “Packers Defense Transformed by Cornerbacks’ Coverage.” See http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/packers-defense-transformed-by-cornerbacks-coverage-b99418753z1-287430621.html What will be the impact of the loss of two experienced CBs to free agency upon this season’s pass rush?

    • GBPDAN

      Hopefully we don’t have a bunch of confused DBs in pass coverage like we have had in the past. Last year was the first time in a while that receivers weren’t finding wide open holes in our coverage . With 2 rookie DBs , I’m somewhat worried, also

  • Big T

    Datone Jones = Bust .. Nick “the fairy” Perry = Bust .. Only way TT will change anything here is if they get season ending injuries. I would never wish that on anyone, but it would benefit the team. These guys have no heart. Physically they may have the tools but they have no drive. They are below JAG’s. Guion at least plays with heart and he doesn’t inhale when he smokes.

    • Mike Sherman

      Perry has been average to above average. He might not be able to do everything, but he can fill a role and a need in run D. You have to wait till after the season to call Jones a bust. He has great tools.

      • TedTomsin

        Big T is just looking for an excuse to rag on you know who. Perry and Jones are not busts. Tony Mandarich, Rich Campbell, Jon Michels, Jamal Reynolds, and Justin Harrel were busts.
        Ted

        • Big T

          Not ragging on anyone. Just don’t think they are an asset to the team.

          • TedTomsin

            “Only way TT will change anything here is if they get season ending injuries.”

            No, of course you are not ragging on anyone in particular.
            Ted

            • Big T

              TT let Newhouse on a professional football field, that is just sick. He wouldn’t make it on most High School football fields. That is one love affair I will never understand. The only person TT is fooling is the one he sees in the mirror every morning.

              • TedTomsin

                “TT let Newhouse on a professional football field, that is just sick.”

                No, of course you are not ragging on anyone in particular.
                Ted

              • dobber

                Isn’t Newhouse in the NY Giants camp?

        • NemoOutis

          I can’t believe it! Justin Harrell a bust? (He spells his last name with 2 “L”s by the way). Impossible. Wasn’t he picked by . . . you know who . . . the man who walks on water. He doesn’t make any mistakes. Not him! I’m shocked that you would dare to make such an implication! Shocked, I say, shocked!

          • TedTomsin

            Thank you for responding Captain Nemo and thank you for reminding me of something I forgot to add.
            Justin Harrel was a medical bust. The others just were flat out bad. Justin Harrel could have been one of the best had he remained healthy. Can’t blame you know who for an injury. Beyond the great ones control.
            Ted

            • NemoOutis

              Ah, but doesn’t he know all? Isn’t the great one omniscient? Again, an implication of mere mortality! You heretic, you. The punishment for high treason is to be hanged, drawn and quartered. May “the great one” have mercy on your soul.

              • TedTomsin

                Nemo, in the interest of fairness and honesty, I received an email from a Bryan from Milwaukee this morning. He was at the same practice I was when I saw Ted walk on water.
                Well, according to him the maintenance staff laid out a long board over the large water puddle for the players and coaches to walk over. Apparently the board was still under water by about half an inch. Bryan, who was closer than I was, said most players didn’t use the board and just walked thru the water getting their shoes all wet while Ted was the only person who walked over the board.
                So I guess seeing him far away from a distance it appeared to me he was walking on water but the reality was he was walking on a board so I have to retract my statement that I saw Ted walk on water. My apologies.
                Ted

              • NemoOutis

                At last, a semblance of rationality! For some time now, and for your own well-being and benefit you understand, I was making arrangements to have you forcibly returned to society for deprogramming before the TT-cult could induce you to drink its Kool-Aid. Now, you’re on your own. Good Luck!

              • See the post above, where Ted posits that TT used a 2nd round pick on Brian Brohm knowing Brohm was a bust.

              • NemoOutis

                Thanks for the heads up. Frankly, I think Ted’s delusions are worsening to the point where his electro-shock therapy is doing him no good. Time for the lobotomy.

            • marpag

              Well… everybody knew that Harrell had serious medical problems when he was still at Tennessee. At the very least you have to admit that TT was taking quite a risk.

              • TedTomsin

                Of course he was taking a risk but the blame then has to go on the medical staff who told him he was ok to draft. If I do have a beef with TT it’s not on his drafting but his choosing of the medical staff and trainers. TT has been poor in that regard but then again I can’t blame him 100% for that either since he’s not a doctor. Perhaps he should have consulted with HolmesMD. Oh well.
                Ted

            • NemoOutis

              I just have 2 words to say in response: Brian Brohm.

              • TedTomsin

                Brian Brohm was a purposeful expendable high pick by Ted to get rid of Favre or to justify not taking him in the event he wanted to come back which he did. Ted was right on all counts.
                The fact Brohm couldn’t play was a nonissue. He was able to start Rodgers as a result and won the super bowl two years later. Had he not bit the bullet and taken Brohm even though he didn’t want too, Favre would have been able to come back and Rodgers would have left. This is why Ted is a legend and you are not Nemo. Class dismissed.
                Ted

              • NemoOutis

                A wonderful rationalization; delusional but imaginative. Perhaps I spoke too soon earlier when I indicated that I would terminate your commitment proceedings and deprogramming regimen, leaving you to wonder the streets as just another lost, babbling victim of the TT cult. Farewell to you in your wanderings.

              • TedTomsin

                Pretty simple Nemo. You get Favre out and you immediately draft two qb’s so the fans know that you mean business and are “moving on” with Rodgers as your starter and the two rookies as your backup. Wasting a 2nd round draft pick to get rid of the old goat was simply the cost of doing business. It needed to be done to fool gullible people like you Nemo and it worked. I thought I dismissed class a few hours ago. It’s time for you and Reynoldo to go home.
                Ted

              • NemoOutis

                Yours is a textbook case of oneirophrenia, which should be documented in DSM-5.

              • NemoOutis

                BTW, the diagnosis of oneirophrenia is based upon your association with the TT cult. Such cults use sleep and sensory deprivation and drugs to “program” their devotees. This often results in schizophrenic-type hallucinations and delusions, such as the ones you obviously are experiencing. A year or two of electro-shock therapy may help. Worse-comes-to-worse, a lobotomy would ensure that you don’t harm yourself or others. No worries.

        • Tundraboy

          Gee thanks for mentioning Mandarich. Mr Softee. The greatest bust ever and at the greatest cost.

          • TedTomsin

            Yeah, for all the hype he brought I would say you are right Tundra.
            Ted

    • Archie

      Don’t forget Raji and Thornton. Neal and Peppers probably in their last season with Packers too. I have high hopes for Elliott but hope is just hope. I’m thinking LBs will be improved this year but DL remains scary. If we’re lucky, secondary will be playing well by season’s end, especially if pass rush measures up to last year.

    • PFF stats on the pass rush ability of 3-4 DE (Datone is 17th)

      RankPlayerSack %Hit/Hur %Tot Pres %Sack RateAPY

      1. J.J. Watt 2.8%15.0%17.7%15.7%$16,666,667

      2. Cameron Jordan 2.7%11.8%14.5%18.4%$1,932,850

      3 Kyle Williams 2.4%10.5%12.9%18.8%$10,000,000

      4 Vinny Curry 2.7%10.2%12.9%21.2%$845,458

      5 Mike Daniels 1.9%9.8%11.7%16.3%$600,146

      6 Antonio Smith 1.9%9.2%11.2%17.4%$2,000,000

      7 Frostee Rucker 1.3%9.6%10.9%12.0%$1,000,000

      8 Jurrell Casey 1.0%9.4%10.5%9.8%$9,000,000

      9 Justin Smith 1.4%9.0%10.4%13.3%$4,550,000

      10 Calais Campbell 1.7%8.6%10.3%16.1%$11,000,000

      11 Cameron Heyward 1.4%8.6%10.0%13.9%$1,676,257

      12 Tommy Kelly 0.2%9.4%9.7%2.4%$955,000

      13 Sheldon Richardson 1.4%7.9%9.3%15.3%$2,513,500

      14 Fletcher Cox 0.6%8.6%9.2%7.0%$2,560,300

      15 Arthur Jones 1.7%7.3%9.0%18.4%$6,600,000

      16 Cory Redding 1.2%7.7%8.9%13.2%$3,000,000

      17 Datone Jones 1.7%7.1%8.8%18.9%$1,929,150

      18 Corey Liuget 1.3%7.5%8.7%14.5%$2,078,936

      19 Ray McDonald 0.9%7.7%8.6%10.3%$1,050,000

      20 Muhammad Wilkerson 1.7%6.9%8.5%19.8%$1,718,750

      21 Brett Keisel 0.9%7.4%8.3%10.6%$1,500,000

      22 Desmond Bryant 1.3%7.0%8.3%15.6%$6,800,000

      23 Tony Jerod-Eddie 0.0%8.0%8.0%0.0%$585,000

      24 Ricardo Mathews 0.7%6.7%7.4%9.7%$920,000

      25 Darnell Dockett0. 9%6.4%7.3%12.5%$3,750,000

      26 Kendall Reyes 0.8%6.1%6.9%11.5%$1,031,999

      27 Jared Crick 1.0%5.9%6.9%14.3%$622,875

      28 Billy Winn 0.7%6.0%6.7%10.3%$544,670

      29 Allen Bailey 1.0%5.5%6.5%15.6%$5,000,000

      30 Ricky Jean-Francois 1.0%4.9%6.0%17.1%$3,000,000

      31 Chris Canty 0.6%4.8%5.4%11.1%$2,325,000

      32 Vince Wilfork 0.2%4.4%4.7%5.3%$4,500,000

      33 Cedric Thornton 0.3%4.2%4.5%6.5%$2,356,000

      34 Jarvis Jenkins 0.7%3.0%3.7%20.0%$825,000

      PFF’s stats – run defense of 3-4 DE (Perry is not listed in top 19):

      J.J. Watt 12.2%14.1%$16,666,667

      Calais Campbell 10.5%12.7%$11,000,000

      Cedric Thornton 9.6%13.2%$2,356,000

      Fletcher Cox 9.0%11.2%$2,560,300

      Muhammad Wilkerson 8.9%10.5%$1,718,750

      Sheldon Richardson 8.7%11.9%$2,513,500

      Mike Daniels 8.4%10.0%$600,146

      Arthur Jones 8.4%11.0%$6,600,000

      Ray McDonald 8.4%11.8%$1,050,000

      Allen Bailey 7.9%10.6%$5,000,000

      Justin Smith 7.2%9.5%$4,550,000

      Corey Liuget 6.4%8.9%$2,078,936

      Ricky Jean-Francois 6.4%7.6%$3,000,000

      Cameron Heyward 6.2%9.1%$1,676,257

      Cory Redding 5.7%7.3%$3,000,000

      Jarvis Jenkins 5.6%8.7%$825,000

      Desmond Bryant 5.3%7.8%$6,800,000

      Jared Crick 5.0%8.4%$622,875

      Kendall Reyes 3.5%5.3%$1,031,999

      Many might notice how highly rated Mike Daniels is on both lists. Based on comparable players, Daniels is better than Casey ($9 million/yr average) and seems to be in the area of Calais Campbell ($11 million/yr). Take all PFF stats with a grain of salt.

      Source and link: http://overthecap.com/examining-muhammad-wilkersons-contract-situation-with-the-jets/

  • Taryn Miller

    As much as I proclaim to dwell in reality,I cannot help think of being one of the many this season who will again themselves dwell in the land of denial for the sake of my thinking being wrong and ultimate success being awarded.

    The very fact that this season rests largely on the play of the elder Peppers,the fart in the wind Neal,his even lesser companion Perry and the as yet play at ILB which would allow for the more constant presence of Matthews at OLB,though still having him mobile enough to offer muse to an offense,while the previous mentioned three won’t be returning no matter actual level of performance since that would seem likely nothing more than trying to prove Einstein’s Theory of Insanity,I believe, wrong….”Doing the same thing over and over in hope of a different outcome.”

    The Packers defense will be like a domino effect where as the screams of success will be if they fall as planned and not tipping over and leaving certain pieces standing alone as failure rules again in the end. 🙂

    • Tundraboy

      Pretty clear to me..Probably helps I studied Shakespeare and understand tragedy and fatal flaws.

      • dobber

        Ah, ya beat me to it… 🙂

        • Tundraboy

          What were the odds!

      • TedTomsin

        Tundra, I spent 20 years of study majoring in tragedy and fatal flaws by being a Packers fan in the 70’s and 80’s.
        Ted

    • aaronqb

      Have you auditioned for the Debbie Downer role on SNL by any chance?

      • Taryn Miller

        Please,I beg you,not the Debbie Downer title for simple disagreement…..How will I sleep tonight?

  • marpag

    LOL. That’s what I always say whenever I read a Taryn post.

    • Taryn Miller

      What you think of them is of no consequence to me,but you cannot help but read them can you?

      • marpag

        I’m sure it’s perfectly clear, Taryn. It’s just that I only speak English, Portuguese and Makua, and your words don’t appear to be any of those three.

        • Taryn Miller

          The heights of prominence which you wrap your ego around appears to have no boundary and I should feel honored that you take the time to remind me of my insignificance in your world.

          So,I shall bow with arse toward you in hope that you will bless it with a kiss.

          • Big T

            Taryn, be careful what you wish for. You may get more than a kiss.

            • Taryn Miller

              With my life experiences and being too old to go diving under my bed or into a closet to hide…I’ve mastered the simple shooing wave of my hand at such.

      • TedTomsin

        Hey Taryn,
        Were you by chance a writer for the HBO series Deadwood?

        As for pissing people off with your writing style. Keep it up Taryn. The more you piss people off the more people read what you say and the more people come out of the woodwork to post. That’s what it’s all about. People exchanging opinions, disagreeing at times and moving on trying not to take things too personal.

        I have a hard time understanding what you say as well at times Taryn but I like the fact you are different than anyone else here.
        Ted

  • Taryn Miller

    As expected.

  • Jeff

    I think they did add players in the draft to make the pass rush better! By adding a ILB that will put Matthews on the edge more often and by adding speed in the secondary they will have another rush coming from the corners/safeties so all in all this team will improve on defense which could be scary because they were looking real good in the latter part of the season already.

    • Tundraboy

      That’s what I’m thinking Added younger hungrier blood, speed and just take a way the Bone head moves from Jones, Hawk etc, I just believe the D will be much better, much.

      • Jeff

        Exactly by removing the weak slow players and putting new young blood in their place just makes this defense better IMO.

        • dobber

          If you’re going to make mistakes, make them at 150 mph…

  • dobber

    Just pretend you’re reading Shakespeare and it all falls into place. 😉

    • marpag

      Shakespeare? Hmm. I would have thought that one of those “stream of consciousness” guys like Faulkner or Joyce might be more instructive. Better yet, pick up a volume of your favorite existentialist philosopher. I’d recommend Martin Heidegger.

  • Right Makes Might

    AT some point, people have to start taking Profootballfocus.com with a grain of salt. For me, that point was reached in 2012 when they identified Brad Jones as being a top inside linebacker.

    According to http://www.pro-football-reference, the Packers had 41 sacks last year. Detroit had 42, and seven other teams had more. Our sack percentage was 11th, and our opposing passer rating was 7th. Clearly, we’re getting to the passer more than most teams, and we’re doing a better job in pass defense than most teams.

    • TedTomsin

      Ah but people love to keep score and the best way to do that is with numbers. Pro football focus is what the people want and use for argument settlement. I know a person named Stroh who uses it religiously and he’s never wrong.
      Ted

      • marpag

        You mean nobody has killed Stroh yet?? I find that hard to believe….

        • TedTomsin

          I rarely wish bodily injury upon another human being but Stroh was the exception. Though I must say it was because of him that I left CheeseheadTV and decided to bring my extensive knowledge on Packers football to this place for everyone to enjoy for free. I wanted a place where he wasn’t and I finally found it here.
          Ted

  • Rossonero

    I am worried. Pro Football Focus rated Mike Neal as the worst pass rusher in the NFC North. Along with Nick Perry, both are in a contract year and are likely gone.

    Peppers could be in his last year. TT waited until the 6th round to take Christian Ringo, and he will need at least a season to adjust to the NFL. Khyri Thornton is on the verge of saving face or being a spectacular bust.

    What was done to make us think the pass rush will be ok not just this year, but next?

    I am tired of waiting on Datone Jones too. I’ve given up on Neal and Perry, but not on Jones yet. If he repeats the past two years, then I am throwing in the towel in on him too.

    • TedTomsin

      Rossonero, I’ve got great news for you regarding Nick Perry. His wife was on channel 5 in Green Bay doing celebrity sports one night. Turns out she’s pregnant and Nick is about to become a father. There is your dagger!!
      Nick now has a family to feed. I expect Nick to have an absolutely monster year. Do not give up on Nick Perry. His best is yet to come!! Trust me on this one!!
      Ted

      • Big T

        “His best is yet to come!!” That is a very safe statement. He has been a pile of buffalo dung out on the field. It will only take a “pulse” to be better than what he has shown so far.

        • TedTomsin

          lol.. Come on man!! The guy has a kid on the way. It’s time to take his job serious. I expect him to have a huge year. I know I know Big T, you don’t think much of Nick the Bust. You will be in shock and awe this year Big T when you see the turnaround for Nicholas Perry.
          Ted

  • Since ’61

    With the possible exception of Mike Daniels and CM3 the entire Packers front 7 is in a “show me” year. D. Jones, Boyd, Pennel, Raji, Guion, Neal, Perry, et.al. need to get it done this season against the run and the pass or they should hit the road. Being able to stop the run is a key to stopping the pass. If the Packers can keep their opponent’s offense one dimensional they should be able to stage an effective pass rush consistently. If not, they will remain vulnerable to play action and the result will be inconsistent pressure on opposing QBs. This defense is depending on several players to step up in 2015. If they don’t we should expect more of the same come playoff time. Thanks, Since ’61

  • TedTomsin

    Hey Doc, doesn’t Tom Hanks come to mind when you read some of this stuff but instead of baseball it’s football.
    I can just hear him saying, “There’s no Shakespeare in football”…..
    Ted

  • Dr. Holmes, Taryn’s prose is quite whimsical, and has an unusual quality to it. Parsing is generally required.

  • The defensive line shouldn’t be worse, and it might be better. Raji might help. I still have hope for Datone. Jones’ pass rush is pretty good, but he needs to be able to play on run downs instead of Boyd. Pennel has a lot of talent. We can hope that Thornton, and Ringo impress. I wonder if Guion can play DE for depth or in certain packages? When Daniels asks for $10.5 million/yr to re-sign, people might look back at passing on Malcom Brown.

    LB probably won’t be worse. As in any year, the team needs its impact players (CM3 and Peppers) to stay healthy and not have father time strike this year. CB looks dicey to me. I am not sure who can play outside CB. It has possibilities though.

    The point of the article is the pass rush. We are assuming that Peppers will either retire or father time will strike after this season. If so, I agree with the author that GB might be short of impact OLBs in 2016. It is possible that Elliott, Perry, or someone else will have a breakout year. it will probably have to be addressed in next year’s draft, or gulp, FA.

  • Tim

    I believe the young man Adrian Hubbard – at 6′ 6″” & 145lbs – is gonna surprise some folks. Word has it he has “bulked up” and worked quite hard, dedicating himself to make an impact at OLB for the Pack this year. Had it too easy at ‘bama, now he is getting serious. He could be a real al stud!

  • Peter Maiz

    Pass rush is one thing. The lack of experienced cornerbacks may be the Achilles heel of 2015.