1) Introduction: Howard Green can thank for the Jenkins family for the 2010 season; while he started on the Redskins (only to be cut in the offseason), he was scooped by the Jets after starting nose tackle Kris Jenkins went on IR due to a ACL injury. But his time there was short lived as he was cut after the Jets bye week for purportedly coming back at 375 pounds. He chose to drive home in his pickup truck to New Orleans but when he hit the Louisiana border his agent called him to tell him to get his butt to Green Bay since the Packers had just claimed him up off waivers. More driving and a long flight back up north had Green back in Green, only this time to relieve some of the strain on Kris Jenkins’ injured little brother Cullen. Oh yah, and his first game was against the Jets too.
Howard Green Jr.
Height: 6-2 Weight: 320 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: Not on the team. If anything the Packers only knew of Howard Green on game tape, but on the other side since the Packers saw the Redskins in week 5 and the Jets in week 8. However after he was cut by the Jets, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who had initially drafted him in 2002, picked him back up and inserted him as the backup DE behind Cullen Jenkins who was nursing a broken hand and to shore up a decimated defensive line, who had lost Johnny Jolly to suspension, Mike Neal to IR and had Jenkins and Ryan Pickett both playing hurt.
4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: Howard Green started the landslide for the Packers in first half the Super Bowl by man handling Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu, bull rushing him right into quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Green managed to get a hand on Roethlisberger’s hand and the pass fluttered right into the waiting arms of free safety Nick Collins, who weaved the ball back to the end zone for a pick 6.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: While Green did not light up the stat sheet, he did what 3-4 defensive linemen are supposed to do, which is to eat up blockers and allow linebackers to make plays. Green was used extensively after he was picked up by the Packers, more notably against teams that featured premier running backs. He not only took the place of Ryan Pickett when he missed a game but also for Cullen Jenkins as he battled through injuries at the end of the season. It also allowed the Packers to sit offensive linemen TJ Lang and Josh Sitton on goal line defensive plays; the Packers were so desperate for big bodies that they were forced to use offensive linemen, who routinely got taken advantage of due to their unfamiliarity with the defense.
6) Player’s contributions during the 6-win end-of-season run: Dom Capers introduced a “big 3” defensive linemen package that essentially put three nose tackles (Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, Howard Green) on the line of scrimmage for a total of over 1,000 pounds. Initially this grouping was used to let Cullen Jenkins get off the field due to his injuries, but this combination was so successful that it became almost a pseudo-base grouping by the playoffs. It allowed Green to play to his strengths (run defense) and allowed Jenkins to stay fresh for playing in the nickel and obvious passing downs. Howard Green also saw time as the left defensive tackle in 4-4 packages.
Season Report Card:
(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(C-) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C+) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)
Overall Grade for the year: C——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.