1) Introduction: Frank Zombo was one of eleven undrafted free agents signed during the 2010 offseason, and he was the only one of four LBs in that group to make the 53-man roster. He came from Central Michigan, where he started at DE for three years and recorded 25.5 career sacks – second most in CMU history. The Packers signed him as an OLB, making him part of the revolving list of players at the ill-fated position. A serviceable starter with a good pass rush, Zombo’s knee injury against the Lions in Week 14 sidelined him for six weeks. He returned to health in time to start in Super Bowl XLV.
Height: 6-3 Weight: 254 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season: As an undrafted free agent in competition with a number of other OLBs, Frank Zombo’s expectations for the team weren’t terribly high among fans. The coaches, however, seemed to see something in Zombo’s play that they liked. Throughout preseason, Zombo remained in the rotation of potential OLBs to start opposite Clay Matthews. After the final cut to the 53-man roster, Zombo found himself as one of only four OLBs kept by the Packers. He showed some bright flashes in the preseason games and was close enough to the top of the depth chart to almost be guaranteed some playing time during the regular season.
4) Highlights / Lowlights: One year removed from being a DE in college, Zombo didn’t really have any “spectacular” games during the season. He did, however, rank fourth on the team in sacks (5) and sixth in pressures (14). Zombo’s lowest point of the year was, of course, the injury that kept him out for six critical games of the season. (Runner up was his untimely helmet-to-helmet hit on Jay Cutler in Week 3.)
5) Contributions to the overall team success: For the money they paid him, the Packers got just what they were looking for in Frank Zombo. Primarily, he served as a competent pass-rusher to perform across from Clay Matthews. Despite his large room for overall improvement, Zombo did get better as the season progressed, and he wasn’t someone opposing offenses could just forget about.
6) Contributions during the end-of-season 6-game run: After being injured in Week 14 against the Lions, Zombo remained out of action for five of the six-game home stretch. (Erik Walden played in his stead.) Fortunately, he was able to return for the Super Bowl when the injury bug hit Walden in the NFC Championship Game. And he actually performed admirably against the Steelers. He ranked fourth in tackles (5 – all of them solo), made two tackles for losses, and was the only player to sack Ben Roethlisberger.
Season Report Card:
(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success
(D+) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)
Overall Grade for the Year: (C)——————Follow @ChadToporski