Morgan Burnett 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

Green Bay Packers Report Cards, Player Grades
Morgan Burnett
Packers S Morgan Burnett

1) Introduction: Burnett came into the season as an established veteran in the Packers’ defensive backfield.  He was instrumental in helping along young defensive backs Micah Hyde and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.  Burnett also made a huge strides in his run support.

2) Profile:

Morgan Burnett

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 1/13/1989 in Memphis, TN
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 209
  • College: Georgia Tech
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 5 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Entering his fifth NFL season, Burnett was expected to turn the corner in his career and become the safety the Packers drafted him to be.  The alternative staring him in the face was to fizzle out and be replaced at year’s end.  With youngsters Micah Hyde and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix battling for the other starting safety spot, Burnett was to be a mentoring presence.  After a dismal showing by the Packers safety group in 2013, Burnett was looked upon to lead the charge in improving the output from the position in 2014.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: It could be debated that Burnett had his season’s high and low moments in the same game:  the NFC championship game in Seattle.  After logging the Packers’ fourth interception of the day with just four minutes left in regulation, Burnett was given the signal to give himself up and go to the ground, thereby preserving the possession and giving the Packers a chance to run out the clock.  Because that call apparently came from the sideline, I can’t completely fault Burnett for it.  Instead, I’m going with his having just three tackles and zero passes defensed in 58 total snaps against the Miami Dolphins as his season’s low-light.  His highlight was securing the pick of Russell Wilson late in the conference championship game, only his second of the entire season.  Burnett also had two sacks in that game.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Burnett turned in a solid 2014 season.  He vastly improved in his run stopping skills and was key in several goal line stands throughout the year.  He deserves credit for helping develop rookie Clinton-Dix.  Overall, Burnett played well enough to offer encouragement about his manning the defensive backfield for several seasons to come.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Burnett had a rather quiet showing against the Dallas Cowboys but had a key interception that should have led to the Packers sealing a huge underdog win to send them to their second Super Bowl in four years.  By sliding and giving himself up, Burnett was going along with the team’s game plan and was playing selflessly.  Without securing the interception, who knows what would have happened.  Overall, Burnett did more good than harm and certainly earned the captain’s “C” on his jersey.

7) Intangibles: Burnett continues to mature and ingrain himself as a top veteran presence on the roster.  Showed a lot of resolve in bouncing back after a lousy 2013 season.  Dealt well with adversity.

Season Report Card (Player Grades):

(A-) Level of expectations met during the season

(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B+


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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12 thoughts on “Morgan Burnett 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

  1. A good assessment.

    But the question will be: did the developing safeties benefit more from him, or did he benefit more from having better running-mates at the other safety slot? My thought is that he’s a guy who needs to have a decent safety playing next to him.

    1. Both, I’d say. Burnett was able to play to his strengths against the running game with Ha Ha in coverage, and vice versa. It’s the kind of combo you want to have at safety, I think.

      Of course, I’d also hope he shared his veteran wisdom with the younger guys. But can’t really know that.

    2. As long as players can feed off each other to succeed via each’s ability and not wondering who will and will not do their job is the ultimate benefit….unity,cohesion,execution and confidence in such.

  2. Burnett’s performance definitely improved over his 2013 season. He had a solid season, not a great season. He still has a way to go if he is to develop into a premier NFL safety. However, his 2014 level of play is acceptable if Clinton Dix develops into a premier safety in the league, which I believe he will, in fact, he may have already surpassed Burnett. Thanks, Since ’61

  3. No player should be faulted at all for obeying his coaches on the sideline. This was a good assessment of Burnett. He could improve his coverage skills. Although it does not appear to be part of your assessment, Burnett came close but probably did not quite play to his contract. He is the 13th highest paid Safety, which is the top 20%. I suppose the contract aspect reflects more on TT and the coaches than on the player.

  4. The safety position has been a problem for the Packers over the past five years. We are trying to over-come this with talent, which is great. I am starting to think that either the defense doesn’t know how to use safeties effectively or the secondary coaching is lacking. Way too many missed assignments and blown coverages.

    1. I have had concerns regarding GB’s safety coach, Darren Perry, for some time. He was hired in February of 2009. Nick Collins had his 1st pro bowl year the season before. Clearly Perry could not get McMillan or MD Jennings to play. His greatest successes were Banjo and Burnett. So I have been watching to see what he can do with Clinton Dix, Hyde (from whom I expected more) and Richardson. The blown coverages and miscommunications were fewer last season, but had been an epidemic in the past. Jury is out on Perry in my mind.


  6. What’s all this talk about “coach’s blunder” etc for Burnett going down? Julius Peppers is shown in the clip giving the ‘stop’ gesture. I’m sorry, but if a Hall-of-Famer like Peppers tells someone to go down, they go down. Watch the clip again if you don’t believe me.

  7. B+ overall? Pro bowl difference making safeties get a A+ or A. A B+ is close to this. I know Burnett had a much better season then last year, but that’s not saying much because he was terrible in 2013. I’d give him a B at best. Probably a B-

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