1) Introduction: A.J. Hawk didn’t really look that interested this year. His head wasn’t in a lot of tackles and it showed in his performance. Even though he has been the quarterback of the defense and the players love him, the Packers cannot live with his underwhelming production anymore.
2) Profile: A.J. Hawk
- Age: 31
- Born: 01/06/1984 in Kettering, OH
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 235
- College: Ohio State
- Rookie Year: 2006
- NFL Experience: 9 years
- Career stats and more
3) Expectations coming into the season: His leadership qualities were the reason that Hawk was still called upon to not only lead the defense but make plays as well. After finishing with arguably his best season in 2013, Hawk and the Packers were looking for good things.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Hawk couldn’t stay with anyone, he couldn’t get to the passer and he seemed to shy away from contact at times. His career in a decline for a couple years but this was very surprising. He allowed a linebacker-high 4½ passes of 20 yards or more and had only 54 tackles — the second-lowest mark of his career.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The leadership is about the only thing that he can hang his hat on. After coming off a season in which he still could get to the point of attack and force a play, this season the play was well past him. He did make 10 tackles in a blowout win vs. Chicago but he also recorded three games with just one tackle.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Nothing spectacular, just one tackle in two games. The play that most people are going to remember is when Hawk failed to cover Seattle’s deepest receiver on the fake field goal touchdown pass. He was helpless as the lollipop pass sailed over his head.
7) Intangibles: He knows defenses very well and is a good team guy. Because of his leadership skills, he may be able to still find work in the NFL, but the Packers will quickly cut him to save the $3.5 million in cap space.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(F) Level of expectations met during the season
(F) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: F——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn