Even though [intlink id=”1335″ type=”category”]Erik Walden[/intlink] was listed as the Green Bay Packers No. 1 right outside linebacker on the first depth chart, [intlink id=”1058″ type=”category”]Frank Zombo[/intlink] is reportedly getting the reps.
Zombo started Saturday’s snoozer of a preseason game against Cleveland and ran with the No. 1 defense in practice on Monday. Walden was with the No. 2 defense on the right and Brad Jones, who was also in the running for the starting spot, was No. 2 on the left behind [intlink id=”454″ type=”category”]Clay Matthews[/intlink].
The job to bookend Matthews looks like it will come down to Zombo and Walden. Although Walden has made more big plays, Zombo is said to have the edge because he’s been more consistent overall and is better against the run.
Regardless of who the starter is, it probably won’t make much difference. Walden will get time on passing downs and all three players should see the field on defense.
“The rotation of Frank Zombo, Erik Walden and even Brad Jones, I think all of those guys have done very well when I look at that position,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’m more interested in the balance between outside linebacker snaps and special teams. It’s something we need to balance out not only in training camp but once we get into the games. We’re going to play a lot of different subpackages throughout the season. That’s where those reps and those players will definitely balance out.”
A rotation usually means one of two things. Either a team has an overabundance of talent at a position or no clear-cut starter.
Although there’s still time for players to distinguish themselves and all three linebackers are still growing professionally, the Packers are in the latter category.
However, considering they won a Super Bowl with the same three guys last season, that’s no reason to panic.