A.J. Hawk

We’ve never been real high on Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk. We’ve called him a bust. Frankly, that’s what you get when you’re the No. 5 overall draft pick and you produce zero Pro Bowl appearances in six NFL seasons.

By pretty much all accounts, 2011 was Hawk’s shittiest season to date. Still, there’s always someone on the Packers coaching staff who’s ready to run to Hawk’s defense. This time, it’s inside linebackers coach Winston Moss, who tells us Hawk played just fine last season.

“His year was just quiet,” Moss said. “When he got in, there wasn’t a lot of tackle production and there weren’t interceptions so you look at his stat line and you say, ‘Well, what the hell did he do last year?’ A.J. is not a problem. A.J. is not an issue. A.J. didn’t play poorly last year. He just didn’t make those impact plays.”

Ah, so Hawk isn’t on the field to make plays? Damn. I guess I’ve been confused about what an inside linebacker’s role is for some time then. Stupid me!

For the record, Hawk produced a career-low 84 tackles in 2011. He had no interceptions or forced fumbles and only 1.5 sacks.

Moss goes on to talk out of the other side of his mouth, saying that, hey, Hawk probably should be making plays. Wait… so an inside linebacker should be making plays then? This is all so terribly confusing!

“I’m fine with what A.J. is doing. But on the flipside of that, you want your guys being impactful and making plays. He didn’t do it last year and I’m sure he’s not satisfied. He’s going to respond accordingly.”

Ah, good. It’s all settled then. The Packers will continue to trot A.J. Hawk out onto the field, he’ll continue to be slow-footed and take bad angles, and he’ll continue to not make plays while we’re told he’s performing just fine. Hey, the dude is going to respond properly.

Sounds like a plan!