We were wondering what the hell was going on when the Green Bay Packers moved Mike Neal from defensive end to outside linebacker during OTAs. Well, the move seems to be working fine so far.
Outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene says Neal has “explosibility.”
What the hell is explosibility? Well, we’re guessing Greene means Neal is explosive.
“He brings a lot of tools to the fight,” Greene said. “His power and speed and explosibility are (some) of them. Clay (Matthews) brings that same kind of stuff to it. It’s just Mike weighs a little bit more with it.”
The question with Neal will remain if he’s too big to play standing up. He weighs 275 pounds and most outside linebackers in the 3-4 are 260 or less.
The Packers seem to think Neal’s speed makes up for his size and that outside linebacker might put him in better position to play the run. Neal had 4.5 sacks as a defensive end last season, but only managed 11 tackles.
That’s a pretty awful tackle total for a guy who played in 11 games.
“I think [outside linebacker] just best suits me. I don’t think I’m a bad run player as a defensive end, but I think using my athleticism is probably the biggest thing,” Neal said. “It just puts me in a better role to be able to use my athleticism. I think the learning part of it is what they wanted me to learn so I can put myself in those positions.”
Ah, the learning part is what they wanted him to learn. Lots of good grammar and speech going on here.
Anyway, we doubt Neal will end up playing a huge role at outside linebacker this season. That is, unless Nick Perry proves to be a failure or Clay Matthews gets hurt.