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Things That Don’t Happen Often As Important As Those That Do

Larry English

The Packers defense wouldn't be the same with this guy.

Prior to the 2009 NFL Draft, there were a lot of whispers the Green Bay Packers were interested in outside linebacker Larry English of Northern Illinois.

Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks suggested the Packers were considering English with the No. 9 overall selection. Meanwhile, the Press Gazette’s Pete Dougherty spoke at length about English’s potential during one of his draft previews.

All signs pointed to the Packers having a real interest in English and had they taken him, this would be a whole different team.

Things played out for the best, though. The Packers selected nose tackle [intlink id=”473″ type=”category”]B.J. Raji[/intlink] with the No. 9 pick. English went to the San Diego Chargers at No. 16, which was a surprise to many.

The Packers landed their outside linebacker by trading back into the first round and choosing [intlink id=”454″ type=”category”]Clay Matthews[/intlink] with pick No. 26. We all know how this worked out for the Packers, but let’s say things turned out differently.

What if the Chargers tabbed Matthews at No. 16 or the Packers chose English at No. 9 like Banks suggested? It’s unlikely the Packers defense would be as good as it is today.

It’s also unlikely the team would have won [intlink id=”1425″ type=”category”]Super Bowl XLV[/intlink].

In two seasons in San Diego, English has 53 tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble in only four starts. Although he’s been plagued by foot problems, English has deservedly been labeled a bust.

Matthews, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. In his two seasons, Matthews has 111 tackles, 23.5 sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns.

It just goes to show how a simple twist of fate could change the fortunes of an entire organization.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. TyKo in Steamboat CO May 30, 2011

    Michael Crabtree was avaiable at the # 9 pick too…and many thought we would take him there, but we resisted temptation and made the solid pick of Raji. Crabtree went the next pick to the Forty-Whiners…………phew

  2. Johnny Appleseed May 30, 2011

    Just shows what ol Johnny Appleseed knows about the NFL Draft, I wanted Crabtree, Ted wanted BJ. Ted wins again.

  3. Randy R May 30, 2011

    I havent followed English, but 53 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble in 4 games is pretty f ing good…lol…just sayin

    1. Jack May 30, 2011

      uhhh…four starts…not four games, he plays a backup role on the Chargers defense most of the time

  4. Taryn May 31, 2011

    Very rarely does a player impact the same, no matter the team.
    TT seems to have a monopoly on foresight and foresees what his future scheme is missing and needs,hence the reason we all scratch our heads and he revels in the enjoyment of it.

  5. Abe Frohman May 31, 2011

    Meh….TT is such a great poker player that I seriously doubt that Banks had any “inside” information to begin with. If he did, it might have been just to mess with the other teams.