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Smith, Francois May Get Snaps When Starters Return

A.J. Hawk

Hawk may see his snap count decrease.

D.J. Smith and Robert Francois have played well while the Green Bay Packers starting inside linebackers, Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk, have been injured. In fact, they’ve probably played better than anyone thought.

Smith has 18 tackles and an interception in the last two weeks. Francois has 13, an interception and a forced fumble. It could be argued both have played at a higher level than Hawk this season.

While that’s a whole other issue, defensive coordinator Dom Capers says Smith and Fracois could still see action when Hawk and Bishop return.

“Well, you want to have as much depth, and there are different roles,” Capers said. “We certainly have enough defensive packages and so you could see those guys show up in different defensive packages. I know the experience here will pay off and it’ll certainly help us as we move closer to the playoffs.”

It’s unknown exactly when Bishop will be ready to return, but Hawk will be back this week. In fact, he could have played against the Raiders and was suited up, but was held out because the score got out of hand so quickly. At least that’s what the coaching staff claimed.

It will be interesting to see how plays get divided up moving forward.

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. Sheri December 14, 2011

    “the score got out of hand so quickly” LMAO ha ha ha ha ha that was the best game EVER

  2. tkhelland December 14, 2011

    I’d like to see more of Rob in the nickle he seems to have a better grasp of coverage skill than hawk that’s for sure

  3. iltarion December 14, 2011

    It is sort of unfair to compare performances after a stellar game against a slow Raiders team. Francois and Smith were awesome that game. However, I also remember both of them virtually disappearing against the Giants and being too hesitant in stopping the run.

    Francois hasn’t stayed with TEs any better than Hawk did. Slow Jake Ballard ate Francois up. On the other hand, Francois has two INTs and a forced fumble in 3 games, and that is more big plays than Hawk has made all year.

    Both guys have played well for back ups, as we now expect from this team. Hopefully, that lifts the play of the starts.

  4. Dave December 14, 2011

    you bet, we want that competition in there, and something i’ve seen from Smith is fire, he’s flying all over the place, putting big hits on people and keeping it up tempo. we need more of that from our starters.

  5. ASU 95 December 17, 2011

    Just found out a fellow alumn (D.J. From Appalachian State) got some starts and is playing well enough to some some regular time.

    Way 2 go Mountaineer!

    Class of 95