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Here Are Packers Starting Outside Linebackers

This was pretty much a foregone conclusion, wasn’t it?

The Green Bay Packers didn’t draft Nick Perry in the first round to have him sit on the bench. They planned for him to start opposite Clay Matthews from day one.

That was confirmed during the first day of OTAs open to the public, today. Perry was running with the No. 1 defense. The interesting development is where he lined up.

Perry was on the left side, which was the spot Matthews occupied last year. Matthews has been moved to the right side.

If the defensive line stays true to last year’s form, that would put Perry behind the veteran, Ryan Pickett. On the right side, Matthews will likely end up behind second-round pick Jerel Worthy.

Here’s why the move makes sense.

Both Perry and Worthy are going to need a little seasoning. The Packers don’t want two guys who are wet behind the ears playing on the same side if they can help it. Moving Matthews will help account for any mistakes Worthy makes and hopefully, having Pickett suck up blockers will allow Perry to get to the quarterback.

In a best-case scenario, Worthy will prove a decent pass rusher himself, allowing Matthews even more room to roam.

It’s going to be fun to watch how this defense develops.

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. David May 22, 2012

    Also… Clay got more sacks when he came from the right the year before. He was moved to the left because…. well I don’t know the reason but that’s what the coaches did.

    Even if Worthy isn’t a fantastic pass rusher… his “quick first step” should help Clay get free since they’ll both be coming hard and fast.

    1. Asimov May 22, 2012

      Typically you want your best pass rusher against their worst pass blocker. Moving Clay put him against the right tackle, which is usually the less skilled pass blocker of the offensive tackles.

      Clay didn’t see double teams on every play two-years ago, which I would attribute more to his lower sack production than his position on the field.

  2. peter May 22, 2012

    Also your Rt LB in the 3-4 is usually the bigger in size of the two which Perry is. The journal has a good piece about this, can’t wait to see the bash brothers in action.

  3. iltarion May 23, 2012

    Love the #53. That is # for Mike “Mad Dog” Douglas.

    At the time, I agreed with the strategy of putting Matthews on the right.

    1) Teams typically like to run to their right. Its the more natural handoff for a right-handed RB to take, and teams normally have their best pass blocker on the left. Matthews was clearly the best run-stuffer among the OLBs.

    2) A QB hurry can be as good as a sack, and so it made sense to put Matthews where the QB could see him coming.

    Unfortunately, what we saw last season was #2 backfiring on us. Since QBs could see Matthews coming, they often dumped the ball off immediately before he got to them. If he is coming from the backside, he probably has at least 4 more sacks last season.