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Who Will Packers Start in Secondary? No One Knows

Jarrett Bush

The Green Bay Packers secondary remains a mystery entering the first week of the real NFL season.

That is, we know Tramon Williams is starting at one cornerback spot and we know the safeties in the base defense are Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett. The other cornerback job and the safety spot Woodson vacates by moving to the slot in the Packers nickel defense are being kept under wraps, though.

Not even the players know who will start in those spots.

“It’s still a waiting process,” cornerback Sam Shields said after Monday’s practice. “It’s like training camp is over, and you still don’t know. But whatever the coaches decide, whatever they come up with for Sunday against the 49ers, each one of us will be ready.”

The cornerback spot looks like it will come down to Shields or Jarrett Bush. It likely would have went to Davon House, but he’s still battling a shoulder injury he suffered during the Packers first preseason game. Rookie Casey Hayward also remains in the mix.

At safety, the job will go to either second-year man M.D. Jennings or rookie Jerron McMillian. Jennings started camp in the role, but McMillian was given a long look toward the end.

Our guess? Bush at corner and McMillian at safety.

Bush isn’t spectacular, but he gambles a lot less than Shields and is more seasoned than Hayward. As for McMillian, both he and Jennings are going to make mistakes. They’re both young. McMillian, however, has the greater upside and looks like the heavier hitter.

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. doug September 4, 2012

    agree on Bush. Hayward may pass him up at some point this season, after getting some experieince in the dime. McMillian definitely brings the hammer when he tackles. House’s shoulder keeps him in a relatively minor role all year. And there you have it!

  2. David September 4, 2012

    Bush can tackle… and the 49ers are going to want to run the ball with Gore and throw to their TE’s.

    Bush > Shields

    1. ay hombre September 4, 2012

      That’s a very good point regarding the opponent. I would give the nod to Shields in just about every scenario, but the 49ers are an exception.

  3. ay hombre September 4, 2012

    Sam Shields was a key contributor as a rookie on our Super Bowl winning team. Like a lot of young guys, he didn’t handle the immediate success of a Super Bowl very well. When he got that massive neck tattoo, it really seemed to me he was celebrating a career accomplishment and that his goals had been met.

    He probably thought everything from that point forward was going to come easy. We always hear about players who get to the big game early in their career and then never make it back. They think it happens every year.

    Last year and early this year may have been exactly the wake up call Shields needed. He’s got way more raw talent and speed than anyone in the secondary. His tackling has been pretty lousy as we all know, but then again so was Dion Sanders’.

    Sammy is no Deon, but he’s got a ton of game. Now he needs to find the work ethic and dedication the great ones have instead of looking in the mirror and admiring his tattoo. He should burn that thing off and start thinking of the future instead. Maybe he finally has?

    1. billyschwiliger September 4, 2012

      Neck Tattoos ruined the NBA (see Allen Iverson til present).

      Don’t let them ruin the NFL too.

  4. Vijay September 4, 2012

    Unfortunately, they’re going to learn that Bush should not start–the hard way. Expect BIG numbers from Alex Smith week 1.

    LDE Ryan Pickett Phillip Merling Mike Daniels
    NT B.J. Raji Ryan Pickett
    RDE C.J. Wilson Jerel Worthy
    LOLB Nick Perry Brad Jones
    LILB A.J. Hawk Brad Jones Robert Francois
    MLB D.J. Smith Jamari Lattimore Terrell Manning
    ROLB Clay Matthews Dezman Moses Jamari Lattimore
    LCB Tramon Williams Sam Shields Davon House
    RCB Jarrett Bush Casey Hayward Brandian Ross
    SS Charles Woodson M.D. Jennings Sean Richardson
    FS Morgan Burnett Jerron McMillian

  5. iltarion September 4, 2012

    Did you just say Bush gambles less than Shields? HAHAHAHA….

    Bush is the better tackler but Shields is the better cover corner. I also expect Bush to get the nod.

    I agree with hombre’s assertion that Shields got a neck tattoo and a bad attitude for his sophomore season. If he can get his head back together, he still has the talent to be a great corner, especially in the slot.