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Green Bay Packers: Three Positions In Need of Reinforcements

[tps_title]1. Outside Linebacker[/tps_title]

Nick Perry

Free agents: Mike Neal
Entering final contract year: None

The Green Bay Packers have enough bodies at outside linebacker with Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Andy Mulumba and Nate Barrington.

The question is, are any of these guys more than just a body?

We know Clay Matthews is, but when is the last time he made it through a full season without getting injured? I’ll tell you — 2009, his rookie year. He’s missed 11 games over the last four seasons, with nine of those coming in the past two.

So it would behoove the Packers to beef up this position if, for nothing else, just to have another playmaker handy for when Matthews suffers his annual hamstring injury.

And yes, that means we’re suggesting none of the other guys on the roster are playmakers. Or more accurately, they haven’t proven they’re playmakers.

Perry was a first-round pick, but he’s missed 15 games in his first two seasons. He also made the transition from defensive end in college to outside linebacker in the pros. The Packers really don’t know what they have with Perry yet.

Mulumba was an undrafted rookie in 2013 (and a college defensive end). He should continue to improve, but still needs a lot of work as a pass rusher. Palmer, a 2013 sixth-round pick, barely got on the field as a rookie.

The one guy, other than Matthews, who actually made some plays was Mike Neal. He tallied five sacks after moving from defensive end in the offseason. Neal still has some work to do, but he showed more promise than Perry in just one season playing outside linebacker.

Unfortunately, he’s a free agent. If the Packers can re-sign Neal, then great.

Another outside linebacker — and maybe one who isn’t a converted defensive end — that the Packers know to be a playmaker certainly wouldn’t hurt though.


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 Steamboat February 19, 2014

    Please hire Greg Schiano as your D-Cord. & make the switch to a 4-3…
    I’m not your typical commentor that calls for people’s heads like many do with Ted Thompson…but dammit

    We have the personnel for a 4-3 already
    I hate our pussy 3-4. It’s a lame full-time nickel defense.

    Why the hell you draft guys like Mike Neal & Nick Perry just to have them change positions is beyond me.

    1. GBslacker February 19, 2014

      Mike Neal playing in space is about like Sandra Bullock playing in space.

      1. Phatgzus February 19, 2014

        Ba dum tss! Not a big fan of Sandy Bullock or Gravity, eh?

        1. GBslacker February 19, 2014

          not about being a fan — it’s just tough to move in space

    2. Remedy February 19, 2014

      Greg Shitcano?

      You fucking serious?

      1. TyKo Steamboat February 19, 2014

        Yes. Schiano can coach a defense. He is a really good coach. He will go somewhere & make someone into a great defense.

        I don’t hate Dom. I have a lot of admiration for Dom. He won us a Superbowl

        Schiano would run a defense like the Ryan brothers…that is hard-core NFL defense.

  2. GBslacker February 19, 2014

    Will there be another article: “Three positions that blow!”
    Will that be where the ILBs are mentioned?

    Jones just doesn’t have it. All I can remember from last season is his slew-foot jog to a pile, after the play is over.

    Hawk plays like he’s wearing buckets instead of cleats.

    Francois will likely get ditched after the Achilles injury.

    Lattimore is not worth a tender?

    What a steaming pile.

    But on a serious note, it may not be the players.
    Q: Who lets Hawk play 5-6yds off the LOS, and drift back in space and try to tackle or cover?
    A: Capers — the “excellent” coach.

    1. Cheese February 19, 2014

      How about and article called “How many conversion projects will they have this year?”
      D-line to LB?
      CB to safety?
      OT to center?
      Whatever Ray Webber was before to TE?
      WR to back up QB???? Cobb can do anything lol

      1. GBslacker February 19, 2014

        Shields to nose tackle.

  3. Phatgzus February 19, 2014

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say Neal showed more promise than Perry. When healthy, Perry was starting to get in a groove, Rookie year and especially this season (3 strip-sacks, one right before half that led to points). His problem is whether he can stay healthy or not. Neal was pretty good as well, just not as good as a healthy Perry IMHO. Neither could cover a wastepaper basket with a dumpster lid.

  4. K.L. February 19, 2014

    If Perry could just stay healthy, we would be just fine at OLB.

    1. TyKo Steamboat February 19, 2014

      We all HOPE you’re right….

  5. Howard February 19, 2014

    The next article, “Three positions that blow” will show the real problem with the defense. We are weak up the middle and you cannot play championship defense with a weak middle. Nose tackle/D-line, inside linebackers, and safety. Once those positions are upgraded by the draft or free agency with more speed, length, ball awareness, and willingness to wrapup on a tackle, then the current or future outside linebackers need to contain alot better than the last few years.

    A substantial portion of the big run plays had one common feature and that was loss of containment to the outside after the middle somewhat held there own. Neal seemed to loose contain the most of the regulars for some reason. It is possible Neal just needs more experience at linebacker.

    Palmer and Mulamba need experience in run contain with Palmer needing more upgrade than Mulamba. Perry when not injuried does seem to be a play maker.

    What we need is an outside linebacker like Worilds from Pittsburgh. He was all over the field in the game against us. Not sure if that game was the exception or the rule; however Worilds stood out and was making plays from sideline to sideline.

  6. BZ in BA February 19, 2014

    I think that ILB is more of a problem than OLB. I also am surprised that Safety wasn’t mentioned, as this is our most critical weakness in my opinion.

  7. Phatgzus February 19, 2014

    I don’t understand the “Conversion Argument”, just seems like a lazy stance to take. There are hundreds if not thousands of successful NFL players who altered their positions during the Collegiate-Professional or even later in their careers: Shields, Adderley Rod Woodson being two obvious examples, also Jason Peters, Jason Taylor, Otto Graham, Dave Casper, Andre Tippett, and the list goes on; Hell, Carleton Hasselrig was one of the most dominating linemen during his peak and he didn’t play a lick of football in college.

    1. TyKo Steamboat February 19, 2014

      You mean way back when they played football barefoot? The game has kinda, sorta evolved since then.Especially in the last 15 seasons.

      These players need to be familiar with a position & a system…but by the time they get decent at it, it comes time for a new contract or they get hurt. (See Packers, Green Bay)

  8. the real russ letlow February 20, 2014

    I would like to see the Packers carry 3 QBs this year. Sign Flynn and hang on to Tolzien. They can make room by keeping one less TE.

  9. 8BitEra February 20, 2014

    Who the hell is Nate Barrington? And where’s Sam Palmer?