Defensive lineman Josh Boyd was a surprise to us last season. It was surprising to see the rookie fifth-round pick on the field to begin with and then more so when he started taking playing time away from first-round pick Datone Jones.
Boyd wasn’t a world beater, but he managed to make a few plays down the stretch. His continued improvement throughout the year makes us excited about his future. It makes Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy excited to.
McCarthy sees a bigger role for Boyd in 2014. That role could see him playing nose tackle, a position free agent Ryan Pickett occupied last season.
“I don’t want Josh to bulk up,” McCarthy said. “I think Josh definitely has the flexibility. He’s shown he can play the nose. He needs to take a huge step, and I think he’ll be one of those players that does in his second year.”
Second-year jump! Bam! We love talk of the second-year jump. There is no finer football cliche.
Joining Pickett as a free agent in March will be three more defensive linemen — Johnny Jolly, C.J. Wilson and fat-ass B.J. Raji. It was previously reported that the Packers would let both Pickett and Raji walk in free agency. It was also reported that they wanted to get more athletic on the defensive line.
McCarthy won’t concede that Pickett and Raji are gone, however. While he says it isn’t practical to bring all four free agents back, he also says he hasn’t closed the door on those two.
That’s probably because there’s still a chance the Packers could re-sign them for dirt cheap. At 34 years of age, there isn’t going to be a big market for Pickett. And after idiotically turning down $8 million annually from the Packers during the season, Raji is generating little interest after turning in a turd of a campaign.
The real question mark is Jolly, who was the Packers’ best defensive lineman not named Mike Daniels in 2013. There’s now speculation that the neck injury that ended his season may also cost him his career.
That would be unfortunate.
At the moment, there are a lot of moving parts on the defensive line. One of the few certainties is the Packers will be looking for more from Boyd in 2014.
…saw these comments on JS…
“these big bodies were nothing more than statues. They might be hard to move but they were run between and around with ease and their value as pass rushers is nil. All 3 are out of shape.”
“^This. Being bigger, stronger, and faster doesn’t mean that it has to be around the waist. I would rather have guys like the 49er’s Justin Smith who are massive strong men without the spare tire.”
I’m hoping that the door is closed on Pickett, Raji, and Jolly — these guys didn’t make it halfway through the season, IMO. Three passes defensed — season total for the trio! Way less than three tackles per game for the trio. Every year it’s a struggle to have them report in shape — and in later years it gets sloughed off when coaches say “we like ’em heavy.”
This bullshit about space-eaters and commanders-of-double-teams — don’t really see that it helped our pass rush, or against the run. The fatties get stood-up and neutralized; the punks get ridden out of the play or pull up lame (pulled muscles, broken bones).
…How is it that the offense can lose Rodgers, Finley, Cobb, and Bulaga, and others — for all or part of the season — and still finish #3 in offense?
Yet with similar personnel losses on defense, our “excellent” Capers manages to stumble to the finish line with the 25th rated outfit?
And something else that doesn’t pass the sniff test: are our defensive players really that bad? everyone of them?
the dLine sucks.
the OLBs suck (not so much if CM3 was healthy)
the ILBs suck
the safeties suck
the CBs sometimes suck (odd, considering that in last year’s training camp we had 8 guys that could play in the NFL!)
That’s a lot of sucking…
Or does it take a shitty scheme — to bring about an effort that makes everyone look bad?
a scheme that doesn’t mesh with our personnel?
I hate to say it, but I see another season of defensive mediocrity. We’ll lose some old/fat/lazy players and replace them with new/clueless players that are slowed by the digestion of Caper’s defense — a wash.
I just hope we keep Jolly. Though it would be cool if Raji could stay as well since he seems to be great at NT.
I think neck injuries are becoming the new hamstring in Green Bay.