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Nick Perry May Be Getting a New Position

Nick Perry sacks Matthew Stafford

The Green Bay Packers need to do something to make 2012 first-round pick Nick Perry productive.

They can start by finding a way to keep him on the field. Perry has missed 15 games in his first two NFL seasons. In 2013, he started just six of 11 games. Part of the reason he was active but not starting in five of those games was a lingering foot injury. Another part was that Mike Neal was playing better.

But the Packers spent (wasted?) a first-round pick on this Perry, a defensive end at USC. You see, the Packers adapt players to their defense — or really, really try to — rather than adapting their defense to their players.

Perry is one of several defensive ends to be forced into the outside linebacker position in Green Bay. Some of the others were Aaron Kampman, Dezman Moses, Andy Mulumba and Neal.

Now, it looks like the Packers may adapt Perry’s role to play more to his strengths. The Packers are considering using Perry as an elephant defensive end, which is sort of a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker.

“We’re looking at different combinations,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s part of the thing I was talking about, utilizing personnel better.”

In this new position, Perry would line up on the inside shoulder of the tight end, rather than the inside shoulder of the tackle as he does now.

It’s designed to maximize his ability as a pass rusher. In the 17 games he’s played as a pro, Perry has registered six sacks. Four of those came in 2013.

You can be sure the Packers were hoping for more production than that. Maybe this will move will allow Perry to realize his potential.

If not, he’s one step closer to joining the club of Ted Thompson first-round mistakes.

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. GBslacker February 23, 2014

    Why not just move him to the other side — where he looked natural and produced?

    Isn’t that what the picture depicts?
    Isn’t that LT Reiff that he’s beaten for the strip sack?

    1. K.L. February 23, 2014

      I agree. Let Clay Matthews play on the other side. Perry is much, much more productive in his spot.

  2. TyKo Steamboat February 23, 2014

    Called it. This is great news. While I was ok with Mike Neal being the “Hybrid OLB” … Perry is not fast enough. He is a DE.

    This benefits everyone. Perry is strong.

    Perry is probably all, “I’m a 4-3 DE…why the hell did this hick team draft me?”

    We still don’t have an answer at NT (Jerel Worthy?)

    1. K.L. February 23, 2014

      Josh Boyd could be a decent candidate for NT.

    2. Phatgzus February 23, 2014

      Boyd, indeed; Worthy’s a 3-tech. and maybe, MAYBE, a 5-technique-he’s a disrupter not a gap-eater.

      1. TyKo Steamboat February 23, 2014

        Exactly…I meant (Jerel Worthy?) as in who else is there if we let Raji & Pickett walk? & as I like Boyd, I don’t know if he’ll be an every down NT…

        1. Phatgzus February 24, 2014

          Ya gotta point, sir, there’s not much-makes Nix that much more attractive, and I haven’t been high on him, but the more I read, the more I want him on this team, esp. if we don’t address the situation via FA.

      2. shlizzy February 25, 2014

        I dont remember much ”disruption” from Worthy.

  3. Nick Perry February 25, 2014

    I look back at those games against the Lions and Ravens where he lined up mostly on the right side and he was awesome. He looked exactly like the guy the Packers thought he would be. To bad the Packers tend to stop using something that works and continue to use things that don’t. Example? Capers 2 down linemen package and / or soft zone. How many times did you watch the Packers run that stupid 2 down linemen package and get off the field? I’ve been saying since last year to move Perry to a “Elephant position”. Personally I think Wade Phillips could make this defense a top 8, maybe top 5 with a safety and ILB. He’s still not employed, not to late to add him to the staff Mike.