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Jamari Lattimore Might Get His Shot

Jamari Lattimore

We didn’t really put a lot of stock in this because Tuesday was the first day of minicamp, but Brad Jones wasn’t running with the No. 1 defense at inside linebacker. Jamari Lattimore was.

Last year, Lattimore demonstrated the playmaking ability that the Green Bay Packers have lacked at inside linebacker since before Desmond Bishop got hurt. He did that as an injury replacement for Jones.

Of course, the Packers gave Jones his job back when he returned because that’s how they operate. Not surprisingly, the level of play at the position went right back to mediocre.

We didn’t really expect the Packers to give Lattimore a chance to unseat Jones or the other mediocre starting inside linebacker, A.J. Hawk, this year. They’ve stubbornly stuck with veteran starters at that position over emerging talent since Mike McCarthy has been at the helm.

Why would this year be any different?

Well, maybe because McCarthy got tired of having an underachieving defense and decided to retool the whole scheme to fit his personnel earlier this offseason.

Before you get too excited, no one on the coaching staff is ready to say Lattimore is or could be the starter.

“Brad’s our starter, until I’m told otherwise,” linebackers coach Winston Moss said. “Brad has fought through injuries as of late, (but) when Brad is healthy and Brad is dialed in, Brad was playing his (expletive) off as well. We’ve got some guys who are very capable of being good vs. the run, can cover vs. the pass and can blitz the quarterback.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That does not excite us. What does excite us is the Packers are increasing Lattimore’s role. They’re also giving him a shot to run with the No. 1 defense, albeit during minicamp.

If the Packers are done being stubborn about it, we could have a real competition between Jones and Lattimore for a starting inside linebacker job.

That, would be tremendous.

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. James June 18, 2014

    Jamari Lattimore had one good game last year. I don’t see him as an improvement over Brad Jones. But let the best layer win.

  2. Brad jones was actually playing outstanding until the injury in week 4 pretty much hobbled him for the rest of the season (hamstring, ankle) He’s better than Lattimore at this point, no doubt.

  3. rob June 18, 2014

    are u kidding me brad jones is mediocre at best did u see the one game ur speaking of lattimore was dominant give him more time and rest assure hes starting

    1. James June 18, 2014

      Lattimore was good for just one game. The last 6 weeks of the season Brad Jones put up some impressive stats.

      1. GBslacker June 18, 2014

        He sat out wk 17.

        Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16 — he was goose-eggs in sacks, tackles-for-loss, QB hits, interceptions, passes defensed, forced fumbles, fumbles recovered.

        Three of those four games, he had at most 6 combined tackles.

        That is not “impressive.”

  4. GBslacker June 18, 2014

    Our ILBs are not great athletes. They’re not particularly fast, so they’re a liability in coverage and in run pursuit. If they were closer to the LOS, they could plug a hole before being engulfed by a lead blocker. They could disrupt a RB leaking out, and prevent a pass completion. Because they’re not effective making open field tackles. I think there are ways their play could be maximized, their faults minimized.

    With major injuries on both sides of the line last year, the offense managed a 3rd place showing… the defense finished 25th. Could not someone described as “excellent” craft a better product?

  5. Curly June 19, 2014

    competition is good, I noticed Lattimore in limited action more than Jones last year for sure

  6. Dustin June 19, 2014

    you can get excited over this if you like, but lattimore isn’t the answer we’re looking for… he’s simply a new face. I imagine Inside linebacker will be at the top of everyone’s list come next May.

  7. The Money Mike June 19, 2014

    Could we have gotten one in the third round this year instead of the slow TE?

  8. Kristofer June 20, 2014

    My questions are these:
    Between AJ Hawk and Brad Jones:
    1. Who is the better tackler?
    2. Who is better verse the run?
    3. Who is better covering verse the pass?
    4. Who is better shedding blocks?
    5. Who has better top speed?
    6. Who has better acceleration?
    7. Who has better football smarts?
    8. Who is the better blitzer?
    9. Who is the the better playmaker? (for lack of better terminalogy)

    1. Kristofer June 20, 2014

      Whoever’s name is mentioned more should be the one that is not competing with lattimore for a starting spot, but, then again, it might change year to year. So all three players should compete with each other to see who the best 2 ILB’s are this year.