Sam Barrington was a surprise starter for the Green Bay Packers at inside linebacker last week.
Barrington started instead of Jamari Lattimore, who had manned the slot next to A.J. Hawk since Brad Jones proved himself completely incapable early in the season. Lattimore suffered a stinger against Miami, but that apparently played no role in the decision to start Barrington.
The Carolina game was not only Barrington’s first career start, it was his only extensive playing time on defense in his two-year pro career. It probably won’t be his last either.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers says Barrington has earned a spot in the rotation.
“We need for these young guys to get more comfortable and more confident. So we thought it was a good start for him last week. You’ll continue to see us work him in there to try to get him a certain number of plays during the games,” Capers said.
What that means going forward isn’t quite clear.
Barrington and Lattimore played almost an equal number of snaps last week. Barrington played 29 and Lattimore played 26. The former’s snaps came almost exclusively in the base 3-4 and the latter in the nickel, which would suggest the Packers are more comfortable with Lattimore in pass defense.
It may also suggest the Packers are more comfortable with Barrington overall.
Lattimore is a guy who makes plays, but he’s also a guy that blows an assignment from time to time.
Regardless of which guy starts or plays the most snaps — the Packers are being coy about that, it does seem clear they are done with Jones. And thank god for that!
Jones, who has seemingly missed more tackles than he’s made this season, didn’t get any defensive snaps against Carolina.
For what it’s worth, Lattimore finished last week with three tackles and Barrington had two.
Lattimore has 37 tackles and a pick on the season. Barrington has six tackles.
Great news! That piece of shit Jones should be bench riding until the end of the year, or maybe we can trick the Bears into taking our useless players again (i.e. MD Jennings hahahahahahaha). Look forward to more of Barrington and Lattimore…..maybe next years starting ILBs?? One can only hope.
Good news all around! While the middle of the defense still needs work, it’s a far cry from what we started the season with! Letroy Guion has been the best NT in the NFL for the last three weeks (according to PFF), and Lattimore and Barrington look more like capable starters than just capable back-ups! Our most glaring weakness on D is now slightly above average, but that’s plenty good enough for us considering just how well the rest of the D is playing.
And in time, maybe Carl Bradford will develop into something special. He’s raw, but he looks like a young Nick Barnett to me.
Even if neither turns to be a pro bowler, they are at least average, serviceable players. I am fine with whichever linebacker does not actually make plays for the offense (ahem…. Brad Jones… ahem).
I am glad to see Barrington out there, but I hope to see more from him. He was a little hesitant against the Panthers. The good thing about Lattimore is he plays aggressive and attacks the line of scrimmage. The bad thing about Lattimore is the ball carrier typically gets another two yards after he hits them, same as Hawk. I am hoping Barrington bring more “stoning” power to the defense.
Really, all these guys are just ‘guys’…not a transcendent stud among the ILBs. Which is why that NASCAR formation on 3rd down is not only exciting but necessary (for now). We are still looking for our stud ILB via draft or FA.