Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk still has a role on his football team, on Thursday.
Because OF COURSE HE DOES! A.J. Hawk will have a role in Green Bay’s defense until the day he dies.
Seriously, Hawk didn’t play much last week, which has led to speculation that he’s finally, mercifully being phased out. Clay Matthews and Sam Barrington took the majority of the snaps at inside linebacker for the Packers against New England, although Hawk was somewhat technically still a starter because he played in the base 3-4 package.
So while it appears nobody is calling Hawk is a starter any longer, the coaches are also going out of their way to say that he still has a role on defense. Or at least to be dodgy about it.
“A.J. still has a role,” McCarthy said. “We have a lot of packages. We’ll see how Atlanta comes out. He’s been an outstanding football player for us. He’s still a part of it.”
Basically, the Packers are using the opponent as an excuse for benching Hawk.
“Oh, but [insert opponent’s name here] presents different kinds of match-ups. We use whichever packages match up best with what they’re doing.”
Conveniently, very few of those packages include A.J. Hawk. In fact, it appears the base defense is now the only one that does. The Packers primarily employ their nickel package, which is Hawk-less, just like their dime package.
So A.J. Hawk still has a role, we’re just not sure what it is.
Not to embarrass himself on the few paltry snaps he gets?
It would have been nice if one of the media hacks at McCarthy’s press conference would have followed up with a, “How would you describe that role then?”
Of course, the day one of those idiots asks a decent follow-up question is the day I start wearing a bonnet and calling myself Betty.