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McCarthy: Packers Prefer Three-Down Linebacker

Blake Martinez

Everyone is trying to figure out how things are going to play out for the Green Bay Packers at inside linebacker, including, we imagine, the Green Bay Packers.

In drafting Stanford’s Blake Martinez in the fourth round, the Packers set themselves up for a three-man competition for two starting spots. Martinez will take on incumbents Jake Ryan and Sam Barrington. However, Martinez would seem to have an advantage, considering his extensive background as a coverage linebacker.

There is, of course, the option the Packers could use two of the three guys in their base defense and a different combination in their sub-packages. What would Packers coach Mike McCarthy prefer?

One guy who’s a three-down linebacker. McCarthy was asked if a three-down linebacker is necessary.

He said it isn’t, but…

“It’s preferred,” McCarthy said. “You do what you have to do. We’re ready to play a game today with the men who have been here the past three weeks. Now we’ll include the young players we brought in here.”

That points to not a rotation of three guys, but to two regulars.

And that shouldn’t be a surprise.

The Packers used A.J. Hawk as a three-down linebacker for years, even though he was completely unequipped to perform in coverage. Last season, they primarily used Clay Matthews as that guy, even though he probably would have been better served rushing the passer on third down.

This season, well… at least the Packers will have some options.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. V May 6, 2016

    Don’t count out Beniquez Brown either… But likely it will be Ryan and Barrington starting with Martinez in the dime, until the light switch turns on for Martinez and he takes one of their spots or an injury occurs.

  2. Empacador May 6, 2016

    I think Ryan and Martinez will be the duo with Barrington backing them up when all is said and done.

  3. Dave The Lions Fan May 6, 2016

    No shit he would prefer a three-down linebacker, who wouldn’t? That’s just a stupid thing to write about. Oh, and Blake Maryinez is not your answer in coverage. Just saying. Somebody who isn’t very good (Eric Ebron) would have no problem getting past Mattinez.


    1. Chad Lundberg May 6, 2016


  4. Kato May 8, 2016

    So adorable when lions fans attempt to troll