Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is having himself a disappointing season to say the least.
Clinton-Dix has just 42 tackles through nine games, which puts him on pace for fewer tackles than both his rookie (92) and second (100) seasons. His two interceptions tie him for his career high, which was set in 2015. However, both of those interceptions came in one game (Indianapolis) and if Clinton-Dix finishes with just two picks again, we’ll call that a failure.
Throw out the stats for a minute though. If you watch Clinton-Dix closely on the field, you can see he’s playing badly, regardless of what the stat sheet says. Outside of week 1 and week 9, which was the Colts game, he has been downright awful.
We detailed how bad Clinton-Dix was against Tennessee in week 10. Every completion he gave up went for a first down or touchdown. He got trucked by Titans’ tight end Delanie Walker after explicably trying to tackle Walker high and he also cost the Packers 15 yards on an unnecessary roughness penalty.
In short, Clinton-Dix has been mediocre or bad in seven of the Packers’ nine games this season. It culminated with that performance in Tennessee.
What’s more, is coming into the season, this guy was touted as one of the players expected to reach the next level. That being Pro Bowl or All-Pro caliber. Instead, Clinton-Dix has seemingly gone backwards, which just adds to the disappointment.
What’s interesting is quarterback Aaron Rodgers singled out Clinton-Dix for his leadership after the loss to Tennessee.
“I was proud of our preparation — had a great week,” Rodgers said after the game. “Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix) had a great speech in the locker room. He’s a great leader for us.
“We just didn’t execute very well. I think guys were ready to play, but it comes down to execution. You can say all the right things and be as prepared as possible, but it comes down to executing when you get out there.”
Two things come to mind here.
First, Rodgers seems to be pointing out that Clinton-Dix’s attempt at leadership was welcomed, but he didn’t execute on the field (like many other guys). In essence, talk is cheap unless you back it up.
And as we’ve documented, Clinton-Dix hasn’t been backing it up.
That brings us to the second point. If your “leaders” aren’t playing well, then what does that mean to the rest of the team?
We don’t necessarily have an answer for that, but it certainly can’t be good if a guy who sucks at his job is trying to lead other guys.
The day after the loss to Tennessee, Clinton-Dix pulled out what seems to be a stock quote for the Packers’ defense of late.
“Learn from it and focus on the game that’s in front of us,” Clinton-Dix said.
He was then asked why the Packers hadn’t learned from any of their previous losses, one of which included an embarrassing home defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.
“Um, that’s definitely a great question,” Clinton-Dix said.
One of our biggest complaints about Clinton-Dix has been a seeming lack of awareness. It goes back to that insane two-point conversion he gave up to Luke Wilson in the 2014 NFC Championship game. It was a play that should have been dead in the water, considering Russell Wilson had to loft the ball high in the air from the complete opposite side of the field.
You or I probably could have made a pick or at least knocked the ball down on that play. Not Clinton-Dix.
The lack of awareness has continued in the constant blown coverages and lack of turnover plays. Consider this guy has just five career interceptions and he has primarily played centerfield in the Packers’ defense since he arrived in town. You would think you could get five interceptions by accident if you’re constantly put in that position.
Now, it appears as if Clinton-Dix is not only unaware on the field, he’s also unaware off of it.
If anyone on the Packers’ defense is in danger of being benched — and someone certainly should be — Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should be at the top of the list.