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On Second Thought, Packers’ Secondary Remains a Concern

I have personally touted how well the Green Bay Packers’ secondary held up in week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. After putting some more thought into it and devouring quite a bit of information, I believe the secondary still remains a concern.

Against Seattle, there were a couple things to be impressed about. First, they held Russell Wilson to 158 yards passing. That’s great. Second, the cornerbacks weren’t afraid to be physical. That’s something they were the opposite of, last year.

That said, their success was predicated almost entirely on the pass rush.

It’s hard to complete passes — especially downfield passes — when you have no time to throw. The Seahawks were readily trying to get the ball downfield. The Packers didn’t have good coverage on a lot of those plays. Wilson just had someone constantly in his face.

Had he had time to survey the field, it may have been a different story.

That brings me to Atlanta. If the Packers’ pass rush can’t get off like it did against Seattle — and I wouldn’t expect it to, since the Falcons have a far superior offensive line — we’re going to see just how good this secondary really is.

My prediction is we’ll come out of this game thinking they’re not much better than last year.

Quinten Rollins is my biggest concern, although Damarious Randall and Davon House aren’t far behind. Consider these guys graded out at 50.4, 45.6 and 51.2, respectively, last week. That is well below average.

In fact, House was only the 51st ranked cornerback in the league after week 1, according to PFF.

It galls me even more than it initially did, the more I think about it. That is, the Packers releasing LaDarius Gunter. No, he isn’t a No. 1 cornerback, but he can be a solid No. 2.

Why not release Lenzy Pipkins, a guy who wasn’t even active in week 1? The Packers would have had no problem getting him back on the practice squad.

We know House is going to get Julio Jones. If Rollins struggles, I’d expect to see Randall moved to the slot and rookie Kevin King to get a shot on the outside. It seems logical, now that Gunter is gone, that Josh Hawkins would be active in week 2, as well.

Everyone has put the Packers on a pedestal this week. Don’t be surprised if they’re knocked right off on Sunday. If that happens, I’ll bet the culprit is the secondary.

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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.

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16 Comments

  1. Spoiler Alert September 15, 2017

    Well yeah. There is literally no reason to believe this year’s secondary is better than last year’s other than seeing how Kevin King pans out. It’s already been covered that Seattle has quite possibly THE WORST offensive line in the NFL in 2017. Russel Wilson is going to get skewered this year.

    All secondary players look better when the defensive line gets home. Rare are the players like those in Seattle’s secondary who can hold their own in single coverage. None of the guys in the Packer defensive backfield have the look of super stars.

  2. MJ September 15, 2017

    A friend of mine wisely pointed out that every play against GB’s defense should be a pass until they actually prove they can cover someone. Yes, our front seven and SEA’s horrid OL basically moved the contest away from WR-CB duels, which I feel worked in our favor. Totally agree that releasing Gunter was rather foolish. He can be a decent CB2 or a solid CB3. I don’t necessarily mean slot-guy, I mean he can be matched up against WR2-3 without things imploding. Besides, as said in the article, Pipkins could have more easily been stashed in the PS for future needs.

  3. Xlvordie September 15, 2017

    Packers shit on Gunter and themselves by cutting him. The guy covered possibly the top 3 NFC receivers in back to back to back playoff games. He got beat but all in all considering the circumstances did more than enough to atleast continue employment on the team.

    He didn’t puss out and make up an injury when he found out he would be up against Odell, Dez,or Julio. He rose up to the challange. “A players best attribute is availability”….YEA OK

    And what about the experience gained? The dude was thrown into the fire and covered all 3 as the packers’s #1 PLAYOFF corner. Who else on the packers right now has that kind of in game experience? That alone should be enough incentive to keep him around and look for him to build off of.

    The bottom line is the packers thought he was the best corner available to them last year on a superbowl run, but months later feel there are 53 other players more deserving of a roster spot, including 6 corners.

    One more thing..it may be time for Joe Whit to get out of here..how many position coaches have been granted as many high draft picks as Whitt? Since 2012 he has had (3) 2nd round picks, (1) 1st rounder, (1) 5th and (1) sixth. And hasn’t done shit with them. Casey Heyward left and became a probowler. He keeps telling us how great players like Herb waters, Pipkins, Hawkins, and even Gunter are (were). LESS TALK MORE RESULTS.

    1. PF4L September 15, 2017

      Excellent post. I don’t know how many times over the years i saw a coach, coordinator, or GM hype up players in front of reporters, only to cut them, or let their rookie contract run out. At this point when i see them doing it, especially with players of marginal talent, it just makes me cringe.

      Just one of the many, many reasons why i use the term…”cue the circus music.”

    2. Kato September 15, 2017

      Good post

      1. PF4L September 15, 2017

        It’s a nice change of pace from him calling us a faggot….lol

        I was wondering when he was gonna post something worth reading.

        Nice job Xl.

  4. robert macneice September 15, 2017

    They gave him the ultimatum because he is going to be a starter elsewhere With us he was number 5 quit being so dam negative seattle has always had a pass rush and we still ate them up for 300 yards.If u go off their grades ur an idiot cause they grade all negative plays and not all positive plays, we are fine and as tge season progresses they will get better if u think for one Rollins isnthealthier and playing bettrr then u dont no football, far from perfect but let a few weeks go before u judge …

  5. PF4L September 15, 2017

    I figured the Atlanta game would bring some measure of reason to the masses who were predicting the Packers now had the talent to get to the Super Bowl, after 1 game against an inept offensive line. I just didn’t think it would happen before the game, at least it came to this author. Maybe it took some PFF grades, but regardless. I don’t think the rest of the league is scared shitless of our defense after 1 game. Show me 6-8 strong defensive games, then we’ll have something to get to the dance.

    All you had to do was watch the game and it was clear that the Packers just tore up on that O-line, taking Wilson almost completely off his game. That line was so weak that Capers didn’t even blitz much, therefore competing without sacrificing coverage downfield.

    For years our defense hasn’t had an identity. But they sure as hell had one against Seattle. What the future will tell us is, was that a one trick pony, or has this defensive line gotten stronger and faster?

    Atlanta’s sparkly shiny new fast track is the perfect place to find out. With that said, Atlanta’s offense looks like a shell of themselves with their new offensive coordinator. Kyle Shanahan he isn’t, so far. But more on that when the prediction article comes out. The timing of this game may mean very good things for the Packers this Sunday night, we’ll see.

  6. KILLER September 15, 2017

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this weekend. It is the “due theory”. It seems like the Packers are “due” to win in Atlanta. The Falcons offense may be very different this year with a new OC. They barely beat the Bears and the Packers should be MUCH better than the Bears. Unfortunately, I expect the Packers to win.

    Even worse, I expect the Vikings to lose to the Steelers. I think the Steelers will end the year with a better record than the Patriots. A bold prediction but I think they will host the AFC championship game and make it to the Super Bowl. Which means 12-4 or 13-3 or better.

    So I think this week the Packers win and Vikings lose. On the other hand, later in the year, I think the Packers also lose in Pittsburgh and the Vikings also win in Atlanta.

    1. PF4L September 16, 2017

      “The Falcons offense may be very different this year with a new OC.”

      Good call killer queen. Feel free to keep cherry picking from my post in the future, who knows, you might even fool someone into thinking you’re knowledgeable.

      1. KILLER September 16, 2017

        I usually only read your posts if you reply to mine. When did you reply to mine and say “The Falcons offense may be very different this year with a new OC.”?

        1. PF4L September 17, 2017

          I replied to yours on 9/16 at 7:35 am.

          Was that really your question, or do you just get the shakes and lose your train of thought and have no comprehensive reading skills when i reply to you?

          If that’s the case then find someone in your trailer park who finished high school and have them explain my post to you.

          1. KILLER September 17, 2017

            I apologize. It seems I over-estimted your intelligence. My bad. Won’t happen again.

          2. PF4L September 17, 2017

            It’s ok…i under-estimated your stupidity.

  7. GBORNBRED September 16, 2017

    There definitely is cause for concern when it comes to this secondary, especially for this upcoming game vs Atlanta, given how much they shredded the Packers defense just a mere eight months ago. It’ll be interesting to see if Kevin King and Josh Jones somehow get more involved, because sooner or later, someone is going to have to step it up here. Don’t mean to single out King and Jones, because it would certainly be nice to see the other eight most recent draft picks by Ted the Terrible soon contribute in other areas for this team. I realize it’s still VERY early in the season, but of all 10 draft picks, the only quantifiable contributions so far from those who haven’t already been on the injury report would be 9 yards on 2 carries for Jamaal Williams, and 1 tackle for Jones.

  8. Howard September 16, 2017

    Not only is the Seattle O-line bad there is something off about the Seattle receivers as a group. Wilson is no Ryan. I thought the DBs overall had good coverage. I thought they played off to much. The problems was there were 4 or 5 plays that receivers were running wide open. On the play that Daniels hit Wilson and Wilson overthrew a receiver deep down the field running past House, about every other receiver was also running wide open. You give Ryan and his receivers those 4 or 5 plays and the Falcons put up 21 to 28 points in a quick fashion.

    Randall and Rollins were more aggressive in the run and pass game than last year. House to me looked tentative. Maybe he is not over his hamstring problem. Plus how much practice has he really had.

    I thought last year the team should have just left Gunter as the right corner. The team did Gunter no favors by moving him around, but what chose did they have? The writing was on the wall for Gunter when word was out that Gunter was having a poor camp as a perimeter corner. The kiss of death was when the team tried Gunter as a slot corner. When the Packers indicate they are going to switch a players position it doesn’t usually take long to be gone. Except for maybe Brad Jones. It is a tough business!

    I thought Hawkins should have seen more action last year. I thought Pipkins should make the team as a #6 perimeter and slot corner. I did believe Pipkins would not make the team because he hardly ever played any STs in the preseason. Hawkins and Gunter at least played STs.