We really liked linebacker Reggie Gilbert in training camp last year. In fact, some of us thought he deserved a roster spot over Kyler Fackrell, but things don’t work that way for the Green Bay Packers.
Fackrell was a third-round pick. Gilbert was an undrafted free agent. So there you go.
Gilbert has twice been on the Packers’ practice squad. He was finally promoted to the active roster last December. In two games, Gilbert had four pressures, three QB hits, two tackles and a sack.
The guy has shown he can pressure the quarterback. That’s something the Packers need more of and they are, at this point, counting on their holdovers to do so. Gilbert may end up being a big part of that.
Even though he is technically in his third year, coach Mike McCarthy says Gilbert has made the second-year jump.
McCarthy has been really impressed with OLB Reggie Gilbert this offseason. "In my mind, he's already taken the second-year jump." McCarthy jokes that he's moving so well he might convert Gilbert to tight end. #Packers
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) May 5, 2018
That really means nothing right now, of course. Plenty of guys have been given the good old second-year jump label and then have done nothing when it counts.
However, Gilbert seems like he might be different. When given an opportunity, he has produced. We’ve seen plenty of that during the preseason and we saw it in his brief stint on the roster, last year. We’ve also heard that Gilbert is a terror in practice.
That all adds up pretty well and points to a guy on the rise. Gilbert, along with Vince Biegel, could be key in adding to the Packers’ pass rush behind Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Plus, both of those guys are injury prone, so the Packers need quality depth at the edge rusher position.
It’s not out of the question that Gilbert could end up starting some games for the Packers in 2018.
The key is the pass rush up the middle. That is their strength right now. As Howard has said, QBs hate pass rush in their faces, I feel like if the packers generate pass rush up the middle that will generate opportunities for the OLBs
Pettine probably looked at film and asked why Gilbert was not on the field earlier over some other players. Immediately MM pronounced Gilbert made the jump, because Pettine believes Gilbert should see more play time unlike the last DC and GM.
For the reason Kato wrote I would also like to hear about, and see Montravious Adams make the jump. The guy has some burst for a big guy.