Based upon what we’ve heard this week, change could be coming for the Green Bay Packers’ defense. We’re reading through the tea leaves here, but this is what we know.
The Packers safeties are a weakness.
Although he’s had some moments here and there, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix reverted to the form we have long chastised him for last week against the Lions.
No play is more telling than this one.
I mean, you just got bitched.
And yes, Clinton-Dix did say that when asked about said bitching by Kenny Golladay.
“That’s not the first time that kid has stiff-armed me,” Clinton-Dix told the Wisconsin State Journal. “That’s the second time in two years. So I don’t know. I have a problem with that kid all the time. I even tell him that. He’s got these big dinosaur arms, and I can’t figure out how to get away from him.”
Yes, Golladay is turning into a pretty damn good receiver, but that was fucking embarrassing.
Also, what the fuck dinosaur had big, long arms?
Second, Kentrell Brice has been a dud all season.
Brice has plenty of speed, but he is less assignment sure than Clinton-Dix. In other words, he’s even dumber than the guy who thinks dinosaurs have long arms. As such, Brice has given up plenty of big plays this year. He’s made none that I can recall.
So this is the obvious spot where change may come. Clinton-Dix likely isn’t going anywhere, but let’s be honest. Here’s a guy who isn’t good in coverage and misses too many tackles. He’s possibly serviceable in the box, but playing centerfield?
Brice has the speed to play centerfield, but not the acumen.
The Packers have two options here.
One, get rid of Brice and give Jermaine Whitehead the opportunity. We’ve been saying it for weeks. Whitehead has played better than Brice in the opportunities he’s had.
Brice has 323 snaps on the season. Whitehead has 104.
We know one guy sucks. We’re not sure about the other guy. He might be good. Let’s see the other guy!
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine seemed to suggest that was a possibility this week. While not specifically singling anyone out, he made it clear he wasn’t adverse to sitting anyone down. Or maybe just slowly phasing them out…
“If you have a player that in a limited role is playing well and you want to expand that, then you find ways to expand it,” Pettine said. “We’re also not afraid if a guy’s not playing well to go ahead and make a move to get him off the field altogether or just lessen (his role). And sometimes (lineup changes are) game plan driven.”
Refreshing, considering Mike McCarthy would never say anything like that.
The other thing we’ve noticed is Pettine has been raving about cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The Packers signed Breeland a few weeks ago.
They may have got a steal. Breeland was one of the most sought-after cornerbacks on the free agent market. He actually signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Panthers early in free agency. However, they voided the deal because the dude cut his foot and got an infection in it while on vacation.
Then the Packers came in when they suffered some injuries at corner. At the time, Kevin King was down with his annual injury and Davon House had just gone on injured reserve. Breeland: fantastic option.
Of course, the guy pulled his hammy at some point. Probably walking through the door at 1265 — lot of guys tend to do that.
But now he seems ready to roll. And…
“When he’s been out there and full go, he’s impressed,” Pettine said. “Even the reps on the scout team. Some of the young receivers didn’t really know who he was, they just thought he was some other scout team corner. Next thing they know, they’re getting beat down a little bit. The reps he’s been out there, he’s been impressive.”
Here’s the question. How are you going to get this impressive guy on the field?
Not at the expense of Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, Kevin King or Josh Jackson.
Maybe at the expense of one of your shitty safeties.
It has been said that Breeland might actually be better at safety than cornerback. He’s been pretty good at corner so far in his career, but he’s certainly not a speedster. Though, as Al “Solid” Harris has shown us, you don’t NEED to be a speedster, you just need to be a wily son-of-a-bitch.
Harris could jam a fool at the line better than anyone. If you got past him, which you didn’t, he would be outrun. Sam Shields, on the other hand, had and probably still has, recovery speed.
We don’t know what the Packers have in Breeland. Haven’t seen him on the field. However, if the Packers gave him some time at safety to see what he can do, would anyone be opposed?
Hell, the guy is impressive. Maybe the Packers could actually have a real centerfielder for a change.
One thing we know for sure is, they don’t have one now.