Our look around the NFC North this week concludes today with a glance at the Green Bay Packers…
More 3-4 Defense Transition?
Green Bay’s defense last season underwent a major changed when defensive coordinator Dom Capers was hired – they went from a 4-3 base alignment to a 3-4 scheme. Depending on how you look at it, the results were varied. On one hand, Green Bay was 2nd in total defense (yardage) and 7th in scoring defense (18.6 points per game), both very good numbers.
But on the other hand, one of Green Bay’s best defenders – Aaron Kampman – was displaced in the new scheme. In the former 4-3 alignment, Kampman was a disruptive force as a right DE. But in the 3-4 scheme he was primarily standing up as on OLB and he was less effective because of the change. In addition, Kampman injured his knee was lost for the season in November.
This offseason, Kampman will be a free agent and the 2-time Pro Bowler’s future is unclear. Will he stay with Green Bay, the franchise for which he’s played 8 seasons? Or will he hit the market and find a new home?
Either way, the Packers defense is in for more transition this offseason.
TE Finley Stands Out
Because of his size and athleticism, as well as his 3rd round status, TE Jermichael Finley entered the NFL and his Packers career with sizable expectations. A rookie season that included just 1 start and 6 receptions in 14 games didn’t excite many people. But the same cannot be said for Finley’s sophomore campaign in Green Bay.
Finley came on strong late in the season and I couldn’t help but be impressed with how he played, especially in Green Bay’s playoff loss at Arizona. For the season, Finley had 55 receptions and 5 TDs. His numbers spiked as Green Bay made its late-season run – he had 28 receptions and 4 TDs in the team’s final 5 games. And he was even more impressive in the playoff game, registering 6 grabs for 159 yards.
At 6-5, 247 pounds, Finley has great size and has already displaced his athleticism and ability to catch the ball. I haven’t followed him closely enough to assess his blocking skills and other intangible factors, but Finley certainly passes the eye test and I’m sure he’ll be factor in Green Bay’s offense for many seasons to come.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 8 Comments »