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#1 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 5:56:13 AM(UTC)
Rob Demovsky said:
GREEN BAY, Wis. — We're in the second week of our position-by-position look at what the Green Bay Packers have and what they need.

We can revisit this process before the draft based on what -- if anything -- general manager Ted Thompson does in free agency.

So far, we've looked at quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends, offensive tackles, centers/guards, defensive linemen and linebackers.

Next up, cornerbacks.

2014 free agents: Sam Shields.

The good: Shields had his best season and began to emerge as a player that defensive coordinator Dom Capers could match one-on-one against an opponent’s top receiver. On the other side, 30-year-old Tramon Williams overcame a slow start and over the second half of the season played perhaps as well as he did during his career-best season of 2010. Shields (four interceptions) and Williams (three interceptions) combined for all but four of the Packers’ interceptions. Rookie fifth-round pick Micah Hyde spent most of the season playing the nickel position and held up well. He’s a sure-handed tackler who makes up for whatever speed he lacks by understanding positioning and coverage angles. Veteran Jarrett Bush, who has struggled in coverage at times during his career, played well in the dime position late in the season and remained a key special teams player.

The bad: Casey Hayward, who led all NFL rookies with six interceptions in 2012, played in only three games because of a recurring hamstring injury, and his playmaking ability was greatly missed. The Packers’ 11 interceptions was their lowest total since 2005 (when they had 10). Davon House was in and out of the lineup because of his inconsistent play.
#2 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 7:15:14 AM(UTC)
Overall the CBs as a group were adequate. They are better in coverage than tackling.

As has been said over and over again Ted needs to make it right with Shields and re-sign him.

Williams seems to be somewhat of an enigma. He plays well enough but I always get the feeling we should see more from him if he is an elite CB. At 30 his best days are behind him. The only question is can he stay at this level for 3-4 years or will be start his decline in the next year or two.

Hyde was a rookie. He did fine but it remains to be seen if he will continue to progress as so many hope or if he has a lower ceiling than expected. It will take 2-3 years to know for sure.

Hayward was on IR. When are they going to be able to field a team without hammy injuries?

I never was too excited about House. He will be given another year to prove himself.

Bush is a ST player who happens to be classified as a CB as well.
#3 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 7:56:05 AM(UTC)
I'm not sure Tramon is to blame for his slow start. With Hayward out and Hyde not ready to play. Tramon was the best remaining to cover the slot, so he was playing inside more while House was outside opposite of Sammy.

If Hayward comes back as a playmaker and takes back over the slot, with Hyde as the Dime, Shield and Tramon outside with House as our 5th best CB, I would be pretty happy with our CB position. Give House another year to grow into his position covering the outside position, I have seen some things I really like in his coverage, along with things I don't.

The question going forward is what to do with Tramon. I don't think we should do anything with his contract this year, we could gain cap room but at the cost of more in the future. I say let him play his contract out, and watch the development of the rest of our CBs. Tramon also turned me off some with his comments about the youth and needing veteran leaders. Tramon, YOU are suppose to be that leader, so if there is a lack of it, that falls on him.
#4 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 8:03:37 AM(UTC)
I have heard repeatedly lately that Richard Sherman is only good because of the scheme and the scheme doesn't ask him to do much. And that Cover 3 this and that. If the scheme is making a player a shut down corner, why can't the Packers implement a similar scheme?

I also miss the days of man to man coverage. I liked watching Al Harris just lock into a receiver and try to shut him down.
User is suspended until 4/29/2043 11:56:55 PM(UTC) texaspackerbacker  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 8:58:37 AM(UTC)
Obviously we need to re-sign Shields. Also, there is an alternative to the other obvious need - getting a quality Safety beside Burnett. That would be converting one of our Corners to Safety. Hyde has been mentioned, but I would extend that to Hayward or even Tramon Williams. What we need at Safety is a cover guy - a ball hawk who is adequate at tackling, not some big clod who can't cover. So much of the time these days, we have three corners on the field anyway. Having a converted corner back there would enable us to cover the slot guy with that Safety as needed. I'd like to see Thompson consider a good free agent Corner like Alterraun Verner, or maybe using the first or second round pick for a Corner. Assuming we keep Tramon Williams on a restructured deal (or not), he only has a year or 2 or 3 left, and we will need another top flight Corner by then.
#6 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 9:42:07 AM(UTC)
Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
I have heard repeatedly lately that Richard Sherman is only good because of the scheme and the scheme doesn't ask him to do much. And that Cover 3 this and that. If the scheme is making a player a shut down corner, why can't the Packers implement a similar scheme?

I also miss the days of man to man coverage. I liked watching Al Harris just lock into a receiver and try to shut him down.

I love watching man to man coverage. Well when you have players who can do it.

I have had more than a belly full of blown zone coverage to last me a lifetime. The next worst aspect is when the receivers sit in the soft spots of the zone ALL DAY LONG and get 8-12 yards. That is maddening.

Get out there, get on your man and stick to him and shut him down. That frees up the safeties and LBers to support the run first then the pass second.
#7 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 3:27:40 PM(UTC)
Maybe, just maybe I'm imagining things but I think the best performance from our secondary was achieved when Shields and House were playing outside with Tramon in the slot and Hyde as our nickel back.

I don't think Tramon can cover man to man any longer but he can be similar to Charles Woodson in the slot because he still has the skills and he has the experience.

Shields is fine and House is raw but when playing man to man he had a few passes well defended. I think House gets lost in zone coverage, in M2M he can certainly run along his target and cover quite well.

I've said before and I honestly think Hayward is a problem, he just doesn't want to tackle and I have the crazy feeling there is bad chemistry between the rest of the secondary and him. I hope to be wrong about this, I'd be delighted to.

I also think we need a real FS in the backfield to make all the CBs better. I'm also sure Burnett is not that player.

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