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Offline wpr  
#1 Posted : Saturday, December 22, 2012 10:15:43 PM(UTC)

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At the dawn of training camp, Brad Jones appeared to be buried on the Green Bay Packers' depth chart as the No. 5 inside linebacker.

Today, defensive coordinator Dom Capers regards him as a legitimate starter at inside linebacker.

"I like him a lot," Capers said Friday. "He's smart. He can play both the run and the pass. He can pressure some. He's a football player."

Jones moved up a notch when Desmond Bishop, the starter at weak inside linebacker, tore his hamstring off the bone Aug. 9.When D.J. Smith, Bishop's replacement, blew out his knee Oct. 14, the coaches gave the nod to Jones over Rob Francois.

After not playing a snap from scrimmage in the first five games, Jones has played 529 of a possible 533 snaps alongside strong-inside starter A.J. Hawk in base and nickel defenses and as the only linebacker in the dime defense.

Has Jones been as effective as Smith?

"I don't like to compare guys," said Capers. "I like the way we're playing defense now and what Brad's bringing to the table.

"He's a smart enough guy to understand that he won't let any stone go unturned because how many times do these opportunities present themselves? You come down here late at night and he's in there working."

Jones, 26, will become an unrestricted free agent in March when his minimum-salary contract expires if the Packers don't sign him to an extension.

Bishop, 28, will have two years left on a deal that averages $4.54 million. Hawk, 28, will have three years left on a deal that averages $6.75M.

If the Packers re-signed Jones, would it be possible for him to play strong inside in tandem with Bishop?

"I like him where he is but I think he possibly could," said Capers. "He'd play that side differently. In our scheme, you've got to be able to run and fill (on the weak inside). You like his body type over at the (weak side)."

It is good to have a LBer who can play the pass and the run.
Offline DakotaT  
#2 Posted : Sunday, December 23, 2012 9:12:39 AM(UTC)

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We have a mess at inside linebacker. Bishop, Hawk, Smith, and now Jones all can play; but do any of them stand out or make huge play? It seems like none of them cover well and Jones might be the best of all four running with TE's and RB's.

I'd like to see more of the Manning kid we drafted last year and definitely feel we can draft another ILB.

I do like our ILB position as a whole much better than I do the OLB position. Nick Perry didn't impress me very much - we are still looking for the pass rusher opposite Clay. Clay may be better than Woodley and Harrison as individuals, but we don't have anything near the complete package as the Steelers OLB's.
Offline Tezzy  
#3 Posted : Sunday, December 23, 2012 10:11:05 AM(UTC)

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If you are going to have a personnel mess, the one at ILB is as good a mess to have. Just keep rolling guys out there and we get enough production. Right about no super star play coming up the middle, but it is working. I was surprised with Jones strength at times against the Bears.
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