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QCHuskerFan  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:34:04 PM(UTC)
After thinking about our DL, thought I would throw out the other areas of D also.

2012 was disappointing from LB standpoint. But rather than think we need new talent, let's look at what we have. My predictions without regard for CAP or contract issues:

Starters:
Matthews
Smith
Bishop
Perry

That is a huge step up from Matthews, Hawk, Jones and Walden that we finished 2012 with. Of course it assumes several returning from injury without issues, but it's February, I can be optimistic!

Backups:
Manning
Moses
Draft Pick- ILB
Draft Pick- OLB
Free Agent

Gone:
Hawk
Jones
Francois
Lattimore
Walden
Zombo
Johnson
Just some of my thoughts. I see talent in LB corps. Just need to keep them off IR.
Yerko  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:56:04 PM(UTC)
It truly is time to clean out this unit. The only problem is everyone wants to let Hawk go without knowing the full status of Desmond Bishop and DJ Smith, both coming back from major injuries. Unless the Packers are going into the draft and getting a guy that can start from day 1 (Manti Te'o- all sideshow crap aside, its realistic), I wouldn't suggest letting go of Hawk.
wpr  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:12:06 PM(UTC)
Hawk stays. There is still 3 years left on his 5 yr contract with a $8 mil signing bonus. The $5 mil a yr isn't so nice but I don't see him moving. He does some things adequately well.

If Smith and Bishop fully recover they can be the starters but Smith has issues too. Hawk complements his weakness.

Ted is not going to get a high profile LB who will adequately contribute. No one will be better than what they already have. If they go for 2 LB in the draft will be in the lower rounds so they too will not be much stronger than the players they currently have who already know the system. Of the 3 slots you had looted to draft and FA I see 1 being used in this fashion.

Backups:
Manning
Hawk

bubble- (2 make team)
Moses
Jones
Francois
Draft Pick



QCHuskerFan  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:36:33 PM(UTC)
You're probably right about Hawk. But I believe he was #5 in salary this year. Jennings will be gone and Woodson probably redone. So he would move up to #3. For someone that is adequate and maybe even a backup. Not smart capology.
Ted Thompson has to free up some money for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji. Cutting Hawk probably wouldn't matter much in 2013, but it would be a big chunk of 2014 salary gone so he can resign one of them.

I agree that Ted Thompson will probably go with a mid to late pick, kind of like Manning last year. Maybe effective on ST and grow into a starter in a couple years.
wpr  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:55:06 PM(UTC)
maybe they will try and redo Hawk along with Woody.
nerdmann  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:58:25 PM(UTC)
Thing that Hawk does adequately is show up every day, week in, week out.
porky88  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:43:30 PM(UTC)
Hawk is coming off probably the best season of his career. I don't think he goes anywhere, though I do like the dynamic ability that Bishop and Smith bring to the table. I'd like to see the Packers utilize all three next season. I believe the cap hit for releasing Hawk is actually large, so the money saved isn't that significant. I could be wrong on that, though.

Erik Walden has overstayed his welcome. He has flashes, but he pulls the rug out from under you too often. It’s time to move on.

I'd hang onto Jones. He's proven he's a capable ILB, and he has experience on the outside. That's good versatility to have. Robert Francois is also a solid special team player.
steveishere  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:45:44 PM(UTC)
QCHuskerFan said: Go to Quoted Post
You're probably right about Hawk. But I believe he was #5 in salary this year. Jennings will be gone and Woodson probably redone. So he would move up to #3. For someone that is adequate and maybe even a backup. Not smart capology.

Ted Thompson has to free up some money for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji. Cutting Hawk probably wouldn't matter much in 2013, but it would be a big chunk of 2014 salary gone so he can resign one of them.

I agree that Ted Thompson will probably go with a mid to late pick, kind of like Manning last year. Maybe effective on ST and grow into a starter in a couple years.


Cutting Hawk doesn't free up much money though. They would basically be paying him 4 or 5 million dollars to go play for someone else. If you need money in 2014 you can cut him then.
steveishere  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:46:34 PM(UTC)
.
wpr  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:55:01 PM(UTC)
steveishere said: Go to Quoted Post
.


my sentiments exactly! [laughing]
Jlapp  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2013 4:31:01 PM(UTC)
wpr said: Go to Quoted Post
maybe they will try and redo Hawk along with Woody.


Unlikely. Hawk has no real reason to redo his contract.

nerdmann said: Go to Quoted Post
Thing that Hawk does adequately is show up every day, week in, week out.


Agreed. And since it seems other LBs can't seem to stay healthy, that has a lot of value.
Yerko  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 2:47:55 PM(UTC)
DJ Smith was showing potential, but I don't think he did enough to be put in front of Hawk on depth chart. I really liked what Hawk did this season and like nerdmann said, he is never injured. He is there every game playing.

Making Hawk a back-up on that salary would just be a disservice to the team.
wpr  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 3:17:58 PM(UTC)
Yerko said: Go to Quoted Post
DJ Smith was showing potential, but I don't think he did enough to be put in front of Hawk on depth chart. I really liked what Hawk did this season and like nerdmann said, he is never injured. He is there every game playing.

Making Hawk a back-up on that salary would just be a disservice to the team.


well there was that one game he suited up but did not get on the field due to Dom going with his sub package the whole game.
QCHuskerFan  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 3:44:08 PM(UTC)
AJ Hawk has not forced a fumble since 2007. Think about that. 5 years of playing LB in the NFL. Almost 500 tackles in those 5 years. And not one single fumble... Bishop has forced 8 in the last 5 years by comparison.

He has not forced a TO in 2 years. Patrick Willis has forced 9 TO's in the last 2 years playing the same 3-4.

AJ Hawk in the last 2 years has had 3 Passes Defended. 0 this year. A starting LB for the GB Packers did not deflect a single pass in 17 games. The teams we played attempted 568 passes and Hawk couldn't get in position to deflect 1. Willis has had 21 in that same time.

Remember the last 2 games against the Vikings this year. AP ran wild. Hawk, ILB, made a total of 6 tackles. In 2 games. Wonder why AP ran for so many yards? Hawk was certainly part of the problem. (He had company)

Couple weeks ago, everyone on here was screaming for a talent upgrade. Hawk is one of the weakest starters. His redeeming factor is he shows up consistently. Is that enough to play LB for the Packers? Show up every week? If the LB group is going to see an upgrade, where is it going to be? Matthews and Perry are here to stay. So it has to be inside.
wpr  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 3:57:45 PM(UTC)
I don't think any disputes you QC but this is not Madden. If they can not do something with his salary most likely he stays anyway. The upgrade would be to pay him more than Smith and let Smith take the obvious passing downs since he is better in coverage than Hawk.

I expect Ted will be willing to take a 2 year hit on his signing bonus but he will not take 3. There is a $300,000 roster bonus this year but it jumps to $800,000 the last 2 years. That is when they make a move.

BTW- TO is not the whole picture. He was #2 in tackles this year. That counts for something. I have seen way too many defenders go for the int and get burnt giving up big yards and/or a td. I have seen way too many defenders try and knock the ball out while the ball carrier rambled for another 20 yards to get too excited about teams that look for the TO first.

edit- he has been #1 or 2 in tackles for 4 of the past 5 years.
nerdmann  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 4:11:46 PM(UTC)
QCHuskerFan said: Go to Quoted Post
AJ Hawk has not forced a fumble since 2007. Think about that. 5 years of playing LB in the NFL. Almost 500 tackles in those 5 years. And not one single fumble... Bishop has forced 8 in the last 5 years by comparison.

He has not forced a TO in 2 years. Patrick Willis has forced 9 TO's in the last 2 years playing the same 3-4.

AJ Hawk in the last 2 years has had 3 Passes Defended. 0 this year. A starting LB for the GB Packers did not deflect a single pass in 17 games. The teams we played attempted 568 passes and Hawk couldn't get in position to deflect 1. Willis has had 21 in that same time.

Remember the last 2 games against the Vikings this year. AP ran wild. Hawk, ILB, made a total of 6 tackles. In 2 games. Wonder why AP ran for so many yards? Hawk was certainly part of the problem. (He had company)

Couple weeks ago, everyone on here was screaming for a talent upgrade. Hawk is one of the weakest starters. His redeeming factor is he shows up consistently. Is that enough to play LB for the Packers? Show up every week? If the LB group is going to see an upgrade, where is it going to be? Matthews and Perry are here to stay. So it has to be inside.


All valid points.
porky88  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:37:32 PM(UTC)
QCHuskerFan said: Go to Quoted Post
Remember the last 2 games against the Vikings this year. AP ran wild. Hawk, ILB, made a total of 6 tackles. In 2 games. Wonder why AP ran for so many yards? Hawk was certainly part of the problem. (He had company)

Couple weeks ago, everyone on here was screaming for a talent upgrade. Hawk is one of the weakest starters. His redeeming factor is he shows up consistently. Is that enough to play LB for the Packers? Show up every week? If the LB group is going to see an upgrade, where is it going to be? Matthews and Perry are here to stay. So it has to be inside.

Peterson did most of his damage on the outside, which is why Hawk's tackle numbers were relatively low. In actuality, Green Bay's run defense was respectable when defending inside runs. It's when running backs would kick outside that you saw problems. The OLBs couldn't defend the run. Clay Matthews' absence definitely hurt, though his run defense is far from refined. Plus, Morgan Burnett struggled to take down Peterson. In the first game, Burnett filled the gap and missed the tackle on several of the longer runs.

I'm far from a Hawk guy, but he had little to do with Peterson exploding against Green Bay, and he surprisingly played well this season. I find the idea of Bishop and Smith inside intriguing. I did going into camp last year before Bishop got hurt, but they have durability concerns, and cutting Hawk doesn’t save much money.
doddpower  
#18 Posted : Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:07:36 PM(UTC)
I'm not nearly as high on DJ Smith as others are, despite him being a local NC guy. True, he is a fairly hard hitter and solid tackler. However, I still saw a guy that struggled in coverage and I can only imagine that getting worse as teams are able to game plan for him more. He doesn't seem to play any faster than Hawk, and taller tight ends should be able to abuse him, especially with a good QB. Moreover, he's coming off a MAJOR injury, from what I remember. Didn't he break at least one leg bone, similar to Sherrod? I honestly don't remember hearing much about his injury. I don't have much confidence in his availability/effectiveness this upcoming season.

Bishop/Smith would likely lead to a slightly better run defense, but I would still expect them to be just as bad, if not worse in coverage, especially given injury concerns.

I expect to see Hawk starting again in 2013, depending on off season moves.
nerdmann  
#19 Posted : Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:24:16 PM(UTC)
Bishop is our run stuffer.

I like Brad Jones in coverage. It'd be nice to have a specialist for this, but Jones might be our best ILB in coverage right now.

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