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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 5:00:36 AM(UTC)

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JerseyAl said:
From the time BJ Raji was drafted in 2009, I've taken a special interest in this player. Maybe because he's from a local town here in NJ, maybe because I was hoping he would be one of the linchpins for Dom Caper's new 3-4 defense – the next "Gravedigger.' I wrote a profile on Raji [...]
Offline texaspackerbacker  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 6:12:34 AM(UTC)

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Yeah, I had high hopes when he was drafted too - that he would bring some much needed toughness to the Packers D Line, but NOT EVEN CLOSE! Raji has been a colossal disappointment. He gets pushed around like somebody about half his size. I really hope we don't pay big money to keep him.
Offline play2win  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 8:18:01 AM(UTC)

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In his defense, there has never, ever, been a NT that he has teamed up with to work in a rotation. Pickett should have been that player the past two seasons, but the management has neglected NT and DE so badly, that they have been forced to take all the reps together, side by side. Those two players have had a ton of reps over the past 3 seasons, and have had no one taking up the slack next to them, nor behind them.

McCarthy and Thompson must address the way both Raji and Pickett have been mis-used this offseason. I think they will, and we'll see Raji's productivity go up in 2013.
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wpr on 3/9/2013(UTC)
Offline nerdmann  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 10:33:22 AM(UTC)

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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
In his defense, there has never, ever, been a NT that he has teamed up with to work in a rotation. Pickett should have been that player the past two seasons, but the management has neglected NT and DE so badly, that they have been forced to take all the reps together, side by side. Those two players have had a ton of reps over the past 3 seasons, and have had no one taking up the slack next to them, nor behind them.

McCarthy and Thompson must address the way both Raji and Pickett have been mis-used this offseason. I think they will, and we'll see Raji's productivity go up in 2013.


1: They keep moving him outside to DE, which is not his natural position.

2: They tend to overuse him and wear him down.

3: Raji is a passrushing NT. He's not a run stuffer like Pickett. Raji is the type of player who gets penetration, he doesn't necessarily "take up blockers."
Offline porky88  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 3:25:56 PM(UTC)

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Raji is a very good player. If I were to give him a letter grade, it’d be a rock solid B. He flashes greatness in streaks, which might be why fans consider him disappointing. Perhaps they want sustainable greatness from him in the mold of Haloti Ngata. Well, Ngata is one of a kind. It's like trying to turn silver into gold. If Raji is disappointing or a shrinking violet, then perhaps some should reassess their expectations regarding first-round picks.

In addition, Raji and Pickett playing at the same time in a base 3-4 defense is a major advantage for the Packers. Both players call for double teams, and both players take up blockers. The premise that Raji doesn't is false. This allows the linebackers (and safeties) to roam freely and make plays. It's not his fault Morgan Burnett can‘t tackle Adrian Peterson. The Packers are a tough team to run up the middle on because of Raji and Pickett. They’re vulnerable on the outside because their defensive backs don’t tackle well (Tramon Williams), and their linebackers either over pursue or just simply can’t set the edge. Actually, Clay Matthews is the only one that is even remotely good at defending the run. The rest all suck.

I keep reading posts suggesting we shouldn’t play both Raji and Pickett at the same time. Forget about that. That just takes away the advantage. Plus, the Packers don’t play Raji at defensive end during pass rushing situations. He kicks inside along with Mike Neal/Mike Daniels/Jerel Worthy. Sometimes they use Pickett there as well, which I find concerning (because of rep count), but it mostly has to do with injury. Since 2010, the Packers don’t do a lot of great things on defense. However, playing Raji and Pickett in their base defense is one of the things they are 100% correct on doing. In fact, I can’t think of a team that wouldn’t follow the same path.
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FLORIDA PACKER88 on 3/8/2013(UTC), wpr on 3/9/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 5:17:18 PM(UTC)

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porky88 - the only reason I have concerns about both of them playing full time is # of reps. They both have had far too many. Pickett has been playing a lot of DE. Ultimately, it would be great for Ted to add both a true NT and one or two DEs to cut both their reps. We just need the size and speed to have a good rotation without drop off in play.
Offline porky88  
#7 Posted : Friday, March 8, 2013 9:55:59 PM(UTC)

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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
porky88 - the only reason I have concerns about both of them playing full time is # of reps. They both have had far too many. Pickett has been playing a lot of DE. Ultimately, it would be great for Ted to add both a true NT and one or two DEs to cut both their reps. We just need the size and speed to have a good rotation without drop off in play.

I share your concern. The problem has been durability with other players and not that Raji and Pickett can’t play defensive end, or that we’re running a 3-4 with 4-3 players. Mike Neal comes off PUP and it takes time for them to ease him into the lineup. C.J. Wilson missed time this year and now Jerel Worthy is probably heading for the PUP.

Injuries are forcing guys like Raji and especially Pickett to play too many snaps. That’s causing the problem you’ve brought up, and there’s an argument that the team hasn’t had a true No. 3 nose guard since Howard Green. They also haven’t replaced Cullen Jenkins in the sub package.
Offline play2win  
#8 Posted : Saturday, March 9, 2013 7:22:32 AM(UTC)

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I think the one giant downfall of Ted is he doesn't replace talent he lets go. It happened a long time ago with Corey Williams, happened again with Cullen Jenkins and Howard Green and lastly Nick Collins. Takes him years to replace important defenders who play key roles.

Mike Neal couldn't carry Cullen Jenkins' jock.
Offline wpr  
#9 Posted : Saturday, March 9, 2013 8:19:49 AM(UTC)

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as has been pointed out already give Raji the proper support he needs and he will do just fine. He can't take on the whole OL AND tackle the ball carrier while pressuring the QB all at the same time.
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FLORIDA PACKER88 on 3/9/2013(UTC)
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