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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:21:13 AM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — If the Green Bay Packers want to bring in a veteran safety this offseason, former University of Wisconsin standout Jim Leonhard has the perfect guy for them.

Him.

The Ladysmith, Wis. native, who turns 32 in October, has played 126 career games for five NFL teams — Buffalo (2005 through 2007), Baltimore (2008), the New York Jets (2009 through 2011), Denver (2012) and Buffalo again last season. But he's played in just seven postseason games during those eight seasons, reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2008 with the Ravens (a loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers) and 2009 with the Jets (a loss to the Indianapolis Colts) before losing in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on with the Broncos in 2012. The Bills finished 6-10 last season.

"I'm chasing a ring. I've been extremely close a number of times," Leonhard said in an interview with Zach Heilprin and Greg Scalzo on ESPN Madison Monday. "That's all I'm playing for. I want to get a Super Bowl. I want to at least have that experience."

For his career, Leonhard has 385 tackles, 12 interceptions and two forced fumbles. According to Pro Football Focus, Leonhard played 634 snaps for the Bills last season and was targeted 27 times in pass coverage, allowing 16 completions, including four touchdowns.

The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Leonhard might not fit the Packers' size requirements for the safety position, but the position is an obvious need for them. M.D. Jennings started all 17 games (including playoffs), but the Packers played Jennings, 2012 fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian, who was released late in the season, Chris Banjo and Sean Richardson alongside Morgan Burnett during the course of the season.

The Packers' safeties failed to intercept a pass all season, while Leonhard had a career-high four interceptions last season.

"I don't want to play that much longer. I'm going to be a little picky here this offseason and see what happens. I'm excited to see where it goes," Leonhard said. "I'd obviously love to come back to Green Bay and play for the hometown fans. That would make a lot of people happy, a lot of my family happy. They wouldn't be quite as conflicted, having to cheer for some teams that they maybe rather wouldn't.

"But you never know. Obviously there's got to be mutual interest on both ends. I'm excited for the process but also nervous to see how it plays out."
Offline play2win  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:28:53 AM(UTC)
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A couple of years ago I would have thought yes, it would be a good idea. Not so much now. We need speed, size and ability to range and break up passes or pick them off. At 32, I don't know if he has the wheels, and he certainly doesn't have the size.
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musccy on 2/11/2014(UTC)
Offline Mucky Tundra  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:38:56 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
A couple of years ago I would have thought yes, it would be a good idea. Not so much now. We need speed, size and ability to range and break up passes or pick them off. At 32, I don't know if he has the wheels, and he certainly doesn't have the size.


So I take it you're not on the Jimmie Ward bandwagon? :-k
Offline play2win  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:03:14 AM(UTC)
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Mucky Tundra said: Go to Quoted Post
So I take it you're not on the Jimmie Ward bandwagon? :-k


Yeah, I don't know. I think size at S might make a difference, but, there are plenty 6-0 guys out there who do just fine in coverage and securing the run.

Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois is 5-11, 192. Adept in coverage with 14 PDs, 6 INTs, also good tackler with 77 and 50 solo, 1 sack.

I question how well he would project at the NFL level.

I'd be far more excited about Craig Loston from LSU at 6-2 205, Ahmad Dixon out of Baylor at 6-0 205 - not looking strictly at measureables, but the ability of these two seems far better for taking that next step to the NFL at SS. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor and Ed Reynolds all have decent size (6-1 to 6-2) and like ability or better at FS. These are pretty much the only Safeties I am excited about Ted possibly drafting, with the little info we can get as fans. If I were to pick one, it might be Dixon out of Baylor.
Offline Mucky Tundra  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 11:00:13 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
Yeah, I don't know. I think size at S might make a difference, but, there are plenty 6-0 guys out there who do just fine in coverage and securing the run.

Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois is 5-11, 192. Adept in coverage with 14 PDs, 6 INTs, also good tackler with 77 and 50 solo, 1 sack.

I question how well he would project at the NFL level.

I'd be far more excited about Craig Loston from LSU at 6-2 205, Ahmad Dixon out of Baylor at 6-0 205 - not looking strictly at measureables, but the ability of these two seems far better for taking that next step to the NFL at SS. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor and Ed Reynolds all have decent size (6-1 to 6-2) and like ability or better at FS. These are pretty much the only Safeties I am excited about Ted possibly drafting, with the little info we can get as fans. If I were to pick one, it might be Dixon out of Baylor.


For what it's worth, Donte Whitner (the same guy on the 49ers who kept bouncing off Lacy in the wild card game) was the same size in college as Ward.

From what I've seen so far, I'd have to go with either Clinton-Dix or Ward. I'm not sure what's the fascination with Pryor, dude's gonna be racking up concussions fast with the way he tackles. Haven't watched enough of the others.
Offline mi_keys  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 11:58:19 AM(UTC)
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Loved Leonhard at Wisconsin. Walk on guy in college. I believe he was undrafted as well. Everyone always bet against him but here he is with a pretty decent career. He's been a part of some very good defenses.

I don't know how much he has left in the tank. I wouldn't mind bringing him in for training camp as I assume he would be on a veteran minimum (or close to) deal. That said, I wouldn't be expecting Leonhard to be the answer. I'd just hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Offline PackFanWithTwins  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 11, 2014 1:32:18 PM(UTC)
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For what we need at safety, he doesn't now or never has had the speed. We are trying to replace Nick Collins, we need a FS with wheels, not an undersized SS.
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DoddPower on 2/12/2014(UTC)
Offline Mucky Tundra  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:47:52 AM(UTC)
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TBH, would it hurt just to take a look at the guy? A vet with experience and good work ethic who wants to play here. Should we be so quick to turn him down?
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play2win on 2/12/2014(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:52:02 AM(UTC)
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Mucky Tundra said: Go to Quoted Post
TBH, would it hurt just to take a look at the guy? A vet with experience and good work ethic who wants to play here. Should we be so quick to turn him down?


I can buy some of that, for team depth at the position. Yeah, why not?
Offline Yerko  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:38:35 AM(UTC)
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At this point, I just don't think he is anywhere near the answer for the Packers. He would add the veteran presence and that is about all.

And since it is being talked about, I like Jimmie Ward. His size along with playing in the MAC will be what most use against him to not consider him higher in the draft but I think the kid can play football.

Similar sized safety I was interested in last year, Matt Elam. Clearly, a different caliber player but just for measurables sake.
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DoddPower on 2/12/2014(UTC)
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