Julius PeppersJulius Peppers looks in shape at Packers OTA's.
As a free agent pickup, there’s some pressure on the veteran sack master. Peppers has been hunting for a Super Bowl ring in Carolina, Chicago, and now Green Bay. Playing in a new system, Dom Capers’ 3-4 zone blitz scheme should feature Peppers like a hybrid DE/OLB. He’s admitted he hasn’t ever played with a talent like Clay Matthews. It’s true, we know what we’ll get from Clay. Rushing opposite the perennial all star means Peppers should have single coverage, thus should take advantage. Julius Peppers may not be the same freakish athlete he was five years ago, but he still has some left in the tank. Based on his massive 6’6 frame, an arsenal of rush techniques, and no substitute for experience, Peppers is an extremely important Packer needing to create pressure especially on third down giving Clay a tag-team partner.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix shows off his new green and gold.
Ha Ha Clinton –Dix
Being a first round pick obviously carries weight, but the Packers expect Ha Ha to show his skills as an instant starting safety. Coming out of Alabama under former NFL head coach Nick Saban helps the case of being NFL ready. But Green Bay has needed a playmaking safety for years. The Packers are the only team in which no safety recorded an interception last year. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is being asked to step in as a rookie and play a role as important as the qb on defense. He needs to have everyone’s back, know his and others’ assignments, drive on the correct angles, and of course hit hard. The Packers defense is in danger of creating a soft reputation. Missed tackles and blown coverages are painful to watch. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the new game changer in Green Bay.B.J. Raji rumbles in the endzone for the pick 6.
Once upon a time, B.J. Raji was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, he’s on a one-year prove it deal. Nose tackle is not a position of stardom. But Raji has showed the ability to dominate in the trenches. He was a huge part of the Packers’ Super Bowl run less than three years ago. Granted, Raji played on the end last year, but no more excuses. It’s as if he’s been on Who knows if it’s a question of stamina, scheme, or a hidden injury. A nose tackle is supposed to occupy blockers in the 3-4, but why not add a zone blitz for Raji. He’s done it before, he can do it again. Everyone remembers the pick-6 in the NFC Championship. Lined up over the center, B.J. Raji is expected to push the pocket. He doesn’t even have to sack the qb. It’s more important that he penetrates. Whatever it takes; more time in the weight room or coaching versatile rip skills, Raji is the anchor to stuffing the run and making QBs nervous. Especially now with veteran DTs Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly gone in free agency, it’s up to B.J. to command the middle.