Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The First Open OTA of 2012: Packers Take The Field

This was the first week of scheduled organized team activities for the Green Bay Packers that will run over the next three weeks. It leads up to the mandatory mini-camp on June 12 through June 14. After that, the coaches and players will be out of sight until training camp opens at the end of July. Only three of the OTA's will be open the public, and today was the first of them.

Here's a recap from the Press-Gazette. With the arrival of first round pick Nick Perry, Clay Matthews has moved back to the right side, which was the side he played on during his rookie season. Back in 2009, Aaron Kampman was bigger (and less mobile in pass coverage) so he played on the strong (i.e. left) side. My recollection was that Matthews switched sides in 2010 so he'd lineup opposite Cullen Jenkins, and give the Packers a strong pass rusher from each side of the field. With no returning pass rusher worth mentioning on the defensive line, I guess it doesn't matter which side Matthews plays on. It's probably better to keep Perry on the strong side, which might give him fewer coverage responsibilities.

Another note was that C.J. Wilson remained the starting defensive lineman in the base defense, while rookie Jerel Worthy is the only defensive lineman alongside B.J. Raji in the nickel defense. This is really the most interesting note from practice. It appears that the Packers are going to rely primarily on the same defensive schemes they used last season. With the addition of Perry, it was possible that they could have used more 4-3 alignments. While I wasn't eager to see a new defensive scheme, though it would have been understandable after last season's poor results, it's not as important to change the scheme as it was the players. Hopefully Worthy will become the pass rusher they need, and he'll give them the pass rushing duo on the defensive line (Raji and Worthy) that's as good as the one that worked so well in 2010 (Raji and Jenkins).

No comments: