GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – For the Green Bay Packers, the road to the Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona will begin this week with the start of off-season practice.
Sure, nothing will be fixed in two weeks of voluntary group activities, mandatory mini-camp, and one more week of OTAs. However, what happens in the training ground will set the stage for the start of training in just over two months.
This range of position previews continues with external linebackers.
The Sure Things: Rashan Gary and Preston Smith
Media experts didn’t like Gary’s selection with the 12th pick in the 2019 draft. Despite its elite characteristics, where was the production in Michigan?
Gary delivered a production of over 9.5 sacks in 2021. Out of 56 riders on the edge with at least 300 races, Gary ranked first in ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-speed productivity, which measures sacks, hits and rushing for each pass snap. He finished second in the NFL under pressure (81) and a pass-through gain rate (26.0 percent).
Smith also responded to the criticism. Coming out of miserable 2020, Smith agreed to renegotiate an incentive-filled contract and recorded nine sacks. He tied for 13th place in PFF’s fast-pass productivity and set a career high with 62 pressures. For a long time he managed to extend his contract.
Gary and Smith were the only teammates to finish in the top 13 of the PFF PRP.
The Big Mystery: Coaching Change
Smith, who turns 30 in November, has a strange history of yo-yoing production. In four odd seasons, Smith has forced 37 sacks and seven rapes. In three doubles seasons, he has 12.5 sacks and zero volleys. It’s a story he acknowledged at the start of off-season training in April.
“People are going to put that hotter iron on your back,” new outside coach Jason Rebrovich said last week. “Either you quit or you take off and you leave. I think he’ll take a man and take him by the face and he’ll understand that I’m going to get better at this, and he’ll do it. “
The biggest question mark is the change of coaching position, Mike Smith will travel to Minnesota (where he will be coached by Za’Darius Smith) and will be replaced by Rebrovich.
A day after the end of the season against San Francisco, Gary was “a little drowned out” when he talked about what Smith meant in his career. It was Smith who had Gary’s back on him from the start and helped him become a beginner star.
Will Rebrovich have that personal touch? And will he be able to find depth in a place where almost no one was last season?
“I think he’s a guy who will bring a lot of energy and a lot of juice,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “He will demand a lot from the players. I think he will build those bonds. ”
Worth seeing: Kingsley Enagbare
Last season, the trio of Jonathan Garvin (1.5 serve, five quarterback hits), Tipa Galeai (one sack, one quarterback hit) and La’Darius Hamilton (zero sacks, two quarterback hits) made up 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits. he joined them. 611 defense snaps. Also last season, Gary hit 9.5 sacks and 28 quarters in 681 defensive snaps. The descent was as steep as the sides of the Great Canyon.
With Za’Darius Smith in Minnesota and Whitney Mercilus retiring, the Packers need someone to give them depth. Maybe that will be Kingsley Enagbare, the fifth-round pick in South Carolina. He did a great test on Scouting Combines and pro day, but he did a good production. Although he released 4.5 modest sacks in 2021, he pulled out six holding penalties, the second-highest draft.
“Love her. Love his length, love his ability, very smart in the classroom, “said Rebrovich.” He’s a child’s brain, he understands things, he walks across the classroom. , he has done a great job ”.
While it is impossible to draw conclusions about the big boys in the trenches and helmets in these practices, the ability of an outside linebacker to overcome the onslaught in May often goes back to August and beyond.
Aaron Rodgers and Quarterbacks
Jones, Dillon and Running Backs
Allen Lazard and Recipients
Robert Tonyan and Tight Ends
Injured Knees and Line of Attack
Kenny Clark and the Line of Defense