Stingers

Green Bay Linebackers

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Very good points but I would still prefer as would all of us a 3 down linebacker - preferaby a MLB or a WLB in a Tampa Cover 2 or ILB in a 3-4 than a 2 down linebacker or SLB in a 4-3. There are exceptions to every rule but if you know the nuances of the defensive scheme of the teams (and they are constantly changing) it helps you to put the proper value on the players. Until we see how Green Bay uses Hodge and Barnett and Hawk - Hodge's value is still speculation.

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Very good points but I would still prefer as would all of us a 3 down linebacker - preferaby a MLB or a WLB in a Tampa Cover 2 or ILB in a 3-4 than a 2 down linebacker or SLB in a 4-3. There are exceptions to every rule but if you know the nuances of the defensive scheme of the teams (and they are constantly changing) it helps you to put the proper value on the players. Until we see how Green Bay uses Hodge and Barnett and Hawk - Hodge's value is still speculation.

 

 

Well, I agree with about half of that. All other things equal, I'll take a 3-down 'backer over a 2-downer. Other things are very seldom equal, though, and Green Bay is one of those examples.

 

Whoever plays MLB for the Packers will outscore the OLBs. I have no doubt about that. Of course, if it's Hodge and he's taken out in nickel and dime, he might not match Barnett's numbers from last year -- Barnett played every down. On the other hand, however, Hodge might make tackles on first and second downs that Barnett didn't.

 

Either way, Hodge's value has a lot more to do with his tackling instincts and the MLB-friendly scheme in Green Bay than his PT on 3rd down.

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Sure, in zone coverage, a nickel LB might tackle a WR coming across the middle, but...it's just not that significant. As I said, MOST of the tackles made by LBs are on running plays.

I'd certainly pay attention to a list like that, but it would be an "all-other-things-equal" kind of decision aid. I'll forever maintain that there are football players who just have a crazy tackling instinct and it's those players who end up with the gaudy tackle numbers. Schemes and 2- vs. 3-down designations are good things to consider, but they're overrated.

 

 

OK Swiss..... show me one, even ONE stud MLB that doesn't play in the nickel and dime defenses that was top thirty. BTW, Trotter stayed in on the nickel most of the time last year, so don't go there! :D

 

We are talking about guys like Hartwell, Cowart, Sirmon (who was SLB but moves to MLB this year, but only two downs) .

 

Show me even ONE two down LB, at any spot, MLB, WLB, SLB that had any real value in FF last year. I will patiently await yer retort. (There aren't any, but Hodge will beak the mold, right?)

Edited by Rovers

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OK Swiss..... show me one, even ONE stud MLB that doesn't play in the nickel and dime defenses that was top thirty. BTW, Trotter stayed in on the nickel most of the time last year, so don't go there! :D

 

We are talking about guys like Hartwell, Cowart, Sirmon (who was SLB but moves to MLB this year, but only two downs) .

 

Show me even ONE two down LB, at any spot, MLB, WLB, SLB that had any real value in FF last year. I will patiently await yer retort. (There aren't any, but Hodge will beak the mold, right?)

 

 

:D

 

So you're saying, with conviction, that a bunch of tackles are made by LBs on 2nd- and 3rd-and-long? Until you prove why that's the case, I don't think I have to find any LBs who fit in your category.

 

I don't have to name top-30 LBs who didn't play in the nickel and dime. First, name me ANY LB who doesn't play in the nickel and dime. There aren't many. Why? Because those guys are the team's 3rd-best LB. Just because every team's 3rd-best LB isn't scoring in the top 30 overall doesn't make my argument any less valid.

 

Most of the time, the LBs who are good enough to put up the best numbers are the best LBs in the league. Since they're usually the best in the league, they're also the best on their teams. THAT'S why the coaches keep them on the field.

 

You're saying the top 30 LB scorers are scoring well BECAUSE they play on 3rd downs. I'm saying they're scoring well because they're GOOD and that the vast majority of THEIR tackles come on 1st and 2nd down.

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:D

 

So you're saying, with conviction, that a bunch of tackles are made by LBs on 2nd- and 3rd-and-long? Until you prove why that's the case, I don't think I have to find any LBs who fit in your category.

 

I don't have to name top-30 LBs who didn't play in the nickel and dime. First, name me ANY LB who doesn't play in the nickel and dime. There aren't many. Why? Because those guys are the team's 3rd-best LB. Just because every team's 3rd-best LB isn't scoring in the top 30 overall doesn't make my argument any less valid.

 

Most of the time, the LBs who are good enough to put up the best numbers are the best LBs in the league. Since they're usually the best in the league, they're also the best on their teams. THAT'S why the coaches keep them on the field.

 

You're saying the top 30 LB scorers are scoring well BECAUSE they play on 3rd downs. I'm saying they're scoring well because they're GOOD and that the vast majority of THEIR tackles come on 1st and 2nd down.

 

 

Um.... I already did name a bunch of third tier LB's who don't play the nickel that stink. Cowart, Hartwell, who ever wins the Minny MLB spot, and yes, Hodge, if he becomes a two down MLB for GB. Add Sirmon to the list, based on info available. maybe the Detroit MLB this year too. This is about Hodge, after all, right? No, you don't have to name any 2 down LB's that are top thirty.... I called you out on it, but you don't have to answer.

 

It seems you think Hodge, if he wins the MLB spot in GB will be top thirty? Top fifty? I have found a number of two down LB's that fail to offer any FF value. I can't find one that does. But, that is your position? You say that there are, or could be two down LB's that carry value, but you can't find even one? Or is it homerism regarding Hodge that is clouding your judgement here? Two down LB's just don't carry much FF value. Show me where I'm wrong, and I'll admit as much. Hodge may well become a very good MLB, but for FF purposes, he's not even a bye week filler if he wins the MLB job. Think Cowart.

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Um.... I already did name a bunch of third tier LB's who don't play the nickel that stink. Cowart, Hartwell, who ever wins the Minny MLB spot, and yes, Hodge, if he becomes a two down MLB for GB. Add Sirmon to the list, based on info available. maybe the Detroit MLB this year too. This is about Hodge, after all, right? No, you don't have to name any 2 down LB's that are top thirty.... I called you out on it, but you don't have to answer.

 

It seems you think Hodge, if he wins the MLB spot in GB will be top thirty? Top fifty? I have found a number of two down LB's that fail to offer any FF value. I can't find one that does. But, that is your position? You say that there are, or could be two down LB's that carry value, but you can't find even one? Or is it homerism regarding Hodge that is clouding your judgement here? Two down LB's just don't carry much FF value. Show me where I'm wrong, and I'll admit as much. Hodge may well become a very good MLB, but for FF purposes, he's not even a bye week filler if he wins the MLB job. Think Cowart.

 

 

C'mon, Rovers. You don't have to agree with me, but you can at least understand my point. It's pretty simple.

 

Your argument, sequentially:

 

1. Certain LBs play don't come off the field.

2. Because those LBs have (a few) more opportunities, they make more tackles.

 

My argument, sequentially:

 

1. Certain LBs are just better than others on their team.

2. Because those LBs are better, they don't come off the field (the other LBs do).

3. Also because those LBs are better, they make more tackles.

 

You're using the final stats as supposed evidence that 3-down LBs are better fantasy players than 2-down LBs, but you're not accounting for one thing -- overall talent/ability of that particular player. BECAUSE he's better than his LB teammates, TWO things happen: 1) he doesn't come off the field and 2) he makes more tackles. I've maintained that individual ability (for LBs) is more important than scheme, and, in this case, it's more important than being on the field for an extra 10 snaps per game.

 

I (along with most scouts) believe Hodge is an excellent, naturally instinctive tackler. Now, add in another factor -- the MLB-friendly scheme in Green Bay. Those two things together will totally offset his 2-down status and make him a starting-caliber FF IDP.

 

IF Hodge gets the MLB job, he won't play in nickel or dime defenses. However, he WILL outscore both Barnett and Hawk. Bank on it. Sigline, DW2 dues, whatever -- I'll make the bet.

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I'd like to add that when Rovers and I were negotiating the deal that ultimately brought Hodge to my DW2 team, he was singing a WAY different tune about Hodge's prospects. :D

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C'mon, Rovers. You don't have to agree with me, but you can at least understand my point. It's pretty simple.

 

Your argument, sequentially:

 

1. Certain LBs play don't come off the field.

2. Because those LBs have (a few) more opportunities, they make more tackles.

 

My argument, sequentially:

 

1. Certain LBs are just better than others on their team.

2. Because those LBs are better, they don't come off the field (the other LBs do).

3. Also because those LBs are better, they make more tackles.

 

You're using the final stats as supposed evidence that 3-down LBs are better fantasy players than 2-down LBs, but you're not accounting for one thing -- overall talent/ability of that particular player. BECAUSE he's better than his LB teammates, TWO things happen: 1) he doesn't come off the field and 2) he makes more tackles. I've maintained that individual ability (for LBs) is more important than scheme, and, in this case, it's more important than being on the field for an extra 10 snaps per game.

 

I (along with most scouts) believe Hodge is an excellent, naturally instinctive tackler. Now, add in another factor -- the MLB-friendly scheme in Green Bay. Those two things together will totally offset his 2-down status and make him a starting-caliber FF IDP.

 

IF Hodge gets the MLB job, he won't play in nickel or dime defenses. However, he WILL outscore both Barnett and Hawk. Bank on it. Sigline, DW2 dues, whatever -- I'll make the bet.

 

 

If Hodge gets the MLB job - why won't he play in the nickel or dime defenses? When Barnett played MLB wasn't he a 3 down player? Is Barnett that much better than Hodge talent wise? Is that why you think it will be Hawk and Barnett because they are the more talented linebackers? Not trying to make an arguement here but if Hodge is better than Barnett according to your train of thought he would be on the field for all 3 downs and would therefore acccording to Rovers be the linebacker to have. Now if he isn't one of the better linebackers - that is why he would be a 2 down linebacker and that goes back to Rovers thinking that he wouldn't be worth more than Barnett or Hawk - fantasywise. Isn't it possible that Barnett doesn't play in the nickle or dime defenses and Hodge stays in and therefore he would get more tackles, big plays etc.?

 

I think I can see both schools of thoughts here and I think ultimately until we see that Hodge doesn't stay in on all downs - we can't accurately predict his value. Training camp hasn't started yet. Am I wrong in my assumption that Barnett was the starting MLB and stayed in all 3 downs last season?

 

:D

Edited by Stingers

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If Hodge gets the MLB job - why won't he play in the nickel or dime defenses? When Barnett played MLB wasn't he a 3 down player? Is Barnett that much better than Hodge talent wise? Is that why you think it will be Hawk and Barnett because they are the more talented linebackers? Not trying to make an arguement here but if Hodge is better than Barnett according to your train of thought he would be on the field for all 3 downs and would therefore acccording to Rovers be the linebacker to have. Now if he isn't one of the better linebackers - that is why he would be a 2 down linebacker and that goes back to Rovers thinking that he wouldn't be worth more than Barnett or Hawk - fantasywise. Isn't it possible that Barnett doesn't play in the nickle or dime defenses and Hodge stays in and therefore he would get more tackles, big plays etc.?

 

I think I can see both schools of thoughts here and I think ultimately until we see that Hodge doesn't stay in on all downs - we can't accurately predict his value. Training camp hasn't started yet. Am I wrong in my assumption that Barnett was the starting MLB and stayed in all 3 downs last season?

 

:D

 

 

I understand the confusion, since you probably missed the JSonline article a while back that quoted the coaches saying that Hawk and Barnett are slated to be in the nickel, with Hawk in the dime. Both are faster, coverage-adept LBs, whereas Hodge is more of a run-stuffing specialist.

 

Sure, I'd agree that Hodge is the 3rd-best LB on the Packers team and, yes, that's why he'll probably lose some 3rd-down PT. However, his unique situation as a natural tackler IN a MLB-friendly scheme means he'll still be more fantasy-relevant than his OLB counterparts.

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Thanks - I did not see that article. Believe me I'm happy the Pack has these linebackers and we get to discuss as to who the most valuable linebackers will be.

 

I see your point very clearly - but I think when Hodge does nail down the MLB position and if he only stays in for 2 downs, I tend to agree with Rovers that reduced playing time will lower his stats and therefore lower his fantasy value.

 

But if all players are equal talent - what happens to the rule of thumb - 4-3 Mike is most valuable, followed by WILL then SAM.

 

It is very confusing. :D

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Whoever plays MLB, 2 down, 3 down, whatever will score the best fantasy wise IMO. Maybe you are onto something Rovers, but I just think the "2 down" guys and teams you are refering to pretty much suck anyway, or the LB corp isn't their strong point. I think that the starting MLB in the majority of defenses outscores the other guys regardless of "2 down, 3 down". There are some teams where the WLB score the best, because well...he's the best LB talent wise, and as Swiss mentioned, some guys are just tackling machines, regardless of where they line up. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I just think you are over-analyzing just a bit, or putting a little too much weight into this. It is an interesting situation, because all 3 guys are very talented. Barnett is proven, Hawk should live up to the hype (but maybe not quite fantasy wise), but I still think the MLB gets the best tackle #s here, and the most fantasy points. Hawk at WLB could possibly outscore Hodge at MLB, but I doubt Barnett at MLB. I see all 3 in the ball park of each other, and no top 5 guy because of it...with the MLB tops IMO, whether it's Hodge or Barnett with Hawk at WLB running closely behind.

Edited by Hitman

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OK, the truth is that I agree with you Swiss, on several points. One, the GB defense is very frendly to the MLB's FF production. The second thing is I think Hodge will be a very good MLB. His tackle numbers should still be very good even if he's out on the nickel and dime packages.

 

Yes, he will lose some tackles because he won't play all 3 downs, but more importantly, (in Hodge's case, and his situation is fairly unique), he will miss oppotunities for making big plays. Even when he's in, and GB decides to blitz an LB, will it be Hodge? Or Hawk? That restricts his chances of ever being a top 20 LB, IMO. I think he could land around 30 to 35 in LB scoring this year, if he wins the job and other variables remain the same.

 

So, I didn't try to lie to you or backtrack on my opinion of Hodge (in fact, the ENTIRE league told me YOU skunked me in that deal!). What made me pull the trigger on trading Hodge was the fact that I already had two "2 down" MLB's on my roster.... Hartwell and Sirmon. While I think Hodge has much better upside than either of those players, the bottom line is that I prefer LB's who stay on the field for every down. (from a game plan perspective). If it looked like either Hawk of Barnett would not be long term fixtures on the GB defense, I would not have traded Hodge. As long as those two are Packers, and healthy, I think it really limits Hodge's cileing.

 

Hitman, I also think if Hodge starts, he will eat into the tackle numbers for Hawk and Barnett, however, I don't think he will outscore Hawk, but might outscore Barnett. We shall see, but I recognize that this is a unique situation, and I could well be proven wrong.

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I will say this. If you believe Abdul Hodge is just a two down linebacker. U never watched any of his college games. They didnt call him THE HITMAN for nothing. This guy NEVER left the field.

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I will say this. If you believe Abdul Hodge is just a two down linebacker. U never watched any of his college games. They didnt call him THE HITMAN for nothing. This guy NEVER left the field.

 

 

I never siad if he was a 2 down backer or not.... I'm going on reports out of GB. Could he be an every down backer in the NFL? Sure, I think so, but not on that team, not with Hawk and Barnett there, barring injuries. He doesn't play for a college anymore. He plays for GB.

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I never siad if he was a 2 down backer or not.... I'm going on reports out of GB. Could he be an every down backer in the NFL? Sure, I think so, but not on that team, not with Hawk and Barnett there, barring injuries. He doesn't play for a college anymore. He plays for GB.

 

 

True he dont play for college any more. But he is going to put up number in Greenbay. Smoke screen is all I can say. Yes I like Barnett. But I think Hodge is way better.

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Latest from the WI State Journal:

 

Packers: Linebackers face extreme makeover

JASON WILDE

608-252-6176

jwilde@madison.com

GREEN BAY - Understand this about Ted Thompson: When it comes to negative critiques of players, he usually follows your mother's rule about not saying anything if you have nothing nice to say.

 

Because he spent 10 years playing linebacker in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers' general manager is particularly sensitive about what he says publicly about players. Heck, the guy wouldn't even rip epic disappointments Cletidus Hunt or Donnell Washington when they were released.

 

So when Thompson gave the following assessment of last year's linebacker corps during last week's shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field, it qualified as a major diss when graded on the Thompson Criticism Curve.

 

"It was a position that I felt like - and I'm not casting stones at the players that were here - but as a group, this was a position where we probably didn't play as well as we hoped for last year," Thompson told the stockholders.

 

Whoa, Ted. That's harsh.

 

Of course, Thompson's actions made it very clear just how he felt about the position.

 

He cut veteran Na'il Diggs, who started 80 games in six years in Green Bay but only six games during an injury-derailed 2005 season. He cut Robert Thomas, a former first-round pick who started nine games last year after being acquired in a trade from St. Louis. And he didn't try to re-sign utilityman Paris Lenon, who started 12 games last year and was a reliable-if-pedestrian backup for four years.

 

Thompson then chose Ohio State's A.J. Hawk with the fifth pick in the first round of the draft and Iowa's Abdul Hodge in the third round. They joined a mix of cornerstone middle linebacker Nick Barnett, the lone returning starter and the team's tackle leader each of his three years in the league; inexpensive free-agent signees Ben Taylor and Tracy White; promising youngster Roy Manning; and rehabilitating holdovers Brady Poppinga and Kurt Campbell.

 

That led Thompson to say what he said next:

 

"We felt like this position during the offseason and through the draft went from a position of concern to a position of strength," he told the crowd. "I think it has the potential to be a remarkable group of linebackers."

 

Remarkable is a pretty strong word, and while Thompson said after his speech that he didn't target linebacker any more than he focused on improving the other positions on the roster, it is now one of the positions on the roster he seems most confident in.

 

"I don't know if we focused on it any more than any other," Thompson said. "The way the draft fell, that we were able to get A.J. Hawk and then that Abdul Hodge was still there when we picked again in the third, obviously we felt that right there we helped out group.

 

"There will be some unbelievable competition. I couldn't tell you who the five or six or seven guys are going to be right now. I have my ideas, but I don't know that for certain. (But) I think as a group we have a chance to be pretty good. You never know. You get a few injuries and you might not be quite as good as you think. But we feel pretty good about it right now."

 

With Hawk set to start at will (weak-side) linebacker and Barnett established at mike (middle), Taylor, Manning, Poppinga and Hodge are the candidates at sam (strong-side).

 

Taylor got the most work with the No. 1 unit there during the organized team activity practices, although Manning also worked with the first string. Poppinga, who tore the ACL in his left knee last December, might challenge if his accelerated recovery allows him to practice sometime in camp.

 

Coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said they've considered moving Barnett to the outside and starting Hodge in the middle, where he played for the Hawkeyes. For now, Barnett will stay put, but McCarthy didn't rule out moving him.

 

"We talked about that. I think you start moving guys around too much (because) you get excited about a guy (like Hodge), you end up hurting him more than you help him," McCarthy said. "There's merit to teaching a guy a position, letting him get real comfortable with that, and then move him over."

 

Hodge didn't work much at sam linebacker in the offseason but will work there in camp, Sanders said.

 

"We double-train as many guys as we can so they can do as many things as they can handle without messing them up," Sanders said. "If something happens to somebody, we want to be able to put our best three in the game. A.J. is very comfortable at will, because that's what he did at Ohio State. And surely Nick is comfortable where he's at. So to keep those guys comfortable, and to get guys going, we'll see where it goes."

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The only other thing I can say about this is, if you think Ted Thompson and his staff DIDN'T discuss moving Barnett to SLB at the very moment before they drafted Hodge, you'd be wrong. They wouldn't use a 3rd-round pick on a backup MLB.

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The only other thing I can say about this is, if you think Ted Thompson and his staff DIDN'T discuss moving Barnett to SLB at the very moment before they drafted Hodge, you'd be wrong. They wouldn't use a 3rd-round pick on a backup MLB.

 

:D

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More good news for Hodge, FWIW:

 

...rookie linebacker Abdul Hodge showed the explosiveness for which he is known but tempered excitement with a couple of negative plays...Penalties and a horse-collar penalty on Hodge wiped out a terrific play on the linebacker's part to tackle Gado short of a first down on a swing pass to the sideline. Still, Hodge had a team-high nine tackles and looked impressive chasing down ball-carriers.

 

I'm telling you -- whoever plays MLB for GB will be an IDP star. :D

 

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=480472

Edited by Swiss Cheezhead

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More good news for Hodge, FWIW:

 

...rookie linebacker Abdul Hodge showed the explosiveness for which he is known but tempered excitement with a couple of negative plays...Penalties and a horse-collar penalty on Hodge wiped out a terrific play on the linebacker's part to tackle Gado short of a first down on a swing pass to the sideline. Still, Hodge had a team-high nine tackles and looked impressive chasing down ball-carriers.

 

I'm telling you -- whoever plays MLB for GB will be an IDP star. :D

 

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=480472

 

-- Abdul Hodge Impressing --

Mon Aug 7, 2006

 

PackersNews.com reports Green Bay Packers third-round draft pick MLB Abdul Hodge arguably has looked as good as first-rounder OLB A.J. Hawk during the first eight days of training camp, though Hawk is under more scrutiny as the starter at weak-side linebacker whereas Hodge is the backup at middle linebacker. Going against the No. 1 offense on three series Saturday night, Hodge was in on at least three tackles on the first six plays, all of which were runs. On a third-and-2, he and DE Mike Montgomery stuffed RB Samkon Gado for a 1-yard gain, and he was in on the gang tackle that stopped Gado from converting fourth-and-1. Later, on a first-and-15 draw, Hodge dropped RB Noah Herron after a 4-yard gain. "Fifty-five was in there a bunch," HC Mike McCarthy said, referring to Hodge by his number. "He's definitely a force in the game, especially within the tight end area. He played well (Saturday night) from what I saw. I had a chance to sit behind the offense there from the second or third series on, he really flashed." Hodge finished the scrimmage with nine tackles. Hawk, playing weak-side linebacker with the starters and occasionally with the No. 2 defense, had three tackles. "I think A.J. had a few mistakes to learn from," McCarthy said. "That's the beauty of this (scrimmage) film, there's so many positive things to build off, but there are mistakes that you need to correct and get fixed.

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An opintion column from today's WI State Journal, essenitally repeating what's already been said.

 

http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/column/ind...d=93914&ntpid=1

 

Oates: Packers' Hodge deserves to start in middle

TOM OATES 608-252-6172

toates@madison.com

General manager Ted Thompson lapsed directly into NFL-speak when asked if rookie Abdul Hodge had impressed him enough to start at linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

 

"We'll play the best guys that we have," Thompson told reporters Monday. "If he happens to be one of the best guys, we'd play him."

 

Good, because the time has come for the Packers to put their money where their cliche is.

 

With the first exhibition game coming up Saturday, the three best linebackers in the Packers' training camp are Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk and Abdul Hodge. Problem is, only two of those three - Barnett at middle linebacker and Hawk at weakside linebacker - are starting.

 

It's time to start all three.

 

The Packers should move Barnett to the strong side and start Hodge in the middle, and they should do it now so they can give Hodge as much time to learn as they can. True, that would give them two rookies - Hawk and Hodge - at linebacker, but if the Packers aren't worried about starting two rookie guards, why would they obsess over starting two rookie linebackers?

 

Barnett has started the last three seasons at middle linebacker and Hawk, the first-round draft pick from Ohio State, was handed a starting job the minute the Packers called his name in April. However, Hodge, the third-round pick from Iowa, has been stuck behind Barnett on the depth chart while the Packers start bargain-basement free agent Ben Taylor on the strong side.

 

Taylor has been the same dependable-but-invisible player he was in Cleveland, where he started 16 games in 2005 without a sack, an interception, a forced fumble or a recovered fumble. Meanwhile, Hodge demonstrated in the team's scrimmage Saturday what many had seen throughout camp: He's a tackling machine who plays bigger and faster than he is.

 

"He looks just like he did at Iowa, running around and making tackles," Thompson said. "He's instinctive, he's aggressive, he's a downhill guy and he's an active football player. He likes to play the game. We're very pleased."

 

Hopefully, the Packers are pleased enough to make a bold move and start Hodge in the middle. It only makes sense.

 

First, Hodge is every bit as NFL-ready as Hawk, having matched Hawk tackle-for-tackle during their equally impressive Big Ten Conference careers. Yes, he struggles in pass coverage - what rookie linebacker doesn't? - but he can stuff the run and make big plays, two things the Packers sorely need from their linebackers.

 

"He'll do a great job with the transition," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said last week. "We've had numerous guys go on (to the NFL) and make the adjustment very well and there's no doubt in my mind Abdul will do the same."

 

Second, Hodge is a natural-born middle linebacker. Ferentz doesn't claim to know anything about the Packers' personnel situation, but he knows Hodge, a three-year starter at Iowa, and he knows the NFL, having been the offensive line coach for the Cleveland/Baltimore franchise for six years. He also knows linebackers, having coached for an NFL team that had Ray Lewis at middle, or mike, linebacker.

 

"I'm not saying he's Ray Lewis, but to me Ray Lewis is a mike and Abdul (is a mike)," Ferentz said. "In my opinion, he's a box middle linebacker. ... He's an explosive, tough player, he can play the position, he's got great instincts and he's a great student of the game. I'll be shocked if he doesn't have a great career. I'll just be shocked."

 

Thompson, a linebacker in his playing days, said it's not difficult for linebackers to move around and play different spots in the Packers' defense.

 

"There's some versatility there," he said. "If you're athletic and you have instincts, you can play."

 

Hodge could probably move to the outside and start this year, but that wouldn't make sense. He already has the instincts to play the middle and might not be as effective outside with his lack of top-end speed. Meanwhile, Barnett has been good but not great in the middle and might be better outside, where he can use his speed.

 

Thompson said it's coach Mike McCarthy's call who starts at linebacker, but it's a no-brainer. Hodge could be the Packers' middle linebacker for the next 10 years, so why wait another day to put him there?

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I have said this before, but just think of this LB corp from this year forward, Barnett-Hodge-Hawk. I thought Hodge was the steal of the draft in the 3rd round.

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Barnett not happy about moving to sam -

 

http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/ind...d=94084&ntpid=1

 

Packers: Barnett tackles talk of switch

JASON WILDE

608-252-6176

jwilde@madison.com

GREEN BAY - Nick Barnett wanted to get something off his chest Tuesday afternoon.

 

The Green Bay Packers middle linebacker - for now, anyway - does not want to move to another position. Period.

 

Not that Barnett has anything against rookie Abdul Hodge, whose play during the first two weeks of training camp has been eye-opening. In fact, Barnett is all for the Abdul-a-palooza that camp has become over the past week, as the youngster has stood out to coaches, teammates, reporters and fans alike during practice and Saturday night's intrasquad scrimmage.

 

But Barnett, the team's 2003 first-round draft pick and leading tackler each of the past three seasons, doesn't just dislike the idea of moving outside from mike (middle) to the less glamorous sam (strong-side) spot, he hates it.

 

So when approached by a reporter after practice Tuesday, Barnett didn't even wait until the question was asked.

 

"I really get offended sometimes when you guys ask me about moving. Why would I move?" said Barnett, who set a franchise record with 194 tackles last season. "I'm the vet in this defense. I've been playing the middle linebacker position for three years. I haven't (played poorly). I've been balling ever since I've been here. Let's be honest.

 

"There's been some plays here or there where I've made mistakes. I'll give you that. But that happens to all players. After playing three straight years, it starts to irk me, talking about this. It's not going to happen. I ain't playing sam."

 

Uh, Nick - don't be so sure about that.

 

Asked after practice whether he thought Barnett was capable of moving outside to sam, coach Mike McCarthy said, "I have no reason to think that he's not (able to play sam). ... I think it's been obvious that there is a comfort level (Hodge) does have so far at the mike linebacker. So that's something we may explore."

 

See, here's the crux of the problem: Hodge played mike linebacker at Iowa, and was terrific in that role. But because he's not as adept in pass coverage and there are questions about his lower-body strength against the run, there are those - Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz being one of them - who think he can only play in the middle in the NFL.

 

Meanwhile, the coaches have vowed to play their three best linebackers, and if Hodge is one of them and joins Barnett and fellow rookie A.J. Hawk, the No. 5 overall pick, someone has to play at sam.

 

Throughout camp, Hawk has worked outside at the will (weak-side) linebacker spot, Barnett at his customary mike spot and free-agent pickup Ben Taylor at sam - though Hodge did take a few snaps there during Tuesday's practice.

 

And, as Barnett admitted Tuesday, the Packers aren't going to move the high-profile Hawk to the lowest-profile linebacker position.

 

"They need A.J. at will. When you draft somebody that high, you want to put him at the mike or the will so they'll have productive numbers," Barnett said. "And I understand the reasoning of wanting to move me to the sam, because I can cover and I'm a smart player, but I think Abdul's smart enough to play that position, too.

 

"I don't think they're giving him enough credit. I think he can play sam. It's not that hard of a position. But what's wrong with Ben (Taylor)? Ben's been excellent at sam. Why are we even talking about this?"

 

Barnett said neither McCarthy nor defensive coordinator Bob Sanders has broached the subject of moving him to sam, even though the preseason opener is Saturday at San Diego and the regular-season opener is a month away, Sept. 10 against Chicago.

 

"Right now, we're trying to keep all scenarios open, but we haven't played a preseason game yet," Sanders said. "There's a lot of practice time left."

 

The other thing that bothers Barnett is that, although he's playing for his fourth coordinator in four years, Sanders at least kept the same scheme as Jim Bates. Moving to a new position would mean whatever year-to-year continuity Barnett had coming into this season would be out the window.

 

On top of that, Barnett says moving to sam would hurt him at the free-agent bargaining table, since his contract expires after the 2007 season and his numbers would nosedive from the 490 tackles, six sacks, five interceptions and five forced fumbles he's had the past three years.

 

"Look, I can play it. I can play any linebacker position we've got," Barnett said. "But you start to think about other things as well, as far as your future. My free-agent year is coming up. You move me to sam, (and it's) really an unproductive position, doesn't get a lot of opportunities to make tackles.

 

"They talk to me about being a leader, and that's what I'm trying to do. You move me to sam, I go to being a quiet player in the back of the huddle, just by nature of the position. I don't see it happening, honestly."

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Barnett not happy about moving to sam -

 

http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/ind...d=94084&ntpid=1

 

Packers: Barnett tackles talk of switch

JASON WILDE

608-252-6176

jwilde@madison.com

GREEN BAY - Nick Barnett wanted to get something off his chest Tuesday afternoon.

 

The Green Bay Packers middle linebacker - for now, anyway - does not want to move to another position. Period.

 

Not that Barnett has anything against rookie Abdul Hodge, whose play during the first two weeks of training camp has been eye-opening. In fact, Barnett is all for the Abdul-a-palooza that camp has become over the past week, as the youngster has stood out to coaches, teammates, reporters and fans alike during practice and Saturday night's intrasquad scrimmage.

 

But Barnett, the team's 2003 first-round draft pick and leading tackler each of the past three seasons, doesn't just dislike the idea of moving outside from mike (middle) to the less glamorous sam (strong-side) spot, he hates it.

 

So when approached by a reporter after practice Tuesday, Barnett didn't even wait until the question was asked.

 

"I really get offended sometimes when you guys ask me about moving. Why would I move?" said Barnett, who set a franchise record with 194 tackles last season. "I'm the vet in this defense. I've been playing the middle linebacker position for three years. I haven't (played poorly). I've been balling ever since I've been here. Let's be honest.

 

"There's been some plays here or there where I've made mistakes. I'll give you that. But that happens to all players. After playing three straight years, it starts to irk me, talking about this. It's not going to happen. I ain't playing sam."

 

Uh, Nick - don't be so sure about that.

 

Asked after practice whether he thought Barnett was capable of moving outside to sam, coach Mike McCarthy said, "I have no reason to think that he's not (able to play sam). ... I think it's been obvious that there is a comfort level (Hodge) does have so far at the mike linebacker. So that's something we may explore."

 

See, here's the crux of the problem: Hodge played mike linebacker at Iowa, and was terrific in that role. But because he's not as adept in pass coverage and there are questions about his lower-body strength against the run, there are those - Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz being one of them - who think he can only play in the middle in the NFL.

 

Meanwhile, the coaches have vowed to play their three best linebackers, and if Hodge is one of them and joins Barnett and fellow rookie A.J. Hawk, the No. 5 overall pick, someone has to play at sam.

 

Throughout camp, Hawk has worked outside at the will (weak-side) linebacker spot, Barnett at his customary mike spot and free-agent pickup Ben Taylor at sam - though Hodge did take a few snaps there during Tuesday's practice.

 

And, as Barnett admitted Tuesday, the Packers aren't going to move the high-profile Hawk to the lowest-profile linebacker position.

 

"They need A.J. at will. When you draft somebody that high, you want to put him at the mike or the will so they'll have productive numbers," Barnett said. "And I understand the reasoning of wanting to move me to the sam, because I can cover and I'm a smart player, but I think Abdul's smart enough to play that position, too.

 

"I don't think they're giving him enough credit. I think he can play sam. It's not that hard of a position. But what's wrong with Ben (Taylor)? Ben's been excellent at sam. Why are we even talking about this?"

 

Barnett said neither McCarthy nor defensive coordinator Bob Sanders has broached the subject of moving him to sam, even though the preseason opener is Saturday at San Diego and the regular-season opener is a month away, Sept. 10 against Chicago.

 

"Right now, we're trying to keep all scenarios open, but we haven't played a preseason game yet," Sanders said. "There's a lot of practice time left."

 

The other thing that bothers Barnett is that, although he's playing for his fourth coordinator in four years, Sanders at least kept the same scheme as Jim Bates. Moving to a new position would mean whatever year-to-year continuity Barnett had coming into this season would be out the window.

 

On top of that, Barnett says moving to sam would hurt him at the free-agent bargaining table, since his contract expires after the 2007 season and his numbers would nosedive from the 490 tackles, six sacks, five interceptions and five forced fumbles he's had the past three years.

 

"Look, I can play it. I can play any linebacker position we've got," Barnett said. "But you start to think about other things as well, as far as your future. My free-agent year is coming up. You move me to sam, (and it's) really an unproductive position, doesn't get a lot of opportunities to make tackles.

 

"They talk to me about being a leader, and that's what I'm trying to do. You move me to sam, I go to being a quiet player in the back of the huddle, just by nature of the position. I don't see it happening, honestly."

 

Bye Bye Barnett at the end of 07. More disgruntled players for the packers. Potential hold-out next season? Heck these guys get paid enough - he should be a team player and play where they want him to. He'll get his numbers and that won't hurt him in F/A it will prove he can play Mike or Sam. quit your complaining and play! :D

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Bye Bye Barnett at the end of 07. More disgruntled players for the packers. Potential hold-out next season? Heck these guys get paid enough - he should be a team player and play where they want him to. He'll get his numbers and that won't hurt him in F/A it will prove he can play Mike or Sam. quit your complaining and play! :D

 

 

I think he's gone after 2007 no matter what...he's had a lot of trouble with this city in regards to the club he owns in downtown Green Bay.

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