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The Green Bay Packers had the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL last season and the primary reason was a lack of a pass rush. The Packers had only 29 sacks last season, which was 27th in the NFL.
Go back to 2010. The Packers had the 5th ranked defense in the NFL and the team had 47 sacks, which was the second best mark in the league. It led to a Super Bowl win.
The Packers also had 37 sacks in 2009, when the team had the 2nd best ranked defense in the NFL under Dom Capers, which was the first season in which Capers became defensive coordinator.
The Packers pass rush is led by Clay Matthews, who has been fabulous his first three years in the NFL. Matthews has 29 and a half sacks the past three seasons and has been named to three straight Pro Bowls as well.
Matthews clearly missed the presence of DE Cullen Jenkins last season, as the veteran pass rusher left via free agency. Matthews only had six sacks last season as he was constantly doubled teamed. Ted Thompson has reloaded in 2012 by bringing in a number of players who should be able to help the pass rush.
Namely OLB Nick Perry. Perry had a stellar pass rushing career at USC, which is also the place Matthews went to school. Perry had 21 and a half sacks as a Trojan and it is hoped that Perry can provide some balance to the pass rush as the LOLB, as Matthews has moved over to the ROLB position.
Some other names to keep in mind are veteran OLB Erik Walden, who looks like he is back to the form he showed in the late 2010 season as a pass rusher (three sacks) and also undrafted rookie Dezman Moses, who had the best training camp of any rookie for the Packers.
Walden is currently serving a one game suspension due to an off the field incident last season, while Moses looks like he could really add another dimension to the pass rush with his tenacious ability to get to the passer.
Both Walden or Moses could be used in the Psycho defense that Capers employs, when he puts five LBs on the field.
Thompson also drafted defensive linemen Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels to help out with the inside pass rush in the nickel and dime alignments along with B.J. Raji.
Bottom line, the Packers need to establish a fierce pass rush again this season if they expect to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy again.