Green Bay Packers: A Scout's View on the Inside Linebacker Position

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Green Bay Packers: A Scout's View on the Inside Linebacker Position
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

I had another opportunity to talk with scout Chris Landry, as I chatted with him on the Steve Duemig Show on Friday.

I asked Landry about the inside linebacker position for the Packers, especially after the release of Desmond Bishop.

Landry commented as to why the Packers released Bishop:

When you see a guy like Bishop (get released), when they are OK cap-wise, when you see that move being made at this time, it tells you right there that they view this as a medical situation. I mean, he's a good player, and he would have certainly helped them if healthy. That decision doesn't get made right now unless it's health related. At least in their eyes.

Bishop has told reporters like Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he is healthy, however:

How a player views himself, and when I say health, it's how they (the team) feels he can hold up and how effective he can be. Obviously there's a difference internally about how they see him versus how he sees himself health-wise.

Landry went on to say that the Packers will definitely miss a player like Bishop down the road:

I think it hurts (the Packers). What they miss with him, and I do think he will end up somewhere else, as somebody will at least kick the tires with him, is he's an instinctive guy, who plays at an ultimately instinctive position defensively. That's what they'll miss most from him.

Chris also talked about linebackers like Brad Jones, Terrell Manning and rookie Sam Barrington, and how they will fill the void at inside linebacker after the release of Bishop:

Jones, Manning and Barrington, all those guys for different reasons are athletic and are capable. Barrington can really help on (special) teams if he can do enough early. Manning is another guy who is a good teams player. He (Manning) is an effective blitz guy, but making the calls and checks, and having the natural instincts is something that Bishop has that these guys haven't really shown that they can play at a high level from that standpoint. But that's what they are going to have to turn to at this point.

Landry then talked about what the Packers might do at the position now that Bishop is indeed gone:

They'll look to the waiver wire, as guys get cut. They'll look at young guys, but they'll see if maybe there's a veteran guy who has a little more experience and has instincts that might be able to come in and help. It's not a dire problem, it's just a feeling that they have that they can't really rely on him (Bishop) and they wanted to kind of move on. To get more reps for the aforementioned guys to see if they can get by with them. That's a tough position, because instincts and toughness are the two most important things you look for at that position. Athletic ability, while great, takes a back seat to the instincts and toughness.

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