Ted Thompson Has Fixed the Green Bay Packers Defense

Chad LundbergCorrespondent IIIApril 30, 2012

You'll usually see a lot of commentators, analysts and even fans like myself who have found access to voicing their opinion on the Internet and attempt to be professional by keeping their opinions separate from what is official.

I won't be doing that here.

I'm just gonna say it plain: Ted Thompson has fixed the Green Bay Packers defense. In just one draft.

The offense scored 35 points per game last season, so it's fair to say that they didn't need that much help. It was crystal clear that the defense needed the most help, by far.

If I gave you list of the six most deficient parts of the Packers defense, based on what is least needed to what is most needed, you would think that I just grabbed a list of the Packers' 2012 draft class.

For years, we've needed, yes, not wanted, needed, an OLB opposite to Clay Matthews. We've tried out Brad Jones, Erik Walden, Aaron Kampman, Frank Zombo and even Vic So'oto to some degree at this position, and none have lived up to the expectations of a capable starter opposite to Matthews.

Now we have that person in Nick Perry. I don't listen to any of that "he was cold at times" garbage, because that's something that just takes some coaching to fix. Perry's potential is most comparable to that of Brian Orakpo.

Mike Neal was a complete failure last season, regardless of the situation regarding Cullen Jenkins. He was expected to effectively replace our best interior pass-rusher, but could barely even garner a single tackle.

Enter: Jerel Worthy, who, like Perry "was cold at times." But when Worthy brought his A-game, he looked like the best interior pass-rusher in the draft. Worthy will not only bring added pass-rush, but he will also motivate Neal to try to keep himself more aware of his surroundings and stay healthy.

Ted Thompson even drafted an additional OLB in Terrell Manning and a DT in Mike Daniels. While neither of those two seem to be nearly as good as prospects as Perry or Worthy, they have shown an ability to rush the passer at times, which is exactly what the Packers need.

The release of Nick Collins greatly complicated things, but it was nothing Thompson couldn't handle. Will the additions of Casey Hayward and Jerron McMillian ever be as good as Collins?

Not a chance—that's simply too much to ask.

But they will surely compensate for the loss, maybe even just enough for the secondary to get back to its 2010 form. 

Now what else did we need? Another middle linebacker? No, we have Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk for that. And even if Hawk continues to disappoint, he won't be able to get away with it for long with D.J. Smith sneaking up behind him.

Did we need another nose tackle? We have an experienced veteran in Ryan Pickett and a young star in B.J. Raji for that.

It doesn't seem like the Packers will be lacking in any other department next season. If that is the case, then what more do you need to know? Ted Thompson has fixed the defense, not just for this year, but for years to come.


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