Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kevin Greene joins coaching staff

Although this will be his first full-time coaching gig, former linebacker Kevin Greene says now is the time to get on this side of the game. The opportunity to join his former coach in Pittsburgh and Carolina, Dom Capers, as part of the new defensive coaching staff at Green Bay was too good to pass up. Greene will coach outside linebackers. Assistant head coach/linebackers Winston Moss will have his title restructured to reflect that in addition to still retaining his assistant head coach title he will coach inside linebackers.

While Greene may not have a lot of coaching experience -- he did have some volunteer coaching experience with a variety of teams over the past five summers -- you can't question his linebacker credentials as a player. He was one of those guys that always brought an attitude and backed it up with his tough-as-nails play. As an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel points out, "Greene personified the 3-4 outside linebacker in Capers' blitz-happy defense, finishing third on the NFL's all-time sack list behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White. His understanding of the position will help potential outside linebackers Aaron Kampman, Brady Poppinga, Desmond Bishop and Jeremy Thompson adjust to a new position."

In the move to the 3-4, Greene's background could be invaluable. Linebackers play a much larger role in this defensive scheme and the Packers are going to have to maximize the play they get from that unit in order to be successful. If nothing else, having Greene in your face should up the intensity for those players.

You can read a really good article about Greene here.

Peter King says Favre done
In an interview on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption yesterday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King -- a favorite texting buddy of Brett Favre -- said he thinks Brett is done. He said Brett knows that he can still play. According to King, Jets' doctors recommended strongly, though, that if Brett wanted to continue to play he should have surgery to repair his shoulder. Brett said no. For King, that told him Brett had decided to hang it up. The only other possibility was if Brett could play "where he really wanted to be." When pressed by PIT co-host Tony Kornheiser as to where that would be, King didn't say Green Bay. Instead, he said Minnesota. The follow-up question about why Minnesota, of course, was not asked. But we all know that would only be to be able to play the Packers twice and stick it to GM Ted Thompson.

What's the likelihood of this happening? Possible, one supposes, although not probable. The Packers had a provision in their trade deal with the Jets that if the Jets traded Favre to the ViQueens that the Packers would get three first round draft picks from the Jets as "poison pill" compensation. But, if the Jets cut Brett, any team would be free to sign him. However, as King noted in his interview, any team doing so would just be picking up a one-year bandaid at best; and would any team really want to do that?

Let's just hope that King is right and Brett decides, once and for all, to hang up the cleats. It's what he should have done last year when he first announced his retirement. He could have gone out with a lot of class and dignity and the undying affection of Packer fans everywhere. Instead...well...you know.

The drama isn't done yet. But in the next few months one would hope so.

2009 Draft
It's mid-January, Super Bowl week, and the best that most Packer fans can do these days is start thinking about the NFL draft.

For those who want to get an early start on the speculation, check out Mel Kiper's early line on the 2009 picks with his initial mock draft. At this point, he has the Pack taking CB Malcolm Jenkins out of Ohio State. You can see all of Kiper's picks here.

While starting to find replacements for Al Harris and Charles Woodson is not a bad idea, given the move to the 3-4 scheme, one might think that the Packers' need for linebackers and nose tackles might take a higher priority. One other definite need going into this draft will be to find solid offensive tackles. LT Chad Clifton started to show definite signs of wear and age this last season and RT Mark Tauscher is a question mark after his season-ending knee injury, as well as his age.

We'll keep you posted on other mock drafts as they pop up.