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Kampman struggling in 3-4 defense

Perhaps the biggest story during Green Bay’s offseason was its transition to a 3-4 defense, and that story’s biggest subplot was whether Aaron Kampman was happy with the move to outside linebacker and whether he would fit at his new position.

Kampman jumped on board with the transaition, but he’s had a tougher time producing in the new scheme.

Through four games, Kampman only has one sack.  He is fifth on the team in tackles with 21 and has forced a fumble. 

As pointed out in Josh Alper’s one-liners this morning, and in a pair of articles this week, playcalling is hurting Kampman’s numbers.  Kampman is being asked to drop into pass coverage often.  In Green Bay’s most recent game, he was in coverage one-third of the time.

Jon Gruden criticized the Packers on Monday Night Football, saying Kampman looked uncomfortable in his new role and the team wasn’t playing to his strengths.  Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was asked this week for a response to Gruden.

“I’d say we’ve been in kind of a transitional stage. We’ve asked Aaron to do a lot of things that he hasn’t done before. But I think he’s totally capable of doing them,” Capers said.  “And what we’ve asked him to do I think he’s done a good job of. I’m not overly concerned about the production. I think the bottom line is, at the end of the season, you’ll see a lot of production.”

Kampman hopes so because he is heading into free agency next offseason at age 30.  He was asked this week if Green Bay’s scheme makes it less likely that he’ll stay with the Packers.

“That has to do with the business side of things. In my opinion that’s not something I need to make any statements about at this point in time,” Kampman said.

Kampman is saying the right things, but the next 12 games will decide his fate for beyond 2009.  The Packers probably won’t give him a huge deal to stay as an outside linebacker unless he quickly transitions to his new role.

Even if the Packers want to keep Kampman, teams around the NFL will look at his film from before 2008, and see a rare elite pass-rushing defender on the open market. 

And barring the Packers placing the franchise tag on him, it’s hard to imagine Kampman won’t see an offer from a team other than Green Bay that he can’t refuse.

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29 Responses to “Kampman struggling in 3-4 defense”
  1. BradyQuinnsCodPiece says: Oct 17, 2009 1:45 PM

    I’ve seen a few Green Bay games this year. Kampman just cannot get any sort of a good jump out of the two-point stance. Its like watching my grandmal jump off the line.

  2. footballrulz says: Oct 17, 2009 1:54 PM

    God, I wish that were the Packers only problem.

  3. Fan of Football says: Oct 17, 2009 2:11 PM

    More like Green Bay struggling under Ted Thompson’s leadership. The most overrated GM in the NFL.

  4. PervyHarvin says: Oct 17, 2009 2:12 PM

    Aaron Kampman fill follow in the shoes of other Packers such as Sharper,Longwell,Ferguson and Favre. Welcome to the Vikings Aaron,you will do just fine playing opposite Jared Allen. We will use you correctly,get you out of that asinine Capers joke of a D that you look lost in.

  5. twinkletoes says: Oct 17, 2009 2:13 PM

    Even though it would respresent a lopsided deal in my opinion, trading Kampman for Julius Peppers would work out for both sides. Green Bay gets the better of the deal, athletically but Carolina gets a blue collar, Pro Bowl caliber guy at DE. As long as Green Bay believes that Peppers can make the transition to rush LB (I don’t) they should consider pulling the trigger on this. I don’t think that Carolina pays Peppers $20 million plus for another year of reluctant service as a disgruntled franchise player.

  6. DocBG says: Oct 17, 2009 2:19 PM

    Rosenthal, you have a spelling error in the title, it should be spelled “Green Bay”, not “Kampman”. I’m just here to help.

  7. PervyHarvin says: Oct 17, 2009 2:23 PM

    @ footballrulz- It all starts at the top bud. You guys have to attack Thompson like he’s Frankenstiens monster. We had that piece of crap Red McCombs and Tiny Tice once ,dark days.Wilf and Chilly turned it around.

  8. drsbaitso says: Oct 17, 2009 2:27 PM

    Kampman didn’t really ”jump on board” with the transition…. He’s just a consumate professional and didn’t cause a stir.
    You know he was not happy with the move. It was a dumb move, and just more stupidity coming from the Peckers.

  9. ninjaneer says: Oct 17, 2009 2:31 PM

    way to state the obvious, madden jr.

  10. packers4life says: Oct 17, 2009 2:36 PM

    “Aaron Kampman fill follow in the shoes of other Packers such as Sharper,Longwell,Ferguson and Favre. Welcome to the Vikings Aaron,you will do just fine playing opposite Jared Allen. We will use you correctly,get you out of that asinine Capers joke of a D that you look lost in.”
    In your dreams, Viking fan. There is no way in hell he will go there.
    “The most overrated GM in the NFL.”
    He isn’t overrated. Your probably just a bitter former Packer fan.

  11. Milhouse says: Oct 17, 2009 3:00 PM

    Actually, packers4life, Kampman has already tried to leave Green Bay for Minnesota; he signed the VIkings’ offer sheet as a restricted free agent a few years ago.
    He obviously wanted to play there.

  12. DaBillsDaaahhhBills says: Oct 17, 2009 3:03 PM

    “That has to do with the business side of things. In my opinion that’s not something I need to make any statements about at this point in time,” Kampman said.
    WHY THE HELL CAN’T MORE NFL PLAYERS TAKE THIS STANCE WHEN SPEAKING WITH THE MEDIA?

  13. myasylum says: Oct 17, 2009 3:11 PM

    Face it, Favre was right.

  14. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 17, 2009 3:16 PM

    Percy you stool, for the last 3 seasons you wanted to linch ziggy and chili, now you love them. Have you forgotten? I won’t I will be here to laugh at you in December. Aaron played the 3 -4 in his college days, there are no transition problems, you can’t make tackles if the play isn’t in your space.

  15. Vikes-N-Favre says: Oct 17, 2009 3:24 PM

    I hope Kampman leaves GB after this season, because he deserves better. He is a high character guy and a great football player that deserves to be on a better DL. I wish the Vikings would have gotten him when they signed him to a offer sheet a few years ago.
    Imagine seeing him on the Vikings DL with the Williams Wall and Jared Allen? That would have been a elite DL. Still could see it if the Vikings want to pursue Kampman again this offseason and replace Ray Edwards.

  16. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 17, 2009 3:32 PM

    When ever the vikings want an upgrade the sign a Packer, funny how that is.

  17. nerd says: Oct 17, 2009 3:36 PM

    drsbaitso is right. Kampman did NOT want to switch positions in a contract year. However, unlike Favre he did not hold the team hostage, try to turn the fans against the team, demand a trade or act like he had the right to name the defensive coordinator.
    However, I don’t really think he fits in the scheme. He’s ok, but it’s not necessarily to his strengths. The Packers have a ton of LBs and they are desperate for someone who can play tackle. I’m hoping for a trade.
    It would NOT surprise me to see Kampman going to the Queens next year. I don’t think he’d be doing it for the same F’d up reasons Favre is doing it, but they’d would SO make him an offer.

  18. Mr High and Mighty says: Oct 17, 2009 3:50 PM

    I hadn’t even thought of that Pervy but it makes perfect sense. Thompson screwed this up badly. Should have traded Kampman. Thinking they could make him a linebacker was just dumb. The only way they could save the situation is to just switch back to a 4-3 next year and franchise him. He isn’t going to resign with them if they are still in a 3-4 and it wouldn’t make any sense to pay him franchise money (like 10-13 million) to be a poor linebacker. Maybe they will franchise and then trade him but you never get much when you do that. With the way they trumpeted the new 3-4 D I doubt they will be changing back. That would be admitting it was a mistake. They will likely tag and trade him to keep him away from the Vikings because Wilf is spending money in hopes of getting a stadium and he would be awesome at left-end. I believe he was a LE all along. Or did he play the right side?

  19. Bob Loblaw says: Oct 17, 2009 4:00 PM

    Packers4life says: “In your dreams, Viking fan. There is no way in hell he (Kanpman) will go there.”
    You couldn’t be more wrong. Kampman actually signed with the Vikings as a restricted free agent about four or five years ago, and the Packers matched. So he’s already proven that he is willing to play for the Vikings at a time when the franchise was in disarray (the Red McCombs-Mike Tice years). If he was willing to play for a bad Vikings team early in his career, he most like would welcome the chance to play for a championsip-caliber Vikings team at the end of his career.
    Plus, the guy is from Iowa, and the majority of Iowans grow up as Vikings fans given they are the closest NFL franchise to their home state.
    Not that I would expect the Vikings to sign him. With Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and Brian Robison, I don’t see the need to pay top dollar for another DE.
    My point is Kampman’s loyalty to the Packers isn’t what you assume it to be. He’ll take whatever is the best offer for his financial future — this most likely will be his last big NFL contract before his skills diminish — and whoever will best utilize his talents.

  20. PervyHarvin says: Oct 17, 2009 4:01 PM

    @ Carl Gerbling – You are an idiot! I have always been on board with Zig and Chill. I know some were not. And Vikes-N-Favre is right. Kampman signed it then,sure he would now. Ask Aaron what team he liked while growing up in Iowa! As a guy who likes to rush the qb, he can’t be happy with that D now. Will wave to you in December on our way to the playoffs chud!

  21. Annuvin says: Oct 17, 2009 4:04 PM

    He isn’t overrated. Your probably just a bitter former Packer fan.
    —————————————–
    I don’t know anbout “Fan of Football”, but as Packer fan, I can honestly say that TT is definately overrated. Hell, he’s worse than Sherman for the love of god. One winning season in 5 years is in no way the measure of even a mediocre GM, and certainly not deserving of the kind of praise the Teddy-Tossers heap upon him.
    Sherman was a brain-dead dolt too in a lot of ways. However, I’d take the exciting football and one-and-out playoff appearances of the Sherman era any day over the losing seasons and godawful play we have become all too accustomed to in the TT era. Fire this clown shoe now!

  22. PervyHarvin says: Oct 17, 2009 4:11 PM

    Mr. High – He always played left. You most likely right though,Pack would do anything to keep him out of MN. Damn good LE.

  23. Fan_Of_ Four says: Oct 17, 2009 4:39 PM

    Since Thompson didn’t draft Kampman he’s as good as gone. Other than Woodson, Kampman has been the only shining light on Green Bay’s defense and now he’s like a fish out of water in this suspect 3-4 scheme. Kampman has always said the right thing but going back to earlier this year it was pretty clear he wasn’t happy about this move. I’m sure he’d adjust to the color purple just like Favre has, especially when there is more Green in his pocket.

  24. footballrulz says: Oct 17, 2009 5:05 PM

    @ Pervy
    Amen bro. TT just seems top make one blunder after another — all he’s really acheived is getting us out of Sherman’s salary cap mess-but at what cost?
    Carl, the fact that Vikings pick up GB’s players says a lot more for the Vikes than it does the Packers–look at the records.
    Personally, I would trade Poppinga/Hawk to anybody that would take him for whatever I could get, play Desmond Bishop, put Kampman in more rushing situations–how damn hard is it? TT’s philosophy of drafting best available players–how aboutPLAYING your best available players utilizing their best available skills. Geez.
    Pervy–they really asked you to change your name?? Unbelievable

  25. FavreHaikuMan says: Oct 17, 2009 5:08 PM

    “Football rulz” hit it
    Pack has much bigger problems
    Kampman will be fine
    - PackerHaiku.com

  26. footballrulz says: Oct 17, 2009 5:21 PM

    Wow, I’m in a haiku. How cool

  27. SwedishMurderMachine says: Oct 17, 2009 5:29 PM

    cry sad baby tears
    the Vikings take our players
    welcome to the suck

  28. PervyHarvin says: Oct 17, 2009 6:02 PM

    @footballrulz – Yah lol Amazing provided some of the things I see posted daily. No biggie,give the real Harvin a lil laugh. Heard many players like to read our mindless banter lol

  29. Beer Cheese Soup says: Oct 18, 2009 9:54 AM

    “Kampman struggling in 3-4 defense”
    And in a related story, bears have recently been seen sh–ting in the woods…

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