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B.J. Raji may move from nose tackle spot

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With so much attention being paid to the Packers’ sluggish offense early in training camp, it’s easy to overlook the defense.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ group should be primed for a big year in their third season in the system. Promising defensive end Mike Neal and outside linebacker Brad Jones return from injury to bolster the group.

Despite losing Cullen Jenkins, the starting defensive line looks strong.  It also may look a little different.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who deservedly was honored with the Dick McCann award at the Hall of Fame last weekend, reports that the Packers are looking to move B.J. Raji from nose tackle to defensive end. He would trade places with Ryan Pickett.

“I love it,” Raji said. “The coaches are giving it a shot. It’s our job, particularly me and ‘Pick,’ to prove them right. We’ve done a good job at practice.”

Raji would have a chance to make more plays in the alignment lining up against guards; Raji is reportedly having a great camp. It plays to Pickett’s strengths too as a space eater. Neal would be on the other side.

If the Packers are going to maintain or improve this year, it will have to come from their young players developing.  Raji and Neal are near the top of the list of players that can get better.

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37 Responses to “B.J. Raji may move from nose tackle spot”
  1. jimmysee says: Aug 10, 2011 9:15 AM

    Raji is a triple threat — he intercepted that pass in the playoffs last year against the Bears and returned it for a TD!

    Go Pack Go!

  2. virger says: Aug 10, 2011 9:15 AM

    raji was an absolute beast down the stretch last year. he’s a stud.

  3. bcgreg says: Aug 10, 2011 9:18 AM

    Phew! For a second, I thought they were gonna move him out to corner!

  4. aldashex86 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:20 AM

    Sounds great! Hopefully this kid Neal is the real deal and can step in and stop the run right away. Raji will make plays, where ever he plays, not worried about him.

  5. greenbowlpackers says: Aug 10, 2011 9:21 AM

    I’d be interested to see how that works…

  6. spooner97 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:38 AM

    Cool, now he can be the 3rd best Tackle in the NFC North. GO LIONS!!!!

  7. jacksaysfu says: Aug 10, 2011 9:50 AM

    I know he’s a stud but is he quick enough to play end? ?

  8. cliverush says: Aug 10, 2011 9:51 AM

    Raji is a Boston College Eagle.

  9. scoops1 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:57 AM

    next week…Raji will be returning Punts

  10. medtxpack says: Aug 10, 2011 9:58 AM

    Teach me how to Raji!!!

  11. uwsptke says: Aug 10, 2011 10:00 AM

    Basically, Raji and Pickett will go back to the positions they played in 2009 (Raji’s rookies season) in the first year of the 3-4.

  12. lbpackfan says: Aug 10, 2011 10:06 AM

    Caleb Hanie is wishing this move happened last year…

  13. carlgerbschmidt says: Aug 10, 2011 10:15 AM

    He’s got such good hands, maybe we should line him up at TE every once in a while….

  14. Nevis says: Aug 10, 2011 10:19 AM

    As a Niner fan, I wanted Raji on draft day so bad.

  15. burntorangehorn says: Aug 10, 2011 10:33 AM

    Guys like Raji and Ngata can play end well, but that doesn’t mean their true talents aren’t going to waste if they do. They’re the types who were born to play nose tackle, and as a Chiefs fan, I’m definitely jealous.

    Ah well; Kelly Gregg will be a fine short-term solution.

  16. sakatak says: Aug 10, 2011 10:36 AM

    Morgan Burnett is back from injury also, he will help the secondary out.

  17. killxswitch says: Aug 10, 2011 10:47 AM

    Raji is pretty disruptive so he’ll do fine. But is Pickett strong enough to play head up over the center?

  18. golions1 says: Aug 10, 2011 11:01 AM

    Raji is a very good player. He’ll do well at end.

  19. dwhitehurst says: Aug 10, 2011 11:07 AM

    spooner97 says:
    Aug 10, 2011 9:38 AM
    Cool, now he can be the 3rd best Tackle in the NFC North. GO LIONS!!!!
    ———————–

    No doubt, and I say this as a Packers fan, Suh is the best DTackle in the NFC North, and arguably the best in the whole NFL. He is the best, most dominant DLineman to play the game since Reggie White. Having said that, I’d argue that Raji is certainly in competition with a couple others for 2nd best in the NFC North, and that’s still pretty good.

  20. grant444 says: Aug 10, 2011 11:10 AM

    Looks like BJ (need a) BRA-ji will be jiggling out to DE…..

  21. axespray says: Aug 10, 2011 12:35 PM

    That Neal had a good bullrush last season when he played every now and then…I think he’ll do good.

  22. greenbay4ever says: Aug 10, 2011 12:47 PM

    I would agree that Suh is one of the best in the NFC south. Probably the best.

  23. shaggytoodle says: Aug 10, 2011 1:35 PM

    jacksaysfu says:
    Aug 10, 2011 9:50 AM
    I know he’s a stud but is he quick enough to play end? ?

    ______________________

    Since its a 3-4 I don’t think there is as MUCH emphasis on the speed ends, but I do have to imagine that he would be quicker at the DE than Pickett.

  24. favreblows says: Aug 10, 2011 1:35 PM

    killxswitch says:Aug 10, 2011 10:47 AM

    Raji is pretty disruptive so he’ll do fine. But is Pickett strong enough to play head up over the center?

    ***From what I read…Pickett is really looking forward to the move back to NT. He was playing out of position last year and was asked to pressure the passer. Simply put, he cannot do that. He will be much better suited at NT….and focusing on run D. Raji will now be even better equipped to pressure the passer.

  25. ron69 says: Aug 10, 2011 4:39 PM

    I wanted him so bad that when old Al chose DHBust instead i went and broke my Xbox control against the floor.

  26. paulharghis says: Aug 10, 2011 10:02 PM

    favreblows says:
    Aug 10, 2011 1:35 PM
    killxswitch says:Aug 10, 2011 10:47 AM

    Raji is pretty disruptive so he’ll do fine. But is Pickett strong enough to play head up over the center?

    ***From what I read…Pickett is really looking forward to the move back to NT. He was playing out of position last year and was asked to pressure the passer. Simply put, he cannot do that. He will be much better suited at NT….and focusing on run D. Raji will now be even better equipped to pressure the passer.

    ==================================
    Just because it says that at packers.com or in the Green Bay paper does not make it true.

    Frankly i’m amazed that you’ve gone several posts w/o using my name in it.
    Glad to see you’ve finally smartened up.

    Now, go lay by your dish…..Good dog.

  27. favreblows says: Aug 10, 2011 11:22 PM

    Hargis the Idiot–

    You show off your ignorance regarding football time and time again. Pickett has absolutely no ability to rush the passer. He was moved to a position…..DE…..where there is a greater need to rush the passer than at NT. Last year…..Raji showed that he had very good ability to rush the passer…..from the NT position. So it is a no-brainer to switch Pickett back to NT….and let Raji do what he does best. Most observers don’t need to read about it moron…..they can tell by watching the games. You may rely on Sid Hartmann for your basis of “observations”. You clearly have the same propensity for being a homer…..and amazingly possess less intelligence than that 92 year old dipsh!t.

    You’re so pathetic, I almost feel sorry for you.

  28. paulharghis says: Aug 11, 2011 5:28 PM

    Youblow says:
    You show off your ignorance regarding football time and time again.
    possess less intelligence
    You’re so pathetic, I almost feel sorry for you.

    ——————————–

    All things I’ve said to you in past postings. You don’t have 1 single original bone in your body.

    These are 2 interchangeable fat a$$es. You lost your best lineman to free agency.
    But you’ll just plug in someone else, right?

    No, doofus, i don’t rely on anyone to form my opinions on anything. Unlike you that parrots almost word for word from an article that you’ve read online.( I know this because I read the same one
    You are so ignorant that your mother boos her vagina after she looks at you.

  29. favreblows says: Aug 11, 2011 8:30 PM

    @ Hargis–

    Raji and Pickett are interchangeable. Why don’t you just announce to the world……..My name Paul Hargis……AND I AM A F’N IDIOT.

    You’re losing it man….just losing it.

    And just to rub your nose even further into your own dog sh!t:

    Pickett’s total sacks in his five year career with Green Bay—-3.5

    Raji’s total sacks in 2010 with Green Bay—-7.5

    Do you feel stupid yet? You probably don’t, but you should.

    One other thing…..Raji’s value in this league is presently much higher than Jenkins…..not even close. Raji is a machine and he stays healthy. Jenkins is old and he has an injury history. You clearly don’t even believe your own BS.

  30. paulharghis says: Aug 11, 2011 10:29 PM

    Same old same old from Favreblows.
    Never anything new to say.

    Again, now that Jenkins isn’t with the packers, he is old and injury prone, but when he was with GB, he was the greatest thing ever.
    Hypocrite.
    Just think how good Raji would be if he wasn’t a fat a$$.
    It must suck for him to have a career year at such a young age.
    I noticed you didn’t deny that your mother is ashamed of her reproductive organs after giving birth to you. But. I’m sure you have paid for that your whole life.

  31. favreblows says: Aug 12, 2011 12:12 PM

    Hargis—

    I see you simply choose to ignore the statistical facts that completely disprove your idiot comment that Raji and Pickett are the same type player.

    And Jenkins was and is very good, but he was never as good as Raji was last year. I wouldn’t think you would be able to tell though, even if you had watched the games…….you’re too stupid.
    And are you now acknowledging that Jenkins is older and is injury prone……because he is dumba$$. TT has a knack for knowing when to get rid of guys…..and he probably made the right call here. The Packers will clearly miss Jenkins, but my bet is this was the right call. jWhen you win a SB Hargis….you tend to have a lot of guys you need to resign and you pick your spots. Look at what the Pats have done over the past 6-8 years. You need to pay attention and try to understand the game slick.

  32. paulharghis says: Aug 12, 2011 6:54 PM

    Jenkins had 7 sacks last year, Raji had his career year in his second season. You will miss Jenkins.
    Raji was hampered all his rookie season by a bad ankle, he must be injury prone too. Uff.

    What have the patriots done this year? Signed big name free agents, just like they did in the past.

    The internet is a wonderful thing, you should use it more often for research, you know, so, you don’t make yourself look more idiotic.

    Slick? Jesus, now your copying what I call others?

    You are as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  33. favreblows says: Aug 12, 2011 8:07 PM

    Idiot

    Read my comment above yours…..they will miss Jenkins.

    SB teams can never re-sign everybody…..do a little more research and see who the Patriots have let walk over the years you dumb@ss.

    I can see though where it is hard for you to understand…..you folks are a bit shy of SB rings, now aren’t you?

    I can sense your rage from here Hargis…..step away from the ledge buddy.

  34. paulharghis says: Aug 12, 2011 11:05 PM

    favreblows says:
    Aug 12, 2011 8:07 PM
    Idiot

    Read my comment above yours…..they will miss Jenkins.

    SB teams can never re-sign everybody…..do a little more research and see who the Patriots have let walk over the years you dumb@ss.

    I can see though where it is hard for you to understand…..you folks are a bit shy of SB rings, now aren’t you?

    I can sense your rage from here Hargis…..step away from the ledge buddy.

    ===================================
    In one breath you say they will miss Jenkins, the next one he is old and injury prone- you can’t even keep your own story straight.

    You see, the patriots are smart about it, they don’t just let players walk, they make trades.
    Christ knows that Crosby just HAD to get an extension, he was sooooo much more important then keeping a main cog on the dline. This move will haunt the packers all year.
    Then there is the obligatory super bowl ring comment- you Packer fans and your inferiority complexes, such a sad pathetic existence when your big deal in the life is that your sports team has rings. Dude, the Twins have a couple, big deal.

    The only thing you sense is you getting your a$$ handed to you verbally on a daily basis. It’s certainly not rage. I’m laughing at you and your inane attempts to get the better of me.

    I’ll give you this, you have persistence, but a normal person would realize when they have been beaten and simply walk away.

  35. favreblows says: Aug 13, 2011 8:56 AM

    Beautiful!!! The guy actually has to move over to MLB and start talking about the Twins success!!! That’s how pathetic the Vikes have been!!

    You really are an idiot Hargis. First you get completely slammed on your comparison of Pickett and Raji……so you change the debate to Raji and Jenkins. Then you refuse to acknowledge a reality of FA life in the NFL for teams that win SBs.

    I’ll say it really slowly for you moron. They tend to lose FAs. Other teams overpay for them. Look at Darren Colledge as prime evidence.

    Now Jenkins…..will they miss him…..of course. But they have other players on their roster who they are more concerned about in the future….who are much younger…..Nelson, Matthews, Raji, Sitton, etc. They would rather invest their money there than in a relatively older, more injury prone Jenkins. And DL is now likely their most concerning position. If Neal is healthy, they will be fine. If he is not, they could have some issues there.

    Jenkins will be missed. But it was a no-brainer for the Packers considering who they need to sign in the future.

    You see…..idiot franchises like your Queens don’t run their football teams like that. They instead get stuck with about 5-6 high quality players…..and a bunch of crap. They fail to understand the value in developing QBs…..like Favre, Brunell, Brooks, Detmer, Rodgers, Flynn. Instead, they go for the blue special of the week and hope to get by for a year or two. Hence the Grossmann back-up with the beer gut. Hats off to them for finally drafting a kid again. Maybe they’re starting to figure it out.

    You are too stupid to figure any of this out Hargis. Why don’t you start talking about the North Stars Cup run in 1991! Not much better for you out there, is there, moron.

  36. paulharghis says: Aug 13, 2011 10:29 AM

    I didn’t move to baseball to prove anything but this. That you live vicariously through your team to get any enjoyment out of your sad pathetic life.

    Slammed? What color is the sky in your world? You are using stats for Raji from ONE year. Yet you totally neglect his stats from his rookie year.
    You see, that’s a typical Packer fan tactic, if it doesn’t fit in your argument, don’t use it.

    I don’t know why you have such a rager for this SB free agency thing. EVERY team loses FA’s, EVERY team has decisions to make.
    From GB losing Jenkins to Oakland losing their TE and CB. Only you would focus on GB, because I’m sure to you, the rest of the NFL doesn’t exist.

    I wouldn’t expect you to follow the logic of why McNabb is there. I won’t waste my breath and it will only confuse you anyway.
    Unless you are a scout, I’m sure the only players you have any clue of on the Vikings are the stars.

    You are a blowhard idiot, a know nothing. You are a tool.

  37. favreblows says: Aug 16, 2011 2:25 PM

    @ Hargis—-man you are stupid.

    If you don’t realize that SB teams have MORE good FAs than other teams……AND……other teams tend to OVERPAY for them, then you are dumber than I thought.

    The part about this that really makes you sick is that the Packer roster is still loaded and possesses 2x the talent of MN’s roster. That hurts you…..I know it does. I can read you like a book. And it’s a short book with lots of pictures in it. You are a simpleton of simpletons. It drives you nuts that some Packer fan has completely turned your little world upside down. You went from thinking you were the smart, cool guy……to reality. Reality Hargis, that you’re just some loser Viking fan who offers the same drivel and loves to comment on Packer preseason games. Hey Pal…….take some really good advice. Go away on a long trip. Throw away your computer. Try to begin a relationship……..man, woman, it doesn’t matter. Just try something new. I really am worried about you.

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