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.