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Nick Barnett admits he used release as motivation

Nick Barnett,  DeMarco Murray AP

Players will use any slight, perceived or real, for motivation.

So it’s no surprise that former Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said being released sparked his bounce-back season with the Bills.

“It was huge,” Barnett told Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I was disappointed in the fact that I was released, and definitely wanted to go out and show them as well as show myself and anybody else who doubted me that I’m still who I am. I’m still here to play football. I still love to play the game. I’m still going to run to the ball, make plays and have fun. The plays are not always there, but I was blessed to have the type of year I had.

“It was fun as far as the individual stats. I was just out there proving it to myself and proving it to anybody else.”

A wrist injury ended his 2010 prematurely, and the 30-year-old’s dream of finishing his career with the team that drafted him ended when the Packers released him. Landing with the Bills, who needed a replacement for Paul Posluszny, proved a fast fit. Barnett finished with 130 tackles, three interceptions and three sacks, and will be in the middle of what could be an excellent defense this year.

But watching the Packers struggle on defense last season was still bittersweet for him.

“They let a lot of key players go and obviously it was going to be a rough and rebuilding year for defense,” Barnett said. “They let veteran players go who were anchors in there. Everyone knew it was going to be that kind of year where they had to find another Cullen Jenkins, then A.J. [Hawk] got hurt, [Desmond] Bishop got hurt. The guys they put in, they played pretty well, but Clay [Matthews] didn’t find another rusher on the other side, stuff like that.

“I think they have a lot of talent over there. It was just kind of a transition year for their defense. I think they’ll be back and I think they’ll be strong talking to Bishop this offseason.”

Having Barnett might have helped last year, but the real answer to the Packers’ problems will be integrating some younger players.

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19 Responses to “Nick Barnett admits he used release as motivation”
  1. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM

    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

  2. theslex says: Jul 11, 2012 11:51 AM

    I love Nick, but his departure had nothing to do with our defensive shortcomings this past season.

  3. gregm5s7 says: Jul 11, 2012 11:52 AM

    Class act. But the defensive struggles are due to these two guys: Nick Collins & Cullen Jenkins.

    You can’t just replace the 3rd or 4th best safety in the league.

  4. kgun80 says: Jul 11, 2012 11:57 AM

    Barnett is an awesome addition he can be the mentor the Bills need for Sheppard. Hopefully he can show the kid how to be a pro and a leader. I think this D has the potential to be strong with the D line freeing up the LBs to make plays so that our young corners don’t have to cover for too long. Everyone is talking about the D line but I think Sheppard will be the breakout player on the D this year

  5. lbpackfan says: Jul 11, 2012 12:04 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

    ————————————————–

    And that 15-1 record last year with that awful defense…and coming off a Super Bowl win. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

  6. boiler72 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:13 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.
    ___________________________________

    Meanwhile, they spanked your stupid Steelers and left you crying in your beer. The Steelers have been around almost as long as the Packers, right? Okay …

    Packers – 13 world titles
    Steelers – 6 world titles

    You let us know when you’ve caught up. What was the Pittsburgh headline again? Seven Can Wait, LOL.

  7. zzr600guy says: Jul 11, 2012 12:19 PM

    Barnett was a solid lb for GB for years, but he was starting to get injured a lot and his contract was high. I wish him the best of luck in Buffalo

  8. minnysoda says: Jul 11, 2012 12:22 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

    It is a historic Franchise I mean two of the most storied franchises squaring off in the Super Bowl and the Packers kicked the Steelers butts. They couldn’t do anything until the Packer’s defensive starters started going down LOL.

  9. ishallcomment says: Jul 11, 2012 12:26 PM

    Sad he needed a release to play well…

    Maybe if he had been motivated to not lose his job he’d still be in GB instead of Bishop or Hawk.

  10. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jul 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM

    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

    ___

    They gave up the most yards of any defense in history. Not an accurate measurement of a defense. Teams pass for a lot of yards when they’re in catch-up mode. (See: Cam Newton.) Not saying Green Bay’s D was good, but it was just average in 2011.

  11. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 11, 2012 12:58 PM

    lbpackfan says:Jul 11, 2012 12:04 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.

    ————————————————–

    And that 15-1 record last year with that awful defense…and coming off a Super Bowl win. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.
    _______

    That’s right! It was the first team in NFL history to go 15-1 and not win a playoff game!

  12. boiler72 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:32 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.
    ___________________________________

    Here’s what’s historic … the 15-1 Packers lost to the world champ Giants. You know, nothing to be ashamed of and no one cared. Who is the only team in history to lose a playoff game to Tim Teblow? Hey, that’s historic – the lame Steelers, LOL.

  13. brewcrewfan54 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:59 PM

    I always liked Barnett but he was a victim of The salary cap and NFL contract structures. He wasn’t playing good enough to give a large raise to. Happy to see he is still playing well though.

  14. EJ says: Jul 11, 2012 2:07 PM

    Barnett was an awesome addition to the Bills D last season, always around the ball, made some big plays, and is an awesome mentor for Sheppard. Nick still has a lot left in the tank too.

  15. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 11, 2012 3:22 PM

    boiler72 says:Jul 11, 2012 1:32 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    The Packers had the worst defense in NFL history last year. Think about that. It really is a historic franchise.
    ___________________________________

    Here’s what’s historic … the 15-1 Packers lost to the world champ Giants. You know, nothing to be ashamed of and no one cared.
    ________

    No one cared? It used to be Packer fans would crow about all their world championships. Now it’s just the regular season that matters.

    By the way, if the 15-1 Packers could have beaten a 9-7 team at home, the Giants wouldn’t have been world champions.

  16. bigbadbills says: Jul 11, 2012 4:09 PM

    Actually Barnett will play weak side in the Bills defense this year with Kelvin Sheppard in the middle. In the nickel package he will play in the middle. Guy still has a lot left in the tank!

  17. jimjames2 says: Jul 11, 2012 4:35 PM

    I am so glad he was let go by Green Bay.130 tackles 3 sacks 3 interceptions one returned for a TD. Those are pro bowl numbers my friends and he stayed healthy. One teams casualty my teams gain baby. Nick is a stud and should put up great numbers again and if we can handle success this year Nick and the rest of his team mates will be in the post season where he can really make a statement. Go Bills.

  18. jimjames2 says: Jul 11, 2012 4:48 PM

    What makes this whole thing sweeter is that every player on this team has a chip on there shoulder and I would not I repeat NOT want to be an opposing offense this year. Dave Wannstedt has this D ready to go already.

  19. tangysizzl says: Jul 11, 2012 8:48 PM

    Always liked Nick Barnett but injuries and the play of Desmond Bishop sealed his fate in GB. Wish they would have let AJ Hawk walk instead of this guy.

    I know some Packer fans grew weary of his samurai sword celebrations but I like the emotion and fire he plays with. Wish we could have saw what him and Bishop could have done as a tandem but we will never know.

    Good Luck Nick “Beats”

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