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Tramon Williams: You’re challenged with young guys on defense

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The Packers finished their season with four defensive players who were older than 27 on their active roster and one member of that group said that the Packers might want to consider having more veterans on hand in the future.

Cornerback Tramon Williams reflected Monday on the things he learned from veteran Packers defenders as he started his career in Green Bay and that he would share his feeling that the team needed a more pronounced veteran presence with General Manager Ted Thompson. Williams said that the Packers have “talented” young players, but explained why he thought a different mix might offer more of a benefit in the future.

“You’re challenged with young guys,” Williams said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Talented, young guys get played, but the game is still fast for them because they don’t understand what teams are trying to do, they don’t understand the scheme fully, they don’t understand what the scheme can do for them, if they understand it. … That’s what you’re faced with, with young guys. Even though we say it’s a young league, yeah, it’s a young league. It’s an old league, too, because old guys make the league go.”

The Packers haven’t been big players in free agency under Thompson, preferring to draft and develop players on their own rather than looking outside the organization. That’s not the only way to get a veteran presence, though. The Pack could keep some of their own impending defensive free agents, like cornerback Sam Shields and defensive tackle B.J. Raji, in order to create the kind of defensive understanding that Williams talked about on Monday.

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44 Responses to “Tramon Williams: You’re challenged with young guys on defense”
  1. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jan 7, 2014 10:58 AM

    Raji was a five year pro and had 17 tackles in 2013. Sayonara.

  2. diehardpackfan says: Jan 7, 2014 11:01 AM

    He’s just saying what all Packer fans know by observation: Dom Capers’ defensive schemes are too complicated for inexperienced NFL players. Capers needs to dumb it down or the Packers need to go in a different direction with another Defensive Coordinator. Preferably the latter.

  3. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Jan 7, 2014 11:03 AM

    Packer fans brag every year about having the youngest team in the NFL. That’s only because the sixth-round picks they have are so bad that they don’t have long careers and have to be replaced by new sixth-round picks.

  4. packerblitz says: Jan 7, 2014 11:04 AM

    BJ Raji hasn’t done a thing since winning the Super Bowl. I’ll pass. They got Mike Daniels.

  5. diehardpackfan says: Jan 7, 2014 11:04 AM

    Another thing: Ted Thompson believes in the draft-and-develope philosophy while Capers’ system demands veteran (at least 3rd year) players. The two philosophies cannot coexist.

  6. thebirdofprey2 says: Jan 7, 2014 11:06 AM

    Uneducated fans will try get on Capers for the loss to 49ers. Frank Gore was held to 66 yards, The DC generated pressure with blitzes because of lack of pass rushers so he called a great game.

    There were 2 times those young defenders broke contain when rushing the QB and vs a fast guy like Kaep that was enough to be 60 yards and game winning drive. I think Ted Thompson need to ditch the pride of always drafting a player and pick up a pass rusher in free agency. They have been trying to draft a guy to play opposite Clay Mathews and it isn’t happened. There looks to be a bunch of solid offensive lineman in this draft which is maybe need number 1.

  7. nvpacker says: Jan 7, 2014 11:09 AM

    If Ted Thompson got it, Charles Woodson would still be a Packer and the secondary would have looked less like the befuddled group of clowns they were this season.

  8. steelerben says: Jan 7, 2014 11:11 AM

    So, if you don’t want young guys like in Green Bay, and you don’t want old guys like in Pittsburgh, who DO you want on defense?

  9. ruvelligwebuike says: Jan 7, 2014 11:13 AM

    Okay…

    On the Vernon Davis TD, Morgan Burnett, who should be in the prime of his career, is a step late and turns a risky throw that should have been a pick into a TD for SF. At the very least that ball should have been batted. 7 points for SF.

    Micah Hyde, rookie, perfectly plays an out route that should have been a pick 6. He flat out dropped the game winning TD.

    The point is, there were two plays that defined that defense. The game was in their hands and a veteran misplayed a ball and the rookie dropped a potential pick 6.

    Do you want to change schemes, personnel and coordinators over a game that could have easily been 27-13?

  10. richcranium2112 says: Jan 7, 2014 11:18 AM

    Raji had a whole season to “bring it” basically did very little. Was disappointing to watch.

    Not sure who all is lining up at the Raji window for tickets?

    TT needs to deliver some goods to the ‘D’ for them to get over the Forty-Whiner hurdle. Maybe, god forbid, an FA rusher! Watching passers have all day against an anemic pass rush this season killed them.

    Tackling is important too.

  11. weepingjebus says: Jan 7, 2014 11:32 AM

    Coach Lombardi would not make excuses. You have men, they’re on the roster, use them to win. Modern day Packers spend way too much time coming off the field second.

  12. gearydeniston says: Jan 7, 2014 11:34 AM

    For all you B.J. Raji haters. Raji is a nose tackle. The Super Bowl year he played nose tackle and got 6.5 sacks. His first year and the last three years he’s been a defensive end with Pickett at nose tackle and has had 4 sacks in four seasons and none the last two. He is NOT a defensive end. The majority of the time he is on the field he is in that DAMN two man front. The only year Capers has had a good defense was the Super Bowl year. The last three have sucked and sucked big time. Time to fire Capers.

  13. diehardpackfan says: Jan 7, 2014 11:37 AM

    ruvelligwebuike says:
    Jan 7, 2014 11:13 AM
    Okay…

    Do you want to change schemes, personnel and coordinators over a game that could have easily been 27-13?

    *******************************************

    Yes. This just isn’t an observation for this game only, it’s observing a lack-luster defense for the past 3 seasons. They’re terrible. Stats bear (no pun intended) this out.

  14. morr24 says: Jan 7, 2014 11:39 AM

    The Panthers’ defense is manned by 8 players who are 27 or younger and has an average age of 26. BTW, that is when Blackburn starts. When AJ Klein started, the Panthers had 9 of 11 players at 27 or younger and an average age of 25.5.

    It can be done with youth. I wonder if scheme, coaching, and/or talent may not be the bigger issue(s) for the Packers.

  15. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Jan 7, 2014 11:40 AM

    I hear Jared Allen is available.

  16. whatjusthapped says: Jan 7, 2014 11:52 AM

    This was nothing more than a not so subtle attempt to get Ted Thompson to resign Sam Shields and maybe sign a FA in the off season.

    Thompson rarely signs FA’s but when he does (Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett), he tends to get it right. Contrast this to the GM 300 miles to the West, he will readily court FA’s, sign any cast off from the Packers and will especially sign FA Ex Packers. One team wins the division three years in a row, the other finishes last in two out of the last years.

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

  17. idratherbedeadandcoldthengreenandgold says: Jan 7, 2014 11:54 AM

    Its always an excuse with this team. We didnt lose we beat our selves , we lost because of the refs , we have to many injuries (like they should whine cuz they are soft and that no other teams have injuries) our defense has a lot of young players etc etc etc. What a whining team and fan base.

  18. qoojo says: Jan 7, 2014 12:08 PM

    The packers D was decimated by injuries before and during the game. Neal was injured right off, and then Mulumba. So they were actually playing a DE at OLB for several plays.

    But they still were nothing but a bunch of turnstyles for most of the game. Tramon should look at his own game in the first half of the season, but he is right about inexperience. TT’s first round draft picks the past several years are not giving them enough.

    Barclay – Oft injured and out this year
    Sherrod – Freak leg injury. Out since Oct his first year.
    Perry – Injured most of career
    Jones – Did not play much of the year

    So what happens on defense is that the OLB ends up being so low rounder or undrafted FA like Mulumba/Zombo.

    The TT first round pick is almost getting to be like the madden curse.

  19. beerbratscheese says: Jan 7, 2014 12:11 PM

    Hey Tramon, now you know how Charles Woodson felt when you were the young guy. Maybe it’s time for you to take on that mentoring role and be the leader rather than hoping someone else will.

  20. ktm300xcwe says: Jan 7, 2014 12:12 PM

    He plays for a hapless and tasteless franchise. What do you expect?

  21. outdrsytype says: Jan 7, 2014 12:17 PM

    You have an awesome QB with an okay offensive line that they can score and a defense that has costed them the last 2 years in the playoffs against the 49ers because they can not stop anyone. Good defenses win games so the Pack and Ted need to get out there and get some speed on defense. Speed kills and this is what they need most. Rodgers has been the best of the best and only has one championship because of a crappy defense!! Ted needs to get rid of Capers and go out in free agency and the draft and spend some money and get some speedy defensive players. Trade up and get Clowney if you have to but they need pressure on the QB so he doesn’t have all day to throw or run. And yes, get rid of the slow blob in the middle being Raji. Rodgers and this team needs more championships soon before Rodgers is done. C’mon Ted or you should be fired too!!!

  22. leatherface2012 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:20 PM

    RAJI IS GOOD AFTER GETTING GASHED FOR A 38 YARD RUN AND THEN STUFFING ONE FOR 1 YARD AND WAGING HIS FINGER. ALSO WHO WAS THE GOOFY CORNER THAT KEPT MAKINING CIRCLES BY HIS HELMET LIKE TO SAY “THEYRE CRAZY? wont he be on the sofa this weekend too? plus they have a qb on the decline…holds the ball too long etc

  23. leatherface2012 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:21 PM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Jan 7, 2014 11:52 AM
    This was nothing more than a not so subtle attempt to get Ted Thompson to resign Sam Shields and maybe sign a FA in the off season.

    Thompson rarely signs FA’s but when he does (Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett), he tends to get it right. Contrast this to the GM 300 miles to the West, he will readily court FA’s, sign any cast off from the Packers and will especially sign FA Ex Packers. One team wins the division three years in a row, the other finishes last in two out of the last years.

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

    you’re right and they were one and done again. played one more game than the texans

  24. jr4real says: Jan 7, 2014 12:24 PM

    Uh

    The Steelers are on the phone! We have lots of veterans available for some young guys.

  25. dtuffgong says: Jan 7, 2014 12:24 PM

    Oh lord, if I hear one more person crying about how bad the Packers’ defense was against SF, I might lose it. What pathetic excuse-makers. Bad defense! Injuries!! Dom Capers!!! Waaaahhh!!!!

    News flash: The Niners had numerous injuries too. For starters, both of their starting CBs were out (Rogers & Culliver), among others. It’s called football and injuries are part & parcel of the game.

    From the game I watched, GB’s defense did a pretty good job stopping SF’s running game. Lacy had a better game than Gore. Even Rodgers said that with the defense holding SF to 23 points, the offense should have done more to win the game. But they didn’t. End of story.
    Excuses are for losers.

  26. goldrush36 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:25 PM

    If the pack could capitalize on half on the plays they narrowly miss they would be near a top 10 D. They really aren’t that bad.. and due to Rodgers being out, they spent way too much time om the field. A player or two would help, but executing would help more. They are young. Its not like they have Dallas’ D

  27. dtuffgong says: Jan 7, 2014 12:41 PM

    ruvelligwebuike says:
    Jan 7, 2014 11:13 AM
    Okay…

    On the Vernon Davis TD, Morgan Burnett, who should be in the prime of his career, is a step late and turns a risky throw that should have been a pick into a TD for SF. At the very least that ball should have been batted. 7 points for SF.

    Micah Hyde, rookie, perfectly plays an out route that should have been a pick 6. He flat out dropped the game winning TD.

    The point is, there were two plays that defined that defense. The game was in their hands and a veteran misplayed a ball and the rookie dropped a potential pick 6.

    Do you want to change schemes, personnel and coordinators over a game that could have easily been 27-13?

    —————————————

    What’s the point of playing that ridiculous “what-if” & “shoulda woulda” game?
    On Rodgers’ first TD pass to Nelson, the SF defender was just a step away from batting the ball away too. So what? It was a TD, ’nuff said.
    On Rodgers’ escape from a near-sack on 4th & 2, SF’s DE Ray McDonald had Rodgers in his grasp but was blatantly yanked away by Evan Dietrich-Smith. If that clear holding call had been made, it would’ve been 4th & 12 and SF probably gets the ball back right there.

    My point is, football is called a “game of inches” for a reason and saying what “could have been” goes both ways. That game could also have very easily been a blowout in SF’s favor.

  28. packerihardlyknowher says: Jan 7, 2014 12:43 PM

    Why do Packers fans call for the heads of coaches every time they lose a game? They have owned the North for the last 20 years. You expect them to win the SB every year or something. Matthews, Perry, Heyward, Shields, Bulaga, Brad Jones, Rodgers all missed time and I’m missing some. Their two best players missed almost half the season and they still made the playoffs. Take away Peyton or Brady or Brees from their teams and what happens. Chillllllllllllll.

  29. shlort says: Jan 7, 2014 12:49 PM

    A good pass rusher on the D line would improve the packers D immediately. They had the right formula once, but they let the best D line guy they had leave. They need to replicate that type of line and get penetration and pressure. That makes everyones job easier. LBs can do what they need to do on plays, instead of backing up a weak D Line. The CBs don’t need to cover for excessive amounts of time and will get more picks with a hurried passer. That is where they need to be good, nothing else really matters. Good D Line play makes the entire D look good. That is why teams pay good ends and tackles such big money – they are worth it.

  30. lambeauwest says: Jan 7, 2014 1:04 PM

    Congrats 49ers – you beat an 8-7-1 team by a FG as the clock expired against a crappy, injury-riddled defense.

    I think your season will be done this weekend so looking forward to hearing your excuses when that happened. Hell you didn’t even win your own division.

    It’s funny when people offer explanations as to why they lost, you make fun of them “for making excuses”. In life it’s about accountability. We realize not all injuries carry the same weight. The 3-4 defense is predicated on great LB play. GB was essentially out of LBs and were using DEs as LBs at the end of the game. I was utterly amazed GB was still in the game up until the final end.

    To bad Micah Hyde can’t reel in that Kapernick INT. Game would have been over. Then we would have heard the “its too cold for football” excuses from the SF 49whiners.

  31. almighty1 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    Kinda funny. I don’t hear many packer fans making excuses. Yes, some point to being the most injured team which certainly hurts. Most of what I hear has to do with a 3rd year of decline on defense and a GM who refuses to bring in vet talent. Some people here need to know what whining and excuse making really is. I have 3 kids….come on over!

  32. purpleguy says: Jan 7, 2014 1:29 PM

    I seriously wonder what the deal with BJ Raji is, as he has not lived up to either the hype or what everyone thought was significant potential. Seemed like an ideal player for a 3-4 defense.

  33. caeser12 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:40 PM

    OK, try this:

    Tackle man with ball.

    When the ball is in the air, make a play on it.

    Learn how to catch.

    When in the red zone, no need to turn and run, back up, locate the ball, then try #’s 2 and 3.

    Oh yea, jump as high as you do when celebrating simple tackles, near misses, and other plays, when the ball is coming at you.

    Start there, and pass this on to EVERY other team’s defensive backfield.

  34. GenXJay says: Jan 7, 2014 1:45 PM

    More schism for the downward spiral of cheesebay.

  35. arnoldziffel says: Jan 7, 2014 1:50 PM

    I believe linebacker Brian Orakpo of the Redskins is going to be a free agent …

    This guy is a beast.

  36. dragonfly99 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:56 PM

    That is the problem with Ted Thompson’s approach with using only the draft and develop philosophy. The draft and develop is a great philosophy but not when it is used exclusively in absence of picking up quality veteran players, especially when you’ve had several 1st round blunders like Thompson has had recently. Other GM’s with draft and develop approaches like Bill Belicheck also sign quality veterans when they can. The ironic thing is that when Thompson has gone after free agents he has been very successful (Woodson,Pickett,Kuhn).

  37. judsonjr says: Jan 7, 2014 2:15 PM

    Tramon does have a point. On the play where Kaepernick ran for a key 1st down late, 2 inexperienced rookies made horrible plays.

    Andy Mulumba ran into Mike Daniels on a stunt. This a. let Staley block 2 guys, b. kept Daniels from getting outside on his rush where he may have been able to hem Kaepernick in, and c. left the 49ers guard unoccupied to pick up a blitzer.

    Datone Jones rushed right in the gap where Morgan Burnett was supposed to go, so Burnett had to take the article circle route and was basically out of the play.

    I’m not a big Capers fan, but he brought 7 guys versus 6 rushers, and AJ Hawk should have had a free run up the middle to plant Kaepernick, especially since Kap had to hold the ball because Crabtree took forever to get out of his route.

  38. shaggytoodle says: Jan 7, 2014 2:22 PM

    Tramon Williams wasn’t all that great himself this season. I don’t know if this will make sense at all, but the year they won the SB their defense did give up yards, but they would force more turnovers.

    That has not been going on lately, obvious poor tackling, and injuries haven’t helped either with Hayward and Worthy not playing at all last year.

    With Matthews and Rodgers being kept out of FA, I would count those as FA pick ups. I would like to see them pick up another defensive leader to pair with Matthews. I think the secondary more so they safety position would be a better pick up for them.

  39. packerbackersince71 says: Jan 7, 2014 3:07 PM

    … Kuhn has to watch the Wires and Practice the Lambeau Leap for Next Years World Champion Green Bay Packers !!! … Go Pack Go !!! …

  40. Bigfoot says: Jan 7, 2014 3:50 PM

    the packer brass are dumb and cheap. they should clean house

  41. hansenbrothers says: Jan 7, 2014 4:56 PM

    I’m starting to believe that if the Packers continue to ignore free agency, they will continue to go one and done in the playoffs.

  42. axespray says: Jan 7, 2014 8:59 PM

    So throw away Ted and Dom cause of some tough times during an injury plagued year?

    These fans wouldn’t happen to be the same fans that wanted to get rid of McCarthy and Rodgers after 2008?

  43. axespray says: Jan 7, 2014 9:03 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Jan 7, 2014 1:29 PM
    “I seriously wonder what the deal with BJ Raji is, as he has not lived up to either the hype or what everyone thought was significant potential. Seemed like an ideal player for a 3-4 defense.”
    ————————
    Lacks Effort…
    Simple as that.

    Mike Daniels/Jolly(post prison)/Boyd – etc. all have effort.

    Raji just has to be fat and walk forward … instead he gets shoved back by 280 lb Gaurds in 1 on 1 situations.

  44. 52lightsxout52 says: Jan 8, 2014 9:24 AM

    Raji needs to go. I have heard from a source in New Jersey, where he is from, that Raji doesn’t have passion for the game. His heart isn’t in it, and he has been quoted as telling friends when he was drafted that he only wanted to play for a few years and get out. He’s only in it for the money. I think it shows in his performance, because as physically gifted as he is, it hasn’t shown up in performance…

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