Packers will play four outside linebackers together at times

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As the Green Bay Packers look to spark a resurgence from their pass rush, the team will use all four of their outside linebackers together at times this season.

Via Zach Kruse of USA Today, Packers linebackers coach Mike Smith said that Za'Darius Smith, Kyler Fackrell, Preson Smith and rookie Rashan Gary will all play together in certain circumstances.

We move these guys around,” Smith said. “There will be times next year there’s going to be four outside linebackers on the field. It’s what we do.”

Clay Matthews and Nick Perry – two of the Packers’ longest-tenured pass rush contributors – are both gone from the team. Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith signed with the team this offseason with Gary coming in the first round of the NFL Draft. Fackrell had 10.5 sacks last year for Green Bay, which was tied for eighth in the league in sacks last season with 44.

The four linebacker package won’t always be necessary to get to the quarterback. Kenny Clark ranked second of the team last season with 6.0 sacks for Green Bay and provides a strong presence on the defensive line along with Mike Daniels. But with passing situations present, the Packers are hopeful the new mix of options at linebacker will give them a variety of ways to affect opposing quarterbacks.

I’m really excited about the group we have and the way we’re going to be able to mix guys in there,” Fackrell said, via the team’s website. “I think we’re really going to be able to get after the quarterback.”

18 responses to “Packers will play four outside linebackers together at times

  1. “I think we’re really going to be abe to get after the quarterback”

    I do too Kyler, I do too.👍

    It’s going to be a blast watching this defense this season. The even bigger blast will be watching the offense.

    Is it September 5th yet?

    #GoPackGo!🏈

  2. Been a long time since this defense could get consistent pressure with just 4 guys. Whether it’s 4 OLBs or a more traditional front, opposing QBs will be feeling the heat this year no doubt.

    Cant wait till week 1 gets here.

  3. Now that Mike McCarthy is gone and Mike Pettine is in his 2nd year with the Packers, there is no doubt the Packers’ defense will be much better.

  4. I’m no coach, but in a sport that gets more pass-happy year after year, I always wondered why teams never put four guys standing up and seeing all options coming at them. It’s harder for down O-linemen to find and block too. I think this is the kind of youngblood thinking this team needs.

  5. When we are talking about 4 OLB’s on the field all at once we are mostly talking about guys like Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary playing/rushing from the inside at times.

    The good thing about a lot of OLB’s that are versatile, which is what the Packers have at OLB, is that you can put move them around and keep the offense guessing where guys are going to be coming from.

    Rotating OLB’s in and out also always keeps fresh legs on the field and terrorizes offenses.

    #GoPackGo!🏈

  6. I’m certain he means using four LB’s beyond the 1st and 2nd “base downs,” which is the traditional 3-4. I believe the consistent play of Kyler Fackrell is giving them faith to push the envelope a little bit. A little.

  7. ariani1985 says:
    June 5, 2019 at 10:31 am
    This team really is grasping at straws!
    ——————–
    And, Kirk Cousins will be the fumbling scarecrow!!!

  8. Fackrell only started seven games and had 10.5 sacks. He’s ready for the next level.

  9. stellarperformance says:
    June 5, 2019 at 7:21 am

    I’m no coach, but in a sport that gets more pass-happy year after year, I always wondered why teams never put four guys standing up and seeing all options coming at them. It’s harder for down O-linemen to find and block too. I think this is the kind of youngblood thinking this team needs.
    ____________

    Good observation. This is what the Patriots did to beat the Vikings last year, and they did it again in the Super Bowl. The offenses didn’t know how to handle it.

  10. “I think we’re really going to be abe to get after the quarterback”

    I do too Kyler, I do too.👍
    ____
    You also thought LaFleur was going to be in a walking boot right after surgery so let’s keep that in mind on these opinions.

  11. pkrlvr says:
    June 5, 2019 at 11:03 am
    This team really is grasping at straws!
    —–
    No, this team is evolving and improving
    ___
    It is difficult for them not to improve, yes, but saying it now without having seen them play any games is still guesswork nonetheless

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