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.
“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.”