Senior writer jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.
Packers employ ‘beefy front’ on defensive line to kill run game: Packers’ three-nose-tackle defensive new personnel grouping could become another change-of-pace package for defensive coordinator Dom Capers against several run-oriented opponents in the season’s stretch drive. Capers unveiled the new grouping last week against Dallas. It’s his base 3-4 defense, only with recently acquired NT Green at defensive end in place of Jenkins. That defensive front is especially difficult to run against because there are in essence three nose tackles in the middle of the line: Raji (337 pounds) over center, and Pickett (340 pounds) and Green (360 pounds) over the offensive tackles. Capers deploys defensive personnel based on the groupings the offense puts on the field, so he only plays his 3-4 base when the offense has run-oriented personnel on the field. The Packers also like the grouping because if they use it several snaps or more a game on early downs, it rests Jenkins, which should help his pass rushing in the fourth quarter. Maybe it will become the first-down version of the psycho defense that Capers uses occasionally on third downs.
Tauscher On Injured Reserve; Havner Re-Signed: Veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher had missed the last five games with a shoulder injury. To fill his roster spot, the Packers brought back Spencer Havner. Tauscher started four games this year before sustaining a shoulder injury. Tauscher couldn’t rehab himself back into shape, and with the emergence of first-round pick Bryan Bulaga, the Packers decided they couldn’t save the roster spot any longer. The Packers filled the roster spot by re-signing tight end Spencer Havner. We reported on Tuesday that Havner would be brought back before the team resumes practice on Monday. Havner will add some punch at tight end. Quarless is battling a shoulder injury. Quarless, Lee and Crabtree have combined for only 17 catches in nine games. Havner caught five touchdowns last season including the playoffs. Plus, he’ll fortify the coverage units on special teams. He ranked third on the team with 20 special-teams tackles last season.
Kampman season ends: Former Packers defensive end Kampman brought leadership, tenacity, production and a strong work ethic to Jacksonville’s defense this season. Kampman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during practice leaving the Jaguars without their best pass rusher and their defensive leader. He will be placed on injured reserve.
Commentary: Losing RT Tauscher for the season and maybe seeing the end of his career is a tough one. Seeing Kampman suffering another injured acl on a different knee was tough too. Wisely, the Packers added Havner to make up the offensive loss and to help on special teams. The season in the NFL goes on and moves on.