Packers: The Front Seven Defense

Legendary senior writer jclombardi previews Packers defensive front seven.

DT Raji Credit: Mike Roemer AP.

For 2011 NFL season, two issues are the replacement of impact pass rusher DE Cullen Jenkins and the full-time starter at the other OLB position across from pass rusher OLB Matthews. After two preseason games, the question of an adequate pass rush is a good one. In the Cardinals game, the issue was glaring without the presence of OLB Matthews or DE Neal. DE Wilson played well trashing OL Colledge on several plays. Then, he left with a possible concussion. Backup DE Wynn did an adequate job against the running game and was the best rusher with two knockdowns. If Neal and Wilson stay healthy, the Packers defensive line will be fine with Raji, Pickett and Neal starting games and Wilson, Wynn, and Green backing them up.

Meanwhile, the reviews for OLB Zombo and OLB Walden were mixed performances. OLB Zombo has improved his overall skills beyond his bull rush.  He had an overall solid game.  In contrast, OLB Walden didn’t do enough to earn the starting job.  Yet, neither got consistent strong pressure nor a sack. The competition for this starting OLB position just got more interesting for opening day season.

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