Clay Matthews is a stud who has become a star in the NFL. However, he still needs help from his defensive teammates. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers' defense in need of a bookend for Clay Matthews

We all know that Clay Matthews is an excellent outside linebacker and is in the correct defensive scheme under Dom Capers in Green Bay but statistics show that he cannot do it all by himself.

Clay is tough and can play through injuries and I am not talking about just minor injuries, i.e. the hairline fracture in his leg last year … but he cannot take down an offense on his own.

The other outside linebacker, be it by committee for the last two years, has been average at best. This does not allow Dom Capers to cut Clay loose on the line or the ability to throw enough stunts at the opposing offensive lines to get to the quarterback.

Under GM Ted Thompson’s reign, free agency is not the normal route for acquiring talent for the Green Bay Packers.

“Building from within” is the mantra of Ted’s philosophy but with the amount of individuals usually competing for the LB position opposite Matthews over the last 2-½ years and not finding the holy grail, I feel it is time to sign a free agent player either now or over the next offseason.

I know I may be dreaming, but Mario Williams (Houston) is available after this season coming off his rookie contract with a team that has not had a lot of success. He could potentially be Ted’s “Reggie White” free agent signing.

There are also other talented linebackers that will be free agents in 2012 such as Curtis Lofton (Atlanta) and Anthony Spencer (Dallas), both of whom would be an upgrade (at least in the short term) over our current position players.

Opposing teams are lighting up the offensive statistics against Green Bay’s defense this season in spite of the perfect 7-0 record and thankfully the GB offense cannot be stopped and can out score the opposing teams.

The best pass defense is not accomplished with blanketed coverage but extreme pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback – something GB has not had enough of this season as of yet. Also, the run defense is struggling but injuries on the D line can account for most of this.

I have not lost faith in the Green Bay defense. They bend, but don’t break, and I can live with that. However, I do realize that they could be a whole lot better at the same time.

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Tags: Clay Matthews Defense Dom Capers Green Bay Packers Mario Williams NFC NFL Packers

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