San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Brad Jones (59). Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
INSIDE LINEBACKER: Will Brad Jones keep his starting job?
For the most part, the Packers inside linebacker position is the same group from a year ago.
On paper, the Packers starters remain A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones; however, the Packers lacked athleticism and impact plays from the position in 2013.
Hawk remains a consistent presence in the middle, but appears outmatched at times in coverage. Having said this, he’s the least of the Packers’ worries at inside linebacker.
Jones was inconsistent in his first year as a full-time starter. He plays too high and struggles to hold his ground against the run. He still seems to be the better option in pass coverage over Hawk though.
Last year’s reserves, Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington, may make a push for a starting job with a strong camp. Lattimore plays with a lot of passion and energy. His game is still raw, but the Packers seem to like his potential.
Barrington may be the most athletic inside linebacker on the roster, but injures last season prevented him from seeing the field.
The Packers need somebody to step up at the position alongside Hawk. Whether that’s Jones for a second year or Lattimore or Barrington, Green Bay needs more consistency at inside linebacker.