Safeties: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones
The Packers’ secondary gained some experience with the addition of Tramon Williams, but they lost safety Morgan Burnett. Brian Gutekunst made the decision to move on from Burnett, showing confidence in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Josh Jones as the starting duo.
Clinton-Dix didn’t have a great 2017 season, but let’s not forget he was selected to the Pro Bowl and named a second-team All-Pro just two years ago. And he’s just 25 years old. Expect Clinton-Dix to bounce back this season in Mike Pettine’s defense.
It was an up-and-down rookie year for Jones.
But as head coach Mike McCarthy noted earlier this offseason, Jones was asked to do a lot in his debut season. According to Zach Kruse of Packers Wire, McCarthy wants Jones to have fewer jobs initially this year:
“Really this year, the ability to focus in on one or two positions,” McCarthy said. “With that, you’ll see him more comfortable and flying around and not thinking as much.”
Jones certainly has plenty of talent and a lot of potential. The Packers clearly believe he’s ready to be a starter in Pettine’s defense, or else they would have done more to re-sign Burnett, who signed a relatively cheap deal (three years, $14.35 million) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, well short of what many expected.
Unless another safety stands out at training camp, it’ll be Clinton-Dix and Jones starting Week 1.