No matter where Preston Smith plays in the Green Bay Packers defense, he’s going to improve the pass rush.
Preston Smith spent four seasons with the Washington Redskins, and he now joins Mike Pettine’s defense to help the team get more pressure on quarterbacks.
What will Smith bring to the defense this season?
Smith played all 16 games for the Washington Redskins last season, making 53 tackles, four sacks, and 16 quarterback hits.
Odds of making roster: 100 percent
Along with Za’Darius Smith and Adrian Amos, Preston Smith’s play will help determine the success of the Packers’ pass rush compared to recent years. The Packers need Smith to stay healthy and help get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
What to expect in 2019?
Smith will enter the 2019 season with high expectations after signing a four-year contract worth $52 million. Smith has put up eight sacks in a season twice, but is yet to reach double-digit sacks. The Packers will be hoping that changes this year.
But it’s important to look beyond the total number of sacks. Here’s a statistic that shows just how effective both Preston and Za’Darius Smith are rushing the passer:
Now the Packers will have both players starting on defense.
For a defense looking to create more turnovers, Smith can help. He has forced four fumbles since his rookie season in 2015, and he also has a four interceptions in the past three seasons with at least one INT every year since 2015.
The Packers are getting a player who defensive coordinator Mike Pettine can line up in multiple positions as he has the ability to rush off the edge or inside. Versatility is something both Smiths bring to the Packers defense, and first-round pick Rashan Gary can also play along the defensive line or at linebacker.
Whether Smith gets double-digit sacks this season or not, when he’s on the field, he’ll help make the Packers’ pass rush much better than it was a year ago. He’ll consistently make an impact and create pressure no matter where he’s lined up, and he may also come away with an interception or two.