Packers’ new Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry met with media this week and expressed confidence in all of his players, but what stood out the most was his comments about the distressing cornerback on the other side of Jaire Alexander.
The Buccaneers exposed Kevin King in the NFC Championship game last year, which led many to believe that he was on his way out of Green Bay. However, that was not the case as the Packers brought back King on a one-year five million dollar contract.
The decision to bring King back came as shock to many, but started to make a little more sense when the Packers used their first-round pick to select a raw cornerback prospect in Eric Stokes out of Georgia. The theory was that Stokes wouldn’t have to be rushed onto the field but would have a realistic shot at jumping King on the depth chart before the season was over.
However, Barry said he “has always been a fan” of King and thinks he still has some potential to tap into. That sounds like a resounding vote of confidence which will come with a long leash.
DB coach Jerry Gray also added that he “wouldn’t discount” Josh Jackson, and that the biggest thing for him is “a little more confidence” this year.
The recent comments from Barry and Gray make it seem like Stokes is still quite a long ways off of overtaking King, or even Josh Jackson. However, this could have just been a way to motivate King and Jackson to get the most out of them in OTAs.
Barry exudes energy and is chomping at the bit to prove that he was the right man for the job after being Green Bay’s second option when Jim Leonhard decided to return to UW-Madison. While Packers fans are excited to have anyone but Mike Pettine calling defensive plays it isn’t a sure thing that Barry will be the answer to Green Bay’s defense turning the corner from above average to elite.
With Jaire and King not at the optional workouts this week Stokes and Jackson have been the starters. There is still plenty of time before the season to get things hashed out, but one thing remains certain. If the Packers struggle out of the gates, Barry will have to make the moves that Pettine refused too.——————
Kirien is a big fan of the Packers, Beer, and Battlestar Galactica. You can follow him on twitter at @KirienSprecher.