Between incumbent options like Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, and Chandon Sullivan, resigned free agents like Kevin King, and draftees like Eric Stokes and Shemar Jean-Charles, the defensive secondary for the Green Bay Packers is going to be much harder to pick apart this upcoming season.
There certainly are a few elements that go into that conversation, including the usage of the two rookies and covering up King’s shortcomings, but make no mistake – a semi-strong element of this team improved this offseason, hopefully (and finally) taking it out of the conversation as to why this team has come up short the past two seasons.
New defensive coordinator Joe Barry will have his hands full in his year leading this defensive unit, but the secondary should be an area that concerns him the least out of the entire defense. By having Alexander at corner and both Amos and Savage at safety, Barry has a base to go off off, helping give him a starting point to address the other shortfalls the secondary may have.
We all know what King brings to the table with this team, and although he may have been overpaid in free agency this offseason, his familiarity with the team and its expectations certainly supersedes having to bring an outside FA up to speed or even throw Stokes right into the starting job as a rookie.
Being able to work Stokes and Jean-Charles along at a manageable pace for the two rookies will help solidify their long-term development, while also showing them what it takes to make it in the NFL. Combining these two first-year players with Alexander, King, and Sullivan helps ensure that there are long-term solutions on this roster and not just stop-gap solutions, helping make sure that this part of the defense is able to establish a sense of comradery.
With Alexander’s impending free agency status weighing heavy on the minds of the Green Bay front office, having two rookies come in and learn from the best corner in the league will only aid in their development and acclimation. But it really boils down to the 1-2 punch of Amos and Savage that helps keep this secondary functioning.
Acting as the two captains for the back-end, Amos and Savage do different things well – but the one thing that they each do well is help quarterback the secondary, helping diagnose offensive schemes and direct traffic to help ensure coverages are being carried out correctly.
The abilities of all of these moving pieces to work together is what can help make the secondary an even smoother part of this team moving forward and one that opponents cannot pick on anymore. Just think – if this part of the team can be addressed for both the present and future, then the opportunities are endless.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23