As the team prepares for the upcoming 2023 NFL season, it is crucial that the Packers inside linebackers take major strides in their development. While Quay Walker and De’Vondre Campbell both bring unique skills and talents to the Packers’ defense, there are certain areas in which they must improve. Let’s explore these key areas of improvement and how they can contribute to the overall success of the team.
- Coverage Skills: While Quay Walker’s athleticism and physicality make him a formidable presence, his coverage skills could use refinement. In 2023, Walker must focus on improving his ability to read routes, anticipate passes, and maintain tight coverage on opposing tight ends and running backs. By honing these skills, he can become a more complete linebacker and a reliable asset in pass defense.
- Play Recognition: Developing a keen sense of play recognition is essential for any linebacker. Walker needs to work on quickly diagnosing plays and reacting accordingly. By improving his instincts and football IQ, he can anticipate the opposing team’s intentions, allowing him to make impactful plays such as disrupting passing lanes, filling gaps against the run, and blitzing effectively.
- Consistency: One aspect where Walker can elevate his game is in maintaining a consistent level of play throughout the season. He has shown flashes of brilliance, but to become a true impact player, he needs to bring his A-game week in and week out. Consistency in tackling, coverage, and overall professionalism will solidify his role as a key contributor to the Packers’ defense
- Pass Coverage: While De’Vondre Campbell has displayed proficiency in pass coverage throughout his career, there is room for improvement. Campbell must focus on refining his technique, improving his footwork, and enhancing his ability to stay step-for-step with tight ends and running backs in coverage. By sharpening these skills, he can become an even more effective asset in the Packers’ pass defense.
- Run Defense: Campbell’s physicality and size make him an asset in stopping the run. However, he must work to return to his 2022 self in consistently shedding blocks and filling gaps with authority. Improving his strength, technique, and leverage will allow him to make more impact plays at or behind the line of scrimmage, disrupting opposing rushing attacks and forcing negative plays.
- Leadership: As one of few seasoned veterans on the team, Campbell’s leadership qualities become even more crucial. In 2023, he must step up even more as a vocal leader both on and off the field, guiding and motivating his younger teammates. By embracing a leadership role, Campbell can help foster a cohesive and disciplined defense, elevating the overall performance of the Packers’ unit.
For the Green Bay Packers to have a successful 2023 season, linebackers Quay Walker and De’Vondre Campbell must address the areas of improvement outlined above. Walker should focus on enhancing his coverage skills, play recognition, and consistency, while Campbell should strive to improve his pass coverage, run defense, and take on a leadership role.
In dedicating themselves to these areas, Walker and Campbell can elevate their individual performances, contributing to a stronger and more dynamic Packers’ defense. The improvement of these two linebackers will not only enhance the team’s overall defensive capabilities but also solidify their roles as impact players who can make crucial plays in critical moments.
As the 2023 NFL season unfolds, eyes will be on Walker and Campbell, eagerly awaiting their development and the positive impact they can bring to the Green Bay Packers’ quest for success.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.