Green Bay Packers Defense-Three Reasons To Be Excited

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Green Bay Packers
Aug 18, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez (50) during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 20-12. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Packers linebackers Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan combine athleticism with knowledge of the game to get the job done up the middle.

Another reason Packers fans should be excited for the 2016 season is the early play of Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan. With both players being 4th round draft picks it would be fair to expect heavy special teams contribution and situational play at the least.

But after the first two games of seeing this duo in action it would appear the Packers have a pair of athletic and instinctive players at middle linebacker.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers has thought so highly of Martinez and his understanding of thdefense to hand him play calling duties for the unit. This means that not only is the rookie responsible for his own assignment but also the 10 other guys on the field.

Despite the burden of this responsibility, Martinez has made several plays that highlight both his athleticism in coverage and hard nose mentality up the middle.

One play that stood out was his ability to track down Adrian Peterson on the edge. On the play he sprinted from across the field and was able to keep his balance as Peterson attempted to cut back.

Plays such as this has to make fans excited, in years past the tackle would have been missed, leaving a dangerous running back with room on the perimeter.

Martinez’s partner in crime, Jake Ryan has also been a major contributor to defense. Against the Vikings, Ryan was all over the field, making plays against the run and pass. One play that stands out is his pass break up against Minnesota’s, Kyle Rudolph.

Given that Ryan and Martinez have only played together for two games and we have already seen flashes of talent, Packers fans should be excited about what is to come from this young duo.