The Green Bay Packers have a big year ahead, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has to work fast.
The Green Bay Packers are heading into the 2018 season with a massively new defense. Dom Capers is out and Mike Pettine is in at defensive coordinator. Morgan Burnett, Damarious Randall and multiple rotation players are gone with new or young faces in their place. Several times in Aaron Rodgers‘ career, he has been let down by his defense when they were unable to stop opposing offenses.
New general manager Brian Gutekunst was going to do his best to not let that happen again. He was able to land castoff Muhammad Wilkerson on a one-year prove it deal. This could be one of the steals of the offseason if he plays up to his massive ceiling.
On draft night, he passed on Derwin James of Florida State, much to the surprise of everyone by trading down for an additional first-round pick next season. He then traded back up to add Louisville’s Jaire Alexander, before doubling down on the other top corner Josh Jackson of Iowa. The cornerback room lacked both depth and talent last season, but the same cannot be said now.
While the Burnett decision could come back to bite them later, the team felt that moving on from him now to develop the players behind them was the best choice. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is now the longest-tenured player in the defensive backfield and will be the leader of the back end. After regressing last season, the team will need a big year out of him on their quest to the playoffs and beyond.
This defense looks great on paper and has a lot of potential. However, games are won on the field and that’s where this defense’s biggest questions are going to be answered.