Green Bay Packers: 5 biggest questions facing the defense

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /
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Green Bay Packers,
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4. Outside Linebacker Depth

Outside of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, there isn’t much else at the outside linebacker spot. Matthews has only played all 16 games three times, while Perry never has. Beyond these two, you have second-year man Vince Biegel, Kyler Fackrell and the high-upside Reggie Gilbert. None of these players are proven commodities

Biegel was an exciting story for Packer fans last year during the offseason. That hype was cut short when he suffered a foot injury that kept him out nearly half the season. Biegel was good, not great in the three major areas. He’s slated to be the top backup to Matthews this season, and he’ll need to perform to the same level that he did this past season or the team will deal with similar issues of tired rushers late in games.

Fackrell has had occasional flashes through two seasons. He has also been very inconsistent. It appears that he won’t be anything more than a situational pass-rusher during his career. Through 29 games, he has five total sacks, which suggests he could make more of an impact with more playing time. A true rotation could be possible with Fackrell as a key cog.

Gilbert is an intriguing option. He only played two games at the end of last season, but he did register a sack and flashed upside as a situational player. He graded out better than both Fackrell and Biegel, which could make him the team’s number three outside linebacker.

Pass-rushing is a major area of importance. However, the best teams generally have a rotation of players to keep everyone fresh late in games. If the bench doesn’t improve their game, the Packers will struggle again in pass-rushing.