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Offline Laser Gunns  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:06:14 AM(UTC)
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Gregg Rosenthal wrote:
With so much attention being paid to the Packers’ sluggish offense early in training camp, it’s easy to overlook the defense.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ group should be primed for a big year in their third season in the system. Promising defensive end Mike Neal and outside linebacker Brad Jones return from injury to bolster the group.

Despite losing Cullen Jenkins, the starting defensive line looks strong. It also may look a little different.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who deservedly was honored with the Dick McCann award at the Hall of Fame last weekend, reports that the Packers are looking to move B.J. Raji from nose tackle to defensive end. He would trade places with Ryan Pickett.

“I love it,” Raji said. “The coaches are giving it a shot. It’s our job, particularly me and ‘Pick,’ to prove them right. We’ve done a good job at practice.”

Raji would have a chance to make more plays in the alignment lining up against guards; Raji is reportedly having a great camp. It plays to Pickett’s strengths too as a space eater. Neal would be on the other side.

If the Packers are going to maintain or improve this year, it will have to come from their young players developing. Raji and Neal are near the top of the list of players that can get better.


I've always thought Pickett was a bad fit at DE, he's too big. Raji can be disruptive anywhere.

good move IMO Applause


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Offline Rockmolder  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:22:22 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: RajiRoar Go to Quoted Post
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I've always thought Pickett was a bad fit at DE, he's too big. Raji can be disruptive anywhere.

good move IMO Applause


Raji is just as big. It's just that Pickett is more of an immovable object, while Raji has some amazing pass rushing skills for a man of his size.

I like that push from your NT spot. Not allowing that QB to step up gives your pass rush such an added dimention. But yeah, Raji should get more of a shot to actually get to the QB this way, I guess.

In the end, I don't know how big of a move this is. With the amount of times we line up with 2 D-linemen (I asume those will be Raji and Neal, most of the time), the psycho package, a 4-down line, an unbalanced line where we the NT playing over the guard etc. it just feels like very little actually changes.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:27:51 AM(UTC)
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Offline earthquake  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:34:30 AM(UTC)
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I was a little surprised that he was moved to NT last year anyway, but honestly, no matter where they line this guy up; he's going to make plays.

What was it, 6.5 sacks from the NT position last year? Nuts.

In reality, since the packers use a 2-4-5 moreso than they actually use a 3-4-4, this move doesn't have that much effect I wouldn't imagine. I mean, in the 2-4-5, Raji is going to be playing essentially the same position right? Picket will come off and there wont really be a NT.
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Offline nyrpack  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 6:11:15 PM(UTC)
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as long as he stuffs the run, he can line up anywhere !!
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Offline dfosterf  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 6:49:26 PM(UTC)
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DHaze wanted Crabdouche over B.J.

Some-day that boy is going to listen to 'ol Dfoster. Flapper

I love Raji, imo, he is UNDER rated.

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Offline bozz_2006  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:18:53 PM(UTC)
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I think his days of being under-rated are quickly coming to a close.
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Offline Greg C.  
#8 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:34:57 AM(UTC)
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Rockmolder and earthquake are on top of this one. Because of all of the different defensive alignments, this is not a huge move if they make it. It is just another wrinkle that Capers is adding. Last year, Raji was moved to NT to maximize his effectiveness, because that was where he was most comfortable, but it put Pickett at a position where he was not at his best. Now Raji is comfortable enough and good enough to be moved around again. It will be fun to see how this works out, if they do it.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#9 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 6:21:17 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Greg C. Go to Quoted Post
Rockmolder and earthquake are on top of this one. Because of all of the different defensive alignments, this is not a huge move if they make it. It is just another wrinkle that Capers is adding. Last year, Raji was moved to NT to maximize his effectiveness, because that was where he was most comfortable, but it put Pickett at a position where he was not at his best. Now Raji is comfortable enough and good enough to be moved around again. It will be fun to see how this works out, if they do it.


I don't know for sure on this, but I could have sworn I read B.J. Raji say he'd rather play end than nose tackle and said he'd just do what the coaches wanted or something like that.

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Offline DarkaneRules  
#10 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 6:30:50 AM(UTC)
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I remember hearing an interview on the radio where Raji said he would be honest and say if he had a preference it would be at end but that he knew he was drafted as a NT so he would do anything he was asked to do to learn that spot.
Offline beast  
#11 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 3:03:19 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
I don't know for sure on this, but I could have sworn I read B.J. Raji say he'd rather play end than nose tackle and said he'd just do what the coaches wanted or something like that.


I think Raji (as a lot of pass rushes) just prefers to play one gap which is attack that gap, get to the ball carrier and tackle them. Compared to two gap, where it's more read and react and more so let the play come to you. In the 3-4 set the NT normally plays two gap (which Pickett loves and is best at)

So this move should make Raji happy because he doesn't have to play two gap as often and make Pickett happy because he gets his NT and two gap spot back.

But I don't know how Raji would do at the 5 technique where Pickett played last year and Neal is going to play because usually it's better to have some length there with longer arms, which I think also hurt Pickett there last year. But in a one gap 3 technique Raji should do GREAT!
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Offline Greg C.  
#12 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 3:21:50 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DarkaneRules Go to Quoted Post
I remember hearing an interview on the radio where Raji said he would be honest and say if he had a preference it would be at end but that he knew he was drafted as a NT so he would do anything he was asked to do to learn that spot.


So maybe it wasn't a comfort thing, as I wrote, but rather, the coaches just thought it would be better in the long run to have Raji focus on the NT position, whether he liked it or not. Or maybe the interview you heard was from this year, and Raji had changed his opinion on the matter since last year.
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Offline GermanGilbert  
#13 Posted : Thursday, August 11, 2011 4:10:33 PM(UTC)
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I was really pissed when Ted Thompson selected Raji. That said, it just proofs, that Ted Thompson is a genious while I'm an idiot :D This guy makes plays and I really don't care if he does that from the NT or DE spot.
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Offline blueleopard  
#14 Posted : Friday, August 12, 2011 6:49:47 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: GermanGilbert Go to Quoted Post
I was really pissed when Ted Thompson selected Raji. That said, it just proofs, that Ted Thompson is a genious while I'm an idiot :D This guy makes plays and I really don't care if he does that from the NT or DE spot.


You're probably the only one, because everybody wanted Green Bay to pick Raji.

Raji can play anywhere. When we had Pickett as Nose, we were #1 against the run. We didn't do as well last year. I'm not questioning the change at all.
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Offline wpr  
#15 Posted : Friday, August 12, 2011 7:02:30 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: blueleopard Go to Quoted Post
You're probably the only one, because everybody wanted Green Bay to pick Raji.

Raji can play anywhere. When we had Pickett as Nose, we were #1 against the run. We didn't do as well last year. I'm not questioning the change at all.



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