The Green Bay Packers defense may not have the hype that Pittsburgh has, but it is good; Especially, it’s secondary (cornerbacks and safeties). This is key because the Steelers are going to pass and the Packers have some veterans in the backfield who are talented and savvy. Pittsburgh’s defense may have the current Defensive Player of the Year, but the NFC Champs’ defense includes the runner-up, Clay Matthews, and last year’s winner, Charles Woodson.
Here are all of the players that will most likely start when the Packers' Defense comes out on Sunday. (Go back to the article Defense Wins Championships! to review the roles.)
Tackles and Ends - These guys are going after Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall
Ryan Pickett (#79, Left End) – Big blocker. At 340 pounds, he is one of the heaviest guys in the NFL
B.J. Raji (#90, Nose Tackle) – Had over 6 sacks this season. Scored on an interception in the NFC title game against Chicago. (It was hilarious watching the big guy run.)
Cullen Jenkins (#77, Right End) – Had 7 sacks in just 11 games.
Clay Matthews (#52, Left Outside Linebacker) – Pro-Bowl linebacker. Runner up in the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year Award. Long lineage in professional football, grandad, dad and uncle all played in the NFL. Fourth in the league in sacks at 13.5
A.J. Hawk (#50, Left Inside Linebacker) – Tough guy who hits hard. Had 111 tackles this season.
Desmond Bishop (#55, Right Inside Linebacker) – Forced to step up after the team suffered so many injuries. Ended the regular season with 103 tackles and scored from an interception.
Erik Walden (#93, Right Outside Linebacker) – Joined Packers late in the season to fill a void created by several injuries. Made a big contribution of 11 tackles and 2 sacks in Chicago regular season game to clinch a playoff berth.
Charles Woodson (#21) – 7 time Pro-Bowl cornerback. 2009 Defensive player of the year. Leader of Packers’ defense. Does not have a lot of interceptions this season because teams avoid throwing to his side. Well-rounded defensive back who will shut down a receiver, tackle on the run and attack on a blitz.
Tramon Williams (#38) – Went from practice squad to becoming a starter. Did extremely well in the playoffs. Teams go to his side to avoid Woodson, but playoff performance shows that he should not be taken for granted. Good punt returner.
Charles Peprah (#26) – Injuries gave him the opportunity to start 11 games this season. He got 63 tackles.
Nick Collins (#36) – Ended the regular season with 70 tackles and four interceptions.
Tomorrow we will review the special men on each of our Super Bowl teams - Special Teams.
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