Last year, the Packers safety position was a trainwreck.
Promising youngster Kentrell Brice banged into his ceiling and bounced down. HaHa Clinton-Dix played like a joke with no punchline. Guys like Raven Greene and Ibraheim Campbell tried to step and both ended up on IR.
Brian Gutekunst was not complacent.
We’ve already talked about how aggressive and decisive Brian Gutekunst is in his moves. He’s a fan’s GM that makes bold moves without hedging bets.
He acted accordingly in addressing the safety position.
He overpaid for Adrian Amos in free agency (which, to be fair, is the only way to get anyone in free agency), then traded up in the first round to make Darnell Savage the first DB off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft.
There’s a great debate to be had on if their of these moves were wise, but that’s not why I’m here today. Today, we’re just going to talk about why Gutekunst made these moves.
We could say that it was swift action – maybe even overreaction – to address a position that has been a pain ever since the Super Bowl win in 2010.
But I think it’s more than that.
According to SharpFootballStats, the Packers were one of the worst defenses in the league when it came to giving up explosive pass plays. Despite ranking in the top 10 in sacks and having a deep stable of young talented cornerbacks, the Packers were giving up tons of explosive plays.
Weakness at safety.
Do you know who was the best at stopping explosive pass plays?
Sure, their pass rush helped, but the Bears only had 6 more sacks than the Packers. The cornerback room wasn’t much more talented in Chicago than Green Bay, either.
It came down to safety play.
Gutekunst saw that and said “I want safeties like that.”
So he went out and got them.
He shelled out whatever it took to sign one of their safeties in free agency (Amos), then made an aggressive move in the draft to get the prospect he thought was closest to their other safety (Savage).
He did everything he could to emulate the Bears back end.
On Thursday, we get our first glimpse at how well it worked.