Greg Ellis is Released; Diggs Misses Peppers; Corey Williams in Cleveland; and Thompson vs. Matthews

  • After a few weeks of speculation, Dallas finally released LB Greg Ellis. He's tallied 8 or more sacks in 5 of the last 6 seasons, so he provides a good pass rush. Also, the former DE has been playing outside LB in a 3-4 defense the last three seasons, so he would have some familiarity with the Packers' new defensive scheme. GM Ted Thompson pursued free agent DE Jason Taylor back in May, so he is looking for another pass rusher. The only reliable pass rusher currently on the roster is DE/LB Aaron Kampman, and his strange silence at last week's OTA might be due, in part, because he's unhappy with his contract. Unfortunately, the Packers can't guarantee him a starting job while teams like New England or Miami might, so I doubt they'll actually sign him.
  • Yesterday I was surprised to read that ex-Packer S Mark Roman still has a starting job in the NFL. LB Na'il Diggs is another ex-Packer who I never expected to see starting again in the NFL, but he's managed 35 starts over the last three seasons in Carolina. Rumors of trading Kampman for disgruntled DE Julius Peppers have been floated recently, but that's not what Diggs wants to happen. He "Misses The Hell Out Of" him.
  • One of the big moves in 2008 was the trade of DT Corey Williams to Cleveland for a 2nd round draft pick. The pick was used on QB Brian Brohm who didn't play in a single game last season. Maybe they could have used Williams last season as injuries to DE Cullen Jenkins and DT Justin Harrell stripped a poor run defense of depth. Except Williams had a poor 2008 season, and foreshadowing to 2009, he wasn't good in Cleveland's 3-4 defense. Since Williams' acquistion cost Cleveland a lot (a high draft pick and a big signing bonus), they are going to give him another chance, and he's hoping to make the best of it.
  • Although LB Jeremy Thompson started at outside linebacker in place of LB Clay Matthews, he sat out part of the practices with a strained hamstring, I doubt he's any competition. Thompson didn't show much in 2008 and seems to be just another version of DE Michael Montgomery. Now he has to learn how to play LB, and despite Matthews' similar learning curve, I expect it's a bigger adjustment for Thompson.
  • Another victim of the bad economy; ShopKo's Packers luxury box.
  • "My instincts are still very instinctive."
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