How Tramon Williams and A.J. Hawk Played In Pass Coverage

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers returns an interception for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Packers went on to win 45-38. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Williams, Hawk Contracts Troubling After Down Seasons | Cheesehead TV. Obviously the Green Bay Packers had a lot of problems in pass coverage this season. Both of these players rarely came off the field last season and both players need to be re-evaluated.

CB Tramon Williams. There were many times last season when he was late to close on a receiver or running far behind the play. But I attributed many of those situations to the general confusion in the secondary. Here are some key stats from the past two seasons:

Tackles INTs Pass Def.
2011 64 4 22
2010 57 6 20

Based alone on that analysis, he's looked pretty consistent over the past two seasons. He remains worth the money they spent on him in 2010, and he should remain their starter for the next couple seasons, at least.

LB A.J. Hawk. I've never been his biggest fan. Coming into the 2010 season, he was supposed to play only on rushing downs, and make way for LB Brandon Chillar in their nickel package. Instead, Chillar was hurt for most of the season, and Hawk took over full-time. He responded with the best season of his career and became a leader on defense. However, in 2011, I didn't see him around the ball nearly as much, and his stats took a nose dive:

Tackles INTs Pass Def.
2011 84 0 3
2010 111 3 10

Applying this same analysis to Desmond Bishop paints a similar picture (zero INTs in 2011, and pass defenses down from 8 in 2010 to 1 in 2011). He had more tackles and sacks in 2011, which might indicate that he was playing less in coverage and spending more times blitzing.

While I still have my concerns about Hawk, no one player deserve all the blame. The loss of S Nick Collins left two inexperienced players in at safety. And the lack of a pass rush may have forced Bishop and Hawk to spend more time rushing the passer and less time in coverage.

Are these guys part of the problem, or will they be part of the solution in 2012?

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