You know it's a good sign when your division's ESPN blogger starts off an article on your team's first-round draft pick with this:
I'll say this much: Nick Perry looks like a baaaaad man.
Yesterday, Kevin Seifert analyzed Perry's switch to outside linebacker, and compared Perry's build to that of James Harrison and his OLB coach, Kevin Greene. He also got some fantastic quotes from Greene on Perry's adjustment to OLB. For example:
Now he's got to stand up in a two-point stance and has to capture all five eligibles in his vision. And he has to know what each one of those guys are ... Understand who they are and what they mean to his pass coverage responsibility. And to see motions and to see shifts in alignments, that's the hardest thing, taking a guy like this and now focusing from sideline to sideline and capturing everything.
Perry is indeed an impressive physical specimen, as his combine drills show. This is the first really in-depth analysis from anyone on the coaching staff on the specifics of what Perry needs to work on to be successful at his new position.
Greene also addressed the importance of having a credible threat opposite star Clay Matthews by projecting himself into the mind of an opposing offensive coach:
If you have another dog on the other corner, (offensive coordinators) have to say, '52, now he's tough, but we can't afford to always double team him, because they've got that big dog over there and he's hunting. So we've got to pick our spots when we double Clay, sometimes we have to solo him, because we've got to hit that guy with two on this series. Sometimes we have double him. Now we've got to double Clay with two and we're taking our chance one-on-one with this other big dog on the corner.'
As a sidenote, I loved watching Kevin Greene as a kid. I consider him the defining OLB of my generation, since I came around a little too late to appreciate Lawrence Taylor. Now, I love that he knows the 3-4 outside linebacker position as well or better than anyone in the world, and that he coaches that position for the Packers. If anyone is going to turn Perry into an effective OLB, it's Kevin Greene.