Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Zombo had a disappointing season in 2012, struggling with injuries and failing to oust Erik Walden from a starting job. Can be help provide depth in 2013?
Every season there seems to be that undrafted free agent who comes into camp and gets the coaches and fans to fall in love with him. He typically isn’t big enough or strong enough – he certainly does not have a high talent ceiling – but darn it, he’s a high motor guy and makes enough plays to claw his way on to the roster. For the Packers this guy has typically played OLB, and the first OLB to really become a camp sensation was Frank Zombo. Since then he has gone on to win a starting job, get a sack in the Super Bowl, and get injured….a lot.
Let’s be blunt, Zombo’s season was a bitter disappointment. He started the year on the PUP list due to an injury from the 2011 season. When he did return to action he was basically a nonfactor and failed to win significant snaps. Now normally I would go easy on a guy coming back from a major injury, but if you failing to take a starting job away from Erik Walden and Dezman Moses then you are a disappointment no matter what your situation.
Here’s another way to put Zombo’s situation in an instant. During the awful loss to the 49ers, Packers fans had to suffer through one of the worst Walden performances of recent memory. At no point did people come forward and say "Why the hell isn’t Zombo out there?"
The Packers do have a need for depth at OLB. Right now the Packers will only have Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Micah Johnson, and Dezman Moses at the position. Having a few more bodies there is not a bad idea. It can add to the rotation and help ensure depth should injuries bite this position group as bad as it did last year.
Likelihood of Re-Signing
Zombo has not been more than an average option at OLB, but he knows the defense and has shown at least some ability to get to the passer. Assuming the Zombo is brought back to be a backup, the biggest question here is reliability. Zombo has struggled with injuries and has missed time during each of his first three seasons in Green Bay.
Estimated odds of re-signing: 50%