As the Green Bay Packers work through their bye week and hope to get several injured players back healthy by next week, we find a quiet news week in Green Bay. That, however, means this is a perfect time to examine the off-the-field goals of Packers players, and one whose aspirations are worthy of discussion is safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
If you read one article in today's curds, make it the ESPN piece discussing Ha Ha's work to obtain his Criminal Justice degree. This is not just an ordinary story of a player going back to school to get a degree in order to help himself find a job after football; no, Clinton-Dix has a much deeper motivation for working towards his graduation.
Meanwhile, back between the white lines, we find a terrific in-depth analysis of the defensive trends sweeping the NFL. By now, it's clear that a nickel defense is the base in today's NFL, with most teams using some variation of the 4-2-5 as the most prevalent formation. However, the role of that slot cornerback, or nickelback, requires smarts, versatility, quickness, strength, and much more for a player to be truly effective.
Packers enter bye with plenty to work on | Packersnews.com
It's unusual for the Packers' running game to be better than the passing game, but here we are. Still, the aerial attack bounced back last week and even though it barely surpassed 200 yards, that ignores the impact of a 66-yard pass interference penalty.
Packers begrudgingly admit early bye might work out, but long haul awaits - ESPN
"I never thought I would say this but ... it's a great time to have the bye, because we need it." Those are the comments from Mike McCarthy, and they pretty much sum it all up.
Green Bay Packers' Ha Ha Clinton-Dix eyes degree, 'peace and justice' - ESPN
Ha Ha actually aspired to a career in law enforcement before pursuing his NFL dream. It is that goal that is now pushing him to take Criminal Justice classes and become a leader who can help bridge the gap between black communities and police.
Kyler Fackrell steps up in face of injuries at linebacker | Packers.com
The final preseason game in Kansas City was a turning point for the third-round rookie, who has quietly increased his playing time and impact in each of the three regular-season games.
Next Big Thing: The Rise of Nickelbacks, the NFL's Most Versatile Perfomers | Bleacher Report
This is a great piece on the crucial role that the nickel corner plays in today's NFL defenses, which overwhelmingly use a 4-2-5 as their base. The Packers may have let one of the better ones go this offseason (Casey Hayward), making Micah Hyde's and Quinten Rollins' contributions that much more important.
C.J. Spiller signs with Seattle Seahawks - NFL.com
So much for that workout in Green Bay - Spiller now joins a Seahawks running back group that has seen starter Thomas Rawls and rookie C.J. Prosise get injured early on this season.