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Cheese Curds, 10/27: Can Kamal Martin be the Packers’ answer to coverage issues at LB?

Martin had an exciting debut in Houston, but be careful not to expect too much too soon.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have a problem in pass defense. Thankfully, that problem isn’t in having a dearth of quality cornerbacks; indeed, the Packers have one of the best young corners in the NFL and another solid player on the other side. In fact, according to ESPN, Jaire Alexander and Kevin King are the 5th-best cornerback tandem in the NFL.

No, the problem lies in the middle of the defense, where the Packers’ linebackers have been getting picked apart in the passing game. Whether that’s Christian Kirksey, Krys Barnes, or Ty Summers, the Packers simply have had no answers yet for teams attacking the middle of the field through the air.

Now there’s another player who should be getting playing time at linebacker, and there are reasons to be excited about what he can bring to the table — both in run support and in coverage. Rookie Kamal Martin finally made his NFL debut on Sunday and impressed in his 29 snaps, so much so that he has been a frequent topic of discussion in the 48 hours since the game and even met with the media on Monday. Whether he will be the answer to these coverage issues remains to be seen, but that game suggested that he may be the most complete linebacker on this roster.

Quarterbacks Playing Catch vs. Packers’ Linebackers |
The Packers have a true lockdown cornerback in Jaire Alexander, so why is the pass defense struggling so much? It's easy to explain: the linebackers are allowing a completion rate of 93 percent and 9.4 yards per attempt. That is, simply put, brutal.

Kamal Martin brings explosiveness to ILB | (subscription)
Perhaps the Packers' linebackers will get a boost from the addition of Martin, who came off injured reserve on Saturday and looked like the team's most instinctive, playmaking player at the position. He also showed a little bit of a knack in coverage, an area that he was good at in college at Minnesota.

Packers' Kamal Martin shows why he could be the future now – The Athletic (subscription)
Indeed, Martin's game earned him the top grade on the defense from Pro Football Focus, despite him playing Mike linebacker -- a position he didn't even practice much during the week.

5 things to know about new Packers LB James Burgess |
Don't necessarily expect Burgess to come in and fix the Packers' coverage issues, but he should at least provide some decent depth in case there are additional injuries on the inside.

Big help from those on training camp 'bingo card' bodes well for Packers - ESPN
From Henry Black to Malik Taylor, the Packers got some important plays from relatively unknown names on Sunday, a critical factor with so many key contributors sitting out.

12 stats to know from the Packers’ big win over the Texans | Packers Wire
Davante Adams' seven 3rd-down conversions and the Packers' 27% quarterback pressure rate were big reasons for Sunday's win.

KFC selling its fried chicken-scented firelogs at Walmart - MarketWatch
Why does this exist? And how is there enough demand for it that the item has sold out each of the past two years?