Packers secondary going through camp revamp

DB's unit looking to improve pass defense
Posted: 2:13 PM, Aug 03, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-04 11:25:52-04

As the Packers rework their secondary, one player has stood out already in training camp - and his name isn't Davon House, Kevin King or Damarious Randall.

Quinten Rollins has "outplayed everybody," according to cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, Jr

"Well right now, he's just playing well," Whitt said. "He's quick, you can tell his core issues are taken care of. He's fluid. You can see the explosiveness out of his breaks. And so the kid is coming in with a focus that our standard of play wasn't there last year. And he's a very prideful man. He hasn't said two words. He's just been working, and that's what I like."

A season removed from a groin injury, Rollins is entering his third year with the Packers, and he is making a quiet comeback, with the unit's drop to No. 31 in allowed passing yards last year in the rearview mirror.

When camp opened, Rollins wasn't consistently getting reps on the first-team defense. King's shoulder injury also provided Whitt a chance to throw Rollins into outside coverage, with Randall in the slot, showing off Rollins' versatility. And his play has spoken loud enough for Whitt to put him opposite House, getting additional reps at slot and outside.

"I'm just trying to get back to my type of play style, really, simple as that," Rollins said ahead of the Packers' first night practice Thursday. "I really think it's no big secret last year didn't go the way I wanted it to. Just trying to get back to the things I know I can do this year."

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers has plenty to toy with in his seven safeties as well. Headlined by second-team Pro Bowler Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the unit is deep. Head Coach Mike McCarthy called it "as fine a group that I've seen in my 20-plus years in this league."

Among the safeties, Kentrell Brice has impressed in camp so far, opening up more options to move Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones down to inside linebacker.

And after drafting the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Jones, who clocked a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the Packers made clear that speed and size at safety was a welcome addition.

"It seems like what we're doing is we're just getting more athletic guys who can kind of stay in the box and make plays not only in the pass game but in the run as well," said Clay Matthews. "I think it gives us another personnel that we can match up against when teams are spreading us out and trying to take advantage of mismatches against linebackers per say, so I think it's a good personnel and one that we'll probably lean on."