Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is excited to play in the Packers’ new defensive system employed by new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Clinton-Dix expects to have more freedom and it’s that freedom that is making him rave about what the season could hold.
“I’ll definitely be a lot more free in this defense for sure,” Clinton-Dix said (h/t ESPN). “We’ve got to see what it looks like come game day. We can talk about it now but game day we’ll be talking about some totally different s—. We’ve just got to all wait and see how it plays out. But I’m excited about the new defense, I’m loving it right now. I’m loving it.”
Last season, under then-defensive coordinator Dom Capers, Clinton-Dix was kept far off the line of scrimmage to protect against big plays as that was an area of weakness for the Packers.
The role didn’t bode well for Clinton-Dix. who saw his production drop off after a Pro Bowl campaign in 2016.
Clinton-Dix is also in the final year of his original contract, a fifth-year option that the Packers exercised and one that will pay Clinton-Dix $5.957M this season.
Clinton-Dix vows not to place as much pressure on himself this season.
“My film is already on tape. I could not play a down and get a new contract and be fine,” Clinton-Dix said. “Stats speak for themselves, everything speaks for themselves. I’ve just got to go out there and continue getting better, continue maximizing my opportunity and winning my one-on-ones.
“I’m going to leave it at that, man. I know my value to this defense, and it’s up to you all to see. I guess we’ll see when we play Chicago and on from there. I’m excited about this opportunity I have in front of me right now going into my fifth year. Like I said, the sky’s the limit for me. Just watch, just watch.”
Packers’ Cole Madison May Not Return
Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Cole Madison, a 2018 fifth-round draft pick, left the team following the conclusion of their offseason last June and did not return to the team due to a “personal matter.”
According to The Athletic’s Michael Cohen, Madison left due to the death of his college teammate Tyler Hilinski, and it could prevent him from returning to the team.
“The death of Tyler is in his head,” a source familiar with Madison’s situation told Cohen. “I don’t think he’s coming back. At least he’s not showing signs of it right now.”
Hilinski, a quarterback at Washington State who had been dealing with CTE, took his own life in January 2018.
“He’s still dealing with some of the things that he was dealing with at the beginning of the season last year,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said of Madison.
“Obviously we wish him the best and we’d love to, at some point, get him out there on the field to help us. But when that time is going to be, we’re not there yet.”
Packers Bringing Back Jimmy Graham in 2019
Graham will receive a $5 million roster bonus on March 15th, and Green Bay is fully expected to pay the tab to keep him on the team moving forward.
Graham hauled in 55 passes for 636 yards and two touchdowns for Green Bay last season.
49ers, Packers Interview Wes Welker
Welker has spent the last two seasons serving as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans.
Welker was blocked from interviewing for the Denver Broncos’ wide receiver coaching gig last year.
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