Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Packers Add LB Chillar to Compete on Strong Side

The Green Bay Packers have actually signed a free agent. They agreed to terms with St. Louis LB Brandon Chillar on a 2 year $5.2 million dollar deal. The 6-3, 242-pound Chillar, had 85 tackles, 2 sacks, four passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 15 games, 14 of them starts.

Chillar has size and explosiveness for playing the run and decent short-area speed for covering tight ends. He is not a top-notch cover man and didn't play in the Rams' nickel package last year, but he has the ability to line up over the tight end and affect his release.

The signing creates competition at the strong-side linebacker spot, but also allows the Packers to use both he and Poppinga in various roles. He will compete with Poppinga for the starting job, but the Packers have the option of using Poppinga as a pass rusher, a role they have experimented with from time to time in the past.

The Packers remain committed to Poppinga and have engaged in talks about a contract extension. If he loses his job to Chillar, he would still be a big part of the special teams and a potential pass rush specialist. Poppinga was a DE for most of his career at BYU and has pass-rushing ability.

In addition to Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Poppinga and Chillar, the Packers have at linebacker Tracy White, Desmond Bishop and Abdul Hodge. Bishop and Hodge have made strides in their recovery from surgery on both knees.

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