Starter Pack: Hawk admires Seahawks' D

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
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A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

Like most defensive players, linebacker A.J. Hawk doesn't spend a lot of time watching other team's defenses.

He's more focused on studying his opponent's offense.

But when the Packers linebacker stood on the sideline at CenturyLink Field early in the 2012 season when Green Bay played the Seattle Seahawks in a game you might remember, he had a feeling he was watching something special. So it comes as no surprise to Hawk that the Seattle defense was the top-ranked unit in the NFL in 2013 and was a major reason the Seahawks have reached the Super Bowl.

"First off I'm a fan of their defense and how they play," Hawk said Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd on location at Super Bowl XLVIII in New York. "When we played them it was early last season, so I don't know if nationally they had the attention they deserved yet. Now they've gotten it obviously, being the No. 1 defense in the league. But I stood there and I was very impressed, and I loved the physicality."

Here's how Hawk described the Seahawks defense during his appearance on The Herd:

"Their corners are going to walk up, they're going to press. Their safeties are coming downhill and hitting people, and their linebackers and D-line make plays everywhere. I was really impressed by their front four, that they can find a way to get pressure with just a four-man rush. When you can do that and you have studs in the back end, that's why they're the No. 1 defense in the league. They make plays everywhere, and I have a lot of respect for them."

Hearing Hawk talk about the Seahawks defense, it's worth wondering how far away the Packers are from matching that description? The Packers ranked 25th in the NFL in total yards allowed, 25th against the run and 24th against the pass.

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
  • On Monday, the Packers signed street agent fullback Ina Liaina. In a phone interview with Liaina on Wednesday, he told an interesting back story about himself. He’s been working in San Francisco for a financial company and as a bouncer at an area bar while working out to stay in shape for another shot at the NFL. He could be insurance in case the Packers don’t re-sign veteran fullback John Kuhn, who is scheduled to become a free agent.
  • We continued our position by position look at the Packers’ roster with the linebackers.
  • In light of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s trash talking after the NFC Championship game, we looked at how the Packers handle trash talking.
  • In our final NFL Nation confidential survey, more players said they would pick Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to lead their team if the Super Bowl was on the line in the final minutes. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was third in the voting, perhaps because of his clutch performance in Super Bowl XLV.
Best of the rest:

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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