The Green Bay Packers made changes to their defense before the start of the 2012, with the biggest difference being the move that put now for Packer Charles Woodson from cornerback to safety. This meant that cornerback Sam Shields would have a bigger role in the team’s defense.
This was Shields third year in the league and his first year as a starter. Shields always been a great defender in man coverage which mainly what the Packers play. He is very good at bump coverage at the line and getting receivers off their marks. The biggest flaw in Shields game is that fact that he is small and has trouble making tackles. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers has been working with Shields on this issue through each training camp, but he still has a lot of work to do.
This season Shields had a total of three interceptions which was tied for second on the team. However, Shields only played in 10 games due to an injury. He also had one sack with 10 pass deflections. Shields showed potential as being the number one cornerback for Green Bay with his aggressive style of play, but with the emergence of rookie Casey Hayward, Shields needs to look over his shoulder or he may become a slot corner again.
For the 2013 season, Shields will need to continue being the aggressive corner playing press coverage on the top receivers. If he continues playing with no fear, he can become one of the best corners in the league. Green Bay will not have Woodson back next season so the defense will lose pass rushing ability from the secondary as well. Shields is the perfect player to replace Woodson as a pass rusher from the secondary and be a general in the backfield.
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