All Hail K-Dog! That’s what Green Bay Packers CB/special teams ace Keisean Nixon calls himself. And after watching him ball on Sunday, two of my biggest concerns for the Pack heading into the season – special teams and depth at corner – are quickly fading.
Here’s an undrafted kid out of South Carolina, who spent three years with the Las Vegas Raiders as a backup corner and special teams guy, who signs a modest deal with Green Bay in one of the unsexiest March transactions Adam Schefter will ever report. But he was following his special teams coach, Rich Bisaccia, to Green Bay, and he knew he’d have a chance to shine.
Through three games, Nixon has been everything the Packers could have hoped for and much more. His speed as a gunner on special teams causes most of Pat O’Donnell‘s punts to be fair caught. And he pinned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the two-yard line on one punt. This whole ‘positive special teams play’ thing is starting to grow on me.
But Nixon’s play at the nickel corner really surprised us on Sunday. When Jaire Alexander left after the first series with a groin injury, Rasul Douglas replaced him on the outside, and Nixon took Douglas’ spot inside. The Pack played in nickel virtually the entire game, and Nixon logged 57 snaps, getting plenty of Brady’s attention since Douglas and Eric Stokes were handling their jobs against Tampa’s backups.
He was ready for his close-up. Despite Brady’s constant attention, Nixon was up to the challenge. He made one of the plays of the day, causing a fumble by punching the ball out of Russell Gage‘s grasp on the first drive of the second half.
We came into the season knowing Green Bay had as good a trio of corners as anyone in the league. But what if one of them gets hurt? Did they have a guy they could trust to step in and keep the defense rolling? We found out on Sunday that Nixon is that guy, and to be honest, Douglas looked much more comfortable playing on the outside — something to keep an eye on.
So this backup special teams guy was on the field for 73 snaps on a hot, humid September afternoon, made key special teams plays, and went toe to toe with the greatest QB of all time. And all he talked about afterward was that when his number is called, he’s always gonna be ready. That he came here to win a ring.
Gutey has found another treasure. And Keisean Nixon is quickly proving that special teams play and cornerback depth are worries of the past. K-Dog is in the house.