Last week running backs coach Ben Sirmans handed out some public constructive feedback of AJ Dillon. “This wasn’t the type of year and expectations that, not only he had for himself but from what I had for him and what others in this building had for him.” Sirmans said, via NFL.com. “I think that he’s the type of person, at least from what he’s shown me, that he’s going to respond to that challenge and come out and have a much more productive year. And you saw a lot of great things in spurts, but that was just the problem, it was just in spurts. It wasn’t consistent, and that’s what our goal is.”
Although the remarks seemed inclusive, at the end of the day they still publicly called out a young player heading into a contract year. Surely those words could’ve easily stayed private and that message could’ve stayed within the building. Packers legend Gilbert Brown wasn’t having it. Not only did he disagree with the assessment, but he found the whole concept of the criticism inappropriate.
On Monday’s Earl Ingram Show, Brown said:
“First of all man, any team in the NFL would love to have the problem that we have in Green Bay. We got a one-two punch! We’re going to hit you with that salt, but here comes this pepper! I can’t believe, I mean, I know I know it’s his contract and stuff, but coach’s job is to push you.
Aaron Jones is the lead dog, and Dillon gets behind him. Now, Dillon may get in front and block for him, but Aaron Jones is the lead dog. He’s supposed to get the touches. He’s supposed to get the yards. If their was no AJ Dillon, it would be just Aaron Jones all the time with a backup to give him a break.
But we got a luxury of two! Now I understand wanting to keep pushing him to keep doing what he’s been doing, but why you got to degrade this man because he is one hell of a running back! And now what you’re all trying to do is say, ‘Well now, you’re not worth this type of money,’ or you going to put it out there in the streets so no other team looks at him and you’re just going to keep him. Don’t do that!
They always want to put it on the backs. It starts up front! If you want to yell at somebody, get these guys to get the yards you want, it starts with the guys up front.”
Ingram then read that “in 2021, Dillon was effective but not explosive.” Brown sighed dramatically as the host read it.
“He’s got to get by the first wave [of the defense] first! See, they want to point the finger at this guy! It don’t matter! That offensive line that you putting together has to move people out of the way or AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones are going to do nothing. So stop putting it just on him!”
Although the O-line looks primed to have a good season, it’s a fair point. Even Packers Twitter knew Yosh Nijman should be playing right tackle a half year before Matt LaFleur would make the right call. It’s not good to be consistently outthought by idiots typing into their phones.
LaFleur constantly talks about putting his best five linemen on the field, yet consistently put Royce Newman on the field over Yosh and Zach Tom. It took him all that time to understand that Tom at left tackle and Nijman at right is the answer while Bakhtiari was out.
Although fans would love to see more from Dillon this year, Brown is right. Not only did the criticism seem a little unnecessary but the Packers line needs to show up first and foremost. There should be very little doubt that Dillon will have a strong year.
The other big piece of Green Bay media from Monday was Mike Florio and Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk discussing who was in a better situation, Justin Fields or Jordan love. Packer fans will love the answer. Click to watch the segment.