Originally written on Packer Update  |  Last updated 11/8/14

Starting nickel safety M.D. Jennings struggled in the opener against the 49ers

Anyone surprised that the Packers couldn’t stop quarterback Alex Smith and the 49ers’ offense either doesn’t read this blog or didn’t pay enough attention during the month of August. No team has more holes in its nickel and dime packages than Green Bay, and every one of them was exposed on Sunday afternoon.

Starting right cornerback (I still can’t believe I’m writing that) Jarrett Bush deserves no blame for what happened. He actually performed as well as could be expected – and that’s the problem. The career special teamer has no business playing – let alone starting – on defense. I thought it was a joke when Bush opened training camp atop the depth chart. Six weeks later, the only peope laughing are opposing quarterbacks.

I’m no expert, but it took me all of three practices to see that M.D. Jennings wasn’t ready to start in the sub-packages. And yet, there he was, lining up opposite Morgan Burnett in the nickel and dime. To the surprise of nobody (except the coaches), he was a liability. Jennings lacks experience, and he doesn’t have the physical skills to compensate. Jerron McMillian eventually replaced him, and the rookie from Maine figures to keep the job. Whether that translates to improved play at the position remains to be seen.

I’m not sure anything can be done to fix things at this late date, but coordinator Dom Capers needs to try something. I would start Sam Shields at right corner and insert McMillian and fellow rookie Casey Hayward in the dime. Will that help? I’m not sure, but it can’t hurt. Of course, what the defense really needs is a fierce pass rush. That means young players like defensive end Jerel Worthy and outside linebacker Nick Perry have to win more one on one battles than they did four days ago against San Francisco.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.