Training camp preview: Defensive ends
Cullen Jenkins (77) smothers Detroit's Jon Kitna.
Cullen Jenkins (77) smothers Detroit's Jon Kitna.
Posted Jul 22, 2008

Quick peek at the position as the Packers head into training camp

Green Bay's defensive ends need to play well this season because when their pass rush disappeared down the stretch last year, the secondary’s man-to-man coverage scheme couldn’t hold up.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Packers’ defensive ends entering training camp. For a more in-depth story, check out the story available only to subscribers.

For starters: Aaron Kampman is one of the NFL’s elite defensive ends. He’s one of only two players with double-digit sacks the last two seasons. Plus, he plays the run with equal aplomb. The Packers need more than they got from Cullen Jenkins during an injury-plagued 2007 season.

In a rush: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila will turn 31 early this season. He was having a strong 2007 season until injuring his ankle. He also had minor knee surgery in late May. Assuming he comes back strong, his roster spot should be safe, even with a $7.7 million salary-cap figure.

Welcome: The Packers have high hopes for rookie Jeremy Thompson, a fourth-round pick and the brother of offensive tackle Orrin Thompson. He might be able to add some juice to the pass rush immediately.

Jeopardy: Mike Montgomery and Jason Hunter contributed next to nothing to the defense last season. Assuming KGB isn’t a salary-cap casualty, one of these players will be out of a job in September. With Hunter being a standout on special teams, the pressure is on Montgomery.

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