23

January

Morgan Burnett 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Morgan Burnett

Morgan Burnett

1) Introduction:  Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett was signed to a four-year, $24.75 million contract extension last July.  He was seen as the anchor to the Packers secondary and many fans were hopeful that he would turn the proverbial corner much like his predecessor Nick Collins did in his fourth season.  After missing the first three games due to a hamstring injury, Burnett returned but was not nearly as effective as the team needed him to be.  The safety position remains the Packers’ biggest need area heading into 2014 and the underachievement of Burnett is part of the reason why.  For the first time in nearly 60 years, no Green Bay safeties logged an interception during an entire season.

2) Profile:

Morgan Mark Burnett

  • Age: 25
  • Born: 1/13/1989 in College Park, GA
  • Height: 6’01″
  • Weight: 209
  • College: Georgia Tech
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Burnett was expected to become more of a play maker and help the Packers continue to be among the league leaders in turnover margin.  While it’s asking a lot of any young safety to turn into another Nick Collins, the Packers were hoping that the contract extension and two solid seasons as a starter would help Burnett elevate his game.  With either of Jerron McMillian or M.D. Jennings returning, Burnett would be counted on help guide their development and help “quarterback” the secondary.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Burnett suffered a disappointing hamstring injury and missed the team’s first four games.  Upon his return, he strung together a few statistically good games before slumping during the middle part of the year.  Burnett’s biggest play of the season came on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions when he scooped up a fumble and ran it into the end zone for a defensive score.  But his 2013 season was marred with more missed tackles and opportunities.  In the wild card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, Burnett just missed a possible interception on a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis that surely would have put the Packers in good position to win and advance to the divisional round.  Outside of that, there were too many occasions where Burnett was out of place or took a bad angle and missed a tackle.  Burnett still tries to arm tackle too often and is easily shaken or juked.  Heading into 2014, Burnett needs to shore up his tackling if he wants to take the next step and show any kind of improvement.

10

February

Morgan Burnett: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Morgan Burnett

Morgan Burnett

1) Introduction:  Packers S Morgan Burnett was the lone holdover from 2011 as a starter and pure safety.  Charles Woodson was a starter on the 2011 team, but was listed as a cornerback in addition to playing a hybrid safety role.  The Packers decided to release the other starting safety, Charlie Peprah, early in training camp.  Remember, Burnett missed most of his rookie season in 2010 so this was essentially his second year as a regular player in the defense.  This was the first season that Burnett did not miss a game due to injury.

2) Profile:

Morgan Mark Burnett

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 1/13/1989 in College Park, GA
  • Height: 6’01″
  • Weight: 209
  • College: Georgia Tech
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 3 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Burnett was the Packers’ “rock” at safety.  He was on the field for more of the defensive sub packages than any other safety.  He was largely responsible for making sure that youngsters M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian knew their responsibilities and, when Charles Woodson went down with a collarbone injury, he became the most experienced safety on the roster.  Burnett showed flashes of being able to get after the football in 2011 and the team was hopeful that he could continue to grow in his coverage abilities and help force some turnovers in 2012.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Burnett’s best game came in week eight against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  In that game and according to Pro Football Focus, Burnett posted a sack, a quarterback hurry and had seven tackles including six stops.  Morgan also single-handedly helped win the week 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings with two key interceptions to thwart Vikings drives.  Another noteworthy accomplishment was that Burnett was penalized just two times all sesaon.  Burnett’s low points came at the book ends of the season.  In week one against the San Francisco 49ers, Burnett will most be remembered for a very poor attempt at stopping 9ers running back Frank Gore as he romped into the end zone for the go-ahead score.  In week 17, Burnett posted his worst game of the season as he struggled in run support against the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.  Another moment that comes to mind was Burnett allowing a Matthew Stafford pass to go right through his hands and into the arms of Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson for a touchdown at Detroit.  Green Bay was able to come away with a victory, but only after some late-game  magic by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Randall Cobb.