A Violent Femme’s View – Keeping An Eye On A Hawk
A somewhat severe case of writer’s block has delayed the View this week. I joked I was intimidated by it being Daybreak Doppler’s anniversary this week, but more likely it is really caused by the fact I keep checking to see what the weather will be in Las Vegas this weekend as my husband and I journey to (hopefully) watch Jeff Gordon get his second win in a row.
In case you were wondering, it’s going to be 69-71 degrees and sunny. It is going to be 49 here today. I know. Neener neener neener. And yes, I’ll have a drink for you.
When the Packers announced they had cut AJ Hawk, I was saddened. I knew of his salary issues, of course, and that they had to be resolved or he had to go find a new job. As we all know now, this was another smart move by Ted to give the Packers and Hawk more time to negotiate a new deal while saving the Packers some much needed space in the salary cap (provided there is one after the new CBA). The immediate reaction on blogs and Twitter was that exactly this motivation was suspected, which comforted me.
The funny thing is, though, at the beginning of the season, knowing full well this issue would have to be confronted, I would have been absolutely fine if the Packers had chosen to part ways with Hawk. Though he seems like a nice man and was well-liked on a personal level, his play in my opinion had been…meh. Not that great, not that bad. Certainly not what you’d expect of a #5 pick. In fact, so lacking in flash had Hawk been, the last time I was at Lambeau when I saw all the 50 jerseys in the Packer Pro Shop I said to my husband “who in the hell would buy one of those?” (In fact, I paid so little attention to him for the most part that I didn’t know until today his given name is Aaron.)
This year was a growth year not only for Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson (and a host of previous unknowns) but also particularly in my opinion for AJ Hawk. For really the first time since he came to Green Bay, I found myself noticing him making plays. He wasn’t waiting for someone to get over the line of scrimmage; he was making the tackle. He began “calling” the defensive line’s plays. He had a couple of really cool and unexpected interceptions. I literally could see him progress each week before my eyes.
Some of this could have been caused by all the injuries forcing Hawk to step up. Some of this could have been caused by Dom Capers’ excellent coaching and finally finding his feet in a defensive system that better matched his abilities. Maybe it was really beginning to click with the group of guys who ended up being able to stay on the field. Or, AJ could have been as tired as we were of his average play and pushed himself harder than he ever had before.
Whatever the cause, when AJ puts pen to paper, I will breathe a huge sigh of relief. I’m not ready for our Hawk to leave the nest just yet.