Carroll needs time on bench to think

Cornerback is hurting Packers defense more than helping it

Packers coach Mike Sherman said he had "a heart-to-heart" meeting with cornerback Ahmad "He Flag Me" Carroll on Monday morning.

Like he was many times last season, Carroll drew three penalties in an effort to cover Detroit Lios' receivers Sunday in Green Bay's 17-3 loss. Carroll, whose penchant for excessively grabbing receivers tainted his rookie season last year, was penalized four times Sunday for either illegal hands to the face or holding. Three of the infractions were enforced.

After watching game tape, Sherman called two of the penalties against Carroll "ticky-tacky." However, the coach acknowledged that Carroll's aggressive reputation is costing him in bump-and-run coverage.

"I don't want to say they're targeting him," Sherman said of the officials. "But, obviously, they're aware of him, and I'm sure any head coach that we play makes the crew aware of him, as well. "As I said to him, he has a history and that history lives with him. There is no excuse."

Sherman wouldn't say whether Carroll has lost his starting job for the next game, with Joey Thomas a candidate to slide in. A decision is expected to be rendered Wednesday.

Haven't we gone down this road before? How many chances is Sherman going to give his number-one draft pick from 2004? It seems like that is the only reason that Carroll is still in the starting lineup.

The Packers have tried everything from making Carroll wear boxing gloves in practice to screaming down his throat. Still, Carroll continues to grab receivers like an offensive lineman clings to his opponent across the line of scrimmage.

It's time to sit Carroll and start Joey Thomas. In fact, Thomas should have started in the season opener.

Even if the fouls were "ticky-tacky," the fact that Carroll continued to push the envelope only hurt the Packers in their loss to the Lions. Sitting Carroll will give him a little time to think about his mistakes. Carroll has a lot of upside because of his strength and speed, and the Packers can still use him in passing defenses. But until he gains enough confidence in his ability to cover receivers without grabbing their facemask, or jersey, he'll only continue to hurt the defense.


Todd Korth

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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