Since the day the Packers revealed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Kampman would be moving to outside linebacker, coach Mike McCarthy has been hammering home a few points.
First, the 3-4 is only the base defense.
Second, the base defense is on the field only about 35 percent of the time.
Third, when the Packers aren't in their base defense, they'll generally be back in a four-man front, which would put Kampman back where he's comfortable at left defensive end.
All of which made Wednesday's practice interesting. The session was dedicated to the nickel and dime defensive packages, which meant a lot of four-man lines. And sure enough, there was Kampman lining up at his customary spot at left defensive end.
Except he wasn't in his usual three-point stance.
A few weeks ago, outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene said his players would be given a choice of being in a two-point stance (standup position) or three-point stance (one hand down). Most, he said, prefer to be in a two-point.
"There's a lot more information you can process on the football field as a standup pass rusher as opposed to a pass rusher down in a three-point stance," said Greene, the NFL's all-time leader among linebackers with 160 sacks. "I would know that. I played 15 years. I can see the difference between playing in the three and the two. He's going to have a lot more information to process to help him get off the ball and beat blocks."
That Kampman was in a two-point on Wednesday doesn't necessarily mean that's his stance of choice. Like almost everything at this point, Kampman has a lot to learn. Taking as many reps as possible in a two-point stance could simply be his attempt at educating himself.
There's a lot to learn.
"A defensive end, when his hand is in a three-point stance, he has a very narrow range of vision," Greene said. "One of the things you have to develop as a linebacker is a vision of the entire field. You have to know personnel groupings and what that means to an offensive attack. You need to see people break the huddle and see how eligible receivers displace and line up at the line of scrimmage and know what that means. You have to know as a linebacker what personnel can change strength, what personnel doesn't change strength. All this decides what you're going to do in the defense."
Kampman's transformation has been the clear No. 1 subplot in the defense's transformation. With a combined 33 sacks over the last three seasons, Kampman clearly has the ability, and he's more athletic than some of his questioners believe. And Greene has no doubt about Kampman's ability to learn what he needs to learn, both physically and mentally.
"The vision aspect is something, I think, coming from a three-point stance and a narrow focus on one guy and now being in a two-point and having vision (is something he'll need to learn)," Greene said. "But everything that Aaron has shown me is he is developing that quickly. He's very smart. Aaron's very smart, so he's going to know how he fits into the scheme. He's going to know where his help is in the scheme. There's help all over the field."
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.