Matt Giordano Scouting Report

What are the Packers getting in their new safety? We turn to someone who covered him for four-plus seasons.

Matt Giordano comes to Green Bay with the reputation of being a hitter. No surprise, really, considering his great-grandfather, Ralph, was the world welterweight boxing champion in 1933 and is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Giordano was a two-time all-conference player at Fresno City College before enrolling at California, where he ranked fourth on the team in tackles in 2003 and third in 2004. He was an honorable mention on the All-American team a first-team all-Pac 10 Conference selection as a senior, when he tallied 61 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, six passes defensed and an interception.

Coming out of Cal, his strengths were his speed (4.52-second 40-yard dash), ability to locate the ball, work ethic, intelligence, tackling ability and feel for playing zone defense. Scouts, however, worried about his ability to run full speed, plant and make the play.

He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 draft by the Colts, with whom he developed into a key reserve and core special-teams player. His best season was in 2007, when he started four games and intercepted two passes. In 2006, he recorded eight tackles on special teams as the Colts won four playoff games, including the Super Bowl against Chicago.

Giordano was released by the Colts before this season after Indianapolis signed veteran safety Aaron Francisco. In four seasons, encompassing 55 games and six starts, Giordano tallied 78 tackles on defense and 34 on special teams, with three interceptions and four passes defensed.

Packer Report publisher Bill Huber turned to his colleague in Indianapolis, Eric Hartz, to provide this scouting report.

"Giordano is a solid backup and was well-liked by teammates and fans alike in Indianapolis. His release at the end of training camp was a bit of a surprise, as he was fairly firmly entrenched as the backup free safety. The Colts are plenty deep at safety without him, however, and like the special team-potential of Jamie Silva and Aaron Francisco.

"That's not to say Giordano isn't a solid special teams player; he was a stalwart on most of the kicking units during his time in Indianapolis. He has great speed and was regarded as one of the fastest players on the team, if not the league. Fans may remember Giordano nearly running down Devin Hester during his kickoff return TD to begin Super Bowl XLI. He's capable of playing both safety positions and did play both for the Colts, but his natural position is probably free safety where he can roam in center field.

"He's not a terribly physical player, but does seem to find his way to the ball-carrier in the run game and is a sure tackler, something the Colts don't have a whole lot of. He may not be the ballhawk that many of the Packers' defensive backs are, but he certainly is a solid backup and special teamer, a guy that could (and did for the Colts) start in a pinch, and is a good locker room guy."

Interviewed a couple months after that Super Bowl by Scout.com's Ed Thompson, Giordano said of his hitting ability: "I think if I have the chance for the big hit, I'm going to take it. What I realized from college to professional is that you're not always going to get the big hit. These guys are professionals, too. They get paid and they're good at their job. They're not going to just stand there and let you blow them up, so what I've learned in the last two years is that I need to be patient. When I have my shot I need to take it, and in other cases I just need to bring the guy down so we can play another down."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.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.


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