September 17, 2021

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Safety surge propelling Packers’ defense down the…

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Safety surge propelling Packers’ defense down the...

Amos has played nearly half of his snaps (99 of 188) in the box over the past three games, according to Pro Football Focus, and the flexibility seems to have brought out the best in the 6-foot, 214-pound safety. Amos has 19 tackles (14 solo), five passes defensed and a sack during that stretch.

Amos got his feet wet playing that position last year, bridging the gap between Greene going on IR in Week 2 with an ankle injury and Ibraheim Campbell being activated midseason from the physically unable to perform list. That experience, and a full season spent in Pettine’s system, have made it an even more seamless switch the second time around.

“He’s got the range and movement skills to be able to play deep and come out of the middle of the field, or come off the hashmark as a deep-half player,” said Pettine of Amos. “But then he’s also physical enough and he’s instinctive enough that if we do get him down in the box that he can handle some of the run game stuff. So it’s nice having his versatility.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to alter Amos’ job description without having confidence in another safety commanding the back end. That’s where Savage’s Year 2 maturation comes in.

A month after the Packers signed Amos, General Manager Brian Gutekunst traded up to select Savage with the 21st pick in the 2019 NFL Draft – making the Maryland junior the first defensive back to come off the board.

A member of the PFWA All-Rookie team a year ago, Savage is currently tied with Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander for the team lead in passes defensed (12), while pacing the Packers with four interceptions.

Eleven of those 12 passes defensed have come since the 23-year-old safety returned from a quadriceps injury against Minnesota on Nov. 1, including Savage’s two-interception performance against Chicago in Week 12.

He again flashed his ball skills during Sunday’s 40-14 win over Tennessee, sniping a pass from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill and returning it to the Tennessee 34-yard line less than two minutes into the second quarter.

The Packers drove down and scored a touchdown off the takeaway, with Aaron Rodgers’ 7-yard TD pass to Davante Adams pushing Green Bay’s lead to 19-0.