Where Does Reggie Gilbert Fit?

Where does outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert fit on the 2019 Packers? He's playing at one of the deepest positions on the roster behind two free agents and a first-round draft pick. 

Reggie Gilbert latched onto the 53-man roster out of training camp in 2018 after starting his first two seasons on the team’s practice squad. (He was activated for the last game of the 2017 and made an impression posting one sack in his lone appearance.) 

Entering the season as the team’s fourth outside linebacker, Gilbert broke up two passes, forced one fumble, and posted 2.5 sacks. He also had 38 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits in 16 games. 

At 6-3, 261lbs, Gilbert fits the profile of an outside rusher in coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense. 

In 2018, the Packers only kept four outside linebackers on the roster. Even though the team said goodbye to Clay Matthews and Nick Perry this past offseason, they also added Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith through free agency and spent their first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on edge rusher Rashan Gary. 

The only additional linebacker rolling over from last season is Kyler Fackrell, who exploded onto the scene in 2018 with a 10.5 sack season. The 4th roster spot is his to lose, which poses the question, where does Gilbert fit into all of this? Does he have a spot on the 53?

One question for Gilbert to address this preseason will be whether or not he’s able to play inside. In a Pettine defense, players are expected to play in multiple positions along the defensive line, whether they’re rushing the passer from the outside, sliding inside, or dropping back into coverage. 

Additionally, can Gilbert carve out a role on special teams? He’ll be competing for playing time with players like James Crawford and Ty Summers, two inside linebackers looking to make the roster as the third and possibly fourth ILB (depending on how many players the Packers decide to keep there, too).

Gilbert impressed during the 2018 preseason posting 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. That poses an additional question, too. Does Gilbert perform best during the preseason, or is he simply not getting enough opportunities to impress in the regular season when he’s buried on the depth chart? And, if that’s the case, he’d likely be even more buried in 2019 as the fifth edge rusher on the roster. 

Gilbert could find himself on the practice squad once again to kick off his 2019 campaign, but he’d be a reliable option should an injury occur and the Packers need to activate an additional rusher. 

He had a productive career on Arizona’s defensive line, totalling 90 solo tackles and 144 total tackles with 28 for a loss and 14 sacks. He also had two passes defensed and four forced fumbles. 

The work ethic and talent is there when it comes to Gilbert, and he’s made an impact on his fellow players. Offensive lineman Justin McCray said, “I know he’s always going to put himself in the best position to do well, just because of how hard he works.”

Gilbert’s shot on the 53 will have to come down to his training camp and preseason performances. Even still, he’s fighting an uphill battle given his place on the depth chart. As of right now, he may be the unfortunate odd man out of the team’s most loaded OLB group in years. 

----------------------------

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

NFL Categories: 
2 points

Comments (57)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:14 pm

I don’t know that Gilbert does fit the profile. An alternative view might be that he is larger than a speed rusher and smaller than the Smith/Gary body type.

Then again, I don’t know what Pettine intends to do with his rushing. From practice, it looks like the ILB slot will be active there too. Is Gilbert competing as much against the ILB group as the OLBs?

What other roles can Gilbert fill? Can he make an impact outside of rushing from the edge? They have had him at different spots during practice at times.

I think only preseason games will shed some light on these questions (although the vanilla approach typically won’t necessarily give a clear answer).

3 points
6
3
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Dead silence on Gilbert so far. If you consider Gary the #4 OLB, Gilbert is #5 (Z and P Smith, Fackrell, Gary, then the rest). Lotta camp left. If Preston Smith misses some time with his back tightness, Gilbert should get some reps.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:18 pm

IF Gilbert improves, Gary stands out in the preseason against teams ones, and everybody is healthy what about trading Kyle Frackrell for a CB?

For one I think it's hard for Gilbert to see much playing time behind the Smiths, Gary, and Frackrell. Another thing for sure is King has proven once again he can't be depended on, even if the hamstring injury is minor. It's happened yet again and he's missing time. It's doubtful we can keep Frackrell, Martinez, AND get Clark signed to an extension. Let's trade Frank the Sack man to someone who has an abundance of CB's .

Too bad we couldn't keep Breeland.

Just a thought..

-3 points
4
7
stockholder's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Breeland was to costly. I'm No on a trade. Brown got my support. I like him at CB. Jackson still should come around too. Gibert is a Moss product. Really not expecting a jump. Or anything. Frackrell will get you a comp pick. I'm keeping him now. King can play. Compare him to shields. He will come around. Burks is Thomas. Just not a smart guy. Not the thumper they need either. I draw a lot of dislikes because I think Summers is the man who will show up Burks. Vitale is going to be what A-Rod needed. I speak my mind. If a trade was going to happen. Try Gordon 5yrs @75 mil. for Williams,Moore, Kizer, and a 2nd rounder..

0 points
4
4
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:04 pm

Breeland signed a one-year $2M contract with KC. The issue wasn't cost.

7 points
8
1
stockholder's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:27 pm

Bashaud Breeland is signing a one-year, incentive-laden deal with a max value of $5 million with Kansas City, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. WOULD HE HAVE STARTED> NOooooooo. Williams was a better choice for the money. Gute was correct!!!

2 points
2
0
Cubbygold's picture

August 06, 2019 at 02:00 pm

$2M base, $3M incentives

Breeland is a better CB than TW and more reliable than King

4 points
6
2
Rak47's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:06 pm

I disagree on this one Stockholder. Breeland is 9 years younger than Williams and a better player at this point. Packers could have easily afforded him and he would've essentially did just what Tramon is doing now. Play the slot and back up at Safety. Two things the Packers knew he could do when they brought him in. Personally I think that Gute and Pettine wanted Williams influence and work ethic to rub off on Jaire and Jackson. Idk, if Breeland was a very good locker room guy in terms of leadership but he and jaire seemed to be pretty close. Maybe they didn't want Breeland to have more sway or influence over Alexander?

4 points
4
0
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:40 pm

Breeland may have seen the writing on the wall and knew the only way he was going to meet incentives in GB was if there were significant injuries. He's also going to a KC team that just ran roughshod through the NFL In 2018 and could give him a starting spot.

If it was a question of Breeland or TWill, you have to account for the dead money on TWill and ask yourself if Breeland was worth the cost of his deal plus $2.6M?

3 points
3
0
Rak47's picture

August 06, 2019 at 05:51 pm

Honestly Dobber, I'm excited about Tony Brown. He may have went undrafted but you don't start at Bama if you can't play. I think he was over shadowed by other great players and also is a late bloomer. Lucky thing for GB, methinks. He got beat by Will Fuller, brushed it off and locked down Hopkins again, breaking up a pass in the end zone and continuing to carry over his play from yesterday. He has everything you look for in a CB. Size 6'0 205, speed 4.3 40yd, and the mental toughness and work ethic to stand out. I predict here and now he will be the Packers number 2 CB of the future along with Jaire. King has the talent but not the body to hold up in the league. Brown on the other hand I googled just to see his height/weight and saw his photos. Good grief talk about sculpted by Atlas! This guy is definitely not frail like King. He looks like a damn Superhero with 4.3 speed,lol. You heard it hear first folks, remember it. Tony Brown will earn a second contract with the Packers and be their long term solution at CB.

1 points
3
2
Fastenerpuller's picture

August 07, 2019 at 12:31 am

Great hair too

1 points
1
0
powell.david1's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:06 pm

troll attempt

"Try Gordon 5yrs @75 mil. for Williams,Moore, Kizer, and a 2nd rounder.."

-4 points
2
6
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:11 pm

Welcome to FFL.

1 points
1
0
marpag1's picture

August 06, 2019 at 08:40 pm

You're honestly suggesting that the Packers should make Melvin Gordon the highest paid running back in the NFL? And that we give up a D2 and three players for that honor?

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

August 07, 2019 at 09:35 am

The common FFL trick: I'll trade you these 4 players off the bottom of my roster for your one decent player. Never mind that my 4 JAGs will force you to cut players that aren't any worse than they are, and that none of them will make it into your weekly lineup, AND that now you'll be down a decent starter.

As for Gordon: a former Badger, loved what he did in Cardinal & White. He would immediately change the nature of the offensive backfield for the Packers, but the guy is always on the limited or dnp list for practices and misses 2-4 games and parts of others pretty much every year. I wouldn't pay him what he's asking for, and I wouldn't give what it would take to get him.

1 points
1
0
NickPerry's picture

August 06, 2019 at 03:48 pm

I love Brown as I've mentioned numerous times even before TC so I'm with you there. I also believe Jackson will come around though I sure hope he FINALLY is available to participate in TC.

Shields played in 29 games his first 2 seasons so I'm not sure what you mean when you suggest King is Shields. Matter of fact Shields was HUGE in our 2010 SB season. King has been a HUGE disappointment IMO. The guy just may be uber-talented but if he's never available it's not doing the Packers any good dressed in street clothes.

Wasn't Burks actually known for his "Smarts"? I'll admit I don't know much about him yet but I'm thinking he's gotta be more than Joe Thomas. I like Summers and frankly, don't care who plays next to Martinez as long as he can cover and play.

Hey IF the Packers could get the Chargers to take that, by all means, do it. I highly doubt they'd let him go that AND can the Packers REALLY afford a $75 million RB and keep the core guys becoming FA in 2020 & 2021?

3 points
3
0
Rak47's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:37 pm

I don't see any way the Packers could pay Gordon what he's asking and still be able to sign Clark, Martinez, Fackrell, and lets not forget Aaron Jones who's contract will be up after next season and could also command big money if he plays as expected in LaFluer's offense. Imho, the Packers don't need Gordon although they could use him. To me the Packers biggest need is a back up veteren QB who can hold the offense together for a few games should AR miss any time at all. That won't be easy to find as even many of the top back up QB's are making 10 million a year plus.

3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

August 06, 2019 at 05:26 pm

Spriggs cut just saved about a 1.5mil. But, if the packers want Gordon they could get him. The Great Reynaldo could really crunch the numbers. The RBs signed for camp bodies blows me away. And Gordon should stay healthy. The money set aside will go to Clark. I don't see T. Williams here next year. 5mil saved there, or to Martinez. Burks has done well in passing packages. It's the position he's in on running plays. Shields was hurt a lot with shoulder, and tackling issues. If King can get over his. I see him as a equal to shields for less money. The stats show the defense was better when he played.

2 points
2
0
Rak47's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:22 pm

I think Brown will end up being better than King, and I would without question resign Martinez. He is the glue in the middle of that defense and tough as nails. A true pro's pro! He doesn't miss games, doesn't make many if any mistakes, keeps improving and is also a communicative leader. Next to Clark he should be priority number 2.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2019 at 06:28 pm

Burks is starting to impress me this year. He is looking like an ILB who can actually cover. Hope he keeps that up during game time, but this far its been very encouraging.

0 points
1
1
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:11 pm

Gilbert got plenty of playing time in 2018: with the injury to Perry he played almost half the defensive snaps and almost half the ST snaps, too. We know exactly what he is. He's a try hard guy, but a JAG. His ability to set the edge was regarded as a strength, but he got abused at times in 2018. It could be that with a better cast around him, he's going to show better in terms of pass rush.

Still, he's a depth piece who plays STs, is inexpensive, and knows the system. It could keep him on the roster--especially if they view Z. Smith and Gary and DEs as much as OLBs and keep an extra OLB--but we could just as easily see him pushed off the roster in favor of a young, athletic prospect.

2 points
2
0
Cubbygold's picture

August 06, 2019 at 02:14 pm

"Sell high, buy low" ...great idea, but never popular in the moment.

I agree, if GB is deep at the position and can't resign him next year, trading him now to strengthen another position would be wise. It would be great to keep him this year, but not if it means CB #2 getting burned all year.

My sense is that GB is not overly concerned with winning a superbowl in 2019, and trading Fackrell for a younger prospect might be the more attractive route for Gute. Maybe someone that can compete for Bulaga's position next year.

-1 points
1
2
Mannix's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Watched the Family Night "practice" and I think we could have hit on a real gem in Ty Summers. Really really like him so far. Very high energy like Martinez. If it's a numbers game between two guys like a Ty Summers and a Reggie Gilbert mainly for special teams this season, I'm going with Ty.

7 points
8
1
Leo Van Groll's picture

August 06, 2019 at 03:23 pm

I think you might be right. Summers & Gilbert are competing for 1 spot, with the more versatile player winning.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

August 07, 2019 at 09:46 am

I don't think that's quite right. I think Summers is the primary backup to #51, and not likely to be playing next to him much...at least not this season. If anything, I suspect that Gilbert could be a run-down/short-yardage ILB playing next to #51 and may get a small number of reps in place of Martinez in passing situations where he's going to rush from the middle. Maybe that role, and Z. Smith/Gary getting a lot of reps as DE/DTs and not as OLBs could keep him on the roster.

-1 points
0
1
Lphill's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Ty Summers is a hidden gem, he will be playing more and more.

6 points
6
0
Mannix's picture

August 06, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Agree Lphill. He won't be hidden for long though. From the little I saw of him so far and it stood out in a great way, I see a lot of John Offerdahl in him.

3 points
3
0
Jonathan Spader's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:04 pm

Reggie Gilbert will go the way of Jayrone Elliot. Preseason warrior, nothing more. Hoping Gute can get a 7th rounder for him! Go Pack Go!

4 points
7
3
Leatherhead's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:14 pm

Nobody in front of him is hurt yet. That will change. We have four exhibitions before the 16 game real season starts.

If everybody stays healthy, he’d be among the final roster cuts..

1 points
2
1
Lare's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:24 pm

With the Smith's, Gary and FackrellI I don't see Gilbert beating out Summers for a roster spot.

If they can hide Gilbert on the practice squad great, if not it's time to improve the position one way or another.

2 points
3
1
Leatherhead's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:40 pm

I don’t believe Gilbert is PS eligible. We usually keep 5 OLBs on the 53. I think Gary will be considered as one of our 6 DL on the 53.

1 points
2
1
Mannix's picture

August 06, 2019 at 01:47 pm

That's how I am seeing this play out as well Lare. Last year at this time Gilbert was actually playing better than Perry and Matthews and looked like a guy ready to break out. Fackrell most thought (myself included) would get cut. What a difference a year makes. Gilbert is now looked at as just a guy and is an afterthought because of the huge upgrades at the position. If Gilbert is gone that's not a reason to be upset. It means Gutey did his job going from total weakness to a position of great strength and depth at OLB. If Summers turns out like I think he will, we could have a 76 Steel Curtain of linebackers in Green Bay for years to come.

1 points
1
0
Point-Packer's picture

August 06, 2019 at 02:13 pm

I think this team needs to move on from the Reggie Gilbert's of the world.

2 points
3
1
Leatherhead's picture

August 06, 2019 at 03:41 pm

He missed 0 games and had as many sacks and tackles as Matthews did in many fewer snaps. He also had 250 snaps on special teams. I'm not sure we should be in a hurry to cut him.

4 points
4
0
Point-Packer's picture

August 06, 2019 at 03:49 pm

Clay Mathews circa 2018 is a pretty low bar.

2 points
2
0
Mannix's picture

August 06, 2019 at 03:56 pm

lol.. you do have a point Packer.

1 points
1
0
Cubbygold's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:28 pm

not for a guy making $570,000/year

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:29 pm

I was disappointed with Gilbert in the regular season, but he is by no means a scrub. I just wonder if he isn’t a tweener in this D.

-1 points
0
1
Fire_Gute's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:40 pm

We're always going to have some Reggie Gilberts on the team, and that's fine as long as they are seen that way. He's fine as a number 4 or 5 linebacker, it's not fine if he is expected to be the answer to the pass rush or do any more than fill in as a rotational player for a few plays.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 07:12 pm

I want my #4 or 5 OLB to have more upside or provide something that isn't already on the roster. I think we've seen what Gilbert is. Reggie Gilberts are a dime-a-dozen.

-1 points
1
2
Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2019 at 07:41 pm

I wish Donnerson were fit. Really wanted to see if he has developed. That guy has the physical prowess. Also, the UDFA with the biggest signing bonus, Roberts, remains on the PUP. Don’t hear anything about the chances of either hitting the field anytime soon.

-1 points
1
2
Leatherhead's picture

August 06, 2019 at 07:48 pm

In one year we've seen what he is? How did his first year compare to Fackrell's?

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:33 pm

Roberts I’ve seen nothing of, obviously. Donnerson is an athletic freak who is as raw as they come. He isn’t going to compare to Fackrell in terms of year one readiness. Athletically, Fackrell is not in the same league. It would be nice to see if Donnerson developed in the last year though.

Roberts got a much bigger signing bonus than any other UDFA. That says something about the team’s assessment of him. Would like to see what that was.

-1 points
0
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 06, 2019 at 10:38 pm

The Gilbert types of the NFL are always on the bubble. At the moment, I don't see any other OLB pushing him. Core ST player, 2.5 sacks, 37 tackles in 485 defensive snaps for just $570K.

Hope someone outplays Gilbert. Always possible GB wants to keep 7 DL or 4 ILBs, or just need his roster spot in general.

0 points
0
0
fthisJack's picture

August 07, 2019 at 07:46 am

if Reggie has a real good preseason or injuries at OLB, he may stick. if not, i can't see him taking a roster spot from some up and coming young player. there are quite a few youngsters that are playing well and hungry for a roster spot not necessarily at his position. Crawford, Bolton, Summers, Holloman, Shepherd, and one of my dark horse favorites....Kabion Ento.

-1 points
0
1
Gianich's picture

August 06, 2019 at 02:43 pm

The simple answer is: HOF!

0 points
0
0
Doug Niemczynski's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:15 pm

Don't see Gilbert making the roster.

0 points
1
1
PAPackerbacker's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:16 pm

A lot will depend on Reggie Gilbert where he fits in the Packer organization. He has has done well for the Packers. Can he compete against the other talented players this season and make the 53 man roster? That has yet to be determined. It will depend on Reggie Gilbert if he makes the team. Injuries will surely happen during the season and a quality back up needs to be ready to step up and play if necessary. If he doesn't make the 53 is he eligible for the PS?

1 points
1
0
Bure9620's picture

August 06, 2019 at 04:49 pm

I see Gilbert on the outside looking in, Gute is not messing around, he has made the roster moves neccessary to upgrade the position.

1 points
1
0
Grandfathered's picture

August 06, 2019 at 06:39 pm

The new regime chooses their own players who best meet their needs, Gilbert may be good enough rotationally, but if no injuries to OLB and his special teams work can be replaced, I would not be surprised if he were waived.

BTW rotationally is not a real word.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 06, 2019 at 07:13 pm

thefreedictionary.com/rotationally

0 points
0
0
EdsLaces's picture

August 06, 2019 at 08:28 pm

To those talking Breeland up....did you watch him play? He was not that impressive. Dude made 1 good play...

-2 points
1
3
marpag1's picture

August 06, 2019 at 08:43 pm

Gilbert, schmilbert.

0 points
2
2
Johnblood27's picture

August 07, 2019 at 08:48 am

^^^^^This

0 points
0
0
Fastenerpuller's picture

August 07, 2019 at 12:43 am

I say cut him, if we want a 5th OLB for depth/development it should be Donnerson or better yet bolster another position with a few more dice rolls, like ILB, DB or what if keep 5 RBs (incl Vitale) to see who sticks? This may be my favorite part of the football year

-1 points
0
1
Aubrey's picture

August 07, 2019 at 01:04 am

I still think that Reggie Gilbert is about as good a name for a Packer as you'll see - unless there's a player out there called Icebowl Curds.

-3 points
0
3
Johnblood27's picture

August 07, 2019 at 09:01 am

The GBP paid BIG in FA for 2 guys that do NOT miss time at OLB.

That position no longer has 2 china dolls.

There can be 4 of them on the roster and thats it.

Smith
Smith
Gary
Fackrell

You maybe keep one more IF there is some ST juice AND positional upside.

The NFL roster isn't a developmental squad, but you still need to allow for a few prospects that wouldn't last on the PS.

I feel that no more than 3 of such players should occupy roster spots.

The other developmental players belong on the PS

Players on the 53 need to BE PLAYERS that are capable of DOING THEIR JOB when called upon.

TT hyas tainted many of the posters here that comment on the roster in the belief that raw and developmental is OK as your back-ups.

I have had enough of that. The pipeline gets filled every year there is NO NEED to carry college guys on the 53 as back-ups.

If you acknowledge the injury realities of the NFL, you know that you NEED back-ups that can step in and play. TOMORROW, not 2 years from now.

PS is PS, it isn't 10 guys. It is 320 guys. Steal from others if need be and stop the wasting of roster spots on developmental players. Like I said, maybe 3 or so just because they are that promising that a PS designation would lose them.

The anti-TT philosophy says "bring in a vet" as a back-up where you do not have a young guy that can actually DO THE JOB.

I get the youth thing, but there are games to play and win. We are not trying to graduate the freshman class here.

1 points
1
0