Green with envy
Mike Green

Posted Dec 19, 2002

Mike Green has been subject to criticism for his pass coverage, but the safety is quietly putting up big numbers. Although, he doesn’t have an interceptions the safety is among the league leaders in another category.

Green has 102 tackles which ranks 17th in the League, but that total is the most by a member of the secondary. The 16 players ahead of Green are all linebackers and he is the only non-LB in the top 25. Green is fourth in the NFC in tackles, three ahead of MVP candidate Derrick Brooks of Tampa Bay.

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache said he’s not concerned with the number of tackles his safety has made.

"Everybody throws the football nowadays. In the game Sunday, there were 22 completions and only 24 runs," Blache said. "Somebody's got to make those tackles on the 22 completions too and I think that's the one thing that people lose sight of. Mike Green's playing well for us and I don't think his numbers are indicative of as much of a problem as much as what he's contributed to our football team."

The secondary has injury problems heading into Sunday’s game at Carolina. CB R.W. McQuarters, who missed the Jets game, has been downgraded to doubtful with a hip injury.

Mike Brown is questionable with a knee injury that stems back to the Miami game, in which the safety was hurt on a punt return.

Meaning Roosevelt Williams and Travis Coleman will get a lot playing time for a second straight week.

Williams would start for McQuarters, while Coleman practiced at safety and could share time with Larry Whigham. Blache said he appreciated his their effort, but admitted they have a lot to learn.

"Those guys just need to keep working, keep getting better and take the opportunity they have right now and try to parlay it into something special," Blache said. "They're young, and I'll let it go at that. I'll write it off as being young."

Keith Traylor is questionable with a calf injury, but has played with the same status the past few weeks.

TE John Davis will miss a third straight game with back spasms. DT Christian Peter is also out with a calf injury.

The only starters in danger of missing the game for the Panthers are DT Shane Burton (questionable with a knee injury) and TE Wesley Walls, who is questionable with a foot injury.

The Pro Bowl team will be announced Thursday. Brian Urlacher, who leads the NFC in tackles, is a lock to make the team. Marty Booker is the only other member of the team with a realistic chance of making the team. The receiver is among the top three in receptions and yardage in the NFC, while leading the NFL in plays over 20 yards with 20.

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