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Sam Barrington: Green Bay Packers 'my defense'

The Green Bay Packers gutted their ineffectual inside linebackers corps this offseason, first cutting Brad Jones, then long-time stalwart A.J. Hawk.

The moves leave Sam Barrington atop the depth chart as he enters his third season. The 24-year-old linebacker started seven games in 2014 during the regular season, including the final five. He also started both Packers playoff games.

Barrington isn't shy about his confidence in taking over the middle of the Packers' defense, bristling to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tyler Dunn when the journalist pointed out it "could" be his defense.

"I'm not approaching it that it 'could' be," Barrington said. "I'm approaching like it is. When you take out all the pleasing everybody's emotions, I'm the veteran inside linebacker. It's my defense. What's mine right now is mine to lose. So I approach it with a serious mentality."

Barrington will start on top. The Packers are also likely to select an inside linebacker at some point during the upcoming draft. We also expect Clay Matthews to see more time shifting to the inside this season.

Barrington was better in pass coverage than playing the run during his 485 snaps last season. If he improves against the run, he'll have all the playing time to prove that it really is his defense.

"Sometimes people give answers to please other people," he said, "but I'll be straight up and say I'm using every day of this off-season getting my mind and my body ready to where it needs to be. When it's time to go, I'll be ready."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the latest moves and debates if Michael Bennett should change his tune on Jimmy Graham. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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