Rookie Abdul Hodge's play during the first two weeks of training camp has been nothing short of outstanding. The third round draft pick out of Iowa has taken the linebacker position and added some potential controversy. The depth chart says the three top linebackers right now are Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk and Ben Taylor. But Hodge's performance has people talking about moving Barnett to the outside and allowing Hodge to settle into the middle. That talk isn't sitting to well with Barnett, who not only led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons, but tallied a whopping 194 last season. That not only set a team record, but ranked 3rd in the NFL. Barnett told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday, “I really get offended sometimes when you guys ask me about moving. Why would I move?” “I'm the vet in this defense. I've been playing the middle linebacker position for three years. I haven't (played poorly). I've been balling ever since I've been here. Let's be honest. The deal is this. The coaches, as well as G.M. Ted Thompson, have vowed to play their three best linebackers. If Abdul Hodge is one of them and joins Barnett and A.J. Hawk, someone has to play the (Sam) strong side linebacker spot. A move would also likely hurt Barnett in the pocket book, which he wouldn't be happy about either. His contract expires after the 2007 season and his numbers would take a drastic fall from the numbers he's put up his first three seasons, meaning it would hurt his negotiating power. The coaches aren't saying much about a move, other then the fact they will do whatever is best for the team.
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