Nick Perry a right defensive end for most of his three-year career at Southern California will return to his side of preference Sunday when the Green Bay Packers meet the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Perry said he will start at right outside linebacker in place of injured Clay Matthews. Mike Neal will start on the left outside. According to Perry he feels "just more natural on the right side." It showed Sunday against the Detroit Lions when Perry beat left tackle Riley Reiff for two sacks plus a hurry and left guard Rob Sims for a hurry on a stunt. In the previous three games Perry had no sacks no knockdowns and one hurry. It came against right tackle Anthony Davis of San Francisco. For the season Perry's 179 snaps include 152 on the left outside 25 on the right outside and two standing up in a special defense. After Matthews suffered a right thumb injury on the final play of the third quarter against the Lions Perry played 12 snaps on his favored right side and made them count. Last season the vast majority of Perry's 197 snaps also came on the left outside. In all he finished with two sacks no knockdowns and three hurries. Coach Mike McCarthy after consultation with team physician Patrick McKenzie said Friday that Matthews will miss three to four weeks. If Perry continues to perform well on the left outside it's possible the Packers might reconsider what side to play Matthews. He played the left side in 2010 and '11. For his part Neal said it made no difference to him what side he played. "I don't have any preference" said Neal. "I don't want to get so used to one side that it's hard to interchange. I look at this as an opportunity to cash in on something." Perry is hopeful that the hesitation that has characterized his play during a difficult conversion from end will diminish. "I'm seeing stuff — unscouted looks — that I never saw before" Perry said. "There was uncertainty when I was a rookie. Now I have a good foundation and I can build off that and play very well." Perry continues to play with a small cast over his left wrist that led to season-ending surgery Nov. 6 but insisted it wasn't an issue. His position coach Kevin Greene says renewed health is one reason for Perry's refreshed approach. "I'm seeing that fire in his eye and I'm feeling that fire in his heart" said Greene. "He wants to play this position. He wants to make some plays. He wants to play physical and do some good things. It was good for him to step up onto the stage and feel that bright light. It's addictive." Greene intends to play rookies Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer off the bench and "let the young fellas swim." Mulumba has played 30 snaps in three games; Palmer's only snap came on special teams. Meanwhile Jamari Lattimore will make his first start replacing injured Brad Jones at weak inside linebacker. Lattimore who is faster than A.J. Hawk also could see duty in place of the veteran as the lone linebacker in the dime.
Packers Nick Perry happy to be on right side
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Oct 12