Packers 2017 Recap: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

It is fair and accurate to say that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has become a significantly better player each season he’s been with the Packers.

His steady rise took him from a shaky rookie to a reliable starter to a Pro Bowl player in 2016. His ceiling at times seemed.

Until this season.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in 16 games with 16 starts (1044 snaps on defense, 73 on special teams)
  • 65 solo tackles, three interceptions, six passes defensed

Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met

What we said last season

Packers 2016 Recap: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Clinton-Dix was a steady presence throughout. It was a poor statistical season for the secondary, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers has shown a propensity to care more about turnovers and points allowed and less about yards allowed. Capers’ free safety did him proud this season, and has become one of the league’s elite presences in the back half of the field

Analysis: Clinton-Dix regresses badly in a dismal 2017

Regular readers of The Power Sweep will be familiar with my regular disagreements with former Packers beat writer Bob McGinn. He far too often presents claims either without evidence at all or using unverifiable sourcing for his material.

But his assessment of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s performance in the Packers’ final game of the season is spot on:

Seldom, if ever, in my 39 seasons covering the Green Bay Packers has a player been more deserving of being taken off the field and wasn’t than Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Clinton-Dix, the fourth-year safety, played as though he didn’t want to be in uniform. By conservative count there are half a dozen plays in which he either tried to avoid contact entirely or did everything in his power to minimize it.

What’s worse, that assessment could more or less fairly be applied to Clinton-Dix’s 2017 season as a whole. Far too often in 2017, Clinton-Dix seemed more like a dispassionate observer in the secondary than anything resembling a dominant force. His bad angles to the ball, regularly a problem in past seasons, allowed plays to balloon from manageable to disastrous week in and week out.

Even his three interceptions were mostly a mirage. Only one (his Week 13 pick against Cleveland) came on a strong play on the ball. The others were results of just camping under overthrows.

Clinton-Dix will enter 2018 at a career crossroads. With a new defensive coordinator, he’ll play out his contract year knowing that he stands to make a lot of money with a solid performance next season. Perhaps Mike Pettine can help him become the promising player he looked to be during the early parts of the 2016 season.