Don't associate botched two-point play with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Let's play a game of word association.

I say Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

You say ...

If you went with "botched two-point conversion in the NFC Championship Game", you're probably not alone.

The problem is that despite an otherwise mostly productive rookie season, that's what so many people remember about the Green Bay Packers' safety.

Except that's not a problem for him.

"Nope," Clinton-Dix said. "Washed my hands of it. It's over with."

Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but Clinton-Dix's failure to make a play on the Russell Wilson pass that, as analyst Troy Aikman said on the Fox TV broadcast, hung in the air "for what seemed like eight seconds" before Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson caught it, is one of the lasting images from the Packers' stunning overtime loss.

"Misjudged the ball," Clinton-Dix said. "Saw it in the air and thought I had a play on it and misjudged it."

Credit Clinton-Dix for owning the mistake once again during an interview this week, but his coach said they don't even talk about it anymore.

"The good thing about it is he doesn't talk about it, and it's forgotten," Packers safeties coach Darren Perry said. "You don't hang on one play. There's a lot of opportunities in that game to put them away, and we didn't. If he dwelled on all the bad things that happened, he wouldn't be the player he is. We've got a lot of guys on this team that wish they could've done a little bit more. But it's behind us, and we're looking forward to winning another championship."

That game was a little bit like Clinton-Dix's entire rookie season. He had more good -- two interceptions of Wilson earlier in the game -- than bad. But there was enough bad, mostly in the missed tackles department, to categorize it as an inconsistent season.

So it's no wonder that throughout the offseason, the word Perry used most when talking about Clinton-Dix was consistency.

"He's gotten off to a good start," Perry said after the first week of training camp.

What Perry likes best is that he has both of his starting safeties, Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett, together for a second straight year. He said he can't remember a time when that's happened since he came to the Packers in 2009.

"He and Morgan are working well together," Perry said. "It's good to get two guys coming back that you know are going to be the guys and playing well, and I think their chemistry is continuing to grow and develop. He looks natural. He looks a heck of a lot more comfortable. Still want him to talk a little bit more and be a little bit more vocal, but that will come with time."

B.J. Raji sees Clinton-Dix from a different perspective. The nose tackle missed all of last season because of a torn bicep and when he wasn't rehabbing to get back for this season, he was studying game film from last year. What he noticed was a hard-charging, willing tackler with what he called "incredible range."

And it reminded him of the way former Packers safety Nick Collins patrolled the secondary until the 2011 neck injury ended his career in the midst of three straight Pro Bowls.

"I feel like early in my career, having Nick and some of those guys back there, I just felt like people were reluctant to take shots on us because they knew what type of players we have," Raji said. "I think we're getting back to that point where teams say, 'Hey we could have something, but is it worth it?'

"They showed Nick a lot of respect and when they didn't, Nick made them pay. Ha Ha and Mo [Burnett] are definitely getting to that point in their careers, where they're becoming impact players."