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Another Informing Article on Bates' Aggressive Approach ...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Bruce, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Bruce
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    Bruce Cheesehead

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    New Defensive Coordinator Bates Brings Aggressive Approach

    by Jeff Fedotin, Packers.com

    "Get off the spot!" "Get off the spot!"

    No matter where you stood on Ray Nitschke Field, defensive coordinator Jim Bates' voice could be heard urging his linebackers to explode off the ball during organized team activities. The defensive coordinator would follow these commands by crouching down in a two-point stance, instructing his players the proper way to bend their knees.

    "He has such a passion about what he's trying to do," defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila said. "He's very hands on. Most coordinators I've had just sort of tell you what they want, but he can get down and show you exactly."
    [​IMG]

    There's definitely a new sheriff in town on defense. Bates has made his presence known with a demanding style, trademarked by his active coaching technique, attention to detail and booming voice.

    "That's the way I coach," Bates said. "I'm going to be after them and pat them on the back when they make plays and get after them when they don't."

    He not only brings a high intensity to each practice but also has installed a new, attacking defense.

    "There's a different attitude," linebacker Paris Lenon said. "It's a little more aggressive. It allows you to play fast."

    And that's a good thing. The Packers know they must improve on last year's 25th-ranked defense if they want to repeat as NFC North champions in a division that features playmakers like the Vikings' Daunte Culpepper, the Lions' Roy Williams and the Bears' Muhsin Muhammad.

    Bates has the credentials to upgrade the unit's performance. He served as the Dolphins' coordinator the last five years, and the defense never ranked below 10th in the league during that time. From 2000 to 2004, only four teams allowed less yardage.

    Overlooked in Miami's disappointing 4-12 season last year was the fact that Bates led them to a respectable 3-4 record. He assumed interim head coaching duties after Dave Wannstedt resigned in Week 10.

    Bates even led the Dolphins to a 29-28 win over the Super Bowl champion Patriots in Week 16, perhaps capitalizing on his familiarity with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. He served under Belichick with the Browns as linebackers coach in 1991, defensive ends coach from 1992 to 1993 and secondary coach in 1995.

    The system Bates uses in Green Bay focuses on speedy linebackers.

    "It's probably the hardest position to play within the scheme," he said.

    In that aggressive scheme, big-bodied defensive tackles like Grady Jackson primarily occupy blockers, leaving athletic linebackers free to roam from sideline-to-sideline.

    "It's designed for linebackers to run, to be able to flow and make plays," undrafted rookie linebacker Zac Woodfin said.

    Bates wants the linebackers to make quick pre-snap reads, determining what the offensive players will be doing based on their formation. They will cover receivers closely, often using their bodies to impede the opponent's progress.

    "It's asking for us to be a lot tighter in coverage -- even in zone coverage," Lenon said.

    The new coach employs that same attacking style in the secondary. The defensive backs will primarily play man-to-man and shove the receivers with their hands, position their body to force them one way, or do anything else to bump the wide receivers off their route.

    "The emphasis is on contact at the line," said Patrick Dendy, an undrafted rookie cornerback who impressed during training camp.

    The Packers also hope to improve their pass defense, which ranked 25th in 2004, by getting more pressure on the quarterback. In Bates' defense, the defensive ends will line up wide and at an angle against offensive lineman instead of lining up directly over a tight end or offensive tackle.

    "We have a little more freedom," said defensive end Aaron Kampman, who had 4.5 sacks last year. "Sometimes you have better leverage taking on a block. You can play a little faster because you don't have guys right on top of you right away."

    Gbaja-Biamila said this scheme has containment responsibilities on the edge but involves fewer restrictions than last year's defense. He likes lining up at an angle toward the offensive line, something that will help the defensive ends against both the run and the pass.

    "It will allow me to be all over the field," he said. "I can chase a play from the backside or tail off on the backside and make a play down the field."

    Bates said he has already installed 85 percent of the plays, and despite the changes implemented in this defense, the players said the system is not difficult to understand.

    "It's more complicated from the standpoint that it's totally new," Kampman said. "I don't think it's more complicated than anything we've ran before."

    Lenon knew a new coordinator would install a new defense. So when he heard of Bates' hiring, he contacted friends around the league. All spoke highly of their former coach and mentioned his zeal for the game.

    "I talked to people and heard the Dolphins' players really like him," he said. "I was expecting energy but not somebody to run around like he does."

    That high-energy coaching style has left Bates open to imitation.

    "I'm still studying him," Gbaja-Biamila said. "I've just noticed he has a unique posture and way of doing things. It's more out of admiration."

    Gbaja-Biamila expects to have his impression honed by training camp - just about when the defense should have mastered the new defense.
  2. CaliforniaCheez
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    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    Until I see our defensive back actually make a good tackle and not some embarrassing Ole! the jury is out.

    I want to see some tackling taught during this camp!!!!!
  3. IPBprez
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    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    As long as the Team sticks to FUNDAMENTALS.... We should see improvement immediately.
    The one thing I hated last year was this huggy huggy tackle procedure, while we watched their Wide Receivers haul our guys downfield with them for further yardage or worse yet - scoring on us... Basics tell you to tackle lower and bring the player down, period! I'm sure the entire defense has had a cardio-vascular improvement.... 100 fold. Let's hope they don't run out of steam!
  4. Steel Wheels
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    Steel Wheels Cheesehead

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    You hit it right on the head CaliforniaCheez, if you look back at the recent good defenses in Baltimore and Tampa Bay as examples, they missed very few tackles.
  5. JBlood
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    JBlood Cheesehead

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    I'm excited by this guy, Bruce. He seems to be a throwback, and certainly has the credentials to turn this defense around.

    [​IMG]More of this

    [​IMG]and more of this

    [​IMG]and a lot more of this

    [​IMG]will lead to our D-backs doing this, and


    ON TO #13!!!
  6. ArizonaPackerFan
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    ArizonaPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I like a guy who is willing to get down and get his hands dirty when doing his job. I'm hoping he is to the defense what Beightol is to the O-line. Bates kind of reminds me of Beightol.
  7. NDPackerFan
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    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    That's a huge compliment to Bates because Beightol can flat out coach. I thought we'd lose him by now because he is widely respected around the league by being able to take late round prospects and turn them into studs in a relatively short period of time.
  8. Steel Wheels
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    Steel Wheels Cheesehead

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    Could you give some examples of the late round prospects that Beightol has turned into studs in a relatively short period of time?
  9. NDPackerFan
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    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Hey, Mr. Anti-Packer! Long time, no hear...

    My examples include Tauscher (7th Rd. 2000) and Wells (7th Rd. 2004), I think most would agree that for coming in the 7th round, both are ballers!!!

    I know you'll say something about Wells not being a stud but give this one time because he performed very admirably when he was on the field as a rook' last season and will only get better. He'll be a big part of the Packers OL of the future.
  10. Steel Wheels
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    Steel Wheels Cheesehead

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    Not anti-Packer, anti-Sherman.
  11. IPBprez
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    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Brett Favre's comment was ....

    "I totally forgot who the Center was while playing, and that doesn't happen very often.. and if a player can make me forget he's there by doing his job as well as that - then that's a testament to his abilities - he's a good player as far as I'm concerned!"
    (I'm para-phrasing.. but you get the idea! IPBprez - true statement, too!)
  12. NDPackerFan
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    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I hear ya Prez - Wells was awesome when he had the chance. He's behind Flanigan which will make it difficult for him to get on the field but I hope he gets his chance someday with the Pack because he's a player!
  13. IPBprez
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    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Yeah - that was actually part of an article on JSonline, if I remember correctly.
  14. ArizonaPackerFan
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    Cool quote on Wells from Favre. Let's hope he can say the same thing about the new guards this season.

    The other quote I liked from Wells last year was how he told his agent that if he wouldn't get drafted last year, just find him a team to sign with and he'll take care of the rest. I wish Hunt had some of Well's attitude.
  15. ArizonaPackerFan
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    One might add Marco Rivera to the list too. Rivera was a late round draft pick that was here before Beightol, but Beightol helped coach Rivera into a 3 time ProBowler.
  16. NDPackerFan
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    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Thanks Arizona! I wanted to mention him too but forgot. Another case where Beightol turned somebody into something much better!

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