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Are we really equipped to run a dominant 3-4?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Southpaw, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    I don't think we spend so much time in nickel because of a lack defensive line (though that could be part of it), but rather because teams would rather throw against us.

    We're normally very tough to run against. Pickett, Raji, and Bishop make for a very tough middle. If you come out in base (and you don't have a world-beater tight end), we'll come out in base.

    If you tendencies and/or formation tells Capes "pass," he'll trot out nickel. This also puts Woodson in the best position to succeed at Saftey-Nickel-Backer instead of covering the outside guy. I make the argument that this is almost a 'base' set anyway.

    Woodson (though slipping now) is a pretty sure tackler. He's basically a linebacker. So loop back around to my previous statement that our OLBs are more like defensive ends in nickel. We have our 4 'linemen' (Matthews, Raji, Pickett, and the other guy) and three linebackers (Woodson, Hawk, Bishop.) That looks an awful lot like a Front 7 to me, albeit one that is stacked to stop the pass, not the run.
  2. 7thFloorRA
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    7thFloorRA Cheesehead

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    Any defense that includes the name Hawk is not stacked to stop anything.
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  3. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    Heh, I'm not a fan of Hawk in general. I think he would work best in a Tampa-2 scheme as a the MLB. He performed okay after Barnett went down in 2009(?). Guy knows how to do a deep drop and does best with two massive tackles in front of him.

    While no where near as good, he's in a very similar mold as Urlacher.
  4. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    The Packers played nickel more than base last season too so I don't think it's because of lack of talent on the DL. I think it's to get better athletes on the field in passing situations and it's an attempt to cause some confusion for the offense's blocking scheme. Hawk was bad this past season, no question about that and unfortunately he had a lot of company. But to say a D with him starting can't stop anything is incorrect. He played in every game in 2010 and that D was #2 in scoring and won it all.

    IMO they aren't that far away from their 2010 defense…

    IMO Hawk does not cover well enough to be a successful MLB in a Tampa 2 as he doesn't cover well enough in a 3-4 scheme.
  5. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    It comes down to the responsibilities of each scheme.

    In tampa-2, his first responsibility would be to get depth and play a simple zone.

    3-4s are complicated and his responsibilities change depending on the call, the formation, motion, just about everything the offense does. And then there's man. Give him fewer coverage responsibilities, and I think he'd do better. Not because he isn't smart, but because he's athletically limited in coverage. If he had fewer responsibilities, he could focus on those and get better at them.
  6. okcpackerfan
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    okcpackerfan Cheesehead

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    I would like to know the percentages of how often we the packers actually ran a 3-4 on defense. It seemed like a good majority of the time they only had 2 down linemen (more common on 3rd down but saw it on 2nd and 1st) - I think Dom Capers gets a little "too exotic" at times and needs to get back to some basics.
  7. ARod12
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    This defense is 1 year removed from being a championship defense and now everyone is thinking "drastic" changes. As much as I would love TT to add someone via freeagency that could become a cornerstone for the D for years to come, just like he did with Woodson, I realize the chances of that happening are slim to none. But let's not forget how quickly that super bowl winning defense was developed. Most of the peices are in place, we need an OLB bad, and could use a good DE opposite Pickett but we have ALOT of young talented players on this roster that need time and coaching and this years draft will only add to that. Players like Guy, House, So'oto, Lattimore, Ross, Wilson, Smith, etc. are all young and have yet to tap into their full potential so lets not freak out. That's the best part about the NFL you never know whats going to happen or who is going to become great.
  8. NelsonsLongCatch
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    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    If you trade all those players right now, you can get a Coke and bag of Ruffles!

    I'm interested in seeing what House can do because he was seen as a 4th round steal.

    Lattimore was a very good special teams player. He should improve next year.
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  9. NelsonsLongCatch
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    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I think a lot of the reason Capers didn't run the actual 3-4 more is because he didn't have the players. I agree with you. I saw a lot of nickle package and two defensive linemen packages. The base 3-4 didn't seem to be used too often.
  10. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    OKCPackerFan: I believe we play nickel about 75% of the time.

    I doubt that the lack of personnel is why we ran so much nickel, though it is possible it contributed to it. My guess is that was a combination of weekly scheme, countering multiple wide receiver sets, and get Woodson in his playmaker slot position.

    I personally want 3 corners out there when the offense trots out 3 wide receivers.

    I personally want Woodson in the slot.

    I would be okay with staying in base-defense against base-offense (3-4 vs. 2WR, TE, 2RB), but to do that, we need a replacement for Hawk. Someone taller, faster, better at coverage, better at taking on blocks, and better at rushing. We went nickel against teams with a good receiving tight end because we can't trust Hawk to cover a good tight end. Or Bishop has to do it. He's better, but still not great at it and takes him out of position to be a rusher. He was our second best rusher last season. He should be the up the middle threat.

    Can't overhaul the whole defense in one year, so Hawk is probably sticking around (ugh). I still place that second, legitimate OLB at the top of the need list.

    I maintain that there is nothing exotic about Capers' 2-4 nickel. From what I can tell, it is his preferred nickel package (and would be unless he had 4 AJ Hawk clones for his starting linebacking corps or something similarly terrible :D) and done in part due to roster makeup. We only care 6 D-line on the 53. (This is normal for a base 3-4 team.) The first and second job of those guys is run defense. We take them off the field in nickel because they aren't good pass rushers. (though some of them are. Raji should be.)
  11. TheOnlyMeIKnow
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    I agree with this whole thread but I have to pose a question based on your first sentence: What the hell happened THIS year? Last year we had a D that played like the '85 Bears. This year the Rams, Colts and Vikings all played better D, and THOSE TEAMS are all drafting Top 5 in April! This defense is so broke I'm not exactly sure what went to hell the worst, or how to fix it! We don't have the personnel to run the scheme Dom wants, and Dom doesn't have the scheme to run with the personal he has!

    Also to mradtke66 I'm not sure we can't replace Hawk this year. I think DJ Smith can handle the job. AJ is too slow in coverage, and has been slow in the classroom when it's come to picking up coverage assignments, Smith has NFL experience at ILB even though limited and is faster than Hawk, and also younger. I think he could very easily prove himself to be a huge upgrade from Hawk if given the starting job by as early as week 3 or 4 of this year. What you said about Bishop in coverage confuses me though. When Barnett went down with his ACL didn't they start throwing screens and swing routes to AP once Barnett left the game, and the D ended up getting torched that day. I do remember Bish having a bad game, and them having to move AJ inside after that, I'm just a little fuzzy as to whether it was because of the rush or Pass that he had trouble with, though I'm thinking it was the pass. Also remember when you post about AJ Hawk's height: Sam Mills is in the Hall of Fame at 5'9! It's more about intelligence, aggressiveness and instincts.
  12. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    Yes, Bishop did poorly in that first game, I think he's improved since then. His failings that day, as I recall, was that he over ran the swing pass.

    As far as height, yes, it can be done. The difference is a 3-4 scheme. You want more height out of the 5 techniques and ILBs for pass defense. Specifically, get their hands up in the passing lanes. The lack of height from our ILBs is contributes to our softness in the middle against seam routes and the like. Bigger bodies make those throws harder.
  13. 13 Times Champs
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    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    :tup: Exactly and you could throw in Wynn just for the hell of it and get the deal sweetened to two bags of ruffles. I have hope for only So'oto out of the group.
  14. NelsonsLongCatch
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    I just consulted the value chart, Wynn may not be worth that second bag of Ruffles :roflmao:
  15. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I don’t remember the exact percentage but I do remember Capers using his 2-4-5 more than any other alignment in 2010. That contradicts the argument he did so because of personnel this past season unless you argue Jenkins wasn’t that good, or even with Jenkins the Super Bowl winning team didn’t have good enough personnel on the DL. As someone posted, the 2-4-5 has the flexibility to be very much like a traditional 4-2-5 nickel with the two OLBs rushing the QB. But the 2-4-5 has more flexibility because it should have better athletes at OLB than 4-3 DEs and because the pass rush can be more varied and unpredictable. That “better athletes” at OLB is the reason I put ROLB at the top of the needs list going into the 2012 season. In addition IMO Raji has to play more like his 2010 self than he did last season. And they need someone on the roster to emerge, or an acquisition to step into the 2-man DL opposite Raji in the 2-4-5.

    ARod12 listed young players on the roster he considers talented but who need experience and coaching. A reasonable counter argument IMO would be noting why any or all of them don’t have potential. I’m not sure what point is made by saying they don’t have trade value. First, if they had great trade value, ARod12 wouldn’t be noting their potential. And second, every NFL team should have “a book” on every player in the NFL, even fringe players on the worst NFL team. Who knows how other teams value some of the players ARod12 mentioned?

    As to AJ Hawk, IMO his problem is not in the classroom or knowing his assignments; he’s the QB of the defense. His problem is while he knows his assignments in coverage he still can’t consistently get them done. For example, any of us could know Capers’ defense like the back of our hands and still wouldn’t be able to cover NFL TEs and RBs out of the backfield.
  16. 13 Times Champs
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    Jack, that's because Hawk is stiffer than a board. He lacks the athletic ability to cover TE's and RB's and Iguess that's what you are saying.
  17. BSchujasNYG
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    Cullen Jenkins had a huge impact on that Eagles defense. Shot gaps, stunts, pass rush, penetration: all he did with great success. Babin and Cole had huge years, because of how much attention was diverted to Jenkins.

    Jenkins played the way the Eagles wanted him to play, and that was coming right up the field.
  18. Croak
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    In a 4-3 defense employing the wide nine. A set the Packers no longer run.
  19. BSchujasNYG
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    I'm aware, but keep in mind what I initially quoted.

    And also keep in mind that Cullen Jenkins had an excellent year for you playing the 5T in 2010, and was probably the most productive pass rushing 5T per snaps played in the league that year, so it should come to be no secret as to why your pass rush took a hit after Jenkins left.
  20. Croak
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    I honestly think it was a *part* of it, but not the whole story. He was a habitually injured or dinged player. People on here will get on me for this and that's ok, it's their opinion. But losing Barnett and Chillar hurt every bit as much if not a little more. We were left with a line-backing corps that could no longer compliment Matthews' skill set. Barnett went over to Buffalo to become a leader on their defense. Chillar did a solid, but not stellar Job for the Rams. They both contributed a good bit to that linebacker rotation on the Packers.
  21. 13 Times Champs
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    He was not a hibitually injured player. That's just false! He's missed 6 regular season games the past three seasons.
  22. Croak
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    Croak Cheesehead

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    He left several of them early this season including the Giants game. Just missing games isn't the whole story.
  23. 13 Times Champs
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    Correct Jenkins was 7th among defensive tackles in the NFL in applying pressure to the QB.
  24. 13 Times Champs
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    You persist in this myth for whatever reason. So now we're counting as habitually injured him leaving the game? C'mon man!
  25. Croak
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    And in the last 4 years he missed 17 games. Possibly he would have been better for the Packers this year than what they had (even a grandma would have), but he fought a strained groin through this season.

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