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Deeper problems lurk ...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

    Dec 14, 2004
    Posted Nov. 02, 2005
    Chris Havel

    Deeper problems lurk under the radar

    The Green Bay Packers’ 1-6 record has created a dual fixation. Has Mike Sherman lost this team? Has Brett Favre lost his game?

    The answer to both questions is no.

    While I understand why these topics dominate Packers talk, other legitimate questions go unasked, unanswered or both.

    Missing in action

    Where is Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila these days? Is he still in the league? The Packers’ pass rushing defensive end has been missing for a while. I couldn’t find him listed among the NFL’s top 35 in sacks or any other meaningful defensive category.

    The Packers paid KGB to be the defense’s premier pass rusher.

    KGB has 2½ sacks in seven games. Aaron Kampman also has 2½ sacks, but he plays run defense, too. KGB’s ineffectiveness has been overshadowed by the defense’s solid play, the offense’s rash of injuries and the team’s poor start.

    The Packers’ defensive ends have zero sacks in the past three games. Jim Bates hasn’t been able to pressure the quarterback with four pass rushers. He has been prudent and clever with his blitzing, but it’s a difficult way to do business in the NFL.

    KGB has to pick up the pace, or Bates has to seriously consider him only as a situational pass rusher. Right now, KGB’s liabilities on run defense aren’t outweighed by his ability to get to the QB.

    Other problems

    KGB isn’t the only one getting a free pass.

    • The oft-injured, currently injured David Martin has been given numerous chances to prove his worth. Almost without fail, he is either hurt or on the verge of getting hurt. The backup tight end is forever between injuries when he ought to be between jobs.

    • Why is the special teams units’ mediocre play universally accepted? The Packers have lost — and this is being conservative — two games because of kicking game snafus. While everyone focuses on whether Ryan Longwell was right to place the blame on holder B.J. Sander, special teams coach John Bonamego gets a free pass.

    The Packers will need to make field goals against Pittsburgh. Perhaps Bonamego is confident the kicker and holder have it worked out. I’m not.

    • Meantime, the kick-return game is substandard and the punt-return game is mediocre. The next time Antonio Chatman returns a punt for a big gain will be the first time. Chatman’s value in a depleted receiving corps affords Sherman an excuse to replace him as the punt return man.

    The Packers are 1-6. Why is Sherman playing it safe? What is he protecting? Whom is he protecting? It is time to find out if Andrae Thurman can energize the return game.

    On defense, it’s time to see more of Jason Horton, Mike Hawkins, Brady Poppinga and Michael Montgomery, and less of Joey Thomas.

    On offense, Tony Fisher is too valuable in the passing game and blitz pickup to expose to constant pounding as the featured back. Use ReShard Lee and Sam Gado to absorb the punishment, and Fisher to move the chains.

    The Packers’ talk may begin with Sherman and Favre, but it doesn’t end there.


    I think Chris' comment about Bonamego is extremely telling... and exactly what Sherman should be paying attention to. Bonamego has been with the Packers now, for three years.... It's time he stepped up his game plan. On kick returns, etc - our guys just aren't getting the blocking done like the Pack used to do, while getting Desmond Howard a chance for those amazing runbacks, back in '96. So, why is it we're not getting it done? Anyone?

  2. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

    Apr 13, 2005
    Bonamego has been "saddled" "Stuck" "blessed" "graced" however you look at it with Longwell, Sander, Davis, and Chatman. He has had little choice on the personnel given him to work with.

    Frankly last years punter Barker is having a better season for the Rams than Sander with the Packers. Bidwell is doing even better. Not matching Bidwell's Tampa offer was a business decision. Guys like Barker are always available. One like Sander is so rare he is worth 3 draft choices.

    Ted had higher priorities this last offseason.

    The lines about Martin are obvious and should have been said 2 years ago.

    KGB is paid a lot of money but I don't think lack of or number of sacks is not the only measure of his play. I noticed that last week but sometimes plays have a bad year by being injured but serious enough to miss time(Roman last year). KGB has earned a pass on being called out.

    Havel is looking for a new angle for a story. I hope he focuses on Martin.
    Special teams is more of a personnel issue than a coaching one.
    Due to injuries elsewhere Montgomery has not been on the game day active list. I don't see the DE's rotated in and out as much as the DT's that could explain part of KGB's numbers.

    Havel has to be tired of writing the same story and wanted to change it up.
    Lurking problems are lesser problems. Carroll hurts the defense more than KGB.
  3. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

    Jun 5, 2005
    The blocking scheme, or its execution, has been horrible on coverage and returns for Bonamego;'s entire tenure. He is responsible for both. And, please, do not talk about "lack of talent" on blocking and coverage....it is all attitude and "want to". All these guys are physical monsters who run fast, jump high and hit hard...if they want to or are put into position to.
  4. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

    Apr 13, 2005
    Good point Digs. I was not focusing on the rank and file which can come and go. Henderson, Fisher, Popinga, Lenon, Lee, Leach, Hawkins, Underwood and the others could be used better in coverage. Even the defensive guys should know how to block on the return and if not have an extra session or 2.

    BTW the 49'ers Sunday had their back up QB running down on coverage and then he had to play QB too. Imagine your third string QB starting and running down on coverage. Maybe he will be off special teams come Sunday.
    Joe Theisman covered kicks.
  5. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    I agree with ALL of Havels article. In particular, "special Teams" has been a nightmare, and Bonamego was supposed to be this special teams "guru", everyone was down on Frank Novak. I'm sorry folks nothing has changed on special teams with the coaching change. Both Bonamego and Rossley have been gettin a "pass".
    If Sherman has to stay to keep Brett from retiring, so be it, But there really needs to be some coaching changes going on down heah.

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