Defense under Barry

Poppa San

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There is an aspect of NE Iowa that completely captivates my soul.

It's so beautiful that I'm transported into a euphoric state, and I can't help but weep.

I'm speaking, of course, of their real estate prices.
My extended family that still lives there refers to it as Mayberry. There is a theater that as of 7 years ago ran 1st run movies for $5. My brother and I saw the 3rd Ironman movie + large popcorn + sodas for <$25 total not each. On opening weekend. Not a special, normal prices per family.
 

captainWIMM

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I'm going to say something here, and it will probably get a lot of heat, but that's ok. Discussion is good, and I may be wrong.

If the aim of the Barry hire is to install a system similar to what Fangio and Staley run, I think it might be smart to explore trade options for Za'Darius.

I think the ideal front for this defense is a NT with two long, power ends, and then a speedier edge rusher who can drop at times. I am not sure where Z fits super well in there-- he's a not a power end who could handle extra gap responsibility in the running game, and he's not a speed rusher.

His value should be sky high right now. He has 26 sacks the last two seasons, he's still only 28 years old, and the acquiring team would have him for ~10M in 2021 and ~14M in 2022. So the return on that trade could be pretty strong.

I am not sure (and I mean that literally-- again, I could be wrong) that this defense will lend itself to all of the interior rush opportunities. And if you take away or limit interior rushes for Smith, I think his value declines dramatically.

I can envision a scenario where he becomes more of an exclusive edge rusher, and his production is a lot more replaceable. Maybe this will end up being way off, but I can imagine a situation a year from now where Packer fans are wishing that they sold high on his value.

So what say you guys? Say you could get a late 1st round pick and the 11.5M in cap relief-- would you do it?

I don't like the idea of the Packers trading Zadarius by any means. While I agree the team would receive a decent compensation in return and save much needed cap space by the move it would take some time to adequately replace him as a pass rusher by getting draft picks in return.

Gutekunst should do everything in his power to surround Rodgers with as much talent as possible considering his championship window is closing fast.

I agree with some other posters that if Barry doesn't run a scheme capable of taking advantage of Z's strengths I'm not convinced it was a smart idea to hire him in the first place.
 

G0P4ckG0

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He obviously meant to say Barry, but:

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Pettine's scheme was good but his play-calling was horrendous especially with a lead. If Barry has any common sense I think the defense will be vastly improved
 

milani

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As many fans who don't like this hire of Joe Barry have wondered what the reason could possibly be that he got the job, let me suggest one: Barry was hired to bring to Green Bay the defense that was so recently successful in LA. That is why two of the three finalists were guys who, theoretically, have the experience to do just that.

So if that's right, and Barry is going to try and install a defense in Green Bay that's in the mold of Vic Fangio, Brandon Staley, etc., then what might that look like? And what would the Packers need? Here's what I've got on that:

Philosophy: The Fangio/Staley defense, if you want to call it that, is based on the premise that good defenses in 2021 focus on the passing game, not the running game. Staley has put it this way: you live with 1-on-1's in the running game and create 2-on-1's in the passing game. Philosophically, this is very similar to a Mike Pettine defense, but Fangio has done a better job in teaching a scheme that executes the idea at a high level. It is essentially the answer to the Packers style of offense, which uses personnel to try and lure defenses into formations that are designed to beat the run, and then passes on them with great efficiency.

Personnel: The key difference between a Fangio/Staley defense and Pettine is terms of personnel is a shift away from dime and towards nickel defense. Both Denver and LA used true linebackers for about 400-500 more snaps in 2020 that Pettine did. And that was true despite the reality that neither team had great players at the position. So expect them to live in a lot of 4-2-5 defense.

Run Defense: Fangio and Staley give opposing offenses light boxes more than anyone else in the league (Staley's Rams were at 83% last year, and the Broncos at 78%). To deal with the run from these lighter looks, the interior defensive line will typically set up in what looks like a condensed version of the traditional 3-4. The NT will be at the 0, shade, or 1, and the other two DL will be in the 4i position, basically lined up on the inside shoulder of the tackle. The alignment, and the way the DL are taught to play it, avoids OL getting clean blocks, and forces things to get "messy" at the line of scrimmage, slowing things down and allowing safeties and linebackers to flow to the action. It's been described as a halfway point between penetrating one gap defense, and block eating two gap defense.

Pass Defense: The reason this defense lives with light boxes is because they're almost always playing two high safeties. The basic (and I mean basic, because I'm not capable of understanding all the nuance, let alone explaining it) premise is to give the same 2 high look at almost all times, and to flex into various coverages from that look, post snap. So as the QB surveys the defense, he basically sees the same thing over and over, but once he snaps the ball, he doesn't know what the coverage is going to be. They may stick in cover 2 or 2 man, or they might drop the corners into quarters, or they might spin into cover 3 or cover 1. All this post snap flexing requires really intelligent safety play.

Fangio and Staley also use a lot of match coverage, which is where defenders are assigned man coverage responsibilities to a number, not a player. So if you imagine a formation with two receivers on the offense's left, one outside and one in the slot, we will call the outside guy "1" and the slot "2." If you're assigned to 1, but he motions clear across the formation, then the numbers change, and the slot becomes 1. So instead of following guys all over the field horizontally, everyone just shifts down a spot. This prevents motion from creating wide open looks, but requires lots of discipline and quick processing.

Needs: As I look at the defensive personnel the Packers already have, and what this defense requires, this is what I think:
  • Defensive Line: They need some long, powerful players to deploy alongside Clark. Michael Brockers and Sebastian Joseph-Day have power and length to make that 1.5 gap defensive front work.
  • Edge: It seems like this system likes to use a smaller speed rusher, but I don't know if that's by design or circumstantial. I'm not sure that Za'Darius is as good a fit in the design of the defense as he was in Pettine's.
  • Linebacker: While this system has used two true linebackers a lot more than Pettine tends to, it does not seem to be a big point of emphasis in terms of finding premium talent at the position.
  • Safety: This defense relies heavily on the safety position for its flexibility, and thankfully the Packers have a couple good ones.
  • Cornerback: The Rams used three corners together even more than the Packers did in 2020. And the corners in this system need to be intelligent and fast thinkers. This has to be the emphasis. Thankfully the most important piece is taken care of in Alexander.
Very good information! Thank you. I still see us with a need in the front four. That is why I wish instead of bringing back Cobb we would have spent the dollars on a DL. You do not stop Brady or Mahommes with a slot receiver.
 

rmontro

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Pettine's scheme was good but his play-calling was horrendous especially with a lead. If Barry has any common sense I think the defense will be vastly improved
Posts like this make me miss the old "optimistic" emoji. Anyway, I hope you're right.
 

Southside

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I was testing to see if I could post pictures.

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By the way, that's Sonny and Cher and their daughter at the ******* Club in Lake Geneva Circ 1968. And yes it has nothing to do with the Packers.
 

captainWIMM

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Pettine's scheme was good but his play-calling was horrendous especially with a lead. If Barry has any common sense I think the defense will be vastly improved

The Packers ranked a combined 10th in points allowed with Pettine being their defensive coordinator from 2018-20. I don't expect the unit to fare much better with Barry calling the plays.
 

Tarzan2490

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I was testing to see if I could post pictures.

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By the way, that's Sonny and Cher and their daughter at the ******* Club in Lake Geneva Circ 1968. And yes it has nothing to do with the Packers.
It's our new defensive line!
 
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We do not need a #1 D to get ‘er done. imo, we need a slightly better, top #8 or better scoring D and little to no regression on the part of our O.
(Call it top #4 scoring Offense)

That said, I’m basing this off the return of nearly ALL of our D personnel.
The 2 young iLB are more likely to improve than regress. Forgive me for being crass, but Kirksey’s production left something to be desired at best. Definitely not some “high bar” to match or surpass for De’Vondre. The guy (Kirksey) had a hard time just staying healthy.

Our CB room is arguably deeper, taller and faster and more talented with Eric Stokes injected into the fold. While speed/height in and unto itself does not dictate winning at the position. CB raw speed can be a difference maker at crucial times (as unfortunately found in the NFC game). That play likely gets saved by Eric Stokes, it was like watching paint dry watching Kevin)

Our OLB are = to 2020

Our DL looks identical but with better depth and more experience. 2-6th year starters, both a 4th AND 3rd year player (Lancaster/Kingsley) where you generally see a jump in production. Plus for once in years, one of the few legit, true NT (Slaton) from the 2021 draft. This group looks to hold its own and possibly improve slightly.

Normally you’d see a new D install operating at a slight-moderate regression year 1 (from an average Defensive standing) However this group as a whole has the experience level to offset that step backwards. I would’ve stressed more concern at DT, but their overall experience level speaks to a very slightly to a zero regression status. If anything the continuity is a +

For me individually, much will be determined by the ability of Barry to adapt and integrate his scheme to existing individual position strengths. But the D foundations tell me very slight regression at worst (#18 overall scoring) slight to moderate improvement at best (#7 overall) for year 1.
 
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captainWIMM

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We do not need a #1 D to get ‘er done. imo, we need a slightly better, top #8 or better scoring D and little to no regression on the part of our O.
(Call it top #4 scoring Offense)

That said, I’m basing this off the return of nearly ALL of our D personnel.
The 2 young iLB are more likely to improve than regress. Forgive me for being crass, but Kirksey’s production left something to be desired at best. Definitely not some “high bar” to match or surpass for De’Vondre. The guy (Kirksey) had a hard time just staying healthy.

Our CB room is arguably deeper, taller and faster and more talented with Eric Stokes injected into the fold. While speed/height in and unto itself does not dictate winning at the position. CB raw speed can be a difference maker at crucial times (as unfortunately found in the NFC game). That play likely gets saved by Eric Stokes, it was like watching paint dry watching Kevin)

Our OLB are = to 2020

Our DL looks identical but with better depth and more experience. 2-6th year starters, both a 4th AND 3rd year player (Lancaster/Kingsley) where you generally see a jump in production. Plus for once in years, one of the few legit, true NT (Slaton) from the 2021 draft. This group looks to hold its own and possibly improve slightly.

Normally you’d see a new D install operating at a slight-moderate regression year 1 (from an average Defensive standing) However this group as a whole has the experience level to offset that step backwards. I would’ve stressed more concern at DT, but their overall experience level speaks to a very slightly to a zero regression status. If anything the continuity is a +

For me individually, much will be determined by the ability of Barry to adapt and integrate his scheme to existing individual position strengths. But the D foundations tell me very slight regression at worst (#18 overall scoring) slight to moderate improvement at best (#7 overall) for year 1.

Unfortunately I don't feel comfortable about the defensive line entering the season. If the unit doesn't end up improving a lack of talent at the position most likely will be the main reason for it.
 

tynimiller

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Unfortunately I don't feel comfortable about the defensive line entering the season. If the unit doesn't end up improving a lack of talent at the position most likely will be the main reason for it.

I think the brunt of this lies with how Keke fairs, if he continues to progress and Lowry doesn't regress this group even without discussing whether Slaton can give valuable snaps will no doubt be better.

I see the DL hinging on the health and continued progression of Keke...which we won't know until actual games start.
 
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Unfortunately I don't feel comfortable about the defensive line entering the season. If the unit doesn't end up improving a lack of talent at the position most likely will be the main reason for it.
That’s understandable. No splash signings.
I will however state that GB has not regressed either. Just some of the things I’m seeing.. Preston and Z’darius have played lots of Edge roles on that DL and both are back and in contract years.
I really don’t see Keke or Gary regressing whatsoever. Actually both are 3rd year players, which is an area that we often see that position reach new plateaus. I expect Keke or Gary will bring production up a notch this season.
We’ve also got a few players making pushes to receive some Rookie playing time with Heflin and Slaton. I think our DL floor is similar to 2020, but our ceiling was raised slightly.
 
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