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Depth Chart: DEFENSE

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by FrankRizzo, Mar 16, 2014.

?

Looking at the probably starting groups, WHICH ONE position looks like it needs upgrading now most?

  1. ILB

    28.1%
  2. Safety with elite range (allow Burnett to play more in the box like Polamalu/Vacarro)

    46.9%
  3. Safety with physicality in the box (keep Burnett more back at free safety)

    15.6%
  4. More DL beef

    9.4%
  1. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    This can/will change.
    Mostly, it could change at safety.
    But as of right now:

    Base/First down
    LDE Datone
    NT Raji
    RDE Peppers

    LOLB Perry
    LILB B Jones
    RILB Hawk
    ROLB Matthews

    LCB Tramon
    RCB Shields
    S1 Burnett
    S2 Hyde or Richardson (I predict Hyde)

    Passing downs/Second & Long
    Datone
    Daniels
    Peppers
    Neal
    Matthews
    Perry

    Shields
    Tramon
    Hayward
    Burnett
    Hyde

    Here's the thing about that: 6 guys as pass-rushers.... they can rotate to keep fresh. Perry or Neal or Matthews, they only need 2 of them, but can use 3 if Dom gets cute.
    Matthews, even Peppers, are both capable and athletic as hell to drop off to take away the swing pass or short one, trick up the QB and bring the heat from elsewhere.

    Hayward will come in. So can House if they need an additional cover guy.
    Hopefully no Jarrett Bush. And there will probably be a talented rookie like hopefully Calvin Pryor or Hasean Clinton-Dix.

    Short Yardage
    Raji
    Pickett? (yes I see him back cheap, hometime discount....he does the dirty work in the trenches.)
    Boyd
    Jolly
    ? (I worry about his neck as we have had worse neck luck than any other team.

    If we lose Pickett and/or Jolly, we only have 2 Bigs left in Raji and Boyd (who is only 310.)
    We will have to bring in another Big or two (guys 325+).
    Raji and Pickett are each about 338 (listed). Jolly is 325.

    We need some more beef so teams can't just run it down our throat.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. thequick12

    thequick12 Cheesehead

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    I think they will switch Perry to ROLB and Clay back to LOLB. Clay has proven he can be effective on either side while Perry has not. He is a way better player rushing from ROLB position for whatever reason that's the case and the coaches must realize it by now. From the right side with Peppers in front of him Perry would likely record 10 sacks if he can stay healthy. And Matthews rushing from the left side should get 15 sacks going against right tackles instead of left tackles.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. wist43

    wist43 Cheesehead

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    Hyde is going to be the starting Safety; and Hayward is going to be the nickel back, so don't expect TT to reach too high for a DB.

    As for the depth chart, I generally agree with the OP, but I have some very specific ideas - especially what NOT to do.

    The base 3-4 is fine as far as the LB's and DB's are listed, but I'd make sure to rotate the DL a lot - I wouldn't want Peppers and D. Jones to be playing too much in the run stopping base - I want them fresh for pass rush rotation.

    So for base I'd want to see Peppers/D Jones/Boyd (rotate), Raji/Boyd/Jolly (rotate on the nose), and Worthy/Boyd/Jolly (Rotate on the other End). I don't want to see Daniels playing the base, or Perry either - I want them specifically for pass rush.

    First Nickel Package

    Absolutely no 2-4 (I can dream - Capers is married to the alignment though)

    Want to see a 3-3 with a DL of Peppers, Daniels, D. Jones/Perry (rotating); LB's of Matthews at ROLB, Neal at LOLB, and a rotation of Hawk/Jones/Mulumba in the middle (depending on opponent, down/distance)

    Note: Most of our front seven talent is invested in the DL, and our 2 OLB's Matthews and Neal. I want to see the DL on the field in subpackages as opposed to Hawk and Brad Jones - which has too long been the case in Capers's pathetic 2-4.

    The next nickel alignment I want to see is an actual 4-2, with Peppers, Daniels, D. Jones, and Perry as down linemen; Matthews at OLB, and Neal/Hawk/Jones/Mulumba (depending opponent, down/distance)

    Dime Package

    Absolutely no 1-5

    Would go with a 3-2 of Peppers, Daniels, D. Jones/Perry; and Matthews and Neal.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The goal should be to take maximum advantage of the talent available, and since most of that talent is on the DL - and 2 of the weakest links on our defense are Hawk and Brad Jones - it only makes sense to configure subpackages that have the DL on the field, and Hawk and/or Jones substituted for.
     
  4. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    I think the biggest change next year, we'll finally see Matthews be truly unleashed. Matthews will be free to attack offenses from wherever and whenever he chooses.
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  5. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    ^ Yeah I hope.....
     
    • Old Old x 1
  6. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    Well we were starting to see Matthews roaming free last season before injuries devastated our OLB corps. For years we've used Matthews like a pseudo DE because we needed someone strong enough to stack at the edge but fast enough to attack the sidelines, and Matthews was one of our only players who fit that bill. Now with Perry Neal, Jones and Peppers we don't need to use Matthews in that role anymore. Capers loves to have one guy in his defense who he can move all over the field, who other than Matthews really fits this role? I suppose Peppers does, perhaps now we'll see both moving all over the place. Remember the old Woodson Matthews twists, expect to see lots of those.
     
  7. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Regarding the front 7, I think it makes more sense to categorize the players like this:

    DL only: Raji, Boyd, Daniels, Worthy (Raji and Boyd are the only “fat guys” for run stuffing short-yardage)
    DL/LB: Peppers, Datone Jones, Perry, Neal
    LB only: Matthews, Hawk, Brad Jones, Mulumba, Barrington, Palmer

    IMO they need another “fat guy” for goal line/short yardage and I hope it’s Jolly - if they don’t clear him, then a draftee.

    In Ketchman’s piece he quotes Peppers saying, “(Capers) likes to be versatile and do different things. That’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole career…” So for Dom’s detractors (including me), apparently at least part of the reason Peppers signed with the Packers was Capers. (Aside: Wasn’t it surprising with all the social media, let alone “traditional” reporters, and all the attention on the Packers in Green Bay that they kept Peppers’ visit a secret until his agent tweeted his signing?) Anyway, Peppers can play DE in the 3-4, rush inside, and stand up.

    IMO it makes sense to transfer the discussion wist43 and I were having about the 2-4-5 alignment from the ‘Peppers inked’ thread here.
    Saying Thompson hasn’t provided the personnel but Capers should make it work seems to shift all responsibility from Thompson to Capers. By that logic all DCs should have at least good defenses no matter what they have to work with.

    IMO here’s the problem with what you propose: If Capers played a 3-4 the majority of the time, the pressure on the QB would have been worse than it was since Raji, Pickett, Wilson, and Boyd provided almost no pressure. And look at whose name is missing from your list: their best DL pass rusher last season, Mike Daniels. The more Capers would have played the 3-4, the more time spent on the bench for Daniels. You made the point that Capers used the 3-4 against San Fran more than any other team and that’s correct. But that’s because the 49ers are one of the few teams that run the ball more than they throw it. Try that against the Bears who threw it about 60% or the time or the Cowboys (about 63%) and the results would have been worse.

    An improved Datone Jones and Peppers gives Capers legit 3-4 DEs, something previously missing so a 3 three man line more often will make sense, but I expect most of Peppers’ snaps to be on passing downs. Look at your dime suggestion: Peppers, Daniels, D. Jones/Perry; and Matthews and Neal. Nothing wrong with that but what is the difference if only Daniels has his hand on the ground? The others can set the edge standing up as well as with their hand on the ground. And how about Daniels and Peppers lining up in the middle as DL with the others standing? IMO you are far too focused on the alignment rather than the personnel and you’re giving Thompson a pass for not providing Capers with a traditional 3-4 DE who can play the run and get pressure on the QB when that’s the alignment you’re advocating for.

    As I've posted there's plenty to criticize Capers for - Thompson too regarding talent acquisition on defense - but Capers best option at one of the safety spots last season was MD Jennings. Just as I think Capers will look one hellofalot smarter with Peppers on the team, he would have looked a lot smarter with Nick Collins at safety over the past couple of seasons.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. wist43

    wist43 Cheesehead

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    Peppers is 34 years old, and never played LB in his life - definitely don't want to see him wasted at LB. The occasional zone blitz? sure, but I don't want to see him trying to play in space.

    And even though he can certainly stack and shed the way a 3-4 end needs to - again he is 34 years old. His greatest strength is pass rush, harrassing QB's, and disrupting blocking schemes - that's what I want to see him doing. He can play DE in the 3-4 base, but I don't want to see him doing a lot of that.

    As for the others you listed as DE/LB - Perry has proven he is a fish out of water at LB. It's time to shelf that experiment, and use him to his strength - which is pass rushing from the DE position.

    D. Jones can play DE in the 3-4, and I don't mind seeing him eat up some snaps there, but I'd prefer to leave the base 3-4 DE dirty work to lesser players like Worthy, Boyd, and Jolly; and save D. Jones, Perry, and Peppers for pass rushing duties in the various subpackages.

    Of course Capers has misused everyone in the front seven for the past 3 years... I don't expect that to change. We've had one of the worst defenses in the league the last 3 years, and while some excuses can be made of 2011 and the loss of players due to injury and Jenkins leaving via FA, the fact remains that Capers did nothing to stem the bleeding, and I can't imagine how the results could have been any worse.

    Capers needs to go - best case scenario is Capers gets his head out of his *** and our defense straightens up, and we win the SB; short of that, the next best thing would be for our defense to be bad enough to get Capers fired, b/c we're not going to be able to move forward as a team as long as Capers stubbornly sticks to his flawed schemes.
     
  9. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    “Misused everyone in the front 7” is IMO a foolish exaggeration that weakens your argument. And as I posted on the other thread, the Packers finished the 2012 regular season 11th in scoring and 11th in yards surrendered. If you can’t imagine how that could have been any worse, you have no imagination. The defense also started the 2013 season pretty well and then went completely in the tank when Rodgers got hurt. And as I mentioned before, the Packers were a dropped Hyde INT from beating the 49ers and holding them to 20 points in the playoff game. And that was done without Matthews, Shields and Neal. I am not arguing the D has been good the past three years, just not as bad as you are saying.
    You mean the flawed 2-4-5 that he used in 2010? That flawed scheme? As I said, it works a lot better with better personnel. And you do realize teams can pass the ball when the Packers play base D, right? I ask because you are advocating the Packers get little to no pressure on the QB from the DL in the base and that Mike Daniels should be sitting out more as they play base more.
     
  10. D Frank

    D Frank Cheesehead

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    We need a major upgrade at ILB next to Hawk.. He's been a one man inside force since we last had a "healthy Bishop".. We need beef in our ILB core that kan make an immediate impact along side AJ.. With Hyde a potential fix at the other safety position, I say that komes second to a true tackling MLB
     
  11. D Frank

    D Frank Cheesehead

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    We need a big, strong, fast ILB that kan make plays and be a distraction to passing routes across the middle.. But also one that kan have a major impact in the run game..
     
  12. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

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    I believe that anyone who watched the games last year should know Safety is our biggest need. Whoever lined up at ILB beside Hawk would be best described as "serviceable to poor", while whoever lined up beside Burnett, and for a good portion of the year Burnett himself could only be described as "poor".

    With that being said if Mosley is available at our pick, I'd take him. I think he's better than Clinton-Dix and Pryor even though they represent the bigger need at the moment. BPA.
     
  13. wist43

    wist43 Cheesehead

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    It's not a foolish exaggeration - we've finished near the bottom of the league statistically the last few years; when we played the alignment the majority of the time.

    As for 2012, Capers played less of it than he did in 2011, and the numbers improved; but then in the embarrassing playoff blowout loss to the Niners he played it the majority of the game - and we got completely overrun and destroyed. Worse, everyone could see what was happening on the field, and Capers admitted after the game he had no idea how to stop it.

    As for your last point - last time I checked, Aaron Rodgers doesn't play defense, does he??

    I like our personnel for the most part - and as I've said, Capers is entirely capable of putting together a cohesive and effective gameplan. Problem is, he can't be trusted to do that, and he likes to play the 2-4 as much as he can.

    I don't like the 2-4, even if we had personnel like the Forty-Niners, but one of the reasons the 2-4 is so devastatingly bad for us, is b/c the strength of our defense is invested the defensive line, and 2 of our weakest links on defense are our ILBs, Hawk and B. Jones.

    The 2-4 ensures that those 2 substandard players remain on the field for every snap, while the strength of the defense, our defensive linemen are standing on the sideline watching the action. That makes absolutely no sense - yet, Capers runs the 2-4 over 50% of the time.
     
  14. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    That's NOT misuse. That is more or less the design goal of the 3-4. Your OLBs are pseudo DEs. They just happen to stand up instead of having their hand in the dirt.
     
  15. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Although inside backer needs upgrade if Pryor is there you gotta take him over Mosley. Safety is the weakest unit on the entire defense and in the league. Although id take Shazier there myself and Bucannon in the 2nd .if he does take Pryor I'd do everything in my power to move up in the second and take Borland. You get two starters for the defense in the first two rounds and then maybe a safety in free agency or convert Hyde.
     
  16. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    That's not drafting another TRUE olb opposite of Matthews! There's a reason Perry or Neal isn't the answer...and it's not just their injury prone bodies either. Guys like Aldon Smith who played DE in hcollege made the transition because one they don't have stiff hips and two they have something besides a bull rush in their arsenal. Perry or Neal will never be great backers... Time to scrap that experiment . If anything perry would probably make a nice impact on the DLine.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    Eh. Most 3-4 OLBs are college ends. I'll agree that Perry seems to have stiffer than preferred hips, but the idea that it's a failure is premature. Has he even played 16 games yet?

    The idea that Perry could play Defensive line for us is nuts. I don't seem him being able to bulk up enough/take on double teams. If he bombs out with us, he'll move on and be a traditional 4-3 end.
     
  18. D Frank

    D Frank Cheesehead

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    McCarthy has been saying that this year, our defense will have many different looks.. Meaning multiple players rotating in and out with different looks.. It kould be possible that with the addition of Peppers, we kould possibly use Perry playing as a down lineman in some packages aside Peppers.. With his 6'3 260 frame, the packers kould ask him to bulk up in order to utilize his big body and 4-3DE skillset.. Thompson has drafted Tweeners for a reason.. Teach them the defense, while developing and honing their skills in order play standing up as a OLB or down as an End
     
  19. wist43

    wist43 Cheesehead

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    I think Neal is fine at ROLB, while Perry doesn't fit there at all - as mradtke66 said, he's too stiff.

    If Perry isn't a fit at OLB, play him where he is effective, i.e. DE in pass rushing situations. Almost all of the players TT has brought in for the front seven are miscast in one way or another for a 3-4. It is up to Capers to put together alignments that maximize their talents - and, as I've been pointing out, that sure as hell isn't the 2-4.

    With the signing of Guion, that should give us enough space eating, snap eating base linemen to keep our pass rushers out of the base, and keep them fresh. Beyond that, our first nickel subpackage should be a 3-3, not a 2-4.
     
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  20. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Perry has looked pretty natural at ROLB, he´s a misfit a LOLB.

    I think everybody got that by now that you think about it this way.
     
  21. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Dude nobody's asking him to play 60 snaps as a natural DE. I'm talking obvious passing downs. In fact I was thinking of scenarios last night how we could use him and I came up with a package called the " express" package. It has Peppers lined up at Olb but close on the Line, nick Perry shaded inside of Peppers, with Daniels, at NT and Mike Neal shaded inside of Matthews. This is to generate immediate pressure with your best pass rushers on obvious passing downs.
     
  22. brandon2348

    brandon2348 GO PACK GO!

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    I agree on Pryor and watching tape of both Borland and Mosley I gotta say I like Borland. I like his intangibles and his nose for the football. I know it's early but one thing I am noticing is the way the roster is filling out. TT is signing a lot of current key players and starting to bring in a couple outside free agents (Peppers, Guion) and I would not be surprised if Chris Clemons is signed. I could see Kuhn, Jolly, and Finley still getting signed depending on medical clearance (Finley,Jolly). There are several players coming back from season long injuries Sherrord, Bulaga, Harris, Franklin, Tretter, Hayward, Nixon, Worthy. I have heard McCarthy is very high on Barrington, Boyd, and Mulamba. I know there is the practice squad but I don't think there is any way 7 rookies make the 53 man roster barring a streak of injuries in training camp. If Finley is signed and they sign a Chris Clemons then maybe it is time to double down and get a combination of guys like Mosley, Borland and Bucannon. Get a guy like Dri Archer in later rounds to help with return game. Just a thought but the way its potentially shaping up I see the team being a couple pieces away from being very dominant.
     
  23. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Yes, but he's coming around. He started by calling Capers names and didn't even mention Thompson.

    According to nfl.com, Perry has played in 17 regular season games, he has recorded 33 solo tackles (46 total), 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defended. In one playoff game he recorded 4 solo tackles and one sack (and looked really bad on one long QB run). If Matthews is moved around a lot rushing from various locations, Perry could see time at ROLB.
     
  24. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Gosh I hope not, perry needs to be in on passing downs only as A rush DE. If he can stay healthy and be productive then we have something. But scrap the olb theory. Guys gain and lose weight in the NFL all the time so it's not impossible for him to put on about 20 lbs like some ppl make it seem with the oh he's to small hooblah.
     
  25. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    You've basically described a 3-3 (assuming you're including a MLB some where.)

    I think a 3-3 would be something to try/would be interesting to see. I've even though about a similar grouping. However, I don't think Perry will excel as an interior rusher, which he would be in your setup. Maybe that formation puts him in position to succeed once or twice per game, but I doubt that.

    The other potential problem is rushing all five of them is risky and wouldn't be done too often. Who's your preference to drop into coverage?
     

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