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Do we have the pieces to go to a 4-3?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by adambr2, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Cheesehead625

    Cheesehead625 Cheesehead

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    It's not the base that's a problem. The 3-4 is an excellent system with the right personal and scheme. Teams that use 3-4 or some sort of hybrid make up most of the top defenses. For instance, the Jets, 49ers, Chiefs, Browns, and Cards are all top defenses that run a 3-4 base. The historic defenses having a down year are also 3-4, Baltimore, Pitt, and Houston. The biggest difference between us and those teams are obviously who's coaching the defense and the players. This stupid 2-5 hybrid base Capers uses is just stupid and doesn't work. If we are going to run a hybrid, do it with some 4-3 looks. Second, every decent 3-4 defense has two main things: 1.) a stud nose tackle or at least a very good one. 2.) a very deep and talented pool of linebackers. As good as Raji and Pickett can be, they are not studs, at least Pickett isn't any more, he's old. Also our linebackers leave something to be desired. I mean, when we are paying Brad "*******" Jones the money we are and he's supposed to be one of our best, we're in trouble.
     
  2. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    I agree when you mention Brad Jones and while it pains me to say this, because I'm a TT supporter, I think he's starting to build a track record for overrating his own players, especially on defense. Let's take a look.

    Hawk - Was highly overpaid, now pretty close to value.

    B Jones - Average at best ILB who doesn't move particularly well in space and isn't a playmaker. 4M a year?

    Burnett - Very average safety paid as a top 10 safety.

    T. Williams - Making second tier corner money as one of the weak links of our secondary.

    Raji - An absurd offer of 8M per season.

    There's about 20M of salary right here and we can't shell out 2-3M for some safety help that we desperately need? Cmon, Ted.
     
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  3. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    You're probably mistaken, Capers doesn't run a 2-5 much at all, if ever. You're probably confusing our nickel package which is technically a 2-4. However, I invite you to squint your eyes and tilt your head slightly to the left and you'll see it looks pretty much like 4-3 teams 4-2 nickel. Our "ends" just happen to be standing up (Matthews and Perry).

    That package really isn't any different than moving your ends to tackle (ala the Giants) and your OLB to rush-end (ala the Broncos with Von Miller) to end for your nickel defense. In theory, you're getting your best rushers on the field at the likely expense of taking your run stuffers off.

    Against the Lions, we paid the price. Trot out 3-1-1 offense personnel, and 90% of the league will response with nickel. Unforunately, we decided not to tackle well and this created opportunities for Bush. This is standard offensive play caller stuff.

    Now, assuming I was the DC, I would have liked to have run some kind of Corner-Okie, ie, base, but pull one safety and add a corner. Let Burnett help on Johnson, leave everyone else Man to Man. Risky, but so was what we ended up running anyway.
     
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  4. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Here's my main theory for the struggles of the defense:

    We spend too much money to keep our own "bodies" and not enough to get "difference-makers.". Why spend 8M on Hawk and Jones for a job that Lattimore could do much cheaper? How much better would our team be with a top tier 8M dollar safety to pair with Burnett?

    Clay is a difference maker, but he's it, and he can't do it alone. Shields isn't a playmaker per se, but he's by far our best cover corner, a very important and difference making role. So those are really the only 2 I see that are worth big investments that extend past their initial 4-5 years of rookie contract service. IMO, Raji, Tramon, Jones or Hawk, and Pickett should all be considered expendable. Its time to cut out the "bodies" and build this D around 2 types of players: 1) difference makers, and 2) hungry young contributors like Lattimore, Hayward, Daniels, Hyde, etc.

    As such, the time has come for TT to look to make another Charles Woodson like splash. I am specifically thinking of potential free agent safety Jairus Byrd, who I would love to see us pursue for around 8M per season.

    It looks like we'll be picking in the top half of the draft at the moment, which would give us a real chance to add an instant contributor. While I'd be open to options, it would be outstanding to add either a potentially top cover corner to pair with Shields, or a playmaking ILB who can tackle and move in space. And you've still got early picks in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and a comp for Jennings to look at perhaps the other one not picked in the 1st and a big body for the D-line.

    Now you've potentially got a very much improved secondary with Byrd and Burnett, Shields and Hayward returning with Hyde, House, and a rookie, with added talent at ILB. Should this all come to be, I don't see how you can't expect drastic immediate improvement on D, barring injury.

    I am not saying I could do TT's job better than he does, but I do want him to be open-minded and consider the possibility that his own philosophies have contributed to the struggles on D.
     
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  5. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Let me ask a simple question: If the current players can't execute the 3-4 what in the world makes you think they'll excel in the 4-3?
    They were all chosen for the 3-4 and haven't gotten the job done. Now they should all be good 4-3 players?
    I read "sometimes change has to be made" and I disagree.
    Change for changes sake can be very bad, what if it's worse?
    I've spent a long time following the Packers and the change to the 3-4 was a big one. I don't want to give next season away as they revamp for the 4-3. It's really a stupid argument.
    I've often advocated for a hybrid 4-3 at times. I think we have the personnel to do that. It's just a bit crazy to think about completely changing the defensive system when you have the best QB in the game. It's like wasting Barry Sanders or All Day. I don't want to wait a year while the Packers spend a season changing to the new system.
    adambr2 has brought up some interesting points, while I don't agree with his position on FA there is help on the way. It's becoming obvious while losing... to pinpoint the real target areas of this team. For example? If the Packers do not get someone better at safety I will be "all in" for firing every single person at 1265.
     
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  6. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Its fine that you don't agree with me on adding a playmaker FA on defense. I'm normally a draft and develop guy myself. However, when several defense-heavy drafts haven't resulted in improvement, I think there are circumstances that call for looking at other options. Draft and develop is a philosophy, but when you specifically limit yourself to that, you've taken away your own ability as a GM to consider all avenues for improvement.

    Since you've long been an advocate of re-signing Raji, I ask, which makes us better next year defensively? Raji at 8M, or Byrd at 8M?
     
  7. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    The irony is that the extreme spike in defensive struggles occurred when Matthews returned. Before that, we were going along fine without him.

    Obviously, it's not his fault, but its been suggested that perhaps the defensive schemes are too oriented around Matthews.

    You do have to put all of your defensive players in a position to succeed, not just one. Which is why I don't get too concerned about not retaining a defensive scheme that caters to Matthews. If we were talking about an already elite defense, of course you don't mess with it, but we have a very bad defense, with or without Clay. I want to improve the entire defense, not focus on how to best put Clay Matthews in a position to succeed.

    I am not arguing that Clay is very important to this D - he is. But many compare him to Rodgers. Sorry, but the importance of Clay Matthews to this team doesn't even come close to the importance of Aaron Rodgers.
     
  8. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    From my understanding $8 mil per year was a rumor not a fact. A highly suspect rumor at best.

    Burnett was paid on potential. You win some you lose some. We did the same thing with jordy.

    Tramon was paid a reasonable salary at the time for one season in which he excelled.

    Hawk was definitely over paid for awhile.
     
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  9. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I would love if we could add a top 5 free agent signing of all time to our team whenever we wanted to. You make it sound easy. I don't know what kind of career Byrd will have, but he's no Charles Woodson.

    A completely 1 year turn around for our D isn't going to come from a top pick. Hell look at JJ Watt. He had the best defensive season I have ever seen but his rookie year he only showed promise, his production was ehh. Rookies struggle traditionally.

    You want a complete reversal in our defense? Change coordinators and hope you get the game changer. Best example of this is the saints this season.
     
  10. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    When you call something "stupid", it's good to have your facts straight, or...
     
  11. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    So are we just going to ignore the ACL tear and the fact his career was over by the time he was Matthew's age? We are also going to ignore that Matthew's first five years are much better than Kampman's first five years? You can't seriously be saying the Packers made a mistake by not tailoring the defense around Aaron Kampman.

    Let's just ignore those facts for now. I just can't get behind the idea that catering the defense to average players like Nick Perry (often injured), Mike Neal (often injured), Jerel Worthy (coming off an ACL tear and hasn't played one snap all season) and so on is a good idea. I also can't get behind the idea of playing the ONLY playmaker on the team out of position will help the defense. The Packers need better players and a better scheme. Switching back to a 4-3 is not the solution. Switching the scheme won't make players tackle better. Switching schemes won't make Tramon Williams, Davon House (hot garbage), MD Jennings and McMillian be better secondary players.
     
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  12. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    Houston is actually #1 in total defense http://www.nfl.com/stats/team
     
  13. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    This is an example of why I think points on offense and preventing points on defense are more important stats than yards (also because the scoreboard doesn’t reference yards):Would you rather have a defense that surrenders an average of 26.3 ppg and 290.4 yards pg or one that surrenders 13.7 ppg and 297.5 yards pg? That's Houston's D vs. Carolina's. BTW, Carolina is 3rd in yards surrendered while Houston is tied for 26th in scoring D.

    Here's the scoring stats:
    http://www.nfl.com/stats/categoryst...siveStatisticCategory=SCORING&qualified=false

    Regarding the scheme: Would you rather have a great DC who uses the 4-3 or an average one who uses the 3-4? IOW, IMO first things first: Find a new DC and hope he's a great one no matter the scheme.
     
  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    For me, it is a never ending cause of annoyance that unfiltered points surrendered is quoted as a defensive stat.

    Those points can include defensive scores against, surrendered by the offense, and special teams scores against. For instance, didn't Houston set some kind of record for consecutive games with a pick-6 against...5 games I think it was.

    Further, a crappy offense leaves the defense in compromising positions more often than a good one. There's field position and the fact that a bad offense will tend to lose time of possession leaving the opponent to run more plays (which translates to more yards and points).

    I believe there are 4 stats, taken together, that give a good picture of a defense:

    1. passer rating against
    2. average yards per rush against
    3. turnovers created
    4. red zone points per opportunity against

    The first 3 are readily available. The 4th. is not easily found, but matters quite a bit nonetheless.
     
  15. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Are you talking to me adambr2? Not being a smart azz just that you didn't reply but just posted.
    There has been improvement in two defense-heavy drafts. You just don't remember how miserable the Packers were. I know it seems tired and an easy out but injuries do play a significant role. How the heck would they have done defensively with just Clay and Perry healthy all this time?
    I really honestly don't believe TT limits himself to D&D, I think he looks at FA all the time. It's cost versus reward. Remember the contracts to Clay and Aaron? Look at who we have coming up as FAs soon? Wanna resign Shields?
    I'm not going to debate Raji over Byrd with you. It's not even close. Guys like Raji are rare. Even an average Raji.
    I will admit I am most surprised at how little valued he is to many on Packer boards. I suppose if you're not making sacks or pick-sixes people don't know.
    I do like the idea of looking Byrd over but I'm not a capmaster so I don't know if the Packers can afford him.
     
  16. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Why do you always confuse people here with sensible ideas?
    I'm all in if they can get Rex Ryan as coordinator next year. The problem I have is finding a suitable replacement. I'm okay with change but you just don't change for the sake of it.
    I hate Rex Ryan as the coach of the Jets but I'd love him as the Packers DCoord.
     
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  17. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    I similarly agree. Everyone front office in the league knows who's a free agent or otherwise available. Right next to them on the Grand Spreadsheet is the number Ted is wiling to pay. I'm sure most FAs get much more than "fair" value, because all it takes is one team to make "market" value sky high.

    Suspicion: With the flatter cap we're seeing, two things are likely to happen.

    1) Teams with good cap management will have an easier time keep their better players, because the market will be slightly depressed (less cap room to go around.) Situations like James Jones 3 years ago, for example.

    2) GMs like TT will be more likely to actually sign free agents because again, the market will be depressed. Suddenly TT's final offer starts looking like a league wide offer.
     
  18. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    I'd say it this way if I may sir: All it takes is one "desperate" team to make "market" value sky high. If you're not selling tickets it's smart to sign that one "beauty" in FA. But you're not going to win a lot of games with one player unless it's a franchise QB and you don't find those in FA.
    Which goes back to D&D, How is one FA better than a high round draft pick? You don't know how either are going to pan out. On one hand you have their previous play in the NFL (why are their current teams letting them walk) and the other hand you can't be sure they're NFL ready or injury prone (Rodgers, Matthews, Lacy).
    It's a bit of a gamble either way but I'd sure take the younger guy at a cheaper salary to manage my cap more often than not.
     
  19. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    Thank you. Forget the bloody scheme for the time being. Get a DC who takes his players, get them to play up to their potential and who institutes a scheme where players know their assignments and that they feel comfortable with. And get a DC the players will play for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  20. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Yes, sorry, I was. I'm curious as to where the defensive improvement has come in the Capers era. I see one good year (2010), and a deceptively decent "stat" defense that got exposed in the playoffs last year. The injuries on defense have, frankly, not been too far off from the mean (unlike the offense). I'll give you that important players like Shields, Burnett, Matthews, etc. have missed a handful of games, but no key player besides Hayward has been placed on IR or even missed more than half the season -- while there's been at least 4 on offense. Since the defense was going along okay when the injuries were occurring, and got completely embarrassed on Thursday, the problems on defense seem to be caused by a lot more than devastating injuries.

    On Raji, I am frankly flabbergasted that anyone could place more value on him for us than acquiring an elite safety, especially given the current state of the defense with Raji. I have asked this before and will ask again -- what exactly does he contribute that is conducive to winning football games? He has 1 tackle in the last 4 1/2 games -- ONE! That is despicable production. He surely does not free up ILB's to make plays. He was easy blocked without a double team by a single Detroit Guard. He has been a frequent sight on the field the last 4 weeks as the D-line has been gashed. He is extremely inconsistent and takes plays off. I speculate that his already questionable work ethic will suffer more if he gets paid. If he can't motivate himself to perform in a contract year, how will he do afterwards? In 2011, he was rated as the worst NT in football against the run. The worst! He was somewhat better at DE in 2012, but had a poor first half of the season before picking it up the last 6 games.

    This is a good article on the major inconsistencies of Raji.
    http://lombardiave.com/2013/03/08/whats-up-with-b-j-raji/

    Again, I am just asking for something, anything, of statistical or otherwise that is evidence of Raji helping the defense win football games and justifying his top 10 draft status and a lucrative long term deal, besides 2010. There needs to be something more to justify that than "he has rare agility for a big man". Bam Bam Bigelow had rare agility for a big man. I want to know what exactly BJ Raji does that makes the defense better and helps win football games.

    Until then I firmly believe that Raji is the most overrated Packer and probably one of the most overrated players in the NFL.
     
  21. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    Yes he does but he also extended guys like Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers for less than what they could have commanded. His approach can be a double edged sword.
     
  22. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    With Capers he seems to be outstanding as a DC for his first 2 years and then his units steadily decline. Carolina, Jacksonville etc. Perhaps Capers' has just fallen into a malaise and just doesn't run the Defense the way he did back in 2010?
     
  23. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    MMost of the time the young draft pick is much more of an unknown than the free agent. With free agents you have actual video of how the've performed against NFL competition. Look at the Seahawks for example. They signed Avril for a relative bargain and the guy has been integral in their team becoming the best defense in the NFL. Free agency is not always bad, often times it's actually quite helpful. The problem is that most people hear free agency and they think Mario Williams or some other high-priced free agent while the better GMs utilize free ageny to fill in gaps in the roster with steady vets that allow rookies the time to develop without hurting the team.
     
  24. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Also have to include if said player can fit with what you want to do..Just because player a plays well in a certain system, doesnt mean he will play well in yours.
     
  25. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I agree a filtered points surrendered would be more useful than the unfiltered one, but IMO points surrendered is still a better stat than yards surrendered as it is also flawed as it includes yards gained in garbage time. And I didn't say points surrendered is the best stat, just preferable to yards surrendered.

    I've read the passer rating differential is one of the best predictors of the winning team and think opponent's passer rating is another good measure of a defense.
     

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