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For everyone that is up in arms about the run game...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Saw this over at cheeseheadtv and it I figured I would repost it as it came across as the most reasonable thing I have read on the net about our run game.

    "A whole lot of chatter and gnashing of teeth from Packer fandom in the wake of what passed for a running game on Monday night.

    Where to begin.

    First of all, lets forget about the backs for a moment. (Easy to do given their performance, I know) I think it was pretty clear from the moment it was announced that Dimitri Nance was inactive that Mike McCarthy's game plan was to throw it 50 times, a goal he almost accomplished. (Rodgers attempted 45 passes.) I just have a hard time thinking McCarthy would head into a contest where he planned on feeding the running game even a little bit with only two active tailbacks. My hunch is, much like he did against the Chargers in 2007, McCarthy took a look at Chicago's #1 ranked run defense on tape and realized his squad would be banging its head against a wall for much of the night and decided - to hell with that. Hence, a ton of short, quick routes in the passing game to take the place of a running game. Sure, he poked and prodded his way through the first half trying to see what might work running the football. He even got the Bears to bite hard on a playaction fake when Rodgers bootlegged the opposite way to hit Finley for a big gain. But as the game went on, especially after the start of the second half, McCarthy was pretty clearly in throw-only mode. And I have zero-problem with that.

    Meanwhile, the few chances that Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn did get were mostly doomed from the start. No one on the offensive line, not even usual stalwart Josh Sitton, was getting any push against the Bears front seven. And the alarming thing is the fact that the Bears were begging the Packers to run the ball. They kept both safeties back almost all night. (Incidentally, a lesser quarterback would most likely have had a terrible night on Monday. Rodgers, with zero running game behind him, STILL took the Bears defense apart even though it was completely designed to stop him.)

    I know people are up in arms about the lack of a running game, but that is not even close to why the Packers lost on Monday night. They moved the ball at will. They just kept imploding at the worst possible times, whether it was a false start in the red zone, penalties and poor execution on special teams, penalties to take away interceptions on defense...you name it. All those things contributed to the loss against the Bears much more than the lack of a running game that McCarthy seemingly had no interest in trying to produce.

    Heading into the Lions game on Sunday, I think you'll see a bit more of an honest attempt at establishing a more traditional running game, but again the Lions are a team that any coordinator worth his salt will want to attack through the air. Their front four is very good. Their secondary is terrible. It makes sense, yet again, to have Rodgers do what he does best and drive the offense through the short passing game rather than count on an offensive line that seems incapable of providing any kind of sustained effort in the running game.

    I know its popular to say - "The Packers will have to run the ball sooner or later, especially as the weather turns bad in December and January" - and while I agree an emerging running game as the season turns would be ideal, I just don't think McCarthy is worried about it. Remember the game in Chicago in 2007? Everyone I've ever talked to who was at that game, both media and fans, say it was the coldest, windiest, most horrible game they've ever been to playing-condition wise. And yet McCarthy STILL came out with three and four wide sets and had Favre chucking it all over the yard. It's just who he is and what he believes in. Its funny in a way, because I remember Packer fans, myself included, being so upset when Forrest Gregg insisted on his "three yards and a cloud of dust"-type attack. Seems we've come full circle from a coach who would only pound the ball to a coach who never will.

    All in all, I don't see much changing when it comes to the running game unless McCarthy ditches this idea of protecting Brandon Jackson from having to be an every down back. His explanation after the Bills game was that the staff wanted to protect him and keep him fresh for 3rd down. That's why we're seeing so much John Kuhn according to McCarthy. Jackson has subsequently looked terrible in the handful of carries he's been given, causing both long-time detractors and fans who were willing to give him a shot to pile on and say he's incapable of handling the job. I contend that he's not being given a real chance to prove that he can do it. Jackson had seven carries on Monday night. Seven. How many games have we watched Ryan Grant slam into the offensive line again, and again, and again only to see him start breaking runs later in the game, after 10 or 12 carries? Go watch the Eagles game again or the Carolina game from 2008. Both times Jackson comes in for an injured Grant and does a fine job. But with a week to prepare, I think McCarthy and company are just over thinking it and over specializing things way too much. If they want to run the ball, they have to give him every opportunity to run into Daryn Colledge's back three or four times before he gets going, just like Grant would.

    The fact of the matter is, unless McCarthy has a sudden revelation in how he wants to design his offensive attack (I'm not holding my breath) and unless the move is made to younger, stronger offensive tackles who are less of a detriment in the running game (McCarthy has indicated that's not happening) and the line starts to magically produce a push, the Packers are going to continue to be a pass first, second and third and run-when-protecting-a-lead kind of team for the foreseeable future."

    Mike McCarthy is not going to change his approach to the running game | Cheesehead TV
     
  2. packerbob

    packerbob Cheesehead

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    I've mentioned on several occasions that I was concerned about the Packers OL not being physical enough and unable to get any push in the run game. I was just expressing an honest opinion about our OL and boy did I catch hell around here for doing so. This could be more of a problem than the running back position itself.
     
  3. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Really don't remember you saying anything about the OL, bob...
     
  4. packerbob

    packerbob Cheesehead

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    I've mentioned it before. Just to recap some of my thoughts I'm not a fan of Collegde. He gets no push in the run game and gets pushed back into Rodgers lap quite often when pass blocking. Wells is a nice guy and great at making all the in line adjustments but he is small and quite often gets overpowered. Clifton and Tauscher are getting old and are wearing done. Neither of them were ever good at run blocking especially Clifton but both were reliable pass blockers in the past but with age that's starting to deteriorate. I've also expressed my disdain for the zone blocking system. I felt it doesn't work in short yardage when your OL needs to get push up front. It's practicaly useless when your in the red zone and even more so near the endzone. The only linemen I like as run blockers are Sitton and Bulaga. I've suggested that Lang should replace Colledge at left guard. In the near future I've also said the Packers need to draft 2 physical lineman(roadgraders) to replace Wells and Tauscher and scrap the zone blocking scheme. I'd start Bulaga and Lang this year. Next year: Bulaga/Lang/draft pick/Sitton/draft pick Make a commitment to the run and let Rodgers play action off it rather than setting up the pass to try and jump start a run game. It would be a more balanced offense and would be much more conducive to the weather conditions in Dec. and Jan. Not going to happen though. McCarthy just loves that zone blocking too much.
     
  5. 3irty1

    3irty1 Fear the Dreads!

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    Colledge is horrible. Clifton and ESPECIALLY Taucher looked their age last week. I would like to see Bulaga and Lang in there this week as well. Colledge needs to go.
     
  6. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    And we get zero help from anyone else outside of the O line. Finley is awful at blocking but then again leaving him 1 on 1 with peppers is just as much of a match up issue as asking peppers to cover Finley down field.
     
  7. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Completely agree on Colledge and on the Tackles. I do think Wells is undersized, but he's really good at pass pro, specially in line adjustements, and Spitz was such a mess last year, that he needs to stay.

    I do, however, think that Lang will be a very good RT, once he gets to 100%.

    Also not a fan of the ZBS, unless it's ran by an expert (Campen is anything but an expert. The system was introduced by that SoB Jagodzinski when he was the OC in 06).

    Right now, I'd start Bulaga-Colledge-Wells-Sitton-Lang, and would focus on finding a G in the next years' draft, as it is much easier to find a guard than a tackle.

    Don't subscribe AT ALL to the run-first theory. No sucessfull team in the NFL does it anymore, and with the kind of players we have, we ought to be a pass first team.

    We cannot be a pass only team, though...
     

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