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Matthews to be primary play caller on defense

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by captainWIMM, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Clay Matthews will have a helmet with a radio receiver for Sunday´s game vs. the Seahawks. This makes me think that Nate Palmer will probably not play every single snap and the Packers will use some other packages.

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/328121221.html
     
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  2. Godgers12XLV

    Godgers12XLV Cheesehead

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    I thought Morgan Burnett called the plays after hawk left?
     
  3. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Burnett makes the calls in the secondary after they have been forwarded by one of the inside linebackers. I don't think he ever got the calls from the sideline though.
     
  4. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Yes, Barrington had the receiver in his helmet. From the link in the OP:
    As the linked article says, one has to be named the primary and the other one the alternate. Since Matthews will be on the field more than Palmer (and perhaps their concern about Palmer's hand) Matthews will be the primary.
     
  5. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Matthews is the most vested and probably the most instinctive player on this D so it makes sense. He's been here the entire time Capers has.
     
  6. SoonerPack

    SoonerPack Cheesehead

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    I like it. Clay knows this system inside and out and should have zero issues getting everyone aligned properly. Losing Sambo does hurt but the way he was playing (banged up) I think it could actually end up being a positive. Palmer seems to be a better athlete and this may also open the door for Jake to get some snaps and I am really high on him. Time will obviously tell and Sam did bring some thump to the middle but I think we may end up looking back and saying it was a blessing in disguise. Now feel free to hit me with the optimistic tag...

    G P G!
     
  7. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I think the biggest reason Matthews hasn't made the calls before is it's more difficult to do so when he's lined up on the edge - instead of the middle of the defense. Particularly when facing hurry-up offenses.
     
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  8. Jerellh528

    Jerellh528 Cheesehead

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    I thought McCarthy said Palmer was going to do it.
     
  9. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It would stand to reason if Matthews is calling the plays he'll be at ILB all day; you can't make pre-snap adjustments from the LOS. So it looks like Matthews and Palmer all day in the middle.
     
  10. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Matthews being the primary play caller doesn't necessarily imply that he will solely play inside as Palmer will continue to wear a helmet with a radio receiver as well. It's likely that the game plan includes some formations Palmer isn't part of though.
     
  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Rule 5, Section 3, Article 3: "Each offensive and defensive team is permitted no more than one player on the field with a speaker in his helmet."

    It would not be practical to have Matthews pass the play call responsibility to Palmer in the middle of a series as he moves from ILB to OLB since it would require him (and Palmer if he's already on the field) to go to the bench and switch to a different helmet and then come back and report the change to the refs. I don't think Matthews will be sitting out an entire series or McCarthy will call timeouts to switch helmets.

    So, I'd conclude the only time Palmer will take responsibility is when Matthews is not on the field, which should be infrequent or not at all, barring injury. Matthews took 100% of the defensive snaps last week.

    The remaining question is whether a guy can make the calls from OLB.

    First, if the helmet speaker responsibility was simply to parrot what the coach was communicating while the D is in the huddle, it wouldn't matter who was wearing it. But that speaker is on down to the 15 second mark on the play clock, and you would want that same player to make any adjustments after the speaker is turned off as some if/then instructions may be communicated.

    Second, while Matthews could stand in the middle, survey the terrain, make adjustments and then jump to the outside, it would be quite ugly as Seattle would go to a quick count to catch Matthews out of position.

    So, this is why I say "Matthews all day" in the middle. And if Matthews is in the middle all day, there's no need to bring in Ryan to pair with Palmer, as much as some of us would like to see that, since Matthews will not be at OLB.

    If that's not enough, the idea that Palmer, a guy with 1 game of NFL experience at ILB would be handed play call responsibility is implausible except in an emergency, or if Matthews has to take a blow for a play or two after chasing Wilson all over the field. And that can't even happen if Palmer is already on the field since he'd be wearing the wrong helmet.

    Add it all up, and the speaker in Palmer's helmet is for emergency purposes, i.e., Matthews gets injured. Any exceptions would leave a guy with exactly 1 game of NFL experience at ILB calling plays.

    QED ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  12. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Since time immemorial, an ILB makes the defensive signal calls in any defense. The reasons are practical. First, the middle of the field offers the best perspective to see what the offense is doing and where his own guys are lined up. Second, the guys in front of him have to hear him, and the middle of the field is the place that's most likely to happen. Third, if an OLB has to turn his head to yell across the box, he's taken his eyes off where they need to be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
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  13. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    The secondary defensive signal caller is more than a conduit from the ILB. If that was all that was involved, any safety could do it.

    The secondary signal caller is always a safety because he's in the middle of the field where his guys have the best chance to see and hear him. However, he's not in a position to reliably hear what the ILB is calling, often standing 15 yards off the line, crowd noise buzzing, and with the ILB yelling forward.

    Ideally, he's perfectly in tune with the the scheme and the ILB, reading what the ILB is reading and making his adjustments simultaneously. Barring that, he has to react quickly to make adjustments that complement what the ILB is doing.
     
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  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    One remaining question in my mind is whether Palmer and Ryan share snaps with Matthews in the middle. However, that would have nothing to do with helmets.
     
  15. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    You missed an important part of the rulebook though.

    Each team is permitted to have a maximum of two active radio receivers to be used on defense by players who have been designated as a primary and backup user.

    According to the article linked above both Matthews and Nate Palmer will be equipped with the radio receiver and speakers in their helmets. Only one player on the field can have an active receiver and since Matthews is on the field for most every play, he's likely to be the primary play caller and Palmer the alternate.

    Teams must declare to the officials before the game who will be the primary radio receiver player and who will be the alternate. When the primary guy leaves the field, the alternate has to inform the officials.
     
  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I see nothing in your posts or Silverstein's piece that refutes my argument. I highlighted above a passage from Silverstein which you quoted without attribution which I believe is misleading if not inaccurate. Only one helmet so equipped, identified by a green dot on the back, is allowed on the field. Whether that means a helmet with equipment turned off and no green dot is allowed on the field is irrelevant as argued below.

    For your post (or Silverstein's piece in support) to serve as a refutation of my argument, there would need to be two speaker helmets on the field, one active and the other inactive, with a toggle switch on the sidelines that can switch active and inactive with the primary and alternate players not having to leave the field. Further, the one player would have to peel off his green dot and give it to the other player to apply to his helmet in order to make the switch without either player leaving the field.

    I don't believe it works this way, do you?

    Additionally, the rules state:

    "Whenever the backup defensive user enters or re-enters the game wearing a helmet with a speaker, he must report to the Umpire. If the primary defensive user subsequently re-enters the game wearing a helmet with a speaker, he must report to the Umpire."

    This further suggests that when a team switches to a different player with the active speaker helmet, that player must come from the sidelines. By extension, the guy who was previously wearing the active speaker helmet would have to leave the field in the absence of toggle switches and on-field sticker unpeeling.

    Whether Matthews and Palmer each have two helmets, or whether it's one helmet with a switch activated on the sidelines along with green dots put on and taken off on the sidelines, is irrelevant.

    So, if we assume the following:

    1) Matthews will be the primary speaker helmet guy;
    2) passing the active speaker helmet responsibility to somebody else would require that somebody to come off the sidelines replacing Matthews;
    3) Matthews is going to take all or nearly all defensive snaps; and
    4) the guy calling the signals needs to be in the middle of the field,

    then Matthews will be in the middle all day.

    QED, right?

    Here are some possibilities of varying plausibility that would refute "Matthews in the middle all day":

    1) Matthews is in fact the alternate, not the primary, making the whole thing irrelevant except for the fact that Palmer will be on the field all day calling signals. This is certainly possible...Silverstein's piece does not state who is assigned primary responsibility. Upon further consideration, I think this it is a plausible scenario.

    2) Matthews will call signals from the OLB position. While this is implausible in general for the reasons stated in an earlier post, it is particularly implausible for a home game when the crowd is loudest when the defense is on the field. Of course, it is possible Capers does not see this as a problem; that's improbable.

    3) Matthews is on the bench for a meaningful number of snaps as he switches helmets, or gets his helmet switched on/off and stickered/destickered, whichever the case may be, to move back and forth from ILB to OLB and back again. Pulling Matthews to accomplish this nonsense is quite implausible.

    4) When Matthews moves from ILB to OLB without leaving the field, he doesn't call the signals at all even though he has the active speaker, with that job left to Palmer or Ryan or whoever without an active speaker helmet. Maybe somebody would throw him some hand signals from the sidelines. That strikes me as too cute by half.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  17. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I took another look at the rule and have to admit that you're right about only one player with a speaker in his helmet being allowed on the field.

    That doesn't guarantee Matthews will play inside all day though cause it's possible Palmer wears the active helmet for some drives to make the defensive calls as well.

    I agree that no player should make the calls playing OLB.
     
  18. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    In his Thursday press conference regarding Matthews McCarthy said, "it's important for us to continue moving him around". (About 4 1/2 minutes in.)
     
  19. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    First half...Matthews has taken every snap from the middle.
     

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