Midseason Assessment

Krabs

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1) Sadly, after making a commitment to drafting offensive lineman over a number of drafts (which I believe is they key to football success), it turns out that, unfortunately, a number of poor picks were made. Additionally, sadly, Bakhtiari's and Jenkins' injuries have clearly left them as not the players they were, but the fact is, that no one can play forever. Still, watching that loss to the Giants in London was painful. The Packers O-Line coach, Butkis, made absolutely no adjustments against the Giant's twists. The Offensive line was utterly befuddled and collapsed.
I agree that the offensive line has had its issues this season. Bakh has actually played pretty well. Jenkins has taken a step back. I think he is coming back into is form, but it's too late for this year. Myers is a good center. Early on this unit stunk. I think they have made some strides though. I would put them as an average group overall with some upgrades at guard making it much better.
2) I fundamentally really like Matt Lafleur, but his defense of Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry is downright painful all the time. Quite frankly, it is hard to believe they could stoop lower than Dom Capers or Mike Pettine, but somehow they managed. An NFL team giving up roughly 400 yards rushing is utterly unprecedented. Either your coordinator is inept, or your players are hopeless, or both. But it can't be neither. LaFleur can insist we're all in this together. Well ok, but then we will all LOSE together. From what I can gather, Joe Barry believes he wins if he doesn't give up 60-yard TD passes. However, he is very content to give up 4, 15-yard passes, or let his run defense give up 5-10 yards at a clip and stay on the field for 10 minutes per drive. That works real well later in the game when the other team's offensive has such a time on the field advantage, by Q3, Q4, the defense can barely stand.
Totally agree. I didn't understand the hire in the first place.
4) Since his injury, Tonyan is clearly no longer the player he was. Dequara, though he never proved himself like Tonyan, sadly, also after his injury, is clearly not an NFL calibre player. Lewis is finished.
I said it at the beginning of the season that this was by far our weakest position group on this team. I like Lewis, but he's washed. Everyone brings up his blocking. That's all he can do. There's no playmaking ability out of any of these guys. Tonyan is barely serviceable.
5) Gary's injury was a very tough, and a sad loss. This guy was really developing into a star. Before he got hurt, his 2022 motor simply did not stop!
Dudes a stud.
6) Knew the moment I saw Christian Watson college highlights, this guy had big potential. Very happy how things are developing with him.
I know there's a lot of people ******* on this group and as far as 2022 goes, I would tend to agree they are below average. However, the potential for this group to be good. Watson and Doubs seem to be hits. Toure has shown a few flashes. An addition in terms of another playmaker would really round that group out.
 

PackerDNA

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Read a quote a couple of weeks ago, can't remember from who. To paraphrase;
"The Packers are very good at being very good. Not good at being great".
Just putting that out there as an overall comment on where we've been, where we are, and where we're probably going.
 
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Dantés

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There is so much wrong with this team, but I will LIMIT my comments to just 6 observations/comments - mostly negative, but some positive:


1) Sadly, after making a commitment to drafting offensive lineman over a number of drafts (which I believe is they key to football success), it turns out that, unfortunately, a number of poor picks were made. Additionally, sadly, Bakhtiari's and Jenkins' injuries have clearly left them as not the players they were, but the fact is, that no one can play forever. Still, watching that loss to the Giants in London was painful. The Packers O-Line coach, Butkis, made absolutely no adjustments against the Giant's twists. The Offensive line was utterly befuddled and collapsed.

2) I fundamentally really like Matt Lafleur, but his defense of Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry is downright painful all the time. Quite frankly, it is hard to believe they could stoop lower than Dom Capers or Mike Pettine, but somehow they managed. An NFL team giving up roughly 400 yards rushing is utterly unprecedented. Either your coordinator is inept, or your players are hopeless, or both. But it can't be neither. LaFleur can insist we're all in this together. Well ok, but then we will all LOSE together. From what I can gather, Joe Barry believes he wins if he doesn't give up 60-yard TD passes. However, he is very content to give up 4, 15-yard passes, or let his run defense give up 5-10 yards at a clip and stay on the field for 10 minutes per drive. That works real well later in the game when the other team's offensive has such a time on the field advantage, by Q3, Q4, the defense can barely stand.

3) Green Bay apparently only cares about how fast DBs are in the 40 when they make draft picks, coverage skills are irrelevant . That said, the fact is none of the the guys they have ever look at the QB/ball. In the end, the QB is either running down field 10 or 20 yards before any of them even realize it's not a pass, or they are committing pass interference at the last second because they have no idea what's going on. They have wasted so many early round picks on DBs over the last 5-10 years, it is ridiculous. Two, three years later, these guys are out of football, and the team is scrambling to pick up guys off the waiver wire. I admit there is a systemic coaching issue with DBs, probably from HS on, that favors speed overfootbal acumen, so the fact is, DBs are a complete crapshoot in the draft, more so than most other positions. It's a waste to draft them early. GB has made this mistake over and over.

4) Since his injury, Tonyan is clearly no longer the player he was. Dequara, though he never proved himself like Tonyan, sadly, also after his injury, is clearly not an NFL calibre player. Lewis is finished.

5) Gary's injury was a very tough, and a sad loss. This guy was really developing into a star. Before he got hurt, his 2022 motor simply did not stop!

6) Knew the moment I saw Christian Watson college highlights, this guy had big potential. Very happy how things are developing with him.

I could go on, but will stop here.


For many years now, having almost always been "in it," Packer fans have been spoiled.

There may have to be many lean years ahead to correct the deficiencies. That said, the head coach, or the management for that matter, has to at least recognize that there are issues.

It can happen. We have gone through this before.


Thanks

Good post.

I disagree that there have been a number of bad picks on the offensive line, with one exception. Josh Myers is mediocre, and if you take a center in round 2, the standard is that he's good. It's particularly galling because they passed on Creed Humphrey to take Myers, who was considered a better prospect, and Humphrey has been elite for KC ever since. But other than that, the drafting at OL has been fine/good. Newman is a backup caliber player, but he was a 4th round pick. Runyan as a solid starter in round 6 is a homerun. The biggest problem on the OL this season has been that the two players who should elevate the unit-- Bakh and Jenkins-- have been inconsistent while they recover from injury.

I agree that Barry has proven himself to be incapable of coordinating a successful defense. I fully expect him to be let go after the season is over. LaFleur can coach up an offense, but if he can't figure out how to build his defensive staff, it might prove to be an achilles heel.

The defensive backs are a mixed bag. Stokes might fit your description, but he was also better last year. Alexander and Douglas certainly have ball skills. Savage just plain stinks, and Amos has lost a step. I think the safeties are bad because they're in decline and the corners are bad because they're being mismanaged.

Tonyan was never a guy who was going to win against man coverage and create opportunities for himself. He needs to be schemed open. That was true before the injury as well. The Packers are doing a terrible job this year of running the offense as designed, and that has hurt Tonyan's production as much as anything. Deguara is in a similar boat. He's an H-back-- his value will come as a lead blocker and receiver when the team is playing under center. Rodgers won't/can't play under center, so Deguara is largely a non-factor. Lewis is just a Y who blocks in-line and he's still capable in that regard, but he's close to the end.

Gary has been a star for some time for those who are paying attention. It's telling how badly the defense fell apart without him.

My opinion-- this season has essentially been doomed by a trifecta of main problems:

1) The defense was loaded with talent and terribly mishandled. They were supposed to carry the team while the offense got in order, and they just couldn't.

2) Rodgers, in some combination, wouldn't or couldn't run the offense as designed and leveraged LaFleur into going back to some of his old ********-- static 11 personnel, no motion, no under-center PA, less condensed sets, etc. That was the case for most of the first half of the season. It obviously didn't work-- it's the same tired old style of offense that led to Rodgers' steep decline in 2015-18. But he has sway in the organization, so they tried it and it failed miserably. In more recent weeks, they've gone back to more of LaFleur's offense and the production has ticked back up. For people who disagree with this take, I would direct your attention to New York where a similar dynamic is unfolding. Mike LaFleur's offense has looked inoperable with Zach Wilson. Wilson obviously isn't anywhere near Rodgers overall, but he's similar in that his calling cards are second reaction plays and arm talent. Wilson doesn't want to run the design of the offense, and it's a disaster. Mike White, hardly some QB phenom, comes in, runs the offense as designed, and it's suddenly effective. That's not an accident.

3) Injuries on the offensive line at times have made the offense unworkable.

On the bright side, I don't think the Packers are necessarily staring down the barrel of a long stretch of bad seasons. If (and this is clearly still an *if*) Love can play, they could rebuild around him relatively quickly. LaFleur can create effective offense without elite personnel if the QB is willing to run it.

What's beyond frustrating to me about this whole season is that Gutekunst didn't stick with his plan. He drafted Love despite all the blowback that can with the move. He sat him for two seasons to develop behind Rodgers. Last off-season was the time-- trade Rodgers for a haul and use a ton of draft capital to build around a new QB. He chickened out, gave Rodgers an extension and continued to sit Love. That's inexcusable. The Packers could have done what the Seahawks did, but they failed in the moment of testing. Drives me insane.
 

PackerDNA

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The problem with this organization is they want to have their cake and eat it too. They straddle the fence and can't decide if they're all in or going into a rebuild. It started but jumping the gun with the drafting of Love and has continued with hesitation and mistakes since. Many times when you try to have everything, you end up with nothing.
 

Magooch

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What's beyond frustrating to me about this whole season is that Gutekunst didn't stick with his plan. He drafted Love despite all the blowback that can with the move. He sat him for two seasons to develop behind Rodgers. Last off-season was the time-- trade Rodgers for a haul and use a ton of draft capital to build around a new QB. He chickened out, gave Rodgers an extension and continued to sit Love. That's inexcusable. The Packers could have done what the Seahawks did, but they failed in the moment of testing. Drives me insane.

The problem with this organization is they want to have their cake and eat it too. They straddle the fence and can't decide if they're all in or going into a rebuild. It started but jumping the gun with the drafting of Love and has continued with hesitation and mistakes since. Many times when you try to have everything, you end up with nothing.

Yep, I'm sure I'm starting to sound like a broken record but I've been banging this drum for a while now. It's a spineless approach to management IMO. Make your decision and stick with it.
If you thought Rodgers was declining enough AND Love was good enough to trade up to get and saw him as your QB1 for the future - then commit to going all-in on that plan and do whatever it takes to maximize the potential you have with Love.
And if you can't do that and two years on you realize that Rodgers is still pretty good and/or maybe you're not entirely convinced anymore that Love is the future for you...then commit to going all-in on your win-now window and do everything you can to put together a championship winning team around Rodgers.

But what you absolutely can NOT do is refuse to commit to going all-in around Rodgers while simultaneously refusing to commit to go all-in on a Love-led future. That is management malpractice. Can you imagine if a Fortune 500 company tried to handle their biggest transition in a decade in the same manner that we've tried to navigate this transition? Their board of directors would have upper management clearing out their offices before the ink dried on their goodbye letters.

Just feels like those in charge of this club are so petrified of making a mistake/mishandling the situation that they're pretty much unwilling to commit firmly to any position/plan whatsoever. Refusing to sacrifice the present for the future while also refusing to sacrifice the future for the present is a good way to end up pretty mediocre in both the present and future.
 
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Dantés

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Pure conjecture, but I wonder if Murphy forced Gutekunst's hand regarding a Rodgers extension.
 
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Dantés

Dantés

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That's interesting. I honestly hadn't even thought of it that way.

I don't think it's a slam dunk conclusion. Gutekunst may have just been so enticed by back to back MVP seasons that he reversed course. But I could also envision a scenario in which the business side of the team says "no-- you are not trading the guy widely regarded as the best QB in football."
 

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At this point I think in the off season we get a new DC, implement a 4-3, and get stout with that front 4. We have lost too many games in the trenches for not just this year but for the last 10 or 12.

The Packers would need to add a lot of talent next to Clark to feature a stout front four though.

Rodgers won't/can't play under center, so Deguara is largely a non-factor.

It's awfully tough for a quarterback to play under center with a broken thumb.
 

milani

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The Packers would need to add a lot of talent next to Clark to feature a stout front four though.



It's awfully tough for a quarterback to play under center with a broken thumb.
Indeed we would have to add some meat around Clark. But it is much harder to run over buffalo than cheese.
 
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I’m going to pick a little. I know some in here don’t like to question the methodology of our FO and it’s almost deemed as “you know better then them ok” kinda attitude.
I am also aware that it’s easy to pick when we’re down and out. However what I’m about to say isn’t a reflection of being negative or for the sake of pure criticism, but because I love my Packers and my hope is they can pull out of a absolute nosedive of a season and get back to what we’re accustomed.

We are obviously going about some things the wrong way. I don’t think this is a secret. Brian needs to know that it’s ok to morph philosophy some with the times. There’s something to be said for staying true to who you are in draft and player acquisition and I actually agree with that. This is purely my opinion and it’s merely an appeal to step outside the box and swallow our pride for a minute.

Overall I like Brian. Besides the fact we share in common our ties to UWL, and Minneapolis (I’ve live extensively in both places) Brian and I have other roots out near Lake Gaston N.C./VA). I have nothing but admiration for what he’s achieved. That said, Brian needs to do a better job getting his drafts aligned towards his season mode. Such as pushing draft resources out more into future years when the throttle is closing and vice versa.
In 2 of the last 3 drafts, we took players in substantial areas (later Day 1) that we pretty much knew would have minimal or no real impact early in their careers (Love/Wyatt). That’s fine in a window that’s closing hard, it’s not fine in a “Win now” mode. In no way am I suggesting that alone would’ve fixed this Malay of a season, but I’m 200% sure that we could’ve aligned our resources better and brought on 2 or more early draft selections that were more NFL ready. I liked the draft selections themselves, but the timing was questionable and is displaying a pattern.
 

Krabs

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I’m going to pick a little. I know some in here don’t like to question the methodology of our FO and it’s almost deemed as “you know better then them ok” kinda attitude.
I am also aware that it’s easy to pick when we’re down and out. However what I’m about to say isn’t a reflection of being negative or for the sake of pure criticism, but because I love my Packers and my hope is they can pull out of a absolute nosedive of a season and get back to what we’re accustomed.

We are obviously going about some things the wrong way. I don’t think this is a secret. Brian needs to know that it’s ok to morph philosophy some with the times. There’s something to be said for staying true to who you are in draft and player acquisition and I actually agree with that. This is purely my opinion and it’s merely an appeal to step outside the box and swallow our pride for a minute.

Overall I like Brian. Besides the fact we share in common our ties to UWL, and Minneapolis (I’ve live extensively in both places) Brian and I have other roots out near Lake Gaston N.C./VA). I have nothing but admiration for what he’s achieved. That said, Brian needs to do a better job getting his drafts aligned towards his season mode. Such as pushing draft resources out more into future years when the throttle is closing and vice versa.
In 2 of the last 3 drafts, we took players in substantial areas (later Day 1) that we pretty much knew would have minimal or no real impact early in their careers (Love/Wyatt). That’s fine in a window that’s closing hard, it’s not fine in a “Win now” mode. In no way am I suggesting that alone would’ve fixed this Malay of a season, but I’m 200% sure that we could’ve aligned our resources better and brought on 2 or more early draft selections that were more NFL ready. I liked the draft selections themselves, but the timing was questionable and is displaying a pattern.
I've met Brian a few times. Believe it or not, my daughter is classmates with his daughter. Both seniors in high school graduating this year. Super nice guy and has been pretty accommodating with the conversations that we have had.

I'm kind of in the same boat though. I know there are swings and misses in every draft. If you look over the past years there have been quite a few misses and questionable picks. The Love pick is the most obvious. These WR picks look good and are trending to be really good players in the future. Like you said, we needed these picks 2-3 years ago so they were humming with Rodgers. I do think Rodgers plays next season. We will see how much they progress over the offseason and into next year.
 

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I would prefer to see Nixon return punts rather than Cobb. I think Nixon would be able to show some of his juke moves which Cobb does not have in abundance. His acceleration looks better also.
 

mradtke66

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get a new DC, implement a 4-3,

People keep saying this, I like to point out this isn't the change you expect it to be.

3-4 OLBs are the approximate size, shape, and responsibility of 4-3 DEs. If we switched to a 4-3 tomorrow, our starting front 4 would be (assuming all are healthy) Smith, Gary, Clark, Reed. Maybe, just maybe, against certain teams and situational calls, you'd have a front 4 of Lowry, Clark, Reed, Gary, with Smith a the SOLB.

But even then, it doesn't matter, because the league is now Nickel-base (by snap count). Your Nickel front 4 would most likely be Smith, Gary, Clark, and a rotation of Wyatt, Reed, etc. for the 4th guy.

So tell me, what have you really changed? Why do think a 4-3 would be appreciably different?
 

milani

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People keep saying this, I like to point out this isn't the change you expect it to be.

3-4 OLBs are the approximate size, shape, and responsibility of 4-3 DEs. If we switched to a 4-3 tomorrow, our starting front 4 would be (assuming all are healthy) Smith, Gary, Clark, Reed. Maybe, just maybe, against certain teams and situational calls, you'd have a front 4 of Lowry, Clark, Reed, Gary, with Smith a the SOLB.

But even then, it doesn't matter, because the league is now Nickel-base (by snap count). Your Nickel front 4 would most likely be Smith, Gary, Clark, and a rotation of Wyatt, Reed, etc. for the 4th guy.

So tell me, what have you really changed? Why do think a 4-3 would be appreciably different?
I agree you cannot change that overnight. But that is what the off season is all about. We were a 4-3 under Shurmur, Donnatell, Slowik, and Bates. The change to Capers 3-4 occurred in the offseason. So what was done can be undone. Will it work or could it work any better? Maybe not. But 12 consecutive years of failure says change should be on the table.
People keep saying this, I like to point out this isn't the change you expect it to be.

3-4 OLBs are the approximate size, shape, and responsibility of 4-3 DEs. If we switched to a 4-3 tomorrow, our starting front 4 would be (assuming all are healthy) Smith, Gary, Clark, Reed. Maybe, just maybe, against certain teams and situational calls, you'd have a front 4 of Lowry, Clark, Reed, Gary, with Smith a the SOLB.

But even then, it doesn't matter, because the league is now Nickel-base (by snap count). Your Nickel front 4 would most likely be Smith, Gary, Clark, and a rotation of Wyatt, Reed, etc. for the 4th guy.

So tell me, what have you really changed? Why do think a 4-3 would be appreciably different?
 

mradtke66

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I agree you cannot change that overnight. But that is what the off season is all about. We were a 4-3 under Shurmur, Donnatell, Slowik, and Bates. The change to Capers 3-4 occurred in the offseason. So what was done can be undone. Will it work or could it work any better? Maybe not. But 12 consecutive years of failure says change should be on the table.

I guess my point is less having the current roster and more that the change isn't as impactful as you might think. A front four of Smith and Gary at DE, Clark and Wyatt/Reed at DT is a pretty good front 4. All have the appropriate size, build, and skillset to do those jobs, which makes sense as their current jobs project almost perfectly 1:1.

Or put another way, what meaningful change do you expect so see from such a change?
 

AKCheese

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I can see the following happening:

Rogers comes back one more year to see if he can make it happen with these young WRs (he won’t)

The Packers (finally) face reality and move on to Love in 2024 maybe moving Rogers for a 3rd day pick or he retires

Not a great outlook but I called last year (exactly), and this year (exactly).

Personally I hope we can accelerate things because the sooner you move on from whats NOT working the better

I just wish we had more resources Cap/draft pick wise to start the process but “we” blew that golden opportunity
 

milani

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I guess my point is less having the current roster and more that the change isn't as impactful as you might think. A front four of Smith and Gary at DE, Clark and Wyatt/Reed at DT is a pretty good front 4. All have the appropriate size, build, and skillset to do those jobs, which makes sense as their current jobs project almost perfectly 1:1.

Or put another way, what meaningful change do you expect so see from such a change?
Faster off the ball. Less chance of double teams. More pressure on the opposing TE. Force the running QBs inside. Maybe winning the line of scrimmage on 3rd and short. Now to deploy this you no longer have interior LBs. But you must have a MLB who has to be able to take the hits of centers, TEs, and big backs.
 

mradtke66

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Faster off the ball. Less chance of double teams. More pressure on the opposing TE. Force the running QBs inside. Maybe winning the line of scrimmage on 3rd and short. Now to deploy this you no longer have interior LBs. But you must have a MLB who has to be able to take the hits of centers, TEs, and big backs.

Those all sound like good things, but 4-3 doesn’t solve any of that. A 3-4 isn’t inherently vulnerable to those things.

Both schemes default to using 4 rushers most of the time. A 3-4 strong side ILB is nearly indistinguishable from a 4-3s MLB.

When 4-3s got to a 4-2 nickel, the only difference between the Packers 2-4 is the furthest outside LOS put their hands in the dirt.

If anything, 3-4s are better at short down and distances due to their 3 tackle personnel.

What I’m harping on is, and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m talking in circles, is how does switching 4-3 solve provide solutions to any of these problems?
 

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We aren't in a typical situation with a rookie contract QB - most organizations see a first rounder play by their second season or third...in the world we live I'll take three games over none any day to know. I fear that is a coin flip decision which yet again could be a costly one for the organization...don't pick it up and Love turns into something elsewhere folks will be PISSED, pick it up and like Savage he flops....folks will be PISSED.
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milani

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Those all sound like good things, but 4-3 doesn’t solve any of that. A 3-4 isn’t inherently vulnerable to those things.

Both schemes default to using 4 rushers most of the time. A 3-4 strong side ILB is nearly indistinguishable from a 4-3s MLB.

When 4-3s got to a 4-2 nickel, the only difference between the Packers 2-4 is the furthest outside LOS put their hands in the dirt.

If anything, 3-4s are better at short down and distances due to their 3 tackle personnel.

What I’m harping on is, and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m talking in circles, is how does switching 4-3 solve provide solutions to any of these problems?
Like I said it can or cannot. But one thing you do when one system fails is you improve it or tank it. Now 12 consecutive seasons without a top notch defense calls for more than change. It is time to raze the building and try new architecture.
 

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In a way, the Packers have a hybrid between the 2 schemes. Their OLB's are bigger than typical, especially Gary and are more similar to to size of a 4-3 DE. When they go nickel, the Packers usually rush 4 guys just like a 4-3. Teams went to 3-4 to help in coverage as sometimes the OLB falls back into coverage in the flats to stop the West Coast offense which is rare for the Packers. I just think the Packers need to be more aggressive on defense and rely on the CB's to go man-to-man more frequently. Doesn't appear as if Joe Barry is the guy to do that.
 

milani

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In a way, the Packers have a hybrid between the 2 schemes. Their OLB's are bigger than typical, especially Gary and are more similar to to size of a 4-3 DE. When they go nickel, the Packers usually rush 4 guys just like a 4-3. Teams went to 3-4 to help in coverage as sometimes the OLB falls back into coverage in the flats to stop the West Coast offense which is rare for the Packers. I just think the Packers need to be more aggressive on defense and rely on the CB's to go man-to-man more frequently. Doesn't appear as if Joe Barry is the guy to do that.
Not sure we have had our corners go consistently man to man since the days of Woodson and Al Harris.
 

mradtke66

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Like I said it can or cannot. But one thing you do when one system fails is you improve it or tank it. Now 12 consecutive seasons without a top notch defense calls for more than change. It is time to raze the building and try new architecture.

Looping back to where I was trying to start with...a switch to a 4-3 isn't a new architecture, it's changing the guest bedroom from Burgendy to Maroon.

Both schemes have a NT (Clark). Both schemes have 2 edge rushers (Gary and Smith.) Both have two off-the-ball linebackers responsible for run defense, hook zones, and the running backs in man--4-3 calls them WILL (weak outside) and MIKE (Middle) and the 3-4 calls them BUCK (Weak Inside) and MAC (strong inside). Only real difference is most 3-4s slide their 1-2 gaps further to the TE side.

Further, the most common 4-3 in the league today is the 4-3 under, which has been called a hybrid 3-4/4-3 OR "a 3-4 with 4-3 personnel." It was actually Fritz's base look as well. Per the above, go back to 1996. Have Sean Jones play in a 2-point stance. Boom, you're done, it's a 3-4 now. Ditto Seattle under Pete Carrol.

But even with all that, that's still not the biggest issue. The reality is that nickel matters more. And pretty much all teams deploy a 4-2 or 2-4 nickel, as it turns out a front 4 is a better pass defense.

You can play any coverage, cover-2, man-2, tampa-2, cover-3, quarters, cover-1, cover-0 from any front.
 

milani

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Looping back to where I was trying to start with...a switch to a 4-3 isn't a new architecture, it's changing the guest bedroom from Burgendy to Maroon.

Both schemes have a NT (Clark). Both schemes have 2 edge rushers (Gary and Smith.) Both have two off-the-ball linebackers responsible for run defense, hook zones, and the running backs in man--4-3 calls them WILL (weak outside) and MIKE (Middle) and the 3-4 calls them BUCK (Weak Inside) and MAC (strong inside). Only real difference is most 3-4s slide their 1-2 gaps further to the TE side.

Further, the most common 4-3 in the league today is the 4-3 under, which has been called a hybrid 3-4/4-3 OR "a 3-4 with 4-3 personnel." It was actually Fritz's base look as well. Per the above, go back to 1996. Have Sean Jones play in a 2-point stance. Boom, you're done, it's a 3-4 now. Ditto Seattle under Pete Carrol.

But even with all that, that's still not the biggest issue. The reality is that nickel matters more. And pretty much all teams deploy a 4-2 or 2-4 nickel, as it turns out a front 4 is a better pass defense.

You can play any coverage, cover-2, man-2, tampa-2, cover-3, quarters, cover-1, cover-0 from any front.
So how many teams in the league today still deploy a 4-3 and why?
 

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