Most Valuable Packers (Not Named Rodgers)

mradtke66

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I think that when you look at it as speed-relative-to-players-of-that-era.....guys like Hornung would have succeeded now because he was faster than the competition back then

I mean, the Jet Sweep is kind of the spiritual successor to Lombardi's sweep. Sweep feel out of favor as the defenses adjusted, got faster, etc. Everyone is such an athlete now, it's hard to reliably pickup yards going wide.

Taylor was your between the tackles, 1000 yard rusher. As long as his speed, agility, etc, scales up with him hitting the weight room, more often, he'd fit right just fine in almost every offense since he retired up until now. He'd just be a HB.
 
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Recency bias. Stat wise? Maybe because of 17 games but Taylor/Hornung, Lane/Brockington, Bennett/Levens would do well in this scheme.
Maybe just rose colored glasses. But I’m old enough to remember all but Horning and Taylor. Actually Lacy and Starks was formidable also.
What we are witnessing is a combination of factors that should conceivably give this RB duo an edge.
1. Scheme. MLF relies heavily on setting up the pass with a sound rushing attack.

2. Situational. If Rodgers is out, MLF highly likely puts extra emphasis on the Running game. His primary motivation will be to slow the game down and control the flow by winning TOP and playing Field position to offset a reduction from the previous seasons high scoring attack (keeping his Defense rested).

3. Fit. These 2 RB’s are not only good individually, but they are near polar opposites. This is ideal for a “change of pace” philosophy RB duo.

4. After witnessing what the Offense did in 2020 and looking at the strength of OL? These guys were selected as a healthy balance to defend the pass Rush. But moreso I see some great veteran run blockers and more run blocking specialists out of college.
Recency bias. Stat wise? Maybe because of 17 games but Taylor/Hornung, Lane/Brockington, Bennett/Levens would do well in this scheme.
Good top tier player examples. The best statistical season for Taylor and Hornung was 1961 from a pure yards per carry at 1904 yards in 370 carries for 5.14/per. That’s exceptional production even looking across the league and beats most career bests. Let’s keep in mind these are both very good players in the HOF. They also both played together for longer than we will see AJ and AJ, so we’re obviously talking a 1 season best duo.

To be fair. I would always compare pace rates per carry and 12+ games is a plenty good sample size for per Rush. Meaning I’m not going to unfairly use total yards here.
Let’s watch and see how they handle their job at 5.14 as a barometer for one of, if not the, most formidable RB duo’s in 100 Packer seasons

The outlier is this: IF Love is playing expect to see a high proportion of stacked boxes and blitzes compared to Rodgers. If these 2 are able to meet at 5.14 ypa with a green Rookie QB?? In that case “double AJ” wins by default in a tie.
 
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El Guapo

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I mean, the Jet Sweep is kind of the spiritual successor to Lombardi's sweep. Sweep feel out of favor as the defenses adjusted, got faster, etc. Everyone is such an athlete now, it's hard to reliably pickup yards going wide.

Taylor was your between the tackles, 1000 yard rusher. As long as his speed, agility, etc, scales up with him hitting the weight room, more often, he'd fit right just fine in almost every offense since he retired up until now. He'd just be a HB.
Very true.

The sweep was in everybody's offensive playbook back then so anyone could run it, same as today. The difference is that Lombardi made them execute it at near perfection, better than anybody could at the time. Most plays that are executed at a high level these days could still be effective even against speedy defenses. We just don't see teams as polished and prepared as they were under Lombardi's five championship seasons.

One of the philosophies of judo provides a good lesson for beating speed. Use your opponents' momentum against them. When speedy defenses attack with speed, it can be easier to push them further out beyond their target. A lot of it is in the mindset of whether you are going to try to out-muscle and control your opponent or take the momentum that they give you and use it to your advantage.
 

Heyjoe4

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Very true.

The sweep was in everybody's offensive playbook back then so anyone could run it, same as today. The difference is that Lombardi made them execute it at near perfection, better than anybody could at the time. Most plays that are executed at a high level these days could still be effective even against speedy defenses. We just don't see teams as polished and prepared as they were under Lombardi's five championship seasons.

One of the philosophies of judo provides a good lesson for beating speed. Use your opponents' momentum against them. When speedy defenses attack with speed, it can be easier to push them further out beyond their target. A lot of it is in the mindset of whether you are going to try to out-muscle and control your opponent or take the momentum that they give you and use it to your advantage.
Interesting stuff. I thought the "old" sweep the Packers ran disappeared because the defensive linemen became much faster relative to running backs. I still think that's partly true. I'm trying to figure out how to apply the judo lesson you reference and use a defense's speed against them. One answer for a running back, and blockers, is rather than outrun a defense on the edge, which rarely works, cut back to the inside and let the defense run past the new point of attack. That takes more than just speed on the part of the running back and the blockers. I'm thinking back to how easily Barry Sanders would change direction without giving up speed and simply let the defense run past him as he went north and south. Granted, Sanders was a generational talent.
 

mradtke66

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Very true.

The sweep was in everybody's offensive playbook back then so anyone could run it, same as today. The difference is that Lombardi made them execute it at near perfection, better than anybody could at the time. Most plays that are executed at a high level these days could still be effective even against speedy defenses. We just don't see teams as polished and prepared as they were under Lombardi's five championship seasons.

I don't think it's quite that simple.

Lombardi breaks down the sweep in other places, but I know of this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv4CXySXxCk

Pay attention to the blocking assignment. In an "odd" call, you're asking the fullback to handle the playside defensive end 1:1. HA, nope. Looking at our roster, you expect Degura to be able to handle Z 1:1? Nope, that's a loss.

Further, if you're playing a team that would favor a power sweep, bring that safety down into the box. Cheat your SOLB inside of the TE (or the Y as Lombardi addresses him ) and the safety to the outside (brought down into the box). You've just made everyone's job much harder on offense.


One of the philosophies of judo provides a good lesson for beating speed. Use your opponents' momentum against them. When speedy defenses attack with speed, it can be easier to push them further out beyond their target. A lot of it is in the mindset of whether you are going to try to out-muscle and control your opponent or take the momentum that they give you and use it to your advantage.

Agreed, which is where the modern zone scheme comes in, because the Lombardi sweep is more of a zone play than a man play, is the cutback. Get the defense going wide, put your foot in the ground, and move against the flow. In part 2 of Lombardi's breakdown, you can see it taking shape at about 3:02 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weiHG-Ldn5s

EDIT: Also over looked is defenses in Lombardi's day played (more) head that our modern, gap defenses. If you NT is in the strong side A-gap, he clogs the center, preventing him from releasing, and messes up the guard's release to pick off the ILB to his side. And that's just one player.

All this is not to say the Lombardi sweep is not impossible today, just that sweeps aren't as common anymore because defenses adapted to take away most of the leverage. They are now more of a "haha! caught you sleeping!" counter punch.
 
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El Guapo

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Great breakdowns and good points.

Making that hard cut is exactly how to apply that concept. The Lombardi sweep was all about reacting to how the defense tried to defend it.
 

GleefulGary

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STOP putting words in my mouth. They have lesser value to the team overall than say a top flight QB or CB. Aaron Donald is one in 32. You aren't playing him every week. There are ways to scheme around him when you do play him. His teammates still give up more chunk plays than he individually makes.

iOL are not valuable. That’s what you said. But somehow the position they go against is valuable enough to be on the list? Just doesn’t make sense.

Jenkins has shown he can play all 5 positions adequately. He’s on a rookie contract. That’s very valuable.
 

Heyjoe4

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iOL are not valuable. That’s what you said. But somehow the position they go against is valuable enough to be on the list? Just doesn’t make sense.

Jenkins has shown he can play all 5 positions adequately. He’s on a rookie contract. That’s very valuable.
Jenkins is exactly what you want in a rookie. Almost immediate impact, inexpensive for 3 or 4 years, and in Jenkins case, the ability to play more than one position. Doesn't get much better.
 

Sunshinepacker

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iOL are not valuable. That’s what you said. But somehow the position they go against is valuable enough to be on the list? Just doesn’t make sense.

Jenkins has shown he can play all 5 positions adequately. He’s on a rookie contract. That’s very valuable.

I think, and I'm just speculating here, that with iOL, it's more valuable to have 3 average guys than one elite guy and 2 below-average guys so maybe that's what he was referring to? Jenkins is obviously phenomenal. With OL in general though, I think it's better to be decent everywhere than elite at 2 spots and have weaknesses at 2 other spots. Just an example, not saying this is the Packers (though there's a chance it could be this year).
 

Heyjoe4

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I think, and I'm just speculating here, that with iOL, it's more valuable to have 3 average guys than one elite guy and 2 below-average guys so maybe that's what he was referring to? Jenkins is obviously phenomenal. With OL in general though, I think it's better to be decent everywhere than elite at 2 spots and have weaknesses at 2 other spots. Just an example, not saying this is the Packers (though there's a chance it could be this year).
Your point is illustrated bu GB's DL. Clark is elite, and while Keke is improving, everyone else is, at best average. So the group doesn't play well and tends to get gouged in the run game.
 

Dantés

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There is a class of interior defensive linemen who make significantly more than any interior offensive linemen. Right now there are three of them-- Aaron Donald, DeForest Buckner, and Chris Jones (20-22.5M in AAV).

This makes sense, as these are players who can take over games single-handedly. All positions on an NFL field are interrelated to and affected by other positions, but some are less dependent than others on what goes on around them. These would be three such players. Donald or Jones can wreck a game even if the edge guys are having a terrible day. You don't really see this with interior offensive linemen, where they single-handedly wreck a defense (though they can still have tremendous individual impact, especially in neutralizing a guy like Donald).

Now that said, once you get beyond that top shelf of elite game-wrecking players, the salaries would tell you that the league sees iDL and iOL as basically comparable in terms of value. The really, really good ones get between 14-18M in AAV. On the defensive side, that's guys like Kenny Clark, Grady Jarrett, Cam Heyward, while on the offensive side, it's guys like Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney, and Brandon Brooks.

So if you just set aside that special class of iDL player, the two positions are comparable. As Clark is not in that special class (he's very good; he does not impact the passing game like those others), it doesn't hold water to say that he's more valuable than Jenkins by virtue of his position. Allowing that Jenkins continues on his current trajectory, his second contract will be rightfully comparable to Clark's.

And all of this is basically moot because Jenkins is on a rookie contract, which makes his overall value far greater than Clark's even if you believe that iDL has a significantly greater positional value.
 
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Dantés

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I would add that the reason, in my opinion, why this special class of player doesn't exist on the interior OL is that OL are stationary.

You can take a Donald, Buckner, or Jones and move them all over a front to find the matchup that will lead to the production. If a LG is shutting Jones down, but he can move over and eat up the RG, the impact will still be there because iDL are moveable within formation.

The best guard in the game is still going to play one spot for the whole game. So while they might be capable of shutting down the opponents' best player, that player can easily avoid the match-up. Hence they don't have the flexibility to guarantee the impact.

If an OL was so versatile that a particular guy could play all over and "shadow" a defender like Aaron Donald, then I believe the salaries would rise to reflect that level of impact. But that's just not the way OL's work at the present.
 

tynimiller

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While Jenkins has the talent, he can't motion.

Line up your best DT over the right guard, wait for Jenkins to enter his stance, shift the defense.

And now you've accomplished nothing.

LOL You're ignoring what I was saying - which was solely that he could line up/move around play to play and do well. We all know it is never gonna happen for various reasons, primarily because you gotta have 4 other lineman capable as well; and then you also have the scenario you stated for sure.
 

mradtke66

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LOL You're ignoring what I was saying - which was solely that he could line up/move around play to play and do well. We all know it is never gonna happen for various reasons, primarily because you gotta have 4 other lineman capable as well; and then you also have the scenario you stated for sure.
I'm confused why you think you were saying. . .

To "shadow" is to move with your match on the other side of the ball. The most common situation is matching CB1 matches WR1 and follows him all over the formation, regardless of where he lines up.

Unless you have unilaterally decided shadow means something else.
 

tynimiller

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I'm confused why you think you were saying. . .

To "shadow" is to move with your match on the other side of the ball. The most common situation is matching CB1 matches WR1 and follows him all over the formation, regardless of where he lines up.

Unless you have unilaterally decided shadow means something else.
LOL It's cute you think I'm ignorant enough to believe that I think Jenkins could motion around post stance taken...the discussion was about if a offensive lineman did shadow defensive weapons like Aaron Donald (the example used by Dantes) they would make more...to which I merely stated "is it bad I think Jenkins could shadow lol"
 

mradtke66

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OK. I give up. Is motion for an O lineman the same as "pulling."

drawing a parallel to literally motioning an interior o-lineman.

If you swap a d-lineman, you have limited options for legal shifts for the offense to compensate. Ergo, the idea of an offensive lineman “shadowing” a defender is basically impossible.
 

Poppa San

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drawing a parallel to literally motioning an interior o-lineman.

If you swap a d-lineman, you have limited options for legal shifts for the offense to compensate. Ergo, the idea of an offensive lineman “shadowing” a defender is basically impossible.
I think you overlooked the lol part of the first post you responded too.
 

gopkrs

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drawing a parallel to literally motioning an interior o-lineman.

If you swap a d-lineman, you have limited options for legal shifts for the offense to compensate. Ergo, the idea of an offensive lineman “shadowing” a defender is basically impossible.
So you are thinking of motioning an O lineman as if he was a tight end so that he can follow a D lineman in the Zadarius Smith mold? I guess it is offseason for sure. And you are speculating that maybe Jenkins is not that guy. When I hear shadowing, I usually think about a defender shadowing a running QB. If a corner or safety has a man; I think it is only that...he has a man to cover. No need to say he is shadowing somebody. I guess I have seen an OT move around (motion lol). But it is always for the type of blocking set up or for a specific run play (maybe at the goal line) and not very often.
 

mradtke66

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So you are thinking of motioning an O lineman as if he was a tight end so that he can follow a D lineman in the Zadarius Smith mold? I guess it is offseason for sure. And you are speculating that maybe Jenkins is not that guy. When I hear shadowing, I usually think about a defender shadowing a running QB. If a corner or safety has a man; I think it is only that...he has a man to cover. No need to say he is shadowing somebody. I guess I have seen an OT move around (motion lol). But it is always for the type of blocking set up or for a specific run play (maybe at the goal line) and not very often.

My comment was in response to Ty suggesting that Jenkins could shadow, ie, follow the best defensive lineman ( see post 39 above.)

I do think Jenkins is talented enough to do pretty much whatever. That he's a offensive lineman is what prevents him "motioning" to track/follow/shadow the defense's best lineman.
 

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