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Offensive play calling

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Sunshinepacker, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Just curious what others' thoughts are on this but last year, when we were trotting CFL-level quarterbacks onto the field on a regular basis as well as missing Cobb for much of the season, the Packers' lead the NFL in offensive sets featuring 3+ WRs. Why would the team not go with more 2/1/2 sets (using a fullback instead of third WR) or something similar to emphasize the running game? I'm not trying to criticize the coaching staff, just trying to understand why the Packers lead the NFL in using 3+ WRs when we had a very good running game and were missing some extremely vital components necessary for 3+ WR sets.

    Is the value of "spreading out the defense" really that great when you have a mediocre (at best) quarterback?
     
  2. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    You make a good number of points. The key to me would be to having as many passing sets start off looking just like the running sets so that the defense has to respect both. Rodgers can spread the field with 3+ because defenders are scared of that. They aren't scared (yet) of Tolzien doing the same.
     
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  3. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    To my eye, Lacy runs better out of spread sets.
     
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  4. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    Indeed.
     
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  5. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    well, since 79% of our offensive sets were 3+ WRs I'm not sure if we ever saw enough other personnel groupings to really know.
     
  6. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    No team in the NFL has enough really good CBs who can cover Jones, Cobb, and Nelson. Well, Seattle probably can, but I can't think of anyone else. Therefore, one of those guys is going against a #3 CB and will have a mismatch. Although you make fun of our QBs, it is still an opportunity to make a play.
     
  7. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    Because our offense is built around the 3 receiver sets. McCarthy is loathe to change his play calling no matter who is on the field. Next man up and all that. The backups are expected to be able to run the same plays with the same results. Also IMO it would keep the safety a bit deeper and maybe back pedaling leaving a few more holes at the LOS.
     
  8. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I saw enough 6 and 7 man lines to note a difference. The fact we don't have TEs who block very well has an effect. Also, our passes out of 7 man fronts are somewhat rare with success rarer still...teams see those alignments and fill the box.
     
  9. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Cobb was out a substantial portion of last year
     
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  10. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    I don't think a team should change what is does significantly when a few guys get hurt, especially from a system that
    works.
     
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  11. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I understand that we aren't going to throw our entire offense out the window when Cobb and Rodgers go down but I just don't understand how we can still LEAD THE ENTIRE NFL in 3+ WR sets with those injuries and a strong running game. It's not that I think we should have abandoned those sets, just that perhaps less emphasis could have been placed on them (like fewer than 4 out of every 5 offensive plays).

    This isn't meant as a criticism but more of a search for offensive personnel analysis. Is the reason because our TEs are poor run blockers? That our olinemen can't run block? That Kuhn didn't have the coaching staff's confidence?
     
  12. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    When the single most important element of that system is removed I would think you'd change, especially when another of the top 5 elements is also missing. That's like saying the Patriots should continue to use two-TE sets even with Gronk and Hernandez out because those sets were really good when those two guys were both playing.
     
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  13. tstej

    tstej Cheesehead

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    Having 3 WRs doesn't mean our running game would be worse than if we had two TEs in instead. Doesn't matter whos at QB they still have to spread out to cover the extra WR. Some teams run better with tights set like the 49ers and other teams like the Packers prefer to spread it out and run. Is there really a wrong way to run the ball if it's effective?
     
  14. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    Good point. Got me there.
     
  15. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I think you have your answer in some of the posts above. Said another way:

    The Packers don't have a dominant run-blocking OL and they don't great run-blocking TEs or a great run-blocking FB. If they had those elements going away from 3 WR sets more would have made sense once Rodgers got injured. But because the Packers are more of a finesse run-blocking team it made more sense to spread the defense out and run the ball against a more spread out defense. If they did what you suggest IMO Lacy would have had a much tougher time with defenses keying on the running game more than they were.
     
  16. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    Maybe because if they didnt see us line up in a 3wr set, they would have started loading the box with 7 or 8 guys and effectively taking away the run game of Lacy......seeing how we had a bum in there with senaca wallace at QB, teams would have been loading the box daring him to beat them with his arm.....doubtful he could have even beaten anyone even if he had a bat.
     
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  17. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I'm not trying to argue that we shouldn't be a passing set dominant team. I just thought it an interesting observation that even with a crippled passing attack we STILL managed to lead the league in 3+ WR sets. Just didn't seem logical to me. I think it's just the magnitude with which we used those sets. I mean, we used 3+ WR sets more than the Broncos for cryin' out loud! How often would we have used those sets if Rodgers and Cobb were healthy? How often would we have been lined up in that fashion if Roders and Cobb were healthy most of the year?

    Might be telling as to why we used more passing sets; PFF has a nice little piece on Bakhtiari on their site. Summary, good pass blocker, terrible run blocker

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  18. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    Probably not as many as we would have been trying to eat the clock late in the games with those two as opposed to playing from behind and needing to pass to win.
     
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  19. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Great point. During the time Rodgers was hurt, Wallace, Tolzien and Flynn combined for only 91 pass attempts while the team was ahead or tied, but threw the ball 223 times with the team trailing.

    In comparison, Rodgers had 199 attempts while ahead or tied with only 117 while the Packers trailed.
     
  20. fanindaup

    fanindaup Cheesehead

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    I would imagine part of that statistic is because with the three stooges at quarterback, the Packers were almost always playing from behind.
     
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  21. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Exactly. That´s the main reason why they had to line up in a lot of 3+ WR sets (going back to the original post in this thread).
     
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  22. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    The only games that we were trailing enough to HAVE to pass were the Eagles and Lions losses. In the Giants game we were within 7 points until 25 seconds left in the third quarter. Against the Steelers we were within 10 points entering the fourth and within a TD with 13 minutes left in the fourth. Score alone doesn't explain leading the NFL in this category.
     
  23. Pack-12

    Pack-12 Cheesehead

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    Just because you line up with 3 WR it doesn't mean you aren't running the ball. What matters is how did that formation work compared to others when running/passing. If they were able to run the ball better out of that formation then why worry about whether they used a different one more often? It seems arbitrary to complain about just the formation type with no other information as to the effectiveness of the formation or any other factors that went into it.
     
  24. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    Being down in the fourth by two scores in the Steelers and Giants game seems like great reasons to pass.


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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
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  25. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Yeah, but I'm trying to figure it why used 3+ WRs so often and being forced to pass for one quarter doesn't really explain it.

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