Packers Defense

Carl

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It's amazing to me that Capers still cannot get credit from guys when the defense has been playing well, but gets most of the blame when they do not play well.

Capers is only part of the defense because the players play a much larger role.

Sunshine said it perfectly:

I'm still a believer that players are WAY more important than coaches and our defense hasn't had many players for years. Is it really a coincidence that Capers gets Peppers, a decent NT and another decent safety and suddenly the defense is better?

I'd also like to had that Burnett, Daniels, Boyd, Perry, Neal, have all improved to help the defense. Also, moving Clay inside, which has really helped, is most likely a Capers idea.

Just look this season at some of the games they defense didn't do well. Let's say Seattle, Bears 1st half, and New Orleans. In all three of those the D line was completely blown off the ball. How does a defensive coordinator adjust for that?

Last season, we did not have enough talent. We had a JV starting safety and very little pass rush outside Matthews. By the playoffs we were playing without almost every good player we had. (Still managed a solid game though.)

I would love to see a Capers hater explain to me how a defensive coordinator can make a defense good with a lack of talent.
 
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The only two good backs that we faced were non-factors because our offense took them out of the game plan early. It's not a knock on our defense but a knock on the comparative stats. Statistics without context can be misleading.
Even the New England game is a case in point. The Packers jumped out to a 13 point lead. Given New England's approach in the last two years, I'm sure they would have liked to have handed the ball off more than 17 times. Still and all, New England's running backs averaged 5.0 yds./carry with no long gains padding the average.

The defensive numbers often come down to what's on the score board and what the game plan emphasis happens to be. Capers' defenses always look better playing with the lead.

Against Tampa, the game plan reflected a justifiable lack of respect for McCown. Capers played base D and base variations on a relatively high percentage of snaps, defending the run on the way to the QB, with Burnett crashing the line with regularity.

I have a hard time seeing a repeat of the Tampa game plan against Detroit. I'd expect more of a softer front, more like the Capers default of around 65 - 70% nickel/dime, while bringing blitz pressure, with less emphasis on stopping the run. I expect Bell and Bush to average around 5.0 per carry. As usual, an early Packers lead plays into this defensive plan. Getting behind early upsets it, and Capers does not adjust well when that happens.
 

brandon2348

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Well maybe the D has had a mini-overhaul and took some time to gell

2013 Defensive line BJ Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Daniels / 2014 Defensive Line Josh Boyd, Letroy Guion, Mike Daniels

2013 Linebackers AJ Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry

2014 Linebackers Clay Matthews, Sam Barrington, Nick Perry, Julius Peppers

2013 Secondary Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Morgan Burnett, MD Jennings

2014 secondary Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton Dix

You have 5 different players starting this year then last year and you also have a positional change as well with Clay Matthews and Micha Hyde. On top of that last years defense was decimated by injuries as guys were always hurt. Everyone is healthy right now and House will even be back for the playoffs meaning these guys have played together a lot more. Morgan Burnett had been night and day as he finally has some help back there.

Clinton Dix is hopefully getting to that place where he isn't a rookie anymore and a jump from Datone Jones would put us over the top IMO. I don't want to leave Mike Neal or Casey Hayward out here because they have been productive as well.
 

brandon2348

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Even the New England game is a case in point. The Packers jumped out to a 13 point lead. Given New England's approach in the last two years, I'm sure they would have liked to have handed the ball off more than 17 times. Still and all, New England's running backs averaged 5.0 yds./carry with no long gains padding the average.

The defensive numbers often come down to what's on the score board and what the game plan emphasis happens to be. Capers' defenses always look better playing with the lead.

Against Tampa, the game plan reflected a justifiable lack of respect for McCown. Capers played base D and base variations on a relatively high percentage of snaps, defending the run on the way to the QB, with Burnett crashing the line with regularity.

I have a hard time seeing a repeat of the Tampa game plan against Detroit. I'd expect more of a softer front, more like the Capers default of around 65 - 70% nickel/dime, while bringing blitz pressure, with less emphasis on stopping the run. I expect Bell and Bush to average around 5.0 per carry. As usual, an early Packers lead plays into this defensive plan. Getting behind early upsets it, and Capers does not adjust well when that happens.


I think that's a really good point that you make about showing no respect for McCown and playing him accordingly.

What upsets me so much about that is that when we do that then it's called an unimpressive performance by many and we weren't really tested and it was the Tampa Bay Bucc's. Then I hear those same people and it's not just on here go on and on about a team like the Seahawks D when they did the exact same thing against a mediocre throwing QB and put 8 in the box and dared him to throw. All of the sudden there the best defense of all time.

It feels like fraud and hype to me.
 
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I think that's a really good point that you make about showing no respect for McCown and playing him accordingly.

What upsets me so much about that is that when we do that then it's called an unimpressive performance by many and we weren't really tested and it was the Tampa Bay Bucc's. Then I hear those same people and it's not just on here go on and on about a team like the Seahawks D when they did the exact same thing against a mediocre throwing QB and put 8 in the box and dared him to throw. All of the sudden there the best defense of all time.

It feels like fraud and hype to me.
Right. I have already given ample credit to the defense (and the team as a whole) for what I thought was a very good performance against Tampa. In fact, for consistency over 4 quarters, it was one of the best efforts during the last few years, which is obviously a minority opinion.

But as far as Capers is concerned, it comes down the body of work.

I predict there will be a game in the playoffs where the Packers will have to put up a lot of point to win, most likely against a team that is agnostic with respect to run/pass and can move the ball based on what the defense gives them. That would include teams like Dallas, Seattle, Pittsburgh, New England.
 
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brandon2348

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I have a hard time seeing a repeat of the Tampa game plan against Detroit. I'd expect more of a softer front, more like the Capers default of around 65 - 70% nickel/dime, while bringing blitz pressure, with less emphasis on stopping the run. I expect Bell and Bush to average around 5.0 per carry. As usual, an early Packers lead plays into this defensive plan. Getting behind early upsets it, and Capers does not adjust well when that happens.
It's amazing to me that Capers still cannot get credit from guys when the defense has been playing well, but gets most of the blame when they do not play well.

Capers is only part of the defense because the players play a much larger role.

Sunshine said it perfectly:



I'd also like to had that Burnett, Daniels, Boyd, Perry, Neal, have all improved to help the defense. Also, moving Clay inside, which has really helped, is most likely a Capers idea.

Just look this season at some of the games they defense didn't do well. Let's say Seattle, Bears 1st half, and New Orleans. In all three of those the D line was completely blown off the ball. How does a defensive coordinator adjust for that?

Last season, we did not have enough talent. We had a JV starting safety and very little pass rush outside Matthews. By the playoffs we were playing without almost every good player we had. (Still managed a solid game though.)

I would love to see a Capers hater explain to me how a defensive coordinator can make a defense good with a lack of talent.

And I think that's what were seeing right now Carl is a more talented, developed, healthier group on the field that has gelled together. Some people just don't like Capers or have to have a "whooping boy" I suppose but you have to give credit where credit is do. The playoff run would seal the deal but Capers is in position to pull off something pretty amazing down the stretch here.
 

brandon2348

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Right. I have already given ample credit to the defense (and the team as a whole) for what I thought was a very good performance against Tampa. In fact, for consistency over 4 quarters, it was one of the best efforts during the last few years, which is obviously a minority opinion.

But as far as the defense is concerned, it comes down the body of work.

I predict there will be a game in the playoffs where the Packers will have to put up a lot of point to win, most likely against a team that is agnostic with respect to run/pass and can move the ball based on what the defense gives them. That would include teams like Dallas, Seattle, Pittsburgh, New England.

I wasn't pointing the finger at you. I was just talking about in general.

Maybe on Seattle. They really lack perimeter weapons and I know Wilson makes plays with his feet I am not sold they will push us around as much as last time. It will all come down to our ability to stop the "read option". I like Clay and Barrington in the middle with Burnett and Dix coming up on support outside to give us a good chance. A good game from Nick Perry would help too. We have the pieces right now to stop the read option and that hasn't always been the case.

Yes, I could see Pittsburgh or Dallas easily turning into "shoot outs". New England I see a game played more in the 20's.

One thing I will say about Dallas is they just ripped up two secondaries that are garbage IMO. If that game happens it will be another opportunity for Capers to show we can slow down the run against the best run team in football. Won't be easy.
 

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I'm still a believer that players are WAY more important than coaches and our defense hasn't had many players for years. Is it really a coincidence that Capers gets Peppers, a decent NT and another decent safety and suddenly the defense is better?
Too many examples of new coaches stepping onto bad teams and having success to believe that. Many examples of new coaches quickly tanking good teams as well.

There is an old proverb, It is better to have a lion leading an army of sheep than to have a sheep leading an army of lions. Leadership is everything.
 

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Too many examples of new coaches stepping onto bad teams and having success to believe that. Many examples of new coaches quickly tanking good teams as well.

There is an old proverb, It is better to have a lion leading an army of sheep than to have a sheep leading an army of lions. Leadership is everything.

Really? I remember when everyone thought Ryan was amazing for turning around the Saints defense...Is that working out this year? Fact is that it was Vacarro and Cameron Jordan who did most of the heavy lifting last year and they're both having bad years this year. So, is it coincidence that when PLAYERS play well, the defense performs? Or did Ryan just forget how to coach defense?
 

brandon2348

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I think it's pretty obvious Capers has his best collection of pieces and parts to put together since 2010. Then you throw in the health factor and there is something to work with to have consistent success.
 

El Guapo

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Then you throw in the health factor and there is something to work with to have consistent success.
At least in this thread, this is probably the least talked about factor. BJ Raji remains our only starter on IR, and it is a giant unknown as to weather he would have been the starter by mid-season. This is our healthiest season (on both sides of the ball) since I started keeping track in 2008.
 

brandon2348

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At least in this thread, this is probably the least talked about factor. BJ Raji remains our only starter on IR, and it is a giant unknown as to weather he would have been the starter by mid-season. This is our healthiest season (on both sides of the ball) since I started keeping track in 2008.

Exactly. healthy, then some players making a jump in development. Add 5 new starters and two players having the ability to play different positions to cover up inefficiencies and we might just have something here.

Still want a long term answer at ILB to let Clay roam and another guy up front.

MM said before the season "The defense will be better this year". Looks like he came through with his promise to me. A big effort against the Lions would really get this thing going.
 
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TJV

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Even with the way the D played before Clay was switched inside, they’re 12th in scoring D and total yards. They are tied for 7th in takeaways but lead the league in TO differential. Regarding the Bucs game, I remember not all that long ago how Packers fans would complain the D would allow mediocre opposing QBs to look great. IMO the D looked very good against the Bucs, even taking into account who they were playing.

I agree leadership is important but IMO “leadership is everything” is overstated. In the NFL you have to talent; for example I think any DC’s defensive backfield would be significantly handicapped with a player like MD Jennings starting at safety. So I place some of the blame for some bad Ds during Capers’ tenure on Thompson and the personnel department. It's a balance of talent and leadership/coaching.

As far as Capers’ continuing to learn, I don’t have any reason to disbelieve the reports of McCarthy’s role in the off season in changing the defense. And Silverstein reported that during the bye week, “…McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers came up with the idea of moving Matthews.” http://www.jsonline.com/sports/pack...-inside-linebacker-b99387234z1-282102951.html It’s pretty apparent to me Capers has received a couple of "pushes" from McCarthy this season.
 

Carl

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Too many examples of new coaches stepping onto bad teams and having success to believe that. Many examples of new coaches quickly tanking good teams as well.

There is an old proverb, It is better to have a lion leading an army of sheep than to have a sheep leading an army of lions. Leadership is everything.

Why not provide those many examples?

The players are much more important to the team. That proverb is crap. An army of lions would destroy an army of sheep no matter who was in charge.

Could you also explain what Capers could have done last year to make up for a lack of talent?
 
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Carl

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Even the New England game is a case in point. The Packers jumped out to a 13 point lead. Given New England's approach in the last two years, I'm sure they would have liked to have handed the ball off more than 17 times. Still and all, New England's running backs averaged 5.0 yds./carry with no long gains padding the average.

The defensive numbers often come down to what's on the score board and what the game plan emphasis happens to be. Capers' defenses always look better playing with the lead.

Against Tampa, the game plan reflected a justifiable lack of respect for McCown. Capers played base D and base variations on a relatively high percentage of snaps, defending the run on the way to the QB, with Burnett crashing the line with regularity.

I have a hard time seeing a repeat of the Tampa game plan against Detroit. I'd expect more of a softer front, more like the Capers default of around 65 - 70% nickel/dime, while bringing blitz pressure, with less emphasis on stopping the run. I expect Bell and Bush to average around 5.0 per carry. As usual, an early Packers lead plays into this defensive plan. Getting behind early upsets it, and Capers does not adjust well when that happens.

Even not giving much credit to a very good performance against Brady. It was Brady and the Patriots. No matter how you look it at it, it was good.

That 13 point lead lasted for about 3 minutes by the way.
 
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Carl

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Well maybe the D has had a mini-overhaul and took some time to gell

2013 Defensive line BJ Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Daniels / 2014 Defensive Line Josh Boyd, Letroy Guion, Mike Daniels

2013 Linebackers AJ Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry

2014 Linebackers Clay Matthews, Sam Barrington, Nick Perry, Julius Peppers

2013 Secondary Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Morgan Burnett, MD Jennings

2014 secondary Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton Dix

You have 5 different players starting this year then last year and you also have a positional change as well with Clay Matthews and Micha Hyde. On top of that last years defense was decimated by injuries as guys were always hurt. Everyone is healthy right now and House will even be back for the playoffs meaning these guys have played together a lot more. Morgan Burnett had been night and day as he finally has some help back there.

Clinton Dix is hopefully getting to that place where he isn't a rookie anymore and a jump from Datone Jones would put us over the top IMO. I don't want to leave Mike Neal or Casey Hayward out here because they have been productive as well.

We had a starting safety who isn't even on an NFL roster now, let alone just ours. He's so bad he can't make any roster and we was our starter!

You're 100% correct in that the improvement in players this year has made a huge impact.
 

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Why not provide those many examples?

The players are much more important to the team.

And that proverb is crap. An army of lions would destroy an army of sheep no matter who was in charge.

Could you also explain what Capers could have down last year to make up for a lack of talent?
Recently Andy Reid at Chiefs last season.

What lack of talent are you referring to? Packers have a lot of defensive talent from what I see. They just don't play well together.

Maybe players are better because of the coaching they receive. What if the 49ers take Rodgers No. 1. Does he have a career like Alex Smith? If the Pack then takes Alex Smith does he have a SB and MVP under his belt with the Packers? There is no way to know, but I think coaching has a much bigger impact on if these players even become good than you want to give them credit for.
 

Carl

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Recently Andy Reid at Chiefs last season.

What lack of talent are you referring to? Packers have a lot of defensive talent from what I see. They just don't play well together.

Maybe players are better because of the coaching they receive. What if the 49ers take Rodgers No. 1. Does he have a career like Alex Smith? If the Pack then takes Alex Smith does he have a SB and MVP under his belt with the Packers? There is no way to know, but I think coaching has a much bigger impact on if these players even become good than you want to give them credit for.

I'll agree coaching can make players better, however, the talent has to be there first.

Reid overhauled the entire roster including getting much better at the QB position. If the Chiefs still had awful QB play, they would have been just as bad. Players had a huge role in their turnaround.

The lack of talent was regarding last season. We have been saying on this thread the Packers have talent on defense right now, which is why they are much better than last year.

Who wins in a game, the 85 Bears with Ray Rhoads as coach or the 0-16 Lions with Lombardi?
 

Jdeed

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There is plenty of Talent around If you have the right coaches and scheme you can win in the NFL.
The Players have to be coached up to their potential I think if that doesnt happen you can have great players who suck or dont play well, just look at Chicago. ;)
 

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Man, this is a tough crowd. People call for Capers head because the defense is doing poorly but when they do well it's "well they should!"

It's because some people are so hell-bent on making Capers the scapegoat for everything they can't bring themselves to give credit where it's due.
 

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I've been on the fire Capers bandwagon since 2012 at least. I see the second half defense this season as an aberration, akin to the season run of 2010. I'd like to see the same result. I really hope in that case we don't suffer through another three years of, is it the coach or the players.
 
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DaveRoller

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Packer run D got better the SECOND half of the year through the additions of Clay and Sam Barrington and the additions (through the subtractions) of Hawk and B. Jones.

Many Packer fans have been noting Hawk and Jones were not good for the past couple of seasons, which begs the questions does Dom get credit for replacing them when he did? Or blame for not replacing them earlier? Or does the fact TT (over)paid in signing both Jones & Hawk to expensive second contracts enter into the equation?
 

brandon2348

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Packer run D got better the SECOND half of the year through the additions of Clay and Sam Barrington and the additions (through the subtractions) of Hawk and B. Jones.

Many Packer fans have been noting Hawk and Jones were not good for the past couple of seasons, which begs the questions does Dom get credit for replacing them when he did? Or blame for not replacing them earlier? Or does the fact TT (over)paid in signing both Jones & Hawk to expensive second contracts enter into the equation?

I brought this up somewhere the other day. I never liked the Jones deal but it was a situation back then where Bishop was coming off a real bad hamstring injury and they didn't feel good about him so I think they kind of got sucked into the Jones deal.

I think sometimes you gamble with a guy and it doesn't pay off. Now at the beginning of this season I wanted Barrington from the beginning especially in the Seahawks game and their "read option". IMO both Hawk and Jones were getting every opportunity to play because of there contracts and the same maybe even with Morgan Burnett. The difference is Morgan Burnett just didn't have any help back there last year so it kind of unfairly showed on him.

I think it can be safe to say both safety and ILB positions could of been addressed way before they have been and I still expect them to get another ILB in the draft.

But yes. I would have to believe Hawk and Jones were playing and getting more chances because of there contracts with the hope they would turn it around somehow. It just got to the point where they had to do something and they had seen too much film. Better late then never I suppose.
 
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