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Special Teams Answers

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by FrankRizzo, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    May 2, 2010
    Maybe it's not all Slocum's fault afterall?

    Why are all our linebackers so soft?
    Havner, Chillar, Brad Jones, Poppinga... who am I missing?

    This from Tom Silverstein:

    Green Bay -- The Packers’ most recent additions to the injured reserve list are yet another example of how much damage the missing players have meant to the special teams units.
    Both Spencer Havner (hamstring) and Brandon Chillar (shoulder) were on the starting kickoff return unit Sunday against Atlanta. They had practiced all week at their positions and were prepared for the game plan assistant coach Shawn Slocum had prepared.

    On the very same kickoff to the Falcons at the end of the first quarter, Havner and Chillar were knocked out of the game. Havner’s hamstring gave out, making it look like he had been shot in the leg, and Chillar was slumped over holding his left shoulder after a collision with a blocker.

    Two plays earlier, running back Dimitri Nance was knocked out of the game with a concussion. He was also on the starting kickoff cover team. Havner was replacing cornerback Pat Lee, who aggravated an ankle injury and left for good midway through the first quarter.

    On the two first-half kickoffs, the Falcons got no further than the 28-yard line. On the following one, kicker Mason Crosby hit it deep for a touchback. When the final fateful Packers kickoff occurred, the unit was without three starters and one top backup.

    The three new guys on the cover team were Nick Collins, Sam Shields and Tom Crabtree.
    Collins was one of the players Slocum identified as not playing the kickoff correctly.
    To give you an idea of how much the special teams units have changed let’s look at the kickoff coverage unit in the season opener (Philadelphia), six games in (Miami) and Sunday (Atlanta). The fourth column is the coverage unit on the final kickoff Sunday when Eric Weems returned it 40 yards and an additional 15 were added on for Matt Wilhelm’s facemask.

    This isn't to make excuses for the Packers, but rather to show how much change they've gone through over 11 games and how alert the coaches need to be to this. The lesson the players learned Sunday was that no matter who is out, his replacement has to find a way to get the job done. The coaches should have learned that you better have the right guys on the field regardless of injury or status.

    Players in backup roles need to assume they'll be playing.
    Recently added players Robert Francois and Josh Gordy are two who could see action Sunday. Francois, as you probably remember, made the fateful formation error on a punt that gave Miami new life and allowed them to score a touchdown instead of giving up the ball.

    Both better be ready Sunday.
    “Injuries happen, that’s why you always have to be ready, no matter what,” cornerback Jarrett Bush said. “Guys might not have much playing time, but you have to keep us rolling.”

    Maybe it's not all Slocum's fault after all.
    It doesn't paste right, but click and see the chart. It goes from left to right. We should have bigger guys in the middle, near Crosby in the middle. Those should be big linebackers and FBs, not DBs.
  2. PackerFanLV

    PackerFanLV Cheesehead

    Dec 8, 2009
    They better get it together this week, cause 49ers kick and punt returner is dangerous.
  3. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yeah, I thought about it. Still doesn't explain the miscues from 08 and 09...

    It's not just one game, or one season...
  4. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

    Dec 24, 2007
    Agreed. Our special teams definitely needs an overhaul.
  5. Kitten

    Kitten Feline Cheesehead Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sep 13, 2010
    I'm more worried about the last game. The Bears! Freakin Hester has been occupying my nightmares all this week! I hope we can find a way to contain him when we play them and for the love of God up above and beyond: DO NOT KICK THAT DANG BALL TO HESTER!!!!! For meowing out loud!!!
  6. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    May 2, 2010
    One thing I noticed is that our opening-day KO coverage unit had Desmond Bishop at the L3 spot.
    Now it was Nick Collins.

    That's a big difference there in terms of strength, size, and aggression.

    We've lost so many LBers (Jones, Poppinga, Chillar, Barnett) that we don't have depth at that position. We need more 240-250 pound guys on kick coverage instead of 195-210 pound guys like Bush, Martin, Collins, Smith, Swain.

    We need more hitters. Look at our returns. Our return guys get killed.
    But when we kick, our guys get hurt, and their returners run free.
    We need to hammer Hester and Ginn, and whoever else. But we seem to be soft.
    Let's go recruit some tough guys for special teams next year. Maybe some thugs out on parole instead. It's all about attitude on special teams.
    We have a great team, with high character citizens.
    Maybe we need to thug it up a bit on special teams.
  7. DergaSmash

    DergaSmash Cheesehead

    Apr 11, 2010
    I don't know about thugs. Its hard to have those big guys on special teams when 4 linebackers are on IR. There just isn't enough guys.

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