The Value of Run Defense

captainWIMM

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As far as your comment about not drafting a RB in the 2nd round to make him a #2, in this case, that’s a ridiculous statement. They drafted him for his athleticism, and to eventually replace Jones.

The Packers were one win away from making it to the Super Bowl last season. Gutekunst should have used this year's draft to improve their chances of making another step instead of using the team's first four picks on backups.

I know you continually refer to him not being good enough to start simply because Raven Greene started week 1.

No, the reason why I don't consider Burks good enough is that while he was healthy enough to play the majority of snaps on special teams after returning from injured the coaches trusted him to only play 57 snaps on defense with the Packers in dire need of an upgrade at inside linebacker.

As far as Ty Summers goes. He’s a late 7th round selection (Might as well be a Priority Undrafted). While I’m not saying he’s also similarly penciled as a starter.. It’s also not unusual at all for us to groom a LB (or any player) who needs additional coaching in a Redshirt Freshman type capacity. You get him all the reps in practice and make him earn his keep on ST in the meantime. By his Sophomore season he’s absolutely expected to produce and better be 100% prepared if we call his number.
So saying he’s “nowhere close to making an impact” isn’t any better than me saying he could.

While it's true that none of us knows if Summers will have an impact on defense the odds are stacked against a late round pick who wasn't able to receive a single snap on a position in need of improvement during his rookie campaign.

Well said. I don’t recall where I heard this (so it might be wrong), but the average yardage for WRs taken in the first and second round is about 500 yards. That’s not gonna get GB past the niners, the saints, the ravens, or any other SB-capable team.

I think it's a stupid argument for not selecting a wide receiver. No player available in this year's or any other one for that matter would have elevated the Packers past the Niners in the NFCCG last season.

Jones proved last year he can catch the ball. This year, I wouldn’t be shocked if he lined up wide or is the slot.

True, but I wasn't talking about Jones in the post you replied to.

Points scored in a season don’t count as much as winning. GB won 14 under MLF in 2019 and 6 under MM for (most) of the 2018 season. I think very few people here miss MM.

The Packers won 14 games last season because their defense was improved mostly based on free agent signings. That doesn't change the fact that the offense wasn't any better though.

No doubt, when you consider his career and accomplishments. But in the years before he was fired, he grew stale, and seemed to know only one way of coaching that was far too reliant on the pass. Even with #12 under center, ya gotta have a run game.

The Packers threw the ball on nearly 60% of the offensive plays last season as well. They only topped that mark four times with McCarthy having Rodgers as his starting quarterback.

It will be interesting to see how he coaches the Cowboys, especially with Elliott. I don’t know how many snaps he got under Garrett, but after paying him $15 mil per year, Good Ol’ Jerry is probably expecting him to get his carries.

Elliott received between 83.6% and 89.1% of the snaps over the past three seasons.
 

Heyjoe4

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Anecdotal, but I have felt the Cowboys have underachieved for most of Garrett’s career. They have been loaded for a while.
The Cowboys have underachieved, big time. Garrett never impressed me. He always looked like a bystander on the sideline. That said, MM is inheriting a team with a lot of good players. Now he’s gotta pull them together. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong, but I don’t think he’s the best guy for the job.
 

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The Packers threw the ball on nearly 60% of the offensive plays last season as well. They only topped that mark four times with McCarthy having Rodgers as his starting quarterback.
That seems very surprising. There must be some sort of explanation because it doesn't seem to mesh with MLF's philosophy. GB did attempt more runs this past season than they did under the prior several seasons under McCarthy. Those were relatively unsuccessful seasons though. Maybe when McCarthy was leading a more high powered offense, they found themselves with large enough leads that they could run the ball more in the second half to burn more clock.

That's just a guess, but it seems like there must be some reason, because the perception is that McCarthy was a very pass happy coach. Or maybe that has more to do with results as opposed to attempts? When Rodgers was at his peak, he had very high pass per yard averages.
 

Heyjoe4

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That seems very surprising. There must be some sort of explanation because it doesn't seem to mesh with MLF's philosophy. GB did attempt more runs this past season than they did under the prior several seasons under McCarthy. Those were relatively unsuccessful seasons though. Maybe when McCarthy was leading a more high powered offense, they found themselves with large enough leads that they could run the ball more in the second half to burn more clock.

That's just a guess, but it seems like there must be some reason, because the perception is that McCarthy was a very pass happy coach. Or maybe that has more to do with results as opposed to attempts? When Rodgers was at his peak, he had very high pass per yard averages.
Interesting stats. My impression of MM is a pass-happy coach. When it became clear Jones had ability, it seemed he sat on the bench too much. That will all change as GB really becomes MLF’s team. Last year was a warm up as everyone got used to the new system and playbook.
 

Heyjoe4

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The Packers were one win away from making it to the Super Bowl last season. Gutekunst should have used this year's draft to improve their chances of making another step instead of using the team's first four picks on backups.



No, the reason why I don't consider Burks good enough is that while he was healthy enough to play the majority of snaps on special teams after returning from injured the coaches trusted him to only play 57 snaps on defense with the Packers in dire need of an upgrade at inside linebacker.



While it's true that none of us knows if Summers will have an impact on defense the odds are stacked against a late round pick who wasn't able to receive a single snap on a position in need of improvement during his rookie campaign.



I think it's a stupid argument for not selecting a wide receiver. No player available in this year's or any other one for that matter would have elevated the Packers past the Niners in the NFCCG last season.



True, but I wasn't talking about Jones in the post you replied to.



The Packers won 14 games last season because their defense was improved mostly based on free agent signings. That doesn't change the fact that the offense wasn't any better though.



The Packers threw the ball on nearly 60% of the offensive plays last season as well. They only topped that mark four times with McCarthy having Rodgers as his starting quarterback.



Elliott received between 83.6% and 89.1% of the snaps over the past three seasons.
Well, I think we’re in agreement that it was stupid to waste a first round pick on a QB, in a WR-rich draft, for a team in need of WR help and with a HOF QB already under center. I just don’t think that this move alone would have helped them get past the one-game bump to a SB. Adding a WR in round one, and some DL help in round two would have been better moves. I think they still find a way to move up in round three to get Dillon, a pick I very much liked.
 

mradtke66

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When it became clear Jones had ability, it seemed he sat on the bench too much.

I like Jones. That said, he missed 4 games each of his first two seasons.

Due to his style, size, and injury history, there are legitimate questions regarding the right amount of touches per game. History indicates that 25 touches a game is a good way to wreck his season.
 
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Well said. I don’t recall where I heard this (so it might be wrong), but the average yardage for WRs taken in the first and second round is about 500 yards. That’s not gonna get GB past the niners, the saints, the ravens, or any other SB-capable team. Yeah I was upset when a WR wasn’t taken, but the more time I’ve had to digest this draft, I think Gluten did what he had to do to keep this team competitive beyond the upcoming year. It would have been different (maybe) if they got a stud WR in FA, but it was too expensive. This is still a good team, but from some of the comments, you’d swear we were headed for the bottom. We’re not. We finally have a backup QB, and we have a RB who can likely supplant Jones in the future.
Not to mention that the Super Duper 700 yard exception as a rookie everyone’s sad about? He’s taking 400+ yards away from whoever he replaced. Very likely more with the current group. Unless someone wants to wager with me Funchess is a 250 yard guy?
Also, its not like we don’t have a QB who is 35 and has either missed or played large portions of a season injured lately. If any other position was injured as much as Rodgers lately and was winding down there would’ve been a mob of mutiny in here. They would’ve already been gone. Heck we put players to pasture with just a mere contemplation that they might not be ascending. Let’s quit pretending Rodgers won’t ever miss time, we’re still living in the Brett Favre fantasy world here. He’s not a Brett Favre durability and if we think he’s going to get more durable when he’s 38, 39 etc.. we are deceiving ourselves. If he can prove me wrong fir the next 2 seasons? Great!

I love Aaron Jones but there’s something to be said about a 250lb guy who can pick up that tough yard when everyone knows you’re running and there’s 8 in the box. We didn’t have that in Williams either. Defenses can’t stop an upper echelon 250 pound guy running full tilt with 4.5’s speed unless they totally dominate the LOS. There’s maybe 2 defenses per year that fall into that category. Not to mention the opposing Run D better not arm tackle Dillon or expect every once in awhile a 30 yard scamper on 3rd and 1 as he rumbles down the field like a big Rugby player challenging anyone under his weight class. One thing I noticed from Dillon’s film was once the LOS was anywhere near midfield, once he got loose he would not get caught until about the 10 yard line and just carried people for a TD. If he’s inside the 40 full head of steam he’s gone. They’d be smart to start with Jones and as the Field position tilts then bring in Dillon, especially towards the end of the half or end of game when Run Defenses are tiring.
 
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captainWIMM

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That seems very surprising. There must be some sort of explanation because it doesn't seem to mesh with MLF's philosophy. GB did attempt more runs this past season than they did under the prior several seasons under McCarthy.

That's just a guess, but it seems like there must be some reason, because the perception is that McCarthy was a very pass happy coach.

The Packers had more rushing attempts during eight of 13 seasons with McCarthy as the head coach than they had last year with MLF running the show. While MM was definitely a pass happy coach the entire league is centered around throwing the ball as only two teams rushed the ball on more than 50% of offensive plays in 2019.

While MLF seems to put more focus on running the ball it makes sense to focus on the passing offense while having a future HOFer at quarterback.

Well, I think we’re in agreement that it was stupid to waste a first round pick on a QB, in a WR-rich draft, for a team in need of WR help and with a HOF QB already under center. I just don’t think that this move alone would have helped them get past the one-game bump to a SB. Adding a WR in round one, and some DL help in round two would have been better moves.

As I've mentioned above the Packers selecting a wide receiver in the first round wouldn't have made them the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl this season but it would have improved their chances compared to spending their first four picks this year on backups.

Not to mention that the Super Duper 700 yard exception as a rookie everyone’s sad about? He’s taking 400+ yards away from whoever he replaced. Very likely more with the current group. Unless someone wants to wager with me Funchess is a 250 yard guy?

There's absolutely no doubt the Packers wide receiving corps needs to be improved. It doesn't matter that a rookie would have taken playing time and yards away from any other WR currently on the roster not named Adams.

Defenses can’t stop an upper echelon 250 pound guy running full tilt with 4.5’s speed unless they totally dominate the LOS. There’s maybe 2 defenses per year that fall into that category.

You make Dillon sound like he should have been selected first overall. With the Packers offensive line not excelling in run blocking NFL defenses will find a way to stop him.
 

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I like Jones. That said, he missed 4 games each of his first two seasons.

Due to his style, size, and injury history, there are legitimate questions regarding the right amount of touches per game. History indicates that 25 touches a game is a good way to wreck his season.
Good points. As good as he is, Jones is not built for 25 carries/game. If Dillon produces at RB, they can swing Jones to the slot or maybe even the perimeter and save him some punishment while maintaining his production. And you’re right, his first two years were marred by injuries. So was last year a fluke? I hope not. The guy knows how to produce. He can’t do that from the bench or the trainer’s room.
 
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The Packers had more rushing attempts during eight of 13 seasons with McCarthy as the head coach than they had last year with MLF running the show. While MM was definitely a pass happy coach the entire league is centered around throwing the ball as only two teams rushed the ball on more than 50% of offensive plays in 2019.

While MLF seems to put more focus on running the ball it makes sense to focus on the passing offense while having a future HOFer at quarterback.

What makes sense is to build a team that can capably run the offensive system of the head coach that the Packers hired to lead the team.

Turns out, LaFleur and his offense really value play action. Turns out, the running game is really important to effective play action. Turns out, a great play action game really helps the passing offense.

The most surprising thing about this off-season to me is how many people don't understand LaFleur's offense.

Literally, people are acting as though the right move was to hire LaFleur and then ask him to run the offense basically the way McCarthy did. Brilliant.
 

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What makes sense is to build a team that can capably run the offensive system of the head coach that the Packers hired to lead the team.

Turns out, LaFleur and his offense really value play action. Turns out, the running game is really important to effective play action. Turns out, a great play action game really helps the passing offense.

The most surprising thing about this off-season to me is how many people don't understand LaFleur's offense.

Literally, people are acting as though the right move was to hire LaFleur and then ask him to run the offense basically the way McCarthy did. Brilliant.
Yeah I mean statistics aside, MM didn’t run the ball strategically or according to an actual game plan. That is, to set up the RPO and jet sweep or other aspects of a successful passing game. It was a waste of Rodgers’ talent as he found himself in third and long too many times (or it seemed that way). It was his game management, rather than his stats, that got him fired. Just my opinion.

And in his defense, Jones was injured during MM’s tenure. Still, he didn’t use Jones correctly.
 
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Yeah I mean statistics aside, MM didn’t run the ball strategically or according to an actual game plan. That is, to set up the RPO and jet sweep. It was his game management, rather than his stats, that got him fired. Just my opinion.

McCarthy's offense was predicated on having lots of players at the skill positions who could win one on one matchups. It asked the players to create opportunities for themselves-- it did not create opportunities for them most of the time. In my opinion, if the basis of your offense is "have really great players all over" then your offense isn't adding much value to the team.
 

Heyjoe4

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McCarthy's offense was predicated on having lots of players at the skill positions who could win one on one matchups. It asked the players to create opportunities for themselves-- it did not create opportunities for them most of the time. In my opinion, if the basis of your offense is "have really great players all over" then your offense isn't adding much value to the team.
Exactly.
 

Mondio

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McCarthy's offense was predicated on having lots of players at the skill positions who could win one on one matchups. It asked the players to create opportunities for themselves-- it did not create opportunities for them most of the time. In my opinion, if the basis of your offense is "have really great players all over" then your offense isn't adding much value to the team.
I think that is short changing it a bit. True, you needed better than dog crap at positions, but most of those guys were good, but weren’t stellar athletes who just couldn’t be guarded.

there are receivers all over the nfl with the same attributes our “stars” have had. I think there was a requirement of having decent athletes, like any offense, but it also requires cerebral athletes.

when they knew the offense it did create opportunities because they knew how to beat the guy within the scheme either by communicating with the QB, moving his alignment, or reading the defense correctly and running the correct route.

it doesn’t work well when you dont have smart athletes and time to get it all down.

It has definite draw backs. But then schemes get figured out all the time, and then what? You better have good athletes. When Gurley wasn’t setting everything up, what did the rams become? Every offense or scheme has its drawbacks.
 

Heyjoe4

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I think that is short changing it a bit. True, you needed better than dog crap at positions, but most of those guys were good, but weren’t stellar athletes who just couldn’t be guarded.

there are receivers all over the nfl with the same attributes our “stars” have had. I think there was a requirement of having decent athletes, like any offense, but it also requires cerebral athletes.

when they knew the offense it did create opportunities because they knew how to beat the guy within the scheme either by communicating with the QB, moving his alignment, or reading the defense correctly and running the correct route.

it doesn’t work well when you dont have smart athletes and time to get it all down.

It has definite draw backs. But then schemes get figured out all the time, and then what? You better have good athletes. When Gurley wasn’t setting everything up, what did the rams become? Every offense or scheme has its drawbacks.
The world is full of gifted athletes who just aren’t able to perform at a team level. I think that’s why you don’t see a lot of track and field superstars make it to the NFL (or any other team sport). Football at the pro level is played very fast. Anticipation is just as important as reaction time, where a play succeeds or fails in fractions of a second.
 
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You make Dillon sound like he should have been selected first overall. With the Packers offensive line not excelling in run blocking NFL defenses will find a way to stop him.
You conveniently left out the first sentence on my comment. Which specifically addressed getting the tough yard. I believe Dillon is going to be a much better option in short yardage than Jones or Williams. You saying I think i make him sound like a 1st overall draft picks because I said he’s a great option at picking up a yard? Sounds to me like someone’s got a sore butt about the Dillon pick.
You don’t need to be critical of the guy before he ever takes an NFL snap and say he can’t pick up tough yard because our Run blocking’s sucks and opponents will game plan and stop him regularly.


I will be happy to allow your thoughts on who we should’ve selected instead of Dillon because he’s obviously a joke and can’t pick up one yard :tup:

Go ahead and tell us what you want to really say.. Which player selection would Captain take as the best fit for GB at pick #63 or beyond?
 

Heyjoe4

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You conveniently left out the first sentence on my comment. Which specifically addressed getting the tough yard. I believe Dillon is going to be a much better option in short yardage than Jones or Williams. You saying I think i make him sound like a 1st overall draft picks because I said he’s a great option at picking up a yard? Sounds to me like someone’s got a sore butt about the Dillon pick.
You don’t need to be critical of the guy before he ever takes an NFL snap and say he can’t pick up tough yard because our Run blocking’s sucks and opponents will game plan and stop him regularly.


I will be happy to allow your thoughts on who we should’ve selected instead of Dillon because he’s obviously a joke and can’t pick up one yard :tup:

Go ahead and tell us what you want to really say.. Which player selection would Captain take as the best fit for GB at pick #63 or beyond?
Well said OldSchool. A lot of people, including me, weren’t crazy about the draft, especially the first round pick of Love. But I did like the Dillon pick. He’s off the charts athletic and I’m sure Gluten was thinking about losing Jones next year. Was it a reach? Yeah, probably, but I don’t think he would have been there late in the 3rd round.

It’s time for all of us to move on with this draft and look at the good. I especially liked the Runyan pick later in the draft. I’ll give Gluten and MLF the benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t mean I would have taken Dillon in round 1, and I didn’t see that in your comment.
 
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This will definitely happen quite often, and most of the time it will be Za'Darius playing inside, with Gary and Preston on the edges.
https://dairylandexpress.com/2020/06/01/green-bay-packers-more-reps-early-downs-inside-rashan-gary/
It’s looking more like we spoke about and may see Gary playing inside the Tackles more and also paired with Z and Kenny or with the Smith duo. I think this is extreme smart and I pray Pettine follows through with that sentiment.
Many folks don’t know (I didn’t until I researched it) that a preferred weight at the 3T position is a bit lighter than one would think. I recall reading an article about it (Sorry I don’t have the link) and that the contemporary NFL 3T they really prefer more in the 280-299lb. I think the idea eluded to... as they are getting over that weight often speed diminishes and thus the need to use double teams with it. Gary though is an athletic exception to that because he’s so quick to begin with. So much so that him bulking up a bit more (15 pounds etc..) does es not substantially lose his edge on quickness. He has the height (6’4.4”)and a nice, balanced frame to add a bit more on the power side and be utilized at the upper end of those parameters. He’s also young enough that getting him that scenario would allow the big guys like Lancaster or Adams to get a slight reduction in workload so they stay fresh.

We can afford to use another option in place of Gary in order to slightly reduce the Smiths snaps if that’s what Pettine is trying to accomplish. There’s plenty of young guys that would love to play Gary’s, 2019- 3rd down role and could come in fresh and perform on that limited basis. I believe one primary package should keep Kenny, Z’Darius, Preston and Gary out there simultaneously.
 
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Sanguine camper

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Gary struggled last year as an edge rusher and wasn't trusted to give the Smiths very many plays off. Moving him to a,new role would probably ensure another lost season and could send him into the bust category and cement his status as a project player. Better to have him be edge rusher number 3 and hope he can be productive enough to give the Smiths more breathers.
 
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I like Jones. That said, he missed 4 games each of his first two seasons.

Due to his style, size, and injury history, there are legitimate questions regarding the right amount of touches per game. History indicates that 25 touches a game is a good way to wreck his season.
For what it is worth, two of those games were for a suspension. When it comes to injuries you have to heavily weight the recent over the past in terms of risk. The fact he had a terrific 2019 playing 16 games would indicate there are no residual affects from the earlier knee sprains.

Be that as it may, 25 touches per game gets you to 400 for the season plus playoffs. In NFL history, only 44 players reached that regular season mark. Only three players in the last decade achieved it, Murray, Bell and McCaffrey.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/touches_single_season.htm

There are a small handful of HOF RBs who took that licking and kept on ticking. In most cases, there was a fall off in performance the following season, or worse, even without an injury involved. Murray had a big fall off the following season after he got his second contract. The appeal of a year's sabatical might have been a factor in Bell's holdout after his 400 touch season. McCaffrey? We'll see, if there's a full season, though his biz is weighted toward catches which helps.

It's not just the physical toll. There's a mental toll in getting beat on over and over, week after week.

Hypothetically, if Jones were to be given that work load, even as high as 350 with a heavy dose of running (where the real beatings take place) vs. receiving, I don't know if it would result in a poor season but there's a good chance it would lead to a poor 2021 and might shorten his career. I suppose it is possible they'd give him that load, if highly unlikely particularly with the Dillon pick. If the Packers had no intention of re-signing him while he's balling out for the second contract that heavy load might work out for the one year.
 

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Gary struggled last year as an edge rusher and wasn't trusted to give the Smiths very many plays off. Moving him to a,new role would probably ensure another lost season and could send him into the bust category and cement his status as a project player. Better to have him be edge rusher number 3 and hope he can be productive enough to give the Smiths more breathers.
Agreed. Not sure why Gary wasn’t used more as you describe last year. He was a #12 pick, not a 6th or 7th round guy. I don’t understand is lack of use, other than the Smith Bros. Spectacular production. That said, it would be good to have an able backup to keep them rested into Q4.
 
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Agreed. Not sure why Gary wasn’t used more as you describe last year. He was a #12 pick, not a 6th or 7th round guy. I don’t understand is lack of use, other than the Smith Bros. Spectacular production. That said, it would be good to have an able backup to keep them rested into Q4.
Many of the pre-draft reports spoke to Rashan being a bit raw and the team drafting him needing to allow extra time to develop him. Another knock was that his on-field production didn’t match his superior physical attributes, which also eludes to him needing to be positioned correctly in the Defense.

Pettine has been vocal about using Rashan more as an interior DL to give the big guys some rest. Many don’t know that while Rashan projected as an Edge defender in the NFL, he was a very good Run Defender for Michigan. Regardless of where Rashan ends up, we know he won’t take over either Smith’s jobs unless there’s an injury. So to me it makes sense to have him playing at DT some rather than spending his career on the bench. We can complain about him being too small (280lb/26 reps is not too small). I’m not sure we thought through this draft selection thoroughly. We’re covering up a premier draft selection with 2 massive FA should signings, which was ok for a year, but absolutely wrong for anything past his Rookie season.
 

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Many of the pre-draft reports spoke to Rashan being a bit raw and the team drafting him needing to allow extra time to develop him. Another knock was that his on-field production didn’t match his superior physical attributes, which also eludes to him needing to be positioned correctly in the Defense.

Pettine has been vocal about using Rashan more as an interior DL to give the big guys some rest. Many don’t know that while Rashan projected as an Edge defender in the NFL, he was a very good Run Defender for Michigan. Regardless of where Rashan ends up, we know he won’t take over either Smith’s jobs unless there’s an injury. So to me it makes sense to have him playing at DT some rather than spending his career on the bench. We can complain about him being too small (280lb/26 reps is not too small). I’m not sure we thought through this draft selection thoroughly. We’re covering up a premier draft selection with 2 massive FA should signings, which was ok for a year, but absolutely wrong for anything past his Rookie season.

Actually Gutekunst selecting Gary with the 12th overall selection last year serves as another indicator the front office doesn't seem to be in a win now mode.
 

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You conveniently left out the first sentence on my comment. Which specifically addressed getting the tough yard. I believe Dillon is going to be a much better option in short yardage than Jones or Williams. You saying I think i make him sound like a 1st overall draft picks because I said he’s a great option at picking up a yard? Sounds to me like someone’s got a sore butt about the Dillon pick.
You don’t need to be critical of the guy before he ever takes an NFL snap and say he can’t pick up tough yard because our Run blocking’s sucks and opponents will game plan and stop him regularly.


I will be happy to allow your thoughts on who we should’ve selected instead of Dillon because he’s obviously a joke and can’t pick up one yard :tup:

Go ahead and tell us what you want to really say.. Which player selection would Captain take as the best fit for GB at pick #63 or beyond?
Funny, but predictable that you didn’t get an answer to your question about who else Gluten should have picked at #2.

And talking about the tough yard, Dillon put up a 40” vertical at the combine, and subsequent reports are that he has about 5% body fat. So if he can’t run through a 1-yard defense (he can), he can probably jump over them.

Initially I’ll admit I thought Dillon was a reach. I don’t feel that way anymore. And I don’t think he’s on the board with our 3rd round pick. It was Gluten’s best pick of the draft. Real NFL production is everything, but I feel good about the guy. And he can probably keep Jones’ carries to under 20 a game, where he needs to be to avoid injury.
 
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