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What disturbs me a bit (Defensive issues)

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ExpatPacker, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    You can merge this with the Off-Season Talk if you want but maybe it deserves its own thread.

    I'm not real happy with the way in which MM is saying basically that the #1 problem with our defense is fundamentals, implying that we have the players and can get the rest through the draft. That to me is too much denial. Ok I get it. Policy is to build a winning team through the draft and not spend oodles of cash on FAs. It's a good policy but it shouldn't become a straightjacket that he and TT follow without exception. Fact is, this defense sucks, period. And it's not going to improve enough without some major surgery. If TT refuses to go the FA route altogether, then he's turning wise policy into a liability.

    The weaknesses in our defense are many. Of course we lack fundamentals. Of course they need to improve the tackling, coordinating the assignments in the secondary...yes I know that. But there are major problems besides that with our starting players:

    Safety: Peprah. WEAKNESS. He was terrible.
    OLB: Walden. WEAKNESS. Same.
    ILB: Hawk. WEAKNESS. Big mistake to sign him for a multi-year contract.
    DE: who? WEAKNESS. Was there anybody there next to Pickett and Raji?
    CB: Williams. WEAKNESS. Tramon was abused all season long and you can't just chalk that up to an anemic pass rush.

    The result? No pass rush. A secondary that made a lot of picks but when it came to coverage, WRs were left wide open far too often. Poor tackling in the secondary leading to big plays after the catch.

    We have two playmakers left on this defense, Matthews and Woodson. Bishop is very solid in the middle but isn't a playmaker.

    To say that we have the players to overcome those weaknesses is playing ostrich and hiding your head in the sand. The only position I see that we can upgrade with our present players is at ILB. Sit Hawk's arse on the bench and let DJ Smith or Francois start. With their limited playing time they looked much better to me. As for the rest? I don't see anyone. And if Nick Collins is not coming back then we are really in trouble at the safety position.

    So here is my dream draft and my recommendation for improving this wretched defense, which as it turns was the WORST by far of all the playoff teams, and last Sunday's game proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even NE's defense stepped up and MADE PLAYS.

    If we can get a high draft pick for Flynn, great. That will give us a chance to make serious upgrades. But if we can't, then we need a solid FA. If someone like Mario Williams is available without too high a price-tag, then we would be stupid not to go after him.

    The Dream Draft:

    1st round: #9 (from Miami sign and trade for Flynn) Courtney Upshaw, OLB.
    The guy is everything we need. Power, speed, pass rush and he's ready to make an immediate impact.

    #28: Mark Barron, Safety. Everyone is going gaga on CBs. Barron is the highest ranked safety in the draft. He should be available late in the first round. 6'2" 215. "12/31/11: Barron has had a strong senior season. Entering the BCS Championship, he has totaled 66 tackles (41 solo) with five passes broken up, four tackles for a loss and two interceptions. Barron played well against LSU, making six tackles and a pick. He is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the draft. Barron has excellent instincts. He stays around the ball and has the propensity to make clutch plays. Entering the NFL, Barron has a lot of experience in a complex defense and should be able to make a quick transition to the next level" http://walterfootball.com/draft2012S.php

    2nd round: #56: Vinny Curry, DE. From the North Practice: "Marshall defensive lineman Vinny Curry, 6-4, 263, flashed quickness when he shot across the line of scrimmage and forced a fumble." Curry needs some development, but he has speed and explosiveness. He gets into the backfield where the Packer defense hasn't been all year.
     
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  2. Bogart

    Bogart Duke Mantee

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    I totally agree
     
  3. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    So just to sum up the above. We have huge holes in this defense. My dream draft is just that--a dream that probably won't come true. That tells me that we are going to have to supplement the draft with a good FA signing if we want to see improvement next year. If McCarthy and TT are just going to play by their "rules" and not take a chance on FA, then I think they're making a big mistake.
     
  4. 7thFloorRA

    7thFloorRA Cheesehead

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    I must say that I concur with that summary of the defensive issues. Yes, there was no pass rush but stop using that as a crutch and an excuse for the handful of other guys who played like **** and DID NOT TACKLE. A lack of fundamentals is not acceptable. That is on the coaching staff for either not addressing it or not effectively communicating it and fixing it during the season. The coverages could have been tighter regardless of the pass rush. There were many times the qb took a 3 step drop and quickly hit a receiver who had a 10 yd cushion from Tramon who was turned around. What every happened to playing man coverage or getting a chip off the line? I hope Peprah, Hawk and Wilson are all gone. Tramon can take his *** to the bench until he cleans up his pathetic fundamentals as well.
     
  5. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Am I the only one to notice, think, that we always have DB's who tend to be on the weak/thin/lean side?

    I know Thompson seems to have a rule that his CB's be 6-feet tall, with a few 5-11 exceptions. But I'd sure like them to be stronger, thicker, more aggressive types.

    I just noticed how well the Niners DBs hit, tackled, and they weren't real thin, lean guys like our Tramon, Shields, Woodson, Bush, Davon House are. Same with Morgan Burnett.... are all these guys lean, thin types or is it my HD format?
     
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  6. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    See my dream pick at #28 for Mark Barron, Safety.
     
  7. 7thFloorRA

    7thFloorRA Cheesehead

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    Is Carlos Rogers a possibility as a FA CB signing? He really has no reason to leave San Fran but he played a physical and inspired brand of football this year and would be light years better than Tramon or even Shields were this past year.
     
  8. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I posted this in another thread. The Packers D was bad enough, no need to exaggerate. As long as the winner isn't based upon yards gained, its not the most important stat on either side of the ball. Here's how the playoff teams finished the regular season on defense with regard to the most important stat:

    Rank - Team - Average Points Surrendered/Game
    1 Pittsburgh Steelers 14.2
    2 San Francisco 49ers 14.3
    3 Baltimore Ravens 16.6
    4 Houston Texans 17.4
    9 Cincinnati Bengals 20.2
    13 New Orleans Saints 21.2
    15 New England Patriots 21.4
    18 Atlanta Falcons 21.9
    19 Green Bay Packers 22.4
    23 Detroit Lions 24.2
    24 Denver Broncos 24.4
    25 New York Giants 25

    I can see it now. The first practice after their playoff opponent had been determined, the scout team is on the field ready to simulate the Giants' offense and the first team D is ready for the first installation of the game plan. Capers comes onto the field and says, 'Huddle up defense: Listen up! I got noth'n for you this week. See ya Sunday.'

    Of course Capers had a game plan. For example, according to McGinn he played Bush at nickel on early downs because Shields can't/won't tackle. Shields came in on obvious passing situations. According to McGinn, they missed 6 tackles in the first half alone. That has nothing to do with the game plan. According to McGinn, the plan on the Hail Mary was to have Bush redirect the WR at the LOS disrupting his route, and then cover him down the field: Bush didn't touch the WR at the LOS on that play. The best laid plans are worth nothing if the players don't execute the plan. And you can bet your bottom dollar if Capers had a better cover DB than Bush who was willing to tackle, he'd have used him.

    And here's another unpleasant factor to consider: How often did Woodson blitz this season and how often did he hit the QB, compared to last season? More than half way through last season Woodson being sent on a blitz wasn't a surprise to any OC who looked at tape of the Packers yet Woodson still 'got home' enough to make a difference. This year no so much. It seems axiomatic that Woodson is a playmaker and he is, particularly in coverage if his reduced speed isn't exposed. But IMO he was not a playmaker rushing the passer this season.
     
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  9. Bagadeez04

    Bagadeez04 Cheesehead

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    Great post. Of course Capers had a plan...it just fell apart. They did get stops at times, but I don't care what MM says, that 30 yard run out of bounds followed by the Hail Mary was totally deflating to this team...as it was to us fans. Those two plays were worse than 4th and 26 times 10. Just a complete meltdown all the way around.

    I will say this...the collapse of the defense this year is pretty incredible, and Capers deserves blame as well as the players. Last season with all the guys they lost, they were still able to be pretty good with assignments and communication. A couple times in that game Aikman highlighted miscommunications that led to coverage breakdowns...I think some of that is on Capers...I just don't understand how over the course of the season with more playing time it seemed to get worse as opposed to better. Inexplicable.

    The tackling was horrible as well...Peprah's "shoulder hit" of Nicks that he then easily ran in for a TD was probably the best example of poor tackling I've seen all year. How does an NFL player not hit a guy and wrap him up with his arms? How does that not happen with professional football players, and it does happen in Pop Warner?
     
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  10. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    Capers once said that a great defense is made up of about 3 play makers and you build around them. We lost one in Jenkins and his replacement was injured in camp and never really recovered for the season. Then we lost Collins. Clay was playing injured much of the season. Burnett had a club on his hand. We had several second year guys that had no off season. Capers played the hand that was dealt him as best he could. Remember the D had two 3 and outs in the 3rd quarter and the O failed to get more than 3 points. Peprah hit Nicks hard and probably thought he was going to knock him off his feet. I agree he should have wrapped him up.

    Point is don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. This defense is only a couple of players from being back up there. Shields, Burnett,Neal, Zombo all second year guys have potential to make a jump this offseason plus So'oto, Jones, and the other rookies. 40 players 25 or under. A slew of draft picks this year for TT to do some horse trading, maybe make some first round moves like he did with Raji and Matthews. who knows about Flynn and a trade. I a couple of weeks ago I completely dismissed that but now things have changed dramatically. we pick up a couple of guys in FA, Collins comes back and the ship is back on track for another run. I don't believe things are as bleak as I keep reading. We have all off season to beat this horse which is about dead until the draft and FA. TT and MM aren't going to waist these years with the best QB in the NFL. They will do what needs to be done to fix this. Capers is one of he best defensive minds in the NFL.
     
  11. JacobInFlorida

    JacobInFlorida Cheesehead

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    We just had too many guys regress. I think an offseason program getting a better understanding of the concepts of the scheme and a focus on fundamentals will do a lot of good for some of these guys.

    Everyone likes to beat up on Peprah for that missed tackle that led to a TD, rightly so, but go back a play as well. The play before that we had the Giants 3rd and 11. Capers was mixing up coverages and on that 2nd series he was playing all out zone with a 3 man rush. They got Manning to do EXACTLY what they wanted. He kind of forced the ball into coverage. What happened though? Brad Jones, who was really starting his first game all year, is watching the receiver come across the middle instead of watching the QB's eyes and lets the receiver step right in front of him to make the catch instead of him playing the proper technique, reading only the QB's eyes and stepping in front for an easy INT.

    You clean up little things that are correctable like that in the offseason, and you're talking about getting off the field on 3rd down with the offense getting the ball back. That's without even changing personnel.
     
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  12. P-E-Z

    P-E-Z Cheesehead

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    Short term better pass rusher can make up iffy defensive backs
     
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  13. Wills29

    Wills29 Cheesehead

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    You guys have done a great job covering everything here, but what was painful for me was the ability to stop teams on 3rd down, especially 3rd and long (7+ yards). For the most part they held teams in check on 1st and 2nd down but would completely fall apart on 3rd down. I understand the lack of a pass rush is the reason for the overall demise, but our DB's were always a step slow, or falling down and opposing receivers were constantly open.
     
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  14. P-E-Z

    P-E-Z Cheesehead

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    Pass rush is key on 3rd down.
     
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  15. Aaron rodgers is god

    Aaron rodgers is god Cheesehead

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    Have you seen our tackling? Probably the worst in the league considering when you compare them to one of the best in San Fran. When you tackle good, it can cure a lot of defensive problems. All great defenses tackle well and they have great pursuit (something the packers don't have) The coaching staff shouldn't have to be spending time on this; however, if this trend continues to happen they will have to address it. I trust TT in everything he does but the one thing he needs to draft this year on defense is physical players. This defense is very small and very unphysical as a whole. There of course are a couple exceptions. We need to be able to play both brands of football. Finesse and Power game. I want to be able to do this next year. Get out to the big lead early like we always do and then run the ball and play great defense. That's my perfect type of game. a 31-17 type of game
     
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  16. Jules

    Jules The Colts Fan

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    I 100% agree. You have to be able to win "pretty" and "ugly". Remember the Packers last season? They won both ways when needed.
     
  17. Bagadeez04

    Bagadeez04 Cheesehead

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    The thing is he hit a guy hard who's got probably 30 pounds and 4 or 5 inches on him. I'm sorry but a tackle like that when Nicks was running directly at him, is a piece of cake...if done properly.
     
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  18. gbpowner

    gbpowner Cheesehead

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    First of all; it would be a totally "pipe-dream" draft if we get anything for Flynn, other that a compensatory pick in 2013. Face the facts...Flynn signs with the suitor of his choice and we will get nothing but smoked this year.

    Next NFL defenses are facing a changing of the guard at the linebacker position. Everyone complains that today's new crop of athletic TEs (Gronk, Graham, Finley, etc) are too fast to be covered by a LB and too big for the CB/S. I hope that TT finds that formula of bigger, faster and more athletic LB to do this job! Then we can get rid of the 3 amigos at OLB (Walden/Zombo/Jones) and replace Hawk with someone that can actually cover/tackle a TE, RB or heck even get to the QB!
     
  19. AaronShockley

    AaronShockley Cheesehead

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    I think you can chalk a lot up to no pass rush. Look at the defense in 2010, to 2011. The only real personnel difference is Jenkins.

    If you will remember back to Matthews first offseason, we moved him to the opposite side to counter him and Jenkins so we had pass rush from both sides. If you will remember Matthews first season, our run D was solid, our pass D was average at best. We do nothing but move matthews, and all of a sudden the Pass defense is better. We were getting pressure on nearly every play. A great pass rush can dispel a lot of bad secondary. That being said, our secondary is pretty weak, and we can't expect to cover it up with a good pass rush.

    There are two ways to fix this. Go get another pass rusher, or beef up the entire secondary, keeping Tramon. Tramon proved he is capable, there was some other issues in the Defense this year, from coaching, to personnel.

    Draft "tweener" pass rusher and a run stopping ILB and get some mid round secondary players.
     
  20. AaronShockley

    AaronShockley Cheesehead

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    Exactly. Draft a pass rusher and put opposing QB's in bad spots, they make bad throws and bad decisions. More opportunity for turnover, something we were already ok at this year.
     
  21. TeamTundra

    TeamTundra Cheesehead

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    I know it's only one game, but Carlos Rodgers was repeatedly beaten by Victor Cruz in the NFC championship game. He wouldn't be an upgrade.
     
  22. AaronShockley

    AaronShockley Cheesehead

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    I think the other aspect of this whole conversation is one I know I'm getting tired of hearing, but it's valid. With the rules the way they are, it's pretty impossible for even the best players to play pass defense. Even Revis doesn't just shut you down for 60 minutes like he used to. You can't get physical with a receiver, but what you can do is get in the quarterbacks face and get sacks and create bad decisions and thus turnovers.

    Pass rush, with as few people as possible, is what's going to stop this current "offensive domination." The next biggest thing is, how to win in the playoffs, teams don't score tons of points in the Post like they do the Reg. Packers are gonna have to play defense.
     

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