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Author Topic: Defense: Are we a well coached team?  (Read 8181 times)

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Offline Twain

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Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« on: September 06, 2015, 10:33:31 AM »
I thought I would put these thoughts down now, because a week from now they would be viewed as sour grapes.  It is an opinion that I have been working on for a while.  I suspect we will start slow on defense this year, not because of the run defense, but instead I believe that pass defense will be weak.  It would be tempting to pass this off as inexperience this year, and while I believe that will play a part, I think there is another issue as well.

The question is:  Do we have a great scheme, but execution is poor due to lack of coaching/poor coaching on fundamentals?

It seems to me we spend a great deal of time in zone defense.  My understanding of the fire-zone scheme that Capers employs, the zone is necessary backing up the blitz due to the vacancies created by the blitz.  Fair enough.

When watching our players in zone coverage, they clearly have been coached to keep their eyes in the backfield, reading the QB, preparing to get a break on the ball.  The problem I see is that they focus so much on the offensive backfield that they lose awareness of where the receivers are and therefore end up far enough away that they can't challenge the catch.  They can't get there in time, and the receiver has an easy time finding the open seam in the zone as our players sit on a spot. Top QB's do well due to their ability to look the DB's off of where they will throw.

Other technique issues show up as well.  The issue in preseason this year is they don't have a system down for dealing with congestion or pick plays to make sure that each receiver has coverage.  Some of this clearly is a lack of playing time together which should improve with time.  I suspect that some of this is also lack of time on coaching the details of fundamentals to play the scheme.

Contrast this with the articles coming out on Seattle and their pass defense:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/sports/football/cornerbacks-for-seahawks-take-charge-by-being-patient.html
http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seahawks/secret-to-seahawks-cornerbacks-success-they-dont-dance/
http://www.fieldgulls.com/football-breakdowns/2015/5/29/8688055/pete-carrolls-seahawks-richard-sherman-cary-williams

My thesis is that the scheme isn't that complex in Seattle.  Carroll as a former defensive back has obsessed about technique, and made it a focus of the group. They pick guys that fit their system and coach them on the details of the position- hand placement, footwork, timing- that lead to winning the one-on one battles to make them a great defense.  There is a tradeoff to complex schemes- they require much of the limited practice time teaching the scheme and that leaves less time for the fundamentals of coverage and tackling.  The time limits on practice placed by the CBA makes it worse.

In summary, I am just wondering if we need less scheme and more time on fundamentals. I would love to see the team prove me wrong in the coming weeks.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 10:46:37 AM by Twain »
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Offline walker16

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 12:15:27 PM »
Very good post. No need for it to be in the rant & vent section.

Fundamentals 1st applies from youth sports to the professional level.

Give me a senior heavy team & I'll expand the play book.

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 01:52:56 PM »
Success or lack of success in the secondary will hinge upon what kind of pass rush the Packers can produce.

Once they install game plans, game by game, we might find the secondary will perform their tasks adequately.

Don't forget, that last year after they moved Matthews to ILB that the Packers defense improved to a top tier ranked defense.

Their final 8 games with Matthews in the middle would have made them the #5 defense in total yds allowed and #9 defense in points allowed.

Matthews versatility, combined with what seems to be improvements from several players (Pennel, Mulumba, Elliott........for starters), might just be enough to take the pressure off of the secondary as it grows into itself.

Also, let's not forget, the only starter in the secondary that's being replaced is T-Will, and Hayward is capable of filling that role adequately.

Offline Starr2Max

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2015, 02:24:51 PM »
As a "draft and develop team" I believe that we are almost predestined to start slow.  It takes time  for the rookies and second year players to be taught both the fundamentals and scheme, then for all of the new pieces to meld together into a cohesive unit.  This year I expect a lot of hiccups in the secondary and the linebackers especially.  Could the scheme be too complex for a D&D team, perhaps.  But by the end of the year we were arguably the best team in football (except for Special Teams).  There were a few defensive problems in the "Great Collapse" but the defense could be argued was the least culpable unit.

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2015, 05:38:15 PM »
As a "draft and develop team" I believe that we are almost predestined to start slow.  It takes time  for the rookies and second year players to be taught both the fundamentals and scheme, then for all of the new pieces to meld together into a cohesive unit.  This year I expect a lot of hiccups in the secondary and the linebackers especially.  Could the scheme be too complex for a D&D team, perhaps.  But by the end of the year we were arguably the best team in football (except for Special Teams).  There were a few defensive problems in the "Great Collapse" but the defense could be argued was the least culpable unit.

Agree regarding secondary.

Disagree regarding LB's.

The only new ILB/OLB that has been added to the 53 man roster is ILB Jake Ryan, and he will see very limited PT for a good part of the season, barring injuries. Palmer would be the next ? when it comes to being insync, and he's in his 3rd yr, but only 2nd at ILB.

The secondary has 3 rookies and a 3rd yr player (1st yr starter) with Hayward. They will have a much more distinctive learning curve to chase.

Offline B

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 05:24:52 AM »
There is nothing ranting in your well written opinion post Twain. It was well reasoned and articulated.

I think the answer to your question: "Are we a well coached team?" is yes, clearly we (the Packers) are a well coached team. A team can not consistently be among the youngest in the league, yet win their division each year and be a legitimate Super Bowl contender each year without being well coached.

I can already hear a chorus that wants to retort, "it is all about Aaron Rodgers." Yes, Aaron helps greatly, but my point still stands. There have been many outstanding QB's who never got a ring and suffered through tough seasons. IMO successful draft and develop teams rely upon good coaching.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 06:11:12 AM by B »
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Offline B

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2015, 06:14:40 AM »
Fun related factoids:

In Capers’ six seasons as the Packers defensive coordinator, 20 different Packers have sacked a Bears quarterback a total of 37 times in 13 games. And in those 13 games the Packers have won 11 of them - including in the NFC Championship game in Chicago.
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline PackerYakker

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 09:34:46 PM »

I think the answer to your question: "Are we a well coached team?" is yes, clearly we (the Packers) are a well coached team.
A team can not consistently be among the youngest in the league, yet win their division each year and be a legitimate Super Bowl contender each year without being well coached.

Except that he's talking about the defense specifically, not the team in general.  Your references to winning division, etc. are irrelevant to the question actually posed. 

Quote
I can already hear a chorus that wants to retort, "it is all about Aaron Rodgers." Yes, Aaron helps greatly, but my point still stands. There have been many outstanding QB's who never got a ring and suffered through tough seasons.

No, your "point" doesn't stand. At all.

How does the failure of other great QB's to win a ring (playing on unique teams, against unique competition, etc.) have any bearing on whether Aaron Rodgers has carried this particular team? It doesn't. And he has.

Quote
IMO successful draft and develop teams rely upon good coaching.

Do you guys somehow get paid every time you work the phrase "draft & develop" into a post? For you and everyone else who seems to think that the phrase refers to something specific about the team building approach in GB:

EVERY SINGLE TEAM IS A DRAFT & DEVELOP TEAM. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

All teams draft and develop their players, with an eye towards retaining the better ones. The only difference between teams is how FA risk averse they are. Some teams show little caution with free agents, while some are cartoonishly averse, even in the face of glaring holes. 

"Draft & Develop" is a meaningless phrase. It's like saying my car is a "wheels & engine" car.


Offline Pugger

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2015, 06:49:40 AM »

I think the answer to your question: "Are we a well coached team?" is yes, clearly we (the Packers) are a well coached team.
A team can not consistently be among the youngest in the league, yet win their division each year and be a legitimate Super Bowl contender each year without being well coached.

Except that he's talking about the defense specifically, not the team in general.  Your references to winning division, etc. are irrelevant to the question actually posed. 

Quote
I can already hear a chorus that wants to retort, "it is all about Aaron Rodgers." Yes, Aaron helps greatly, but my point still stands. There have been many outstanding QB's who never got a ring and suffered through tough seasons.

No, your "point" doesn't stand. At all.

How does the failure of other great QB's to win a ring (playing on unique teams, against unique competition, etc.) have any bearing on whether Aaron Rodgers has carried this particular team? It doesn't. And he has.

Quote
IMO successful draft and develop teams rely upon good coaching.

Do you guys somehow get paid every time you work the phrase "draft & develop" into a post? For you and everyone else who seems to think that the phrase refers to something specific about the team building approach in GB:

EVERY SINGLE TEAM IS A DRAFT & DEVELOP TEAM. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

All teams draft and develop their players, with an eye towards retaining the better ones. The only difference between teams is how FA risk averse they are. Some teams show little caution with free agents, while some are cartoonishly averse, even in the face of glaring holes. 

"Draft & Develop" is a meaningless phrase. It's like saying my car is a "wheels & engine" car.

Yes every team does draft & develop but not to the extent we do.  Other teams rely heavily on FA to fill out weak spots on their rosters.  We can add on one hand how many players we have from other clubs on our roster and one of them was a former draft pick.  Our biggest problem is we've struck out on defensive players - mostly due to injury - and that has killed us.  Had J. Harrell and/or Worthy not flamed out our D wouldn't be so precarious.  D. Jones can't stay healthy either and Raji needs to return to form.  It really hurt to lose Collins too.  Let's hope all these youngsters recently drafted will turn out to be real players.

Offline B

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2015, 11:06:06 AM »

Except that he's talking about the defense specifically, not the team in general.  Your references to winning division, etc. are irrelevant to the question actually posed.

Do you guys somehow get paid every time you work the phrase "draft & develop" into a post? For you and everyone else who seems to think that the phrase refers to something specific about the team building approach in GB:

EVERY SINGLE TEAM IS A DRAFT & DEVELOP TEAM. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

All teams draft and develop their players, with an eye towards retaining the better ones. The only difference between teams is how FA risk averse they are. Some teams show little caution with free agents, while some are cartoonishly averse, even in the face of glaring holes. 

"Draft & Develop" is a meaningless phrase. It's like saying my car is a "wheels & engine" car.

Cute! Never mind that the part you exclude with your etc. is that the Packers are annually one of the youngest teams in the NFL (3rd this season) and yet are consistently considered a Super Bowl contender.

Yes Moron, I get paid a thousand dollars every time I say draft and develop. Cha-ching... ::)

Try reading this really slow and perhaps you will understand:

Yes, every team drafts players and tries to develop them, few but the most successful ones(Green Bay, Baltimore, Indianapolis) make a commitment to stockpiling as many draft picks as possible, turning over a percentage of their roster each season and putting the onus on the coaching staff to get the new kids ready to play immediately.

Excluding to the ignorant, Dom Capers is widely respected as one of the great defensive minds in the game. Joe Whitt Jr. is a great corner-back coach and is one of the hot young coaches in the NFL, teams ask to talk to Perry and Moss each year and the only reason Mike Trgovac is not a defensive coordinator is because he stepped back from having the job to be able to enjoy the game and his family more. Since Trgovac took over as defensive line coach in 2009, the Packers rank No. 5 in the NFL in sacks (245) and tied for No. 6 in the NFL in rushing TDs allowed (60). Green Bay has finished in the top 10 in the league in sacks in four of the last five seasons (2010, 2012-14).

I respect differences of opinions, but you literally offer none. This is the rant and vent section, so if you want to make stupid assertions it is your right, but don't expect anyone with half a brain to accept your unsupported, simpleton assertions just because you say its so.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 11:19:07 AM by B »
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline Shinesman

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 07:20:29 AM »
Twain, I understand your thinking completely. Lack of proper technique has been apparent in the DB's for a number of seasons now. I complained about it plenty here on PC the past couple season. In addition to the poor awareness they also tend to have really bad reaction in one on one coverage. Shields is our number one guy and often doesn't get his head around to locate the ball in the air. He runs step for step with a guy looking right at him and when the receiver looks up for the ball, Shields doesn't turn and locate the ball, and the receiver makes a play because Shields didn't properly defends the pass. The DB's sometimes get into perfect position and then follow that up with a terribly timed jump. Just so many things done fundamentally wrong its painful to see sometimes. 
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Offline Scott1956

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 02:39:32 PM »
A well coached defense is rarely out of position. The Packer defense seems to be out of position a lot! And this is not new, it's been going on for years. 189 yards against a Chicago team that has a poor O=Line! These defensive players are either uncoachable or dumb or they are not being coached correctly! One last thing. Why is it we have to have this discussion every year? Answer: Because the defense has been really bad for years! This was the Bears, with their #1 WR at less than 100%, an O-Line that has new players on it, and Cutler. Who thought they WEREN'T going to try and run the ball? Capers! Because he played nickle most of the game!

Offline cpk1994

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2015, 04:31:46 PM »
Cannot say the team is well coached on defense because we have been seeing the same garbage every year since the Super Bowl win.  Once again we were told the defense would improve. Once again the defense is absolutely putrid. Front 7 was bad last year. Did nothing to address it, but were told this would be better. Still bad. After this many years of bad defense, one can only conclude that it isn't the players anymore. it's the coaching. Therefore, Capers needs to be shown the door. The whole defensive coaching staff needs to be shown the door. It is time to stop the acceptance of a D that continually gets run over.
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Offline Shinesman

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 08:49:08 PM »
In the case of the defense, its always drafting young players who don't really fit the role (DE to play OLB, DT's to 3-4 DE) and counting on the 1-2 year jumps, 2-3 year jumps. By the time these guys learn to play their new position and hone their skills, its off to FA and we are back again relying on a new square peg to make the round hole jump. Arod isn't going to be here to carry this team on his back forever. Without him this team is a 4 win team. They have to start getting serious instead of grabbing guys like Thronton, Bradford, Jones, Perry and asking them to learn a whole new position. Its getting older than Arod.
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Offline SSG

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Re: Defense: Are we a well coached team?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2015, 06:36:20 PM »
Not sure how anyone can look at this defense, a defense that makes the same mistakes year after year after year and come away with the opinion that they are well coached.  The same rush defense that was ran all over by Chicago last week is the same run defense that missed 14 tackles on 1 single player in the last game they played before that.  Is tackling really that impossible to teach? 

Its no coincidence that the last time we had a Super Bowl caliber defense is the last time we actually made it to the game.  Its pretty clear that defense wins championships and we simply don't have a defense that shown its capable of doing so.  For as good as this defense has been at getting turnovers and sacks, its been absolutely putrid at stopping the run for the better part of the last 4 years with absolutely no improvement.  I guess some have no interest in holding people accountable as its easier to look at a selected few stats and make a laundry list of excuses.

If we tackle on Sunday like we tackled last Sunday, Seattle is going to walk over us without a fight just like they did in last year's opener.  They really need to bring someone in that can teach this defense how to tackle as its pretty evident this current defensive staff is inept at it.
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