September 16, 2019, 07:46:55 PM

Author Topic: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray  (Read 1302 times)

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Offline B

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https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2019/05/22/new-packers-olb-coach-raves-about-rookie-rashan-gary/

Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith believes his team took the best edge rusher in the draft -  a unique combination of Dee Ford and Justin Houston, the two edge rushers he coached up close last year with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It’s unbelievable! A guy that size and that speed and that athleticism, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been in the league for 11 years. You can do a lot of things with him. In Kansas City, we had Dee Ford, he’s smaller, great get off. Justin Houston, who is a big strong guy. Get a guy like Gary, he’s both of them.”.

“I knew we had a chance. I honestly didn’t think he was going to go at 12. I thought he was going to go way before then, based on how I evaluated him. I’ll throw it out there, I thought he was best in college football at outside linebacker. I had him No. 1, because I believe in that, and I believe in him. I was very excited when we got him. I was running down the hallway. I know what he has, and I know what he can do, and I’m excited to work with him.”

“You got a guy that’s got a get off and speed and you’re strong and you’re powerful, that’s a dangerous combination. He just has to learn how to use those tools.”


Quite obviously Mike Smith believes he is the guy to provide the tools and unleash the unbelievable upside talent of Rashan Gray.
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Offline B

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 02:29:33 AM »
While there is plenty of praise for Darnell Salvage's intelligence, his position coach Jason Simmons threw a dose of reality on what it takes to come play safety in the NFL as a rookie:

"With Darnell, he has a long way to go. He’s not ready at this point, but the best thing is he realizes that. He has guys who are willing to put their arms around him and help him."
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline Hands

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 06:48:07 AM »
What is wrong with Mike Smith? Doesn't he know that all the draft pundits criticized the pick and said the Packers made a big mistake? I mean what the heck does Mike Smith know? Who in the hell is Mike Smith?

I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Gary has the talent to be like Mack and maybe better. Why wouldn't you want to draft him? Big, talented players don't happen every year. He's one and I will be shocked if he doesn't make it. 
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Online The GM

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 07:13:46 AM »
The answer to all this is the football field.  I prefer his performance be at the stadium, rather than the podium. As with all players. We'll see what happens.

Offline RT

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 07:26:28 AM »
What is wrong with Mike Smith? Doesn't he know that all the draft pundits criticized the pick and said the Packers made a big mistake? I mean what the heck does Mike Smith know? Who in the hell is Mike Smith?

I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Gary has the talent to be like Mack and maybe better. Why wouldn't you want to draft him? Big, talented players don't happen every year. He's one and I will be shocked if he doesn't make it.

Everyone knows the Packers are all idiots. The Packers should of traded their whole draft for Mack and paid him 26M a year so they could have been in cap hell for the next several years and had no draft capital. Yes, all idiots without a doubt.

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Offline B

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 10:29:34 AM »
The answer to all this is the football field.  I prefer his performance be at the stadium, rather than the podium. As with all players. We'll see what happens.

WE All want to see it manifest on game day, but since it is the off-season and this is a football forum it seems likely there will be discussion threads like this.
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Online The GM

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 11:39:00 AM »
The answer to all this is the football field.  I prefer his performance be at the stadium, rather than the podium. As with all players. We'll see what happens.

WE All want to see it manifest on game day, but since it is the off-season and this is a football forum it seems likely there will be discussion threads like this.

Agree!!!

Offline craig

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 09:00:41 PM »
I wonder how much Gute and the draft scouts accept, welcome, solicit, or consider input from position coaches?  If Smith is drooling about Gray, did that drooling impact Gute's selection? 

I don't know how different organizations, including in different sports, do it. 

Pros and cons, probably.  A position coach probably has a good understanding of qualities that distinguish excellence, so you'd think getting his thoughts on the top 10-15 guys at his position of speciality would make a ton of sense. 

The flip, I suppose, is that a position coach certainly wants talent at his position, so you might think he might advocate especially for a guy in his group, maybe too hard and without being fully objective?  And certainly we're all familiar with guys who were good coaches but proved not-so-good as GM's and talent evaluators.  And who knows what scouting opportunities position coaches have or take? 

I imagine it could vary a lot, depending on the position coach.   

Offline Gregg

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 01:15:24 AM »
No one ever said that Gary did not look good on the practice field.

In fact, everyone said that.

The critique of Gary is that he did not produce like that in games.

So, if Smith is saying this stuff this autumn, then great.  Right now, it means little.

Offline B

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 03:27:28 AM »

So, if Smith is saying this stuff this autumn, then great.  Right now, it means little.

Brother Gregg, that is the case with every single rookie that has ever existed. I guess there is no need to talk about any of them until they produce game time in the NFL.

Yet here we are in a football forum talking about players and prospects for 2019. Go figure.

Mike Smith played LB and coached in college and the NFL. He could have talked about any of the Packers LB's. What he did do was praise Blake Martinez' intelligence and work ethic...
And then Mike Smith said:

“It’s unbelievable! A guy that size and that speed and that athleticism, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been in the league for 11 years. You can do a lot of things with him. In Kansas City, we had Dee Ford, he’s smaller, great get off. Justin Houston, who is a big strong guy. Get a guy like Gary, he’s both of them.”.

“I knew we had a chance. I honestly didn’t think he was going to go at 12. I thought he was going to go way before then, based on how I evaluated him. I’ll throw it out there, I thought he was best in college football at outside linebacker. I had him No. 1, because I believe in that, and I believe in him..."


Take it for what its worth, I think it was note worthy and fitting for discussion in a football discussion forum.

As for his previous production at Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh has seen the game as a collegiant and professional player, as a professional  assisstant and head coach scouting prospects. And as a highly successful college coach.

Here is what Harbaugh had to say about Rashan Gary just before the draft:

“I see people trying to put out a negative thing about a player. Rashan Gary runs in the 4.5’s, he’s 280 pounds. He’s going to get drafted in the top 10. These people that are trying to kid themselves that he’s not, it’s comical to me. They’re trying to get someone to not pick him in the top 10 so he could fall. There’s some people out there who would love to see him get into the 20s so they can get him. It’s fairly transparent.

“And the way pro teams go about it is that. They try the ‘I don’t know, I wouldn’t take him there or here.’ Watch on draft day. He’ll get taken in that spot.”


Take it for what its worth, I think it was note worthy and fitting for discussion in a football discussion forum.

His teammate Devin Bush, taken by the Steelers as a top 10 pick, said before and after the draft that he couldn't believe anyone would pick him before his teammate Rashan Gary. He said he sure wouldn't...

Take it for what its worth, I think it was note worthy and fitting for discussion in a football discussion forum.

As I responded to brother GM's similar sentiments earlier in this thread.

"WE All want to see it manifest on game day, but since it is the off-season and this is a football forum it seems likely there will be discussion threads like this."
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 03:46:35 AM by B »
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Offline craig

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 08:01:59 AM »
Hadn't seen the Devin Bush quote before.  Speaks well when a teammate recognizes Gary like that.  The Harbaugh comment, as has been so much a thing with Gary, Harbaugh doesn't refer to football-playing skills or quickness, more the combine-king-type size/speed. 

Many pass-rushers have been quick/fast, but weren't good versus run.  KGB.  Fackrell isn't a strong run-defender.  Matthews increasingly sold out at times in hopes of generating some pass rush, and became run-vulnerable.  Gary's size prevents that.

It's really safe that Gary is plenty strong enough to be an **excellent** set-the-edge run defender.  He's got a chance to be as good or even better than healthy Perry in that regard.  The bigger question is where he'll be on the average-good-excellent-great continuum in terms of pass-rush.   

Smith's size/speed comments speaks to the possibility of become a dual run/pressure stud.  Down the line we may look back with thanks and say "Wow, how wise the Packers were to not let one fluky low-sacks, double-teamed, injury-impacted season mislead them into missing what a stud he could become." 

I hope he answers positively, but my curiosity is how good he'll become in the pass rush.  He's combine fast, for his size.  But is he game fast/quick/explosive, compared to the quick sack artists in the league?  There are definitiely sack artists whose 40-time and 3-cone won't match Gary's, even without being as big and strong as he is.  And many of combine kings over the years who have not come excellent pass rushers despite impressive combine numbers and 3-cones.  So I think we all understand that combine measurables are at best very imperfect predictors of pass-rushing success.  We'll hope he turns out to be one of the combine-kings who had both the measurables and also the game quickness. 

Combine measure straight, predictable runs.  Even 3-cone, you know exactly where the cones are, and you have several seconds to know where the next one is, you know exactly where it is and which way you'll need to turn, and you've had months to practice how and when to manage your momentum and steps and how to redirect.  Real pass rush has components of that for sure; short acceleration, quick re-direction of momentum.  But so much of real game speed is not necessarily the physical capacity to accelerate, decelerate, and redirect, but is instead the mental processing.  A pass rusher is reading the blocker, where is he leaning, where is he vulnerable, where is his balance vulnerable; and the good ones mentally process all that at mega-mental-speed.  The combine has no way to measure that, how quickly a guy can read a situation and decide when to accelerate, decelerate, fake, bull, spin.  All that decision-making happens so quickly. 

I think we're pretty safe that Gary will be a nice run-stop, set-the-edge guy who gets some effort-based sacks.  If the worst-case when healthy is that he's kind of like the healthy version of Perry, even if he's never a dynamic pass-rusher, that wouldn't be a bad outcome for a #12 pick.  But certainly there's the possibility to be a big game-changer within the pass-rush game.  Hope it happens, and happens quickly while perhaps Rodgers still has at least a chance to compete at high level. 

My other question on Gary is where he'll settle in position-wise once he's in the heart of his career.  Will he end up being largely a stand-up, edge-rushing OLB? Running the arc a lot, folding in the pocket, forcing QB's to step up into the pocket only to be enveloped by our inside guys?  Or will Gary perhaps end up being not that often used as an edge rusher, but more often used as a hand-down lineman deforming the front of the pocket?

Lots of physical capacity there, will be really interesting to watch his first-contract career develop. 

Online ricky

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 01:57:32 PM »
There will be lot of factors as to whether Gary becomes a force in the game. Smith has to coach him to get better. Pettine has to design schemes to help Gary succeed. The other players on defense have to successfully fulfill their assignments. He has to stay healthy. He has to want to become a great player. He can't let big money spoil his desire. But this is a slow part of the off-season. For right now, hearing the praise for Gary is encouraging. What are your (as a poster) expectations for Gary and the Packers defense overall this season?
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Offline dannobanano

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 03:26:31 PM »
https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2019/05/24/in-year-2-packers-finally-have-personnel-pieces-to-match-mike-pettines-multiple-ethos/

[On defense, after two offseasons of personnel acquisition and advancement to graduate-level coursework for Mike Pettine’s current pupils, the word will be “multiple.”
In just two seasons, the front office has stripped the Packers defense down to the studs and implemented a full-on renovation.
GM Brian Gutekunst demo’d a lineup consisting of Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Jermaine Whitehead, Damarious Randall, Jake Ryan and Davon House and replaced it with a specific archetype on both the front and back end of the defense. That archetype, according to Pettine, is to achieve a specific schematic and personnel philosophy, a goal the team appears close to achieving.
“I like to appear multiple,” Pettine told the media back in June of 2018. “I know some people have said the system is complicated, but we like to appear multiple without putting that much stuff in.”
“I’ve always believed in having those versatile, hybrid-type players for two reasons: One, a guy who can play multiple positions can give you depth. So, if a guy gets an injury…you can move him around. When you add versatile guys, that adds depth. And another thing is from an identification standpoint on the other side of the ball that (the offensive players) don’t clearly see…When you can move guys around and trade jobs not just within games but week-to-week, because a big part of offensive is identifying who the rushers are and what positions they’re playing, so when you have guys like that, you can do a lot more with those players.”
With two full years to draft and sign talent, it’s quite clear just how this defense is being reshaped in Pettine’s image.
Up front, Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith both can play multiple spots, especially the former who spent time in Baltimore shuffling down inside and lining up against interior offensive linemen on pass rushing downs.
“Preston has dropped more into coverage and can be more – I don’t want to use the word finesse – but Za’Darius is more of a power-type rusher and also has the flexibility (and) you can move him around,” Pettine told reporters this week.
While Kenny Clark was drafted before Pettine arrived, what he does well is very much in line with what the defense wants to do. Clark splits doubles teams regularly and can hold the point of attack with the best of them; however, Clark’s an excellent athlete for his size, which should only further his positional flexibility.
This year’s fifth-round pick, Texas A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, played all over the line of scrimmage in college and brings that versatility to Green Bay.
The Packers’ top target in April’s draft, first-round pick Rashan Gary, embodies the “multiple” ethos. At 277 pounds, Gary’s first step and straight-line speed resembles someone weighing closer to 250 pounds. He can chase and close cut-back lanes on the back side, but he’s also big and strong enough to hold the point.
“It’s unbelievable,” Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith said about Gary Wednesday. “A guy that size and that speed and that athleticism, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been in the league for 11 years.”
“You got a guy that’s got a get off and speed and you’re strong and you’re powerful, that’s a dangerous combination,” Smith said. “He just has to learn how to use those tools.”
In theory, the Packers have in their arsenal on the front a deep pool of players who are positional chameleons. Can they rush the passer? Yes. Can they hold the point against the run? Yes. Can they line up on the edge? Yes. Can they line up over a guard or center? Yes.
On the back end, it’s the same story. The Packers spent precious resources repairing the safety position, arguably the team’s worst position group last year.
Yet Gutekunst didn’t just take a blank-check approach towards fixing the safety group. Instead of bidding for Landon Collins or Tyrann Mathieu or Earl Thomas, Gutekunst invested in Adrian Amos, who often played second fiddle to Eddie Jackson in Chicago. In the draft, the Packers made Maryland’s Darnell Savage a priority, trading up and making Savage the first defensive back selected in the draft.
The link? Neither is just a free safety or strong safety. They can do both.
“If you had to say, Adrian would probably lean towards being a strong safety, and Darnell obviously leaning towards free safety,” Pettine stated. “But they’re interchangeable. … You want them to major in what they’re best at, but I think both of them can do it all.”
“That’s something that I’ve always liked in this system, that teams can’t identify. ‘Hey, when the strong (safety) is here, it means this. And when the free (safety) is here, it means that,” Pettine said.
Like Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and Gary, Amos and Savage won’t have easily definable roles. Quarterbacks setting the protection or reading the coverage might not get as many pre-snap reads. Adjustments, in theory, will be harder to come by for opposing offenses.
There’s a method to Pettine’s madness, it appears.
“What I like about the room is that it’s not all the same guy,” Pettine said. “I think in every position room, you need to have that variation in skillset so that way you can do some different things with different guys and move them around.”
Last year saw the additions of Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson and Oren Burks, but it was always going to take more than one offseason to get the personnel where it needs to be.
Or, in Pettine’s own words from last offseason: “You have your system, and you have an idea of what you want and make every effort to build the roster that way, but in the meantime, you can’t win with players you don’t have.”]

I think this article paints a picture that our expectations should be very positive. The arrow seems to be pointing up for the defense.

Offline B

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 03:30:42 PM »
IMO the only thing that could possibly hold Rashan from being a dominating force would be injury (knock on wood).

Mike Smith knows what he's talking about. Gary is not only a rare athlete, he is a rare football player. People get too caught up in numbers. Wisconsin, which has a great offensive line couldn't block him. I think too many folks get/got caught up in numbers games.

Michigan had a Great defense, and Gary was a HUGE part of making that possible. Teams scheme to avoided him. Offensive lines, tight ends, and running backs were constantly schemed his way to provide chips, and to double and sometimes triple team him. QBs rolled aeay from him and many plays were either run away from him or linemen were given support by a tight end when offenses run in his direction.

Having said that, he is a rookie. He has things to learn. And even though the Packers plan to move this young talent all over the place. He will be another weapon in Mike Pettines much faster and athletic arsenal immediately.
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline B

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Re: OLB Coach Mike Smith cannot stop drooling about Rashan Gray
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 03:32:26 PM »
IMO the only thing that could possibly hold Rashan from being a dominating force would be injury (knock on wood).

Mike Smith knows what he's talking about. Gary is not only a rare athlete, he is a rare football player. People get too caught up in numbers. Wisconsin, which has a great offensive line couldn't block him. I think too many folks get/got caught up in numbers games.

Michigan had a Great defense, and Gary was a HUGE part of making that possible. Teams scheme to avoided him. Offensive lines, tight ends, and running backs were constantly schemed his way to provide chips, and to double and sometimes triple team him. QBs rolled aeay from him and many plays were either run away from him or linemen were given support by a tight end when offenses run in his direction.

Having said that, he is a rookie. He has things to learn. And even though the Packers plan to move this young talent all over the place. He will be another weapon in Mike Pettines much faster and athletic arsenal immediately.

Good post danno! Thanks for sharing.

The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
-Vince Lombardi