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Bob Sanders: This Is Your Test

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Bob Sanders: This Is Your Test

We all remember last years meeting between the Packers and the Cowboys and how Tony Romo was allowed to read a novel, pay his bills and text message his girlfriend while looking for a receiver down field. The Packers started to get a small amount of pressure on him in the second half, with Aaron Kampman hitting him just as he got the ball off two or three times, but that was it. And it was a preview of things to come as the Packers slowly lost the fearsome pass rush they had generated for most of 2007 from that fateful Thursday night until the end of the season.

Now, all the talk this week is about blitzing and how much pressure the Packers can get on Romo. Let me tell you, this all boils down to two people: Mike McCarthy and Bob Sanders. They spent the past offseason looking at what the Giants defense did to Dallas in the playoffs and New England in the Super Bowl. The Packers have responded by putting defensive ends on the field as much as possible, echoing the Giants 'Four Aces' package, at one point rolling out a defensive front against the Lions that consisted of Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Hunter and KGB. This is the Poor-Man's Four Aces. But all the defensive ends in the world won't mean a thing if Sanders doesn't come up with blitz and dog packages that DISGUISE themselves. The biggest difference between how the Giants blitz and how the Packers blitz is that it is painfully obvious when the Packers are about to do so. That's down to coaching. And I have yet to see anything through two games to suggest that the defensive backs and linebackers have been taught how to disguise their intentions pre-snap. Because right now, they line up and everyone on offense points at the guys who are coming. A surprise it is not.

So, as I said this past offseason, when all the talk was about how the Packers were going to be so much more creative with their pressure packages: Show me.

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Keith's picture

"The Packers have responded by putting defensive ends on the field as much as possible, echoing the Giants ‘Four Aces’ package, at one point rolling out a defensive front against the Lions that consisted of Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Hunter and KGB."

Uh, yeah... the Giants' Four Aces were: Michael Strahan, future hall of famer who surpassed THE LT as their all time sack leader, Osi Umenyiora, Pro Bowler, Justin Tuck, a dude who is an absolute beast, and Mathias Kiwanuka, a former first round draft pick. The Packers do not even come close to replicating the talent of these four and to put four DEs on the field for the sake of putting four DEs on the field is ridiculously stupid. Strahan, Umenyiora, and Tuck are all very effective against the run, which is why the Giants were able to do this. Kampman and Jenkins are very solid two-way guys, but they just aren't on the same level talent wise as the Giants' players.

packeraaron's picture

Um, Keith, you DID note the 'Poor Man's Four Aces' line? ;)

daveK's picture

There was one blitz that I thought worked against Detroit. Hawk ran through a gap and Kevin Smith couldn't get around the QB to make the block. Hawk got the sack as the timing on it was pretty good. It wasn't Philly good but it was good enough to fool the rookie RB and Kitna didn't see it coming. Hawk finished it off and go the sack. Let's hope they can do this a few times on Sunday. Dallas will be without a starting fullback. They will be using their back-up TE for that duty. That may help.

packeraaron's picture

daveK - good find, both on the play and the personnel shortcoming for Dallas. I'm thinking Hawk, Barnett and Woodson will all see blitz duty on Sunday night...

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