The one area that has gotten the most attention by both fans and the media this offseason has been the pass defense, especially against "veteran quarterbacks". Much has been made of the young guys who were forced onto the field because of Al Harris' injury. While this holds some water, its not completely true. Its popular to say, for instance, that the team was "forced" to play Jarrett Bush because of the domino effect of having Harris out. But there he is in Week Two getting torched by Chad Johnson for a big play. How could that be? I thought the company line was that he was only playing because Harris got hurt?
The truth is the team, from Thompson on down, put way too much faith in Bush's abilities from the start, and have for a long time. But he is not the issue. Neither is Brandon Underwood.
The issue, when it comes to the pass defense, is Dom Capers. I got a chance to chat with Jason Wilde and Bill Johnson about this on Green and Gold Today a few weeks ago and Bill made the perfect point. Capers simply has to trust his pressure packages more, especially on third down and particularly on third and long.
Take a look below:
I mean, there is just no excuse for that.
Again and again, the Packers defense put opponents in bad positions on third down, and again and again, Capers let them off the hook with safe 3 man rushes and by dropping 8 into coverage. I realize he's playing the odds here, but take a look at that video again. Where is Clay Matthews? That's right, playing zone coverage on 3rd and a mile. That's absurd. That kid should be after the quarterback any and every time the opposing offense is set up to fail. To nullify your best pass rusher by your own doing is just unfathomable to me.
And to dispel the myth that Capers was only vulnerable to "elite veteran quarterbacks", well, ahem:
Now, a couple of things to note here. Yes, Williams slips on the coverage. But the lack of a pass rush not only gives Cutler plenty of time to move around the pocket and find a receiver, it also allows Knox the time necessary to work back to the quarterback or find a soft spot in the zone. (On a side note, I find it interesting that Hawk is the linebacker on the front end of the hole-in-zone here...)
Now, is Capers going to 'hit' every time he blitzes? Of course not. And these are obviously extreme examples used to make a point. He has the system and the talent on his squad to get after the quarterback, and I trust that with a full season under their belt and another offseason working and learning and tweaking things, Capers should have the confidence to unleash the hounds a bit more regularly.
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