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Railbird Central Podcast: Seattle's Super Bowl Defense a Model for Green Bay

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Railbird Central Podcast: Seattle's Super Bowl Defense a Model for Green Bay

Episode 357

We kick of our post-Super Bowl show by airing an interview with former Packers offensive lineman Breno Giacomini, now a NFL title holder that's come a long way since his days in Green Bay. After that, we reflect on the performance of the Seattle Seahawks defense and what the Packers could possibly learn from them in order to get back to the Super Bowl.

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Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America" and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Thanks for providing the podcast Brian. I missed half the show this morning because my internet connection failed on me.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Seattle's defense is much more fundamentally sound than GB's defense. They rally to the ball better, tackle better and handle coverage assignments better. If the Packers want to emulate Seattle's defense, they should start by placing a greater emphasis on being fundamentally sound.

Once they get that down, the Packers need to become more physical. For the first month or so of the 2013 season, they were. It was a beautiful thing. Then they devolved back into the same old team that has been labeled "soft" by several commentators over the last few years.

You'll note that neither of those two things are dependent on gutting the roster and starting over. Some guys wouldn't adjust and would have to go, for sure. But that Seattle team makes do with day 3 draft refugees playing key roles. I see no reason why the Packers can't make do as well.

They can start by chucking their thick defensive playbook and putting in a much smaller one that places a heavier emphasis on attacking the offense.

cLowNEY42's picture

"They can start by chucking their thick defensive playbook and putting in a much smaller one that places a heavier emphasis on attacking the offense."

Bingo.

Basic/Fast/Attacking > Complicated/Slow/Reactionary

Stroh's picture

Were you complaining in 09 or 10 when the same scheme was top 5 NFL? I seriously doubt it...

Since we've lost a lot of talent unexpectedly. Collins Bishop Jolly Woodson Jenkins. You can't repace playmakers that quickly. Our 2 weaknesses at safety and ILB correspond to career ending injuries!

Hank Scorpio's picture

I wasn't complaining about the defense when they won the SB. But I was wary of Capers' pattern of his defenses getting progressively worse over time.

The numbers show that is precisely what is happening in GB.

Stroh's picture

I've pointed that out on many occasions also. But the '12 defense was ranked 11th in pts and yards. This year the injuries took a toll that hurt quite a bit. Lets see how the '14 season looks. Personally I have higher hopes now than I did heading into the '12 or '13 seasons.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I don't think they are far away on talent defensively. If they upgrade Safety & ILB, I think they have plenty of talent to make a 3-4 work effectively.

But I've become very pessimistic about the defensive coaching staff. There are just too many of the same fundamental problems that occur time and time again.

jh9's picture

Brian, I appreciate your thoughts on this podcast. I feel your comments were right on point.

Being a Packers fan, it sure is frustrating to see how well Seattle's defense plays and compare it to the Packers defense. Yes, our offensive line has a couple of holes that need to be to filled, but on the whole I would match our offense with any offense in the NFL.

It's the defense that needs improvement if we're going to make a serious run at another Lombardi Trophy. Is John Schneider a better drafter than Ted Thompson? Looking at the track record of both men over the last couple of years, certainly on the defensive side of the ball John Schneider has proven to be better. But the he has Pete Carroll an ex-defensive coach to rely on while Ted Thompson has an offensive head coach in Mike McCarthy to give him input.

That might be part of problem, but I think it goes deeper than that. If you're going to have a draft and develop philosophy, the develop component is as critical as the draft and I don't see this young talent we draft getting significantly better. It's like they have to have the talent coming right out of college to be successful and that's not real development.

Unfortunately, Mike McCarthy seems satisfied with his defensive coaching staff. Unless he becomes more demanding of his defensive coaches and players I think we'll continue to be a pretender and not a contender for another Super Bowl victory.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I think we see legitimate, measurable player development at CB. Both Williams and Shields got much better after they arrived. House has gotten better, IMO, although he's still a work in progress. Personally, I have no doubt that Joe Whitt, Jr is the best Packer coach on the defensive side. Anybody that can make Jarrett Bush look ok (like he did in 2013) is a keeper in my book.

The rest of the remaining coaching spots are debatable, at best.

Darren Perry had Nick Collins but that's it. Burnett seems like the same guy that arrived as a rookie. Those are the only 2 Safeties worth a darn despite about a dozen rolling in and out of the Safety room.

Winston Moss knocked some rough edges off Des Bishop. Maybe Lattimore is following that path although it is too early to say that. Here is another spot where plenty of backups have been cycled through and none were turned into players.

Trgovac saw Mike Daniels turn into a player. Maybe BJ Raji, for a time, but Raji took a step backwards. The tale of Trgovac will be written with what Josh Boyd and Datone Jones do in 2014. Both showed enough to make me think they might be players but they are works in progress, at best.

I don't think OLB was debatable. The only decent one is Matthews, who was pretty good right out of the gate. After that, it was a bunch of guys that raised hopes in their first year and got cut in their second. But Kevin Greene is already gone.

jh9's picture

I think that's a fair assessment. I also think that Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Dom Capers have been working together long enough to make a fair assessment of their performance too. Finishing with the 25th ranked defense in the NFL should be unacceptable to all Packers fans. And yet who in the Packers organization has accepted accountability for this poor performance? Until someone comes forward and accepts responsibility, I don't expect things will change that much this next season.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I agree. The Packers football operations side seem mostly ok with the performance of their defensive staff. We don't really know if Greene was nudged out or if his public statement is the entire story. Either way, the issues on that side of the ball did not pop up out of nowhere last year. But they seem content to let largely the same cast of characters try again.

gary's picture

jh9 Your right on. With this defense we our pretenders. Winning the north at 8-7-1 doesn't get you to far. We have a golden opportunity with so many of our own free agents to let guys walk and gain salary space to sign some mid level guys who are fast and tuff. Try to fill in the remaining opening with the draft

jh9's picture

After watching all the Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy years, it seems both men are weak evaluators of defensive talent and defensive coaching. Unfortunately, unless they admit they have a problem we'll continue to see the Packers field a poorly performing defensive unit.

Arlo's picture

Not difficult to see why the GB D is a bottom ten D in the NFL. You can blame Dom all you want but this list of drafted defensive players since 2005 explains alot.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/draft-finder.cgi?reques...

Ranch Tooth's picture

I don't think it's fair to point to Seattle's D as what all teams (Packers included) should strive for. Seattle's D is an anomaly, they are really, really good and very deep at multiple (if not all) positions. They drafted well, developed almost flawlessly, added near-perfect free agents, and had little-to-no injury setbacks. If that's not an anomaly, I don't know what is.

Evan's picture

I agree. Historically great is a nice aspiration, but it's not realistic. Nor is it necessary to win.

jh9's picture

I'm not saying that the Packers need a defense as good as Seattle's defense. However, they need a defense they can count on in big game situations to step up and stop an opposing offense either on downs or get a turnover.

This year they didn't have the ability to do either of those things consistently. If the Packers defense could rank in the top ten or even top twelve in the league with the offense they have they would be a true contender for another Lombardi Trophy.

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