First of all, I wanted to draw your attention to a particular piece of information located in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Bob McGinn today. In it, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers suggests there’s a possibility of the defense not using two inside linebackers on passing downs:
Capers replied that the Packers could junk the nickel and go with a dime defense featuring just one inside linebacker and six defensive backs.
“Last year, when we had inside people that were matchup problems, you saw (Charles) Woodson in there a lot,” said Capers. “In Pittsburgh, we never played five (defensive backs). We’ve got to be ready when people try to spread us out.”
Of course, this is predicated upon the Packers trusting Al Harris and his surgically repaired knee, Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee enough to go this route, which may or may not be a good idea. Only time will tell.
But I did want to pass along one other bit of information seen by attendees at training camp practices but not afforded to those who can’t make it to Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay.
At a couple points through camp, the defense has been giving a look in which an inside linebacker will switch with the outside linebacker right shortly before the snap of the football in an attempt to confuse the pass protections and get more pressure on the quarterback.
I’ve seen Desmond Bishop swap places with both Brad Jones and Brandon Chillar at the right outside linebacker spot at a few different times. On the surface, it makes complete sense having Chillar drop into coverage given his past experience on the inside and allowing Bishop to blitz the passer. With Brad Jones dropping into zone that may require him to chase a receiver down the seam, I’m less convinced.
As could be expected, the Packers haven’t displayed this in a televised setting yet, either in the Family Night scrimmage or during the preseason game against the Browns. And there’s every chance they won’t show it until the regular season begins. But keep an eye out for it.