Charles Woodson has been known to speak his mind when it comes to not only his own play and the play of his teammates, but Dom Capers' handling of the defense as well.
Woodson had plenty to say regarding all of the above after the game yesterday, but it was one bit in particular that caught my attention.
We have to find ways to get Clay to the quarterback whatever that may be. Draw some things up for him and just let him do his thing. We can't continue to allow him to be stuck on the side and double-teamed every time he gets upfield. So I think for us, finding ways to get him to be the 'Claymaker,' which he is. We've got to find some ways to get him to the quarterback.
I could not agree more.
It's interesting to note that all three of the Packers interceptions came on plays where Capers sent five or more and all of Rivers' touchdown throws came on plays where Capers sent four.
Now, that doesn't mean much of anything other than show the correlation between putting pressure on the quarterback and sacks and/or turnovers. It's no great mystery. What is curious is how Capers continues to use Matthews in such a predictable manner, usually lining him up on his customary left side, sometimes stunting him into the middle of the line, occasionally dropping him into coverage.
But more often than not, opposing offenses can set their protections knowing where Matthews will be coming from. It's no surprise to see Erik Walden getting close a few times, as he was facing a bunch of one on ones due to the attention being paid to Matthews on the opposite side.
Another concern, and as I've learned this year I am about to touch the Third Rail of Packer Punditry here, is that when Matthews does get his one on one opportunities - he's simply not winning them.
Woodson's lament is also notable because the Packers and Capers had an extra week to gameplan. Yet despite the extra time, Capers seemed to not have dialed up much in the way of new looks for getting Matthews free. Looking around the league, you see premier pass rushers like Demarcus Ware or Terrelle Suggs being moved all across the defensive front. One would think Capers would want to use his best pass rusher in a similar manner.
It will be interesting to see if Woodson's complaint prods Capers into action on this front. Obviously, the secondary can only benefit from Matthews getting to the quarterback more often, and right now this secondary can use all the help it can get.
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