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Cory's Corner: Mike Pettine Must Change A Culture

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Cory's Corner: Mike Pettine Must Change A Culture

With Organized Team Activities starting this week, all eyes will be on Mike Pettine.

The Packers new defensive coordinator is stepping into a tough situation. In the last seven seasons, the Packers have been ranked an average of 20th in total defense.  They have been ranked 20thor worse four times, including dead last in 2011. 

What’s worse is that Pettine doesn’t have the signature playmaker that Dom Capers has been searching for. Clay Matthews isn’t the same even when he is healthy, Nick Perry cannot stay healthy, Mike Daniels is great when he isn’t double-teamed and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can’t be a playmaker when he looked confused for much of last year.

The best thing that Pettine has going is that a new coach will breed new energy. Listening to the 67-year-old Capers obviously got stale and the players got complacent.

And the troubling thing is, with a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the defense only needs to be top 15 in the league. If the defense is even that good, then Rodgers will get the ball in better spots to lead the offense and the defense will get off the field more often on third down.

But first Pettine has to be honest with this unit. Understand why Clinton-Dix fell off a cliff last year after being a Pro Bowler for the first time in 2016. Make Quinten Rollins earn playing time, especially with highly touted rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson in the fold. And most importantly, he has to have Matthews play when it matters. How many times have we seen Matthews on the sideline in the final two minutes of a tight game? Pettine has to nip that in the bud right away because younger players see that and will justify that for themselves.

Basically, Pettine needs to hold these guys accountable. When they make a mistake, call them out on it. Nobody is above criticism and if a player has a bad game, Pettine should highlight that. Yeah, it will likely cause a stir in the locker room and it may make the player mad, but that’s good. It shows that the player actually cares.

The last thing Pettine wants is to criticize a player and have the player shrug his shoulders as a sign that he is just in it for himself and he doesn’t have the same fire that he once did. If there are any of those players on this team, Pettine needs to find them quickly so they don’t become a problem throughout the season.

Pettine will be expected turn this unit around which won't be an easy task. His most reliable player is probably Blake Martinez, but unfortunately he isn’t his most talented. Pettine needs to make an example of Martinez for the younger guys and build on that.

Pettine has to change the culture from something that is good enough to something that will never be good enough.


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He is also nearing completion of a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (56) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer Fan's picture

Pettine will change the culture. When you have Stafford admitting that he knew what the defensive call was before the play. When that happens, players lose their commitment. Because if you can always call the perfect play, even the best players can't make a play because everything is in rhythm. If you can confuse at the snap, everyone will be playing better.

gr7070's picture

So Matthews was on the sidelines at the end of games because Capers didn't hold him accountable?

I highly doubt the issue with this defense was guys weren't told when they screwed up.

This article is absurd.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Being told is not enough. Capers was unable to adjust to modern football and too many of his assistants where unable to teach his scheme and get guys motivated to execute it.

TheVOR's picture

Here's the first thought that came thru my mind. When they start talking about being a more physical defense, tough, bump type coverage, etc..

How many of these guy do you think are going to be on injured reserve by week 12? I'll bet 4-5 of the opening day starters finish the season on IR, with a huge number of other rotational players on IR.

This roster is soft! Mike Pettine won't be able to fix "Soft".. Just keeping it real, this team is decimated by the 14th game of the season every year. I'm not sure Mike Pettine can fix a soft roster.

dobber's picture

I think you need to define what are 'soft' injuries.

Don't forget, also, that players--especially reserves--are often put on IR early to mid-season with injuries that will keep them out several weeks just to clear roster spots. Sometimes it's not about toughness, it's about roster management.

Finwiz's picture

It's a Cory article so this is typical.
It's low-key trolling...."to stimulate discussion" we are told.

WKUPackFan's picture

The article stimulated you to comment.

Low-key trolling is much more clever than ad hominem attacks on CHTV authors.

Savage57's picture

Pettine's biggest challenge with the veterans on this group will be the mental re-programming from passive and confused to aggressive and confident.

No more pre-snap fire drills, extra-soft cushions and post-play finger pointing. If you suck and you blow your assignments, you sit. Unless the Packers personnel people are clueless, there should be athletes waiting in the wings to capitalize on those opportunities.

His history indicates he'll be up to the task. I finally want to see a defense made up of meat-eaters.

Nick Perry's picture

This defense will be better because of the front the Packers have built going into 2018. Wilkerson, Clark, Daniels, Lowry, and maybe even a gem in M Adams has the makings of a front that could dominate AND have depth. I still think we'll see Nick Perry on passing downs as a DE with his hand in the dirt. I have nothing to base this on other than that was the position he wanted to play in the NFL. Pettine may just accommodate him in certain situations this year. Matthews will be a factor this season. I really think with a new scheme that actually works, a rejuvenated Matthews will hit double digit sacks.

Alexander, Jackson, King, and Williams will all be an improvement over ANY group the Packers were able to put on the field last season. With House and Pipkins as depth this is the best secondary the Packers have had since 2010. That may be a bold statement considering Jackson and Alexander haven't even played a down, but it's one I think that's true.

Now, IF HHCD pulls head from rear and Josh Jones plays more games like he did against the Bengals which I think he will, this defense will have NO PROBLEM being a Top 15 unit.

fthisJack's picture

i agree. most of these players want to play better but under Capers antiquated system, they were not given the opportunity. they looked lost on third downs. i think they lost faith in their leader a long time ago and it added to the sloppy play.
the players have to be excited with a new DC and system for this year. knowing that Pettine is a successful coach that runs an aggressive attack defense has to be encouraging for most of the players. they are professionals and have pride in what they do. i think this will inspire the older guys for a fresh start.

Nick Perry's picture

"i think they lost faith in their leader a long time ago and it added to the sloppy play."

I agree with this 100% ftthisJack....To take a step further once Rodgers went down and the Offense looked like the Defense on most series (Hopeless) they didn't have any faith in the whole team. With the exception of an O-Linemen or two who weren't starters week one or the RB situation behind Montgomery flashed once he was injured, there just wasn't anything offensively to be excited about after week 5.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Pettine may just accommodate him in certain situations this year."

Yep, if guys have a skill Pettine will use it.

I remember Woodson bitching about Capers and how Jenkins had skills and was disallowed to use them. It was reported Capers when to them and said give it a chance to work, if it does not we will change it. Obviously it worked out then. But obviously Capers wasn't willing to change enough recently.

Bearmeat's picture

Those are some serious "IFs", NP. That said, I think there's a good chance that about half of them happen. I do wish we had changed the personnel at OLB more, but you can't fix all the leaks in one offseason.

I'm excited to see the product take shape by September.

Ryan Graham's picture

For all the times someone had made a nice play on defense there was never any comradery to follow, no fire and no pride in their play. Under Capers there was no playing as a team instead of individuals which led to cracks in the foundation, no leader to step up and right the ship when they are up against the ropes. I think most importantly there was no belief in the system from the players. All of this is a reflection on Capers. I do believe Pettine will change that course. Whoever is not on board with accountability, pride, playing as a unit and buying into Pettines system will be on the outside looking in come week 1.

Rossonero's picture

I feel the same way. The word "team" gets used a lot, but the defensive unit never felt unified. HHCD and Randall made their snarky remarks at the end of the season. We've seen, aside from Mike Daniels, a noticeable lack of leadership. That's what this defense needs more of.

Tundraboy's picture

I see it the same way. Football is an emotional sport, often over the top, but you could tell something has been off with this team for a long time. I think that all changes this year. Just can't win without a defense that exerts its will when needed. Rarely you get lucky and just outscore a team, Manning's Colts maybe, but that is not the Packers history and it's just not the same. Feels so much better when it's a total team effort.

GB Jacker's picture

Sorry to hijack this thread but am looking for a fantasy league to join this year, I'm based in Berlin so hard to find much local action. Hit me up if you have any space in a 'serious' league. cheers

RCPackerFan's picture

The biggest difference with Pettine is he will adjust his scheme to the players he has. He has spoken about that. Others have talked about that too.
That to me is one of the biggest things that we will see as a change. The defense will not be the predictable anymore.

In his defense the first thing he wants is good CB's. That allows him to be able to do more with the pass rush. I believe Gutekunst did a good job of upgrading the CB position. While we don't truly know how good Alexander and Jackson will be, we have seen King play at a high level until his shoulder injury. But the part I really like was that he went and resigned House and brought in Williams, who last year probably had his best year as a pro. He brought in veteran players to help aid the youth. Also it isn't forcing the young players onto the field until they are ready to be on there. Also it isn't forcing UDFA's onto the field unless they prove they are worthy of being there. While Hawkins for example was our 3rd/4th CB last year and now at the very highest is the 6th best CB.

The other thing that Pettine has going for him is a very strong DL. Daniels and Clark formed a great duo and they are adding Wilkerson to that group. They also have Lowry who has been a good rotational player as well as Adams who they were high on last year until his injury.

While Clay isn't the player he once was he still is an effective player. Having a DC who will scheme him more should help him also.
Pettine isn't left with a bare cupboard. Mathews, Daniels, Clinton-Dix are all pro bowl players. Martinez led the league in tackles last year. Clark is an emerging star. King was playing really well as a rookie until his shoulder injury. Josh Jones is a guy that could become a stud.

This defense has the potential to be top 10 in the league. Will it get there? We will see. It should be fun to watch.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed, RC. There chance is there if most of the above goes "right" that the D will be top 10. I'd personally guess top 20, maybe top 15. The guys wearing other colors get paid too, and we ALWAYS seem to be bitten by the injury bug on defense. To me, 2019 looks more exciting than 2018 personnel-wise.

Nick Perry's picture

I agree with you about 2019 BM, I REALLY believe that will be the year Rodgers wins his 2nd SB.....BUT there's also a chance some of these rookies and 2nd year players ball out the way the Saints rookies and 2nd year players did last year. I mean WHY can't it happen for the Packers. Why can't the Packers actually get STUD like production from guys like King, Jones and even Biegel. Or Alexander, Jackson, Burks, and Moore. Even a combination of those names balling out could get them to the dance a year earlier than we think they will.

RCPackerFan's picture

I think as far as rookies and 2nd year players this year, next year maybe better for them, and another year in Pettine's system. But we have to remember that they potentially could be losing Mathews, Clinton-Dix and Wilkerson. Those are 3 big pieces that could be gone.

We have no idea how this season will play out. But I like the potential this defense has. I think talent wise they have more then enough talent to be top 15. With a better scheme and coaching I think they could be a top 10.

If the rookies and 2nd year players play better this defense could be even better. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

Great point RC. Pettine will be more willing to change if the desired gameplan fails midstream.

And that’s the definition of a great coach: being able to recognize problems during a game but not being filled with too much ego in order to change.

Every defensive player has a strength. Pettine is only concerned about showcasing strengths.

RCPackerFan's picture

Thanks Cory,

The part that I can't wait to see is how Pettine uses everyone. How does he use everyone's strengths. I thought Capers did a pretty good job overall until seeing Hayward and Hyde leaving and having pro bowl seasons the years after they left. That is when I really started questioning him.

I really am curious to see how Pattine uses Clinton-Dix and Josh Jones. Also how does he use Mathews. Those 3 players to me could have huge roles in the defense this year.

2 years ago Clinton-Dix was a Pro Bowl player looking to take another major step. Last year he took a step back. I'm not sure who's decision it was to have Clinton-Dix run backwards 20 yards at the snap of the ball but I would expect that won't happen this year. Can Pettine get the Pro Bowl caliber player out of Clinton-Dix? Also how does he use Josh Jones? Jones looked like a Pro Bowl player in the Bengals game last year. He was all over the field. But the rest of the season, he looked lost playing out of position.
I'm really anxious to see how he uses Mathews. Does he use him at ILB or OLB on most downs? Does he move him around a lot more?

This year I think will be exciting.

Archie's picture

The other difference is the roles will change from play to play even when the configuration on the field stays the same. Hence, offenses won't know how the defense will play them. This will lead to more big plays and more 3 and outs.

I have been very critical of TT, MM and DC over the last 5 years but I'm all in on this Pettine guy. I will be the most surprised person here if he fails to bring significant improvement, even in year 1. There will be growing pains in the first half of the season but they will finish strong if they they stay averagely healthy. Gutey did his job - he brought in the players to address the #1 need on defense - coverage. Pettine will take it from there.
Whether the Pack makes the playoffs this year will depend more on the offense being as good as recent years than the defense improving. The latter will happen. Right now of offense we are shaky at WR and OL. Running game may be a big deal if both backs stay healthy. Another wildcard is Rodgers. Will he be as good after 2nd collarbone surgery and 13 screws? Maybe. And maybe not. If AR is AR and the OL is at least as good as last year and the WR show any improvement at all, GBP will be in the playoffs. If any of those 3 things fail to materialize, we will be drafting in the middle of every round again. I hate to wish ill on anyone but it would be nice if NOR draft pick is around 15. Two picks at 14-15 would be nice indeedy, as would an improved defense and a return to the playoffs. I'll take either as long as reason we don't make playoffs is a drop-off in #12's performance. That would doom Gutey and the franchise for the foreseeable future.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

The biggest challenge is simply to do that which McCapers refused to do: USE PLAYERS FOR THEIR STRENGTHS.

1. Jones is NOT a safety to be roving center field. He's a modern day hybrid LB, built for shooting gaps against the run, covering RB's and TE's along with Burks, and blitzing 5-7 times per game. He's a missile, SO LAUNCH HIM.

2. Rollins is NOT a CB, so don't waste a single down with him competing there. He's a modern day coverage safety, and should be competing with Brice and Evans for snaps.

3. If your best front 7 talent is concentrated in the line, then use more 4-3 looks. Daniels, Clark, Wilkerson, and either Perry or Lowry comprise a scary front group, so why fight it?

It was sheer agony watching a pure safety like Hyde covering quick guys in the slot, or a lengthy boundary CB like Hayward doing the same. Their new teams just moved one outside and the other to safety and voila! Pro Bowlers.

Problem is, McCapers is still the head coach, so any hope of using players wisely is sheer fantasy. We might as well cut Rollins now, move Jones to corner, and try Lowry at tight end.

Finwiz's picture

1. Jones is NOT a safety to be roving center field. He's a modern day hybrid LB, built for shooting gaps against the run, covering RB's and TE's along with Burks, and blitzing 5-7 times per game. He's a missile, SO LAUNCH HIM.

Total BS - completely incorrect. A modern day LB by who's evaluation...some guy on CHTV, or pro football management standards?
I'd submit the reason he didn't have more of an impact and make more plays is because they tried to do too much with him last year. He was a rookie and they threw all these different positions at him he couldn't grasp. He looked lost most of the time, and less than impressive. Nothing like the player I was expecting to see. I can only hope Pettine knows how to use him, and it isn't in some hybrid LB position where his 220 lb frame (at beginning of season - probably 215 by Nov.) will get beaten down and destroyed by interior lineman.

If you want a LB - you draft a linebacker, not a safety. Got it? Good.

2. - Rollins is pretty much done and I'll be surprised if he makes the team. It was a bad draft pick from a small school, and a guy that had very limited experience. Time to get over that one.

The rest of your post - fine....prattle on, whatever helps you vent, and makes you feel better!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Sorry Fin, but Jones looked dominant in the role I described, and fell apart when moved out to center field. He's closer to 225, and is in the same size range as several high-level LB's playing exactly as I outlined.

I don't deny Rollins could be released, but at least play him where his skills belong before doing so.

I'm not "prattling on," Fin, nor am I going by some CHTV wtiter's thoughts. I'm going strictly by player strengths, and I'm hoping we at least ATTEMPT coaching to those strengths before sending more teams their next Pro Bowlers.

WKUPackFan's picture

"If you want a LB - you draft a linebacker, not a safety."

I wonder what Brian Urlacher and Deone Bucannon think about that, along with the many other safeties that have converted to linebackers.

WKUPackFan's picture

Also, check out the time stamp on Finwiz's reply (3:25pm) as opposed to ALP's original comment and ALP's response to Finwiz (both in the a.m.).

Once again, Finwiz has "edited" a comment in an attempt to change the content after his comment was responded to. How disingenuous can a person get?

dobber's picture

"...and it isn't in some hybrid LB position where his 220 lb frame (at beginning of season - probably 215 by Nov.) will get beaten down and destroyed by interior lineman."

There's some hope that the Packers' beefy front and having a more traditional ILB alongside him (Martinez, Ryan, or Matthews) will help keep Jones clean and allow him to use his speed if deployed in that role.

If it weren't for his 4.4 speed, I'd call Jones a classic 'tweener'. Coming out of college he had the reputation for physical play and for playing the ball. In many ways, he profiles as a more athletic Morgan Burnett. The question is whether or not he has it between the ears to handle it and how long it will take to grow into it. It took Burnett a couple years to mature into a decent SS. If Jones captures the defensive playbook, he's a tremendously versatile weapon.

HankScorpio's picture

With Morgan Burnett in Pittsburgh, I expect the conversation about Jones in a LB role is moot. Rewind to one year ago today and the thought process was to use Jones in the hybird role as a rook with yr 2 seeing him replace Burnett. I think that conventional wisdom is bearing fruit, which is not always the case with conventional wisdom.

Finwiz's picture

"There's some hope that the Packers' beefy front and having a more traditional ILB alongside him (Martinez, Ryan, or Matthews) will help keep Jones clean"

Hope springs eternal......
Last year looked good too about this time. Didn't turn out that way.
Call me a cynic or skeptic with regard to "hair-brained", gimmick, defensive schemes.
Hopefully Pettine has something more substantive.

Tundraboy's picture

Sure was a huge part of it. As for MM, I would be more excited about the O with Philbin back, if I had any indication other than words that he is going to make better use of the roster talents and stop being predictable. That's what I'm waiting to see. I guess that means I have more faith in Pettine and Philbin. Should not be that way.

Rossonero's picture

Changing the culture will happen with Mike Pettine, but it won't happen overnight. This is a process that cannot be rushed.

First, he'll have lead by example and model the behaviors he wants to see. He said in his opening press conference that he will be direct.

Next, he'll have to connect the culture with accountability. I was recently at a conference where one speaker said accountability is responsibility + ownership. Mike himself must be accountable for whatever his defense does or fails to do.

Mike must also define the non-negotiables. At his press opener, he talked about fundamentals, but he also said we must "play with great passion and technique."

I can see Pettine being successful since he mentioned he will take not a cookie cutter approach to learning.

"You have to learn your learner," he said at his press opener.

I thought that was interesting. Mike considers himself to be a teacher, which all great coaches are. Vince Lombardi was a fantastic teacher. Let's hope Mike turns out to be one too.

4thand1's picture

Coaches that are kept around too long become stale and predictable. AR has bailed out MM for years with his ability to improvise and throw out of the pocket. Capers didn't have players to bail out his stale system and lost this defense IMO. MM famously stated during the SB run 2010/11, "we have a championship QB and we're going to ride him". He's been doing that ever since. Without AR this team isn't even a .500 ball club, that falls on coaching and development . Capers was proof of how bad a defense can get, and Pettine is a welcome change, the arrow is pointing up for once.

Rossonero's picture

Agreed. I hope MM finally realizes he's on the hot seat too. With only a 1 year extension, he isn't any safer than Mike Sherman was when Ted gave him an additional year extension, only to fire him in 2006.

MM has been predictable for far too long. I'm glad the playbook got an overhaul and Philbin is back. I'm not saying to fire MM, but if things go south or we get bounced in a wild card game, that's not good enough. It'll also depend on which other coaches are available -- if things get that bad.

Since '61's picture

2 things that Pettine can do to change the culture quickly.
1. Make sure that his players tackle effectively. Hit hard and wrap up. Proper technigue.
2. Generate an effective pass rush. This requires not only proper technique but emotion/passion/toughness, whatever you want to call it.

Improving tackling and pass rush can become a solid foundation for changing the culture on defense and building the defense's confidence. With the pass rush should come better coverage in the secondary which should build more confidence. More confidence leads to a more physical style of play which leads to more big plays (sacks, picks, forced fumbles) for the defense. All resulting in a more physical defense with a few young leaders emerging on the field.

It may take a season or 2 to get there but it must start with the fundamentals of tackling and winning at the LOS. Thanks, Since '61

Finwiz's picture

I wonder if he can change this? My guess is NO.
AND WE HAVEN'T EVEN PLAYED A GAME YET!!! Its' been 5 months since the last game and these guys still aren't healed up.
1st OTA, and we pick up right where we left off last year.

Perry and Matthews - Urrgghhh! Unreal

Trevor Davis (hamstring)
Davante Adams (hamstring)
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (not injured)
Tramon Williams (not injured)
Clay Matthews (knee)
Nick Perry (ankle)
Lane Taylor (ankle)
Bryan Bulaga (knee)
Emanuel Byrd (hamstring)
Colby Pearson (hamstring)

Rossonero's picture

While I hear your frustration, it's the training staff being precautionary. No sense in pushing a guy in May if he's not 100%.

The good news is that several others that finished last season with major injuries were on the field. Kevin King, Ty Montgomery, Quinten Rollins, Kentrell Brice, Demetri Goodson, Kyle Murphy, Jason Spriggs and Herb Waters all participated.

Finwiz's picture

Bulaga's the only guy that should be on that list out of the bunch.
The rest are a bunch of prima-donna jokes.

dobber's picture

I don't have a problem with it. It's no different than holding guys out at the beginning of camp or out of a preseason game or two. I understand that there are new schemes and terminologies to be worked out, but what's the point in pushing guys who you know are 100% going to be on the roster in September when you've got 80 other guys you need to look at and assess? There's no hitting here. No game plans to implement. Nothing but what amounts to fast-paced walk-throughs.

If you're Emanuel Byrd or Colby Pearson, your chances to make the roster are likely diminished by not participating in OTAs. You can bet that if they COULD participate, they'd be out there.

Clay Matthews had his knee cleaned out after the season.

Lane Taylor is still recovering from ankle surgery to address an injury he sustained in October and played the rest of the season on. What a prima-donna joke...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Adams jumped over an official. The big news to my mind was that both Murphy and Spriggs participated.

HankScorpio's picture

If Bulaga starts the season on the PUP (as expected), one of Spriggs or Murphy will have to hold down the fort until he's ready--barring a late addition anyways. So it is indeed very good news both are participating.

Since '61's picture

Fin - way too early to be concerned. Except for Byrd and Pearson the rest are veteran guys who will be ready for Week 1. Bulaga may not be ready but we know that going in.

Also, except for Trevor Davis we won't see much of this list playing in pre-season games either. Which is fine since the younger players need snaps to be evaluated so that the coaching staff knows who to keep and who to chuck by Week 1. Thanks, Since '61

Finwiz's picture

My concern is one thing, and one thing only....these guys need to be practicing, no matter how limited it is, with so many new coaches and limited organized activities. The defensive players are my biggest concern with an all NEW defensive scheme. Most of these guys aren't proverbial rocket scientists anyway, so they ALL need the time to practice, even if they are "going through the motions at half speed".

Something tells me there will be plenty of blown assignments in this 2018 season, with a new scheme, and guys already not thinking it's important to be on the field.

WKUPackFan's picture

"guys already not thinking it's important to be on the field".

Sounds like your only concern is painting these players as malignerers. That is the consistent theme of your comments on the subject.

Archie's picture

I'd bet that blown assignments across the entire season will go down significantly. Pettine will will it so. This guy's a force.

HankScorpio's picture

"1. Make sure that his players tackle effectively. Hit hard and wrap up. Proper technigue."

That alone would be worth at least 5 spots in the yardage rankings, IMO.

That's real old school football. It's not eye-popping highlight clip football like most defenders want to play today. But it works much better.

Give me the boring, effective stuff that coaches like Lombardi demanded and players like Nitschke delivered.

Since '61's picture

Exactly Hank!!! Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

"2 things that Pettine can do to change the culture quickly."

I'll say 1:

Play downhill...think of it like basketball: what do you do if you have an athletic but only somewhat skilled team? You run the floor. What do you do if you have an unathletic but skilled team? You play the clock. This Packers defense has become much faster (at least in terms of test/times) in the last two drafts: add Jones, King, Alexander, Burks...subtract Randall/Rollins/Gunter, Burnett, Ryan/Thomas. The back 8 (assuming a 3 man front) is considerably faster than they used to be. It might be several weeks before this defense starts to sync up, but in the meantime up the tempo, play fast, and attack the LOS. Aggressive play will generate offensive might give up some big plays, but they'll be better in the end than they were a year ago.

Since '61's picture

Dobber - good post I agree. We will definitely have more speed behind the front 3 or 4. Needless to say I am a believer in playing defense aggressively. Thanks. Since '61

marpag1's picture

Like almost any idea we could imagine, all of this stuff about "culture" and "attitude" has a modicum of truth to it, but the majority of it is crap. Kyler Fackrell didn't suck because of the team culture or a bad attitude. He sucked because he was Kyler Fackrell.

dobber's picture

"He sucked because he was Kyler Fackrell."

...he still is Kyler Fackrell.

Lare's picture

I think Pettine can change the culture a lot by just helping the defense be successful again. That makes it fun for the players, which helps with attitude, ambition and productivity.

stockholder's picture

The atitude has already changed. Pettine only needs to keep players from beating themselves up. Capers never had the players. First impressions: The secondary; Game changers! Development! Coverage! Don't look back here. This group has talent, and NO one gives up! ..... LBs.; No finger pointing! MENTAL Strength and sure tackling! This is the the group that must show they can play TOGETHER! Pass rushers should come from every position. Not just Perry and Mathews. The all time greats showed how to play LB. It wasn't the position. It was KILL the son -of the bitch with the Ball! ..... DL: Muscle, endurance, and quickness. This must be the rock of the defense. The confusion starts here. Disruption must be their mind set! Scheme all you want. If this DL can't show they can STOP. It won't matter what Pettine does. Don't look good on paper. Look Good on the FIELD!

croatpackfan's picture

I'll write only this - this article is so bad that does not deserve my comment.

Cory, now I do not know, who is guilty for bad D play - Ha-Ha, Clay, Mike Daniels, Nick Perry, Rollins or Dom Capers?

I think neither you can decide in your mind...

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