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Cory's Corner: More Pressure For Fackrell and Biegel

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Cory's Corner: More Pressure For Fackrell and Biegel

New general manager Brian Gutekunst raised a lot of eyebrows and did a really good job in his first NFL Draft. He gave himself a first rounder for 2019 — a draft that will include plenty of pass rushers. 

However, he forgot that one thing when completing the draft. The first pass rusher for the Packers by position wasn’t taken until the seventh round, but James Looney isn’t a true pass rusher and is more of a plug-and-play hybrid type.

“The value of the players that we picked were just higher valued players than the pass rushers that were on the board,” Gutekunst said.

Winning in today’s NFL has been simplified in two ways: 1. Excel at the passing game and 2. Create pressure on the quarterback. Do one of those things and your team will be successful but do both of those things and your team has a chance to be great.

Obviously the Packers satisfy the first one, but the jury is still out on the second one. Can the Packers count on Nick Perry and Clay Matthews to stay healthy long enough to generate enough wins?

And without proper help from the draft, more pressure was just thrown at the feet of Kyler Fackrell and Vince Biegel. Fackrell is entering his third season and hasn’t really done that much of note. When Fackrell was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft, experts touted his versatility and toughness and even hinted that this move may signal that Matthews won’t be going back to his outside linebacker position.

That never happened. Fackrell hasn’t been dynamic enough to get around the edge in the NFL on a consistent basis. If and when the Packers draft edge rushers, Fackrell’s job may be in jeopardy.

As far as Biegel goes, he is entering his second season, but he had two screws inserted into both feet last year.

And those are the backups for Matthews, who turns 32 in a couple weeks and missed six games in the last two seasons, and Perry who’s 28 but has never played a full 16-game schedule in his six-year career.

While everyone was zeroed in on Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson as the picks that headlined the 2018 NFL Draft for the Packers, the guys that are feeling the weight of pressure right now are Fackrell and Biegel.

This team takes on Kirk Cousins twice, Matthew Stafford twice, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan. That’s a pretty good list of passers. You can have the best corners in the game, but if those guys can make clean platform throws, you’re going to get beat.

And that’s why Fackrell and Biegel better figure it out in a hurry.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (134) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Ahmad Brooks might be back. Not a salvation but worth a mention.

I don't know why we didn't take Ogbo from Oklahoma. He was a steal by the Rams pick 160.

I was b*tching for 80 picks for us to take him....reminded me of when Elvis Dumervile kept sliding. Sometimes they need to ignore the measurables & focus on the production.

Josh Sweat too, Eagles stole him.

GatorJason's picture

Yeah but can they punt?

The TKstinator's picture

Instead of “More pressure FOR Fackrell and Biegel”, we get “More Pressure FROM Fackrell and Biegel”??

Can I get a “hell yeah”?

Coldworld's picture

I’d be unsurprised if Sweat was medically off the Packers board

Nick Perry's picture

I really think the Packers plan on getting more pressure than "Normal" from their D-Line players like Big Mo, Daniels, and Clark. I also think we'll see at least some, maybe a lot if successful with Perry lining up with his hand in the dirt. It's not like the Packers don't have anyone to get after the QB. I have much faith in Pettine being able to get plenty of pressure with who he has.

One thing I've read a lot about Pettine is his ability to "Scheme" sacks out of players who normally aren't considered guys who may get you many sacks. Guys like Biegel, Frackrell, or even Gilbert (fingers crossed) might be able t combine for 12 to 15 sacks which would be ideal.

The Packers may not be exactly where we were all hoping they be after the draft as far as the pass rush is concerned. But their also MUCH stronger at CB than I'd thought they'd ever be after the draft.

RCPackerFan's picture

Looks like we were typing a similar thing at the same time.

I agree with your take as well.

Bearmeat's picture

That, exoric blitzes, and better coverage had better be the answer, NP. Because our OLBs suck from a traditional 34 defense standpoint.

As Cory said: CM3 and Perry are average. When they're fully healthy. Which we all know they won't be by October 1st. Fackrell sucks, Biegel has also been hurt for a large part of his career, and insert your UDFA of choice never have seemed to work out. The truth is, for every Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, there are 50 Cyril Obiozors and Frank Zombos (remember them?).

I think the team will be very good in 2018. I don't think it is a super bowl quality team UNLESS we get some unexpected health and help at OLB.

Spud Rapids's picture

I think your wrong when you say CM3 and Perry are average when healthy. They are definitely impact players when healthy. Also, "hen they're fully healthy. Which we all know they won't be by October 1st" you are just being a emotional and snarky with that comment, there is no guarantee they are going to get hurt. Biegel was rookie last year that got hurt in minicamp so "a large part of his career" has barely even started.

As of now we have no idea what the pass rush will be but how do we know Pettine didn't say "I can make this work if you get me some secondary help" when he talked about the pass rush.

Bearmeat's picture

Am I though? Objectively. Look back at Perry's entire career. He will almost surely miss 4 games, and be almost useless from playing hurt another 4. And CM3 has been schooled by halfway decent LTs for years now.

We can agree to disagree. That's fine. But calling me "emotional and snarky" is about as helpful as if I called you "fan-boy" and said you are wearing "green and gold goggles."

Let's get rid fo the judgemental language and leave some room for discussion and disagreement, eh?

Finwiz's picture

Nothing incorrect regarding this post, unfortunately.

Quite accurate. No down vote from the 'wiz.

Bearmeat's picture

Ok. Fine. Down vote away. But at least have the chutzpah to state why you are down voting.

Bearmeat's picture

I rest my case. Bearmeat's Phantom (no nuts) Downvoter strikes again! haha!

Minniman's picture

I've thought (and posted previously) that in recent years the packers were 1 good d-lineman short to be effective at the line of scrimmage, and this really blunted the efforts of Daniels and Clark; and therefore, created less favorable match ups for CM3 and Perry.

There's clearly a plan to address getting after the quarterback (as like Cory mentioned there's some great QB talent in this years opponents list) and clearly the packers are no longer ignorant to their defensive weaknesses.

I just think that if they were going to play like they historically played, then Landry or Davenport would have been selected, as they are logical 'fits' to slot in with Matthews and Perry (an established duo) and develop.

baldski's picture

Frank Zombo left Green Bay and started for the Chiefs for the last 5 years.
So, why did we get rid of him ?

Bearmeat's picture

Ok fine. Bad Example. Zombo had a decent but not great NFL career. How about Vic So'Oto? Andy Mulumba? Dezmon Moses? Jayrone Elliot?

I rest my case.

Oz40's picture

You guys remember Mark D'Onofrio. Still proof you can't play without 2 good hamstrings......

PackfanNY's picture

2nd Round pick from Penn State. He is a LB coach at Houston I think.

Nick Perry's picture

BM..
If Frackrell spent the year in the weight room like last season..(Was in there all winter) then I'm hoping he moves up from sucking into say a "sorta lame" category. I REALLY liked him coming out, maybe Taryn got me more pumped than I should have but I never thought he's be where he was at the end of 2017.

IMO it's a make or break year for Frackrell. I'm of the opinion Pettine will be able to really help a guy like Frackrell become more of a compliment to the defense. BUT if it doesn't happen this year he'll be a ST player and that's it.
Last season makes me not know what to expect from Biegel though I'd like to imagine Pettine will help create opportunities for him too. He started in such a hole last season AND playing in a Dom Capers defense he never had a chance.
Gilbert..Hey who knows. James Harrison took a few years to "Get It"...

; )

The TKstinator's picture

Down at Frackrell Rock!

Finwiz's picture

Love how everyone throws shade at the guy by referring to him as FRACKRELL! Funny as hell

So irrelevant, nobody knows (or cares) what his name is.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Pettine was able to get 6 sacks out of Aaron Maybin.

Bearmeat's picture

That's the hope. And Pettine by default has to be better than Capers was by the end. But Oppy's post below comparing this year to 2009 is very true as well.

Coldworld's picture

I do think Pettine’s success is from rushing with his best talent singly or as a formation. There is no doubt in my mind that that makes a strong case for using the lineman group more offensively. That also increases the variety of concerns

I don’t know that there were many better options after round 2 than Beigel. He simply has to show that he was a good draft pick. But, beyond that, we need to use our forward defenders as a group to disrupt. Pettine has been good at that with no more and maybe less talent than we have.

If we pick up a vet or a quality cut from a jammed roster, so much the better, but our D line group is going to get a chance to shine.

Bearmeat's picture

Landry? I really liked him... and they were only 4 picks away...

dobber's picture

Is he available?

RCPackerFan's picture

At this point are there any expectations for Fackrell? I have none.
I honestly expect more out of Gilbert then Fackrell.

Biegel will always have extra pressure because of TJ Watt.

We do need at least one of those players to step up and play at a high level. We need a good rotation at OLB.

The other thing to consider is we don't know exactly how Pettine is going to run the defense. Meaning we might see more use of the DL in passing situations. They brought in Wilkerson for a reason. He is a guy that can get after the QB. Perhaps we will see more 3 & 4 DL looks, then under Capers. Wilkerson, Clark and Daniels with Perry outside and Mathews roaming around the middle/outside would form a really nice pass rushing group.

What I like most about Pettine, is he changes his schemes to match the players it has. We need to stop thinking about how Capers ran the defense and starting consider what Pettine might do.

With the new and hopefully improved CB's, that should also help the pass rush. If they can force the QB to pause, that might give the rush the time it needs to create pressure.

dobber's picture

What Fackrell is not is a 3-4 OLB/edge/pass rusher. He's just not physical enough and either plays too tentatively or just lacks burst. His best hope is as a 3-4 ILB or a weak-side LB in an even front (and even then, isn't really fast enough). Biegel is 2 inches shorter, but very similar in terms of his testing numbers. I thought he looked, even in limited snaps last season, as good as Fackrell and it's possible he'll grow into a meaningful role with more snaps.

I agree with you in that we need to have a little bit of hope that Pettine will find a way to get more out of these two guys. If he can't, when that day comes this season where we see Fackrell and Biegel starting because Perry and Matthews are both dinged up, I don't care who's playing CB...it's going to get ugly.

Tundraboy's picture

God let's hope not. I shudder to think, wondering if I could take another season like that in a row.

Archie's picture

Or we could have drafted TJ Watt and Tremaine Edmunds and been set at OLB for the next 10 years. Had we kept Hayward & Hyde and played them correctly, we would not have been forced into using our #1 pick on CBs in the last two drafts. Yes, TT, MM & DC really screwed this thing up and the Packers have spent the last two drafts trying to fix it and may require another draft or two to catch back up. You could have given TT/DC/MM another decade to get the defense fixed and it still would not have happened. That is teh definition of incompetence. Thank god they are all gone. Except they're not. One is still HC and another still sits as our head scout. It's like breaking up but remaining friends. It never works.

Bearmeat's picture

Tundra,

With the exception that arod will score 25 a game by himself, I think that's quite possibly what we will see. 2019 looks more promising.

Tundraboy's picture

Possible yes, but this year will be better.

RCPackerFan's picture

I have wondered if Fackrell would be a better player in space more. He just isn't stout enough or physical enough to take on OT's.

Honestly considering how few of practices Biegel had, I thought he played pretty well.
He at least played with toughness and showed he can make plays.

Biegel is a guy to really watch this preseason. I think he does step up big time. McCarren had a good video of him a week or 2 ago on packers.com.

Bearmeat's picture

I think this is the issue here, RC. Packers.com is IMO almost a complete waste of time. It's a fan boy site - designed to make money for the team by exciting fans. Not to provide any sort of objective information.

The chats. The anylsis. The reporting. It's all beholden to the organization. It can't, by it's very definition, be objective.

RCPackerFan's picture

http://www.packers.com/media-center/videos/Rock-Report-14-Picks/e2b31e61...

This is a good video.

I personally like the website. I think they do a really good job with everything that they do. Just my opinion though.

worztik's picture

Bear... I agree 100%! The “insiders”, especially, is more about wise ass comments that cover up their lack of actual football insight! Plus, they are required to preach the company line and not answer tough questions! They are a figment of their own imaginations and if the Packers were smart, they’d ditch the salaries of these losers and leave the unbiased information to actual (real) reporters!!!!

Since '61's picture

Bearmeat I agree completely about Packers.com.
I only go there now to read Chris Christl historical articles about the team or our former players or coach Lombardi. Thanks, Since '61

Bearmeat's picture

Yes. Christl's stuff is awesome. And some of the Larry McCarren interviews are good too - although, again, a bit "fan-boyish" for me.

The rest of it, IMO, sucks.

Tundraboy's picture

Likewise. A lot, like Ask Vic, was like state radio.

Bearmeat's picture

Oh man. Vic was so bad. Talk about combining Grandpa Simpson with Cheesy McPackerfan, and an occasional Evangelical Preacher.

That was Vic.

Nick Perry's picture

I agree 100% with you on Packers.com BM. I don't think I've EVER read a negative piece there!...LOL.

Edit....Personally I couldn't stand Vic. The guy wrote for the Packers but I swear I was reading from Steelers.com more often than Packers.com.
I don't know why Vic left his office in the fine City of Pittsburgh, but his love for the Steelers always seemed to come out in his writing.

Oppy's picture

I think the biggest mistake with Fackrell was that the public, and ultimately, the Packers, seemed to project him as though he was a typical prospect.

He wasn't a 21 year old kid coming out of college. He wasn't going to go through as great of a physical transformation as many young men do- there's definitely a period of growth for most athletes that occurs between the ages of 21and 24 or 25 where they fill out their frame to their greatest potential, mass and strength. Fackrell was nearly 26 when he was drafted. His body was not going to see that marked growth.

The other issue with drafting a player at his age is that by the time a player "comes into his own" in the NFL and really hones their craft at the pro level- usually at 3-5 years in the league when they peak, going into their second contract- you'd now have to decide whether you want to pay a 28-31 year old OLB premium money to retain them on what is probably going to be the downward slope of their career.

dobber's picture

Well stated.

Minniman's picture

Great points all round re his age and inability to disengage due to temperament and strength.

Fackrell has a touch of the Richard Rodgers about him. His great plays eventuated because he was completely dismissed by the opposition - and that only happens a couple of times.

I hope for his sake that this off season he's living in the gym and getting a good sports psychologist to get his head right for the battle

The TKstinator's picture

So, the odds are stacked against 51 getting double digit sacks???

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Fackrell did play better at the end of last year. I'm hoping he started to get it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

IMO, Fackrell was considerably better than indicated in this thread, and Biegel did next to nothing.

Arthur Jackson's picture

Fackrell will be lucky to get two sacks. The guy just does not have the explosion. Biegel does have some explosion and if one of his feet doesn't fall off and have to be screwed back on, could provide 5 sacks.

flackcatcher's picture

Capers rarely played more than 2 DL in his main sub packages. Only time he played three was when he had run heavy teams. And even then he would prefer nickel or in the case of Dallas nitro (6 plus) style sub packages. I'm convinced that it was the Dallas game that sealed Capers fate. Have your entire DB group injured in a overtime win, then playing the Vikings at their place in a noon game never gave the group time to heal. Capers never seemed to adjust his pressure packages to the lost of personal, strange, it was his major strength as a DC with this team.

RCPackerFan's picture

When Capers first came to GB he brought exotic blitzes, and simply just blitzed from anywhere and everywhere. The last however many years it transformed to pretty much running a 2-4 defense, where everyone played straight up. Not as much blitzing. Teams knew what they were going to do.
In 2014 when he moved Mathews to ILB and had him playing a tweener role that changed the defense for the better. He got creative. He adjusted his defense to have Clay do what he does best. Since then he went back into the play it straight/let the players win their 1 on 1's type of defense. It simply didn't work.

This year there was way to much confusion and breakdowns in communication. I liked what Capers brought when he first came to GB, but it was time for him to move on. I think that was the final straw in his career in GB.

carlos's picture

Stafford said he knew everything the Packers defense would do right away at the line of scrimmage. Had his way with the defense.

dobber's picture

...and yet it took ARod getting killed for Detroit to be able to do enough to beat the Packers twice in one season. Detroit: 3-9 vs. the Packers from 2011-2016.

Minniman's picture

I think it was succinctly put by a commenter half a dozen articles ago that the NFL wised up to Dom Capers schemes about 6 years ago, but either he or the team didn't evolve to counter this - constant injuries to key scheme position personnel and the resulting reliance on backup players only blunted the intent of this scheme (that the rest of the league knew was coming) and they countered accordingly and with great effect.

PackfanNY's picture

Fackrell does not seem big enough or strong enough. Too many times he gets locked onto or engulfed by bigger blockers. I have not seen enough of Biegel so I will reserve my opinion. I have hopes for Gilbert and maybe he can take a big step forward this season.

Coldworld's picture

Unless, as someone noted, Fackrell has been a gym rat beyond ordinary expectations, I agree. Too weak and not fast enough of the spot to finesse. I can see him being gone if Gilbert or Odom bring anything and one of the UDFAs or our last pick in the seventh shows something or, alternatively, if a suitable vet roster/cap casualty becomes available.

Ryan Graham's picture

Long road to recovery, the roster was never going to get fixed with one draft. There are still June 1st cuts so we can add depth. Reggie Gilbett and Chris Odom were not mentioned in depth one of them can make a jump potentially, I like Gilbert. Having invested nearly 12M in both Ckay and Perry they have their chips pushed in on these guys staying healthy. But let's take a glance at this schematically.

We all know by now that Capers ran a zone blitz scheme first, second, and third down. Early on he had success because QBs weren't smart enough at diagnosing the blitz and where it was coming from presnap. I feel like I've beaten this to a pulp but, Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Andrew Luck, even guys like Kirk Cousins and Mariota, they picked apart that zone, found the holes they wanted 3-4 seconds out of a snap.

Running man coverage effectively would disguise blitzes making it harder for QBs to make presnap reads. It would force QBs to hold onto the ball longer and make better throws. This is a basic schematic and philosophy change I do think Pettine sees the scheme from last year and improving pass coverage can ultimately improve the pass rushers just as much as the pass rush can make the corners look good, Particularly in this situation.

Bearmeat's picture

It's more complex than zone=bad vs mad = good though.

Coldworld's picture

Very true, but he did say man helps to disguise. I would add that press man helps to disrupt rhythm and thus slows as well. Mix in zone and man looks that aren’t man but zone after snap etc and more confusion

Capers’ defense had clearly been deciphered, in some cases to the point of almost seeming like advance knowledge. This was only one part of that though.

DD's picture

We hope for Matthews and Perry to stay healthy. The key for the Pack will still boil down to rush pressure. If the pressure isn't there, as in the past, we're screwed this year. We still lack speed at linebackers covering tight ends and running backs out of the backfield. What changes? Pettine schemes and comfort level of players in their positions may help. We'll find out. Go Pack.

Archie's picture

If Pettine's defense improves this year to a top 10 unit, and the Pack is still 8-8 with 12 at QB, MM must go and Pettine for HC.

holmesmd's picture

You win the award for the most asinine comment on the thread.

dobber's picture

I feel that they missed an opportunity this year to find a rotational OLB that would free CMIII up to play more inside. I think that's his best hope to make it through 16+ games, and regardless of what people think of his salary and production, this team needs him to stay on the field. Hoping that the three-headed "Biegrellbert" monster will provide enough support to get CMIII those opportunities is really keeping one's fingers crossed.

"We still lack speed at linebackers covering tight ends and running backs out of the backfield."

With Joe Thomas gone, I suspect that Burks will play more snaps--even early on--than many of us expect. Certainly, Josh Jones provides speed if he can take a step forward. There's plenty of speed among the starters on this defense. The Packers are just going to have to have faith in them.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I think Jones and Burks will play A LOT in passing packages. They're Green Bay's best 1-2 punch I've seen in many years for covering RB's and TE's.

Nick Perry's picture

"They're Green Bay's best 1-2 punch I've seen in many years for covering RB's and TE's."

THIS is 100% true. The Packers haven't had a ILB with speed like Burks since...Hell, the late 90's? I mean maybe Barnett but he still wasn't as fast as Burks. The thing that excites me most about Burks IS because he's played several positions in College. He's diagnosed plays from both Safety and ILB which IMO would be an advantage.

I think it's a little strange hardly anybody is mentioning Josh Jones when speaking about the 2018 Packers defense. Everybody was ecstatic about picking him last season so I hope he takes the JUMP. At the end of the day he'll be a huge part of this defense if successful.

CJ Bauckham's picture

@Dobber I would assume that they're going to give Fackrell, Biegel and Gilbert (not necessarily in that order) every shot of being that guy this year. And if they can't hack it, we know what we have in them and we have two shots in the first round next year to find someone who can

(Edit)
...I also just saw you said as much the same. Something something, great minds

Coldworld's picture

Add Odom to that group I believe. I believe they feel he had a legitimate contender after a year in the system.

I read in a couple of places that they are going to try to keep Jones in the SS role as much as possible to help him develop. That might restrict his use somewhat.

Also, I am amused to read we still lack speed at line backer to cover after the comments when Burkes was signed. We now have one of the fastest cover LBs around. Also note that UDFA Porter is also a very quick ILB (no idea how he plays) and seems like he could be possible depth.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I've always doubted the BPA concept feeling that GM's really try to fill holes, at least after the first round. Gute addressed that when he said that while there were pass rushers available he had other players rated higher, and if they were equal he only then went with need. I really was encouraged by that. I've always felt you take the best player you can because you really can't be sure that your perceived need now is the one you'll have five weeks into the season. Our pass rush might miraculously be good and we passed on a great CB to take a bust of a pass rusher that doesn't see the field. Gute in my mind went for BPA. Now after the 1st round I was skeptical. How could Alexander be rated higher than James or Edmunds. I was shocked we let them get by us. But Gute I truly believe had Alexander in that same tier and only then went with need. I like the his approach and I think he did a great job.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Gute got an extra 1st round pick. That must be combined with Alexander to grade the move.

JohnnyLogan's picture

That's certainly true and next year in a supposedly great draft year I've seen that worst case scenario, we win the Super Bowl and have pick 32 and New Orleans has a late pick we can still package them for a top twelve pick. Anything worse for us or New Orleans and we could get into the top 5.

Oppy's picture

Absolutely!

Even if it was the first pick of the second round, there's tremendous value in that pick. It gives the Packers immense buying power, either as a pick or ammunition to trade, in next year's draft regardless.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I see our base defense as a 3-3-1-4, with the 1 being Josh Jones in a hybrid role. This affects the LB's.

Starters would be Matthews-Martinez-Perry, with primary backups being Biegel-Ryan-Burks.

The 7th spot should go to the best special teamer with highest upside from Donnerson, Fackrell, and Gilbert. Though it's too early with camps yet to begin, I would favor Donnerson for that role...by a wide margin.

As for the pass rush, our D-Line will be key, and a new Coordinator with some scant trace of intelligence might actually start blitzing Josh Jones a lot more.

Coldworld's picture

I think there will be extra spots here. Gilbert and Odom plus special teamer. With less TE/FB types LBs become extra valuable in ST.

jh9's picture

I did not like the Packers going into the draft having to fill three major holes - CB, Edge, and WR. To expect rookies acquired through the draft to start and play effectively at those three positions is unrealistic. After we traded Randall, my hope was BG would find a quality veteran to play the perimeter opposite of King before the draft. Whether he acquired that player through FA or via trade it didn’t matter. That he settled for Tramon Williams was disappointing. And so our three major holes were still there on draft day.

For his first draft, I think BG did a good job. I think Alexander is talented and getting Josh Jackson in the 2nd round was the right pick. And walking away from the draft with an extra 1st round pick in 2019 is special.

However, that we had to take a CB with the 1st pick and not an edge rusher bothers me. We need a more effective pass rush to get past Atlanta in the playoffs. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have killed us in the past, and this year the Falcons drafted Calvin Ridley. Not good...

For those who think Mike Pettine’s scheme is the answer, keep this in mind: Tramon Williams’ least productive years were in 2015 and 2016 when he played for Cleveland under Pettine. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/W/WillTr99.htm

It all reminds me of the old adage, “It’s players, not plays.”

dobber's picture

You make a good point in that we're putting a crap-ton of faith in Mike Pettine and his ability to right the ship with the defense. His track record as a DC is good. But even though Browns had a brief return to mediocrity under Pettine as HC for a year, the defenses under him in Cleveland were far from noteworthy. Personnel? Coaching? Scheme? Fumes off Lake Erie?

Finwiz's picture

>For those who think Mike Pettine’s scheme is the answer, keep this in mind: Tramon Williams’ least productive years were in 2015 and 2016 when he played for Cleveland under Pettine. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/W/WillTr99.htm<

Williams is an insurance policy, and roster depth in the secondary. I don't believe they ever considered him to be a top line starter. He also knows the Pettine system, which is helpful with so many inexperienced DB's. When you view if from that perspective, the plan starts to make sense.

My instincts tell me either Alexander or Jackson will be starting opposite King, within the first 6 games, if not to start the season.

dobber's picture

They certainly structured Williams' contract so they can get out after 2018 if his play falls off or he proves himself to be low on the totem pole.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I didn't like the Williams signing because of the price, but now I see his veteran skills will make him an ideal player/coach for all our talented young CB's.

As it turned out, Tramon was an ideal addition.

stockholder's picture

Somebody needs to step up and take Burnetts SS position. I'm still thinking that Williams could be moved around. FS. CB. Also House could be Mike Hyde.

Oppy's picture

Woodson-type film study techniques and dedication + young CBs with rare ball skills = could be special if things work out right

holmesmd's picture

Sigh. Williams had the highest PFF CB grade for all active corners over the past decade! He was very good for the Cards last season. Some folks are never satisfiedI guess. I firmly believe that this secondary will be much better than it was last year. That’s all any of us can hope for!

Coldworld's picture

Pettine’s D in Cleveland was pretty darn good considering the offense they had to carry. Hi don’t think that’s ever been seriously argued against. Think about the turnovers, lack of scoring and minimal time of offensive possession when considering that D and Williams’ personal stats.

This team got a lot better on D on paper, as it did on Offense. Don’t know that swapping any day one and 2 picks would have filled any more holes. The difference in fixing the secondary and LB coverage is that Pettine has not relied on outside rush stars to get it done. Seems like, since we had too many needs to fill, that they chose the ones you can’t paper over. Slow CBs or safeties trying to be CBs and a stable full of largely slow and athletically average backup receivers.

None of this guarantees antything other than it seems logical and it has a good chance of getting us back to true contention. We are not in a one year or done. We have to get it done more than once in the next 4 or 5!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

We should remember my old adage: Vic was, is, and probably shall always be, a moron.

dobber's picture

With the drafting of Chubb, I wonder if the Broncos are looking to deal Shane Ray. He might be a very useful piece in a Pettine defense.

Ryan Graham's picture

I was wondering that myself. They tendered Shaq Barrett at a second round value this past March I believe so they must like him or be trying to sell him high. That roster currently has Von Miller, Shane Ray, Chubb and Barrett all of which can play as serviceable starters at their worst (assuming Chubb can). I have a funny feeling though they are gonna be targeting a Nick Foles type in exchange though...

dobber's picture

They're going to have some tough decisions to make in that group. Chubb will be on a rookie deal, but they've got to make a decision as to whether to exercise Ray's option. They have to decide how all Miller, Barrett and Ray are all going to fit together in short order.

Ray's got an injury history, which gives pause, but at what point and cost is he worth a flier?

Colin_C's picture

Hadn't thought about that before, but I think it would be a solid move to go after him. From what I gather, he was very good in 2016, but injuries limited him last year. Sounds like he's on an upward trajectory if he can stay healthy. Not sure what you'd have to give up for him though.

Bearmeat's picture

Something like that is what has needed to be pursued since day 1 of this off-season. A trade.

marpag1's picture

Not sure I really want Shane Ray. Frequently injured, not overly productive vs the pass, and pathetic vs. the run.

Bearmeat's picture

....which would still be better than Fackrell.... and maybe Gilbert and Biegel too. Who knows with either of them...

Just saying. Our depth chart at OLB is bottom of the barrel bad.

Coldworld's picture

A likely cut is no better than a likely cut. If he failed a little bit less, he still failed.

jh9's picture

I would love to see BG do his due diligence on Shane Ray. If he checks out medically and personality-wise, I'd be willing to give up to a 3rd round pick in 2019 to get him. Ray had eight sacks in 2016 before his injury. If he's healthy now we could certainly use eight additional sacks this year.

Since &#039;61's picture

Pettine likes to send his DBs off the edge, at least he did with the NY Jets. The Packers have plenty of DBs now. I expect to see Josh Jones and other DBs blitzing the QB regularly. They will supplement whatever pass rush is generated from the DL and LBs.

Pettine's defense will play faster than Capers. His CBs will play as islands. After that everyone else gets after the passer. Plus we can still sign a FA pass rusher if one gets released between now and the end of TC.

As for Beigel and Fackrell it would be great if one or both can make a leap in performance this season but I'm going to manage my expectations until I see them on the field in Pettine's defense.
Thanks, Since '61

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Great point. In fact, I would barely classify Jones as a defensive back in our defense. I see him flying around close to the line, covering RB's and TE's, filling holes against the run, and blitzing several times per game.

With both him and Burks out there in the nickel and dime, Green Bay has a scary group. Who will cover? Who will blitz, and from where?

It's hard not to get excited.

Since &#039;61's picture

ALP - I agree. Let's hope they both stay healthy throughout the season. Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

At least based upon what they are saying, Jones will be a much more conventional SS this year at least.

zoellner25's picture

I think Fackrell might be the worst pick of the Ted era

Since &#039;61's picture

That honor may still be reserved for Brian Brohm or Justin Harrell or even Brett Hundley. In any case there are plenty of candidates. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

There are plenty to choose from. Let's not punish ourselves this way.

zoellner25's picture

i'm ignoring players plagued by injury like Derek Sherrod

Johnblood27's picture

sHERROD HAD HIS LEG BROKEN BECAUSE mARSHALL nEWHOUSE WAS SO SLOW HE COULDNT EVEN SLOW DOWN HIS MAN AND THAT GUY CAREENED AROUND THE CORNER AND CRASHED sHARROD.

nOT sHARROD'S FAULT AT ALL, BLAME nEWHOUSE!

Johnblood27's picture

sorry, I am not a good keyboarder

Tundraboy's picture

Read my mind Dobber. Lmao!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I can also think of someone else who is...Worthy.

zoellner25's picture

ouch, good call. worse pick than Fackrell b/c Worthy was a higher pick. you win

RCPackerFan's picture

Brohm for sure was the worst player he drafted. He made it was 3 total seasons in the NFL? Couldn't make it in any other league either.

Cory Rodgers might be the least talked about but might be the next worst. For a 4th round pick I don't think he even earned a PS spot.
And look at some of the names of players taken after they took Rodgers in the 4th round. Jahri Evans, Stephen Tulloch, Stephen Gostkowski, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervill plus others.

cheesehead1's picture

Biegel gets a pass from last year, but must step up this season. Hope I’m wrong but it’s hard to imagine Perry and Mathews staying healthy, their track record confirms this.

4thand1's picture

The pressure in TC will be at an all time high. I think MM is under more pressure than anyone. This team will have to put a product on the field that will win a lot of games. Guys like Frackrell are expendable, they're a dime a dozen in today's NFL. Our DL will be the key and having enough bodies to rotate in and out of plays. They will eat up blocks and the LBers should benefit, we'll see who stands out. Burks and Donnerson will be fun to watch, I see them flying all around the field. If they make plays and turn some heads it'll get interesting real quick.

cheesehead1's picture

Just a thought, but is there an good edge rusher out there we could trade for? How about packaging up Ty Montgomery and someone else? I like Montgomery but he just can’t stay on the field.

Tundraboy's picture

I want to see what Philbin can do with Ty.

Oppy's picture

Since people are talking Pettine and Capers, I'll just throw this out there.

One thing that strikes me about how fans are reacting to the Pettine hiring is this- all the things they're saying about why Pettine's defense is going to be superior to Capers...

Well.. they are all the EXACT same things people were saying about Capers' defense back when he first took the DC position.

Particularly the parts about "utilizing players to their strengths", "multiple fronts and Schemes" etc and so forth.

At the same time, some of these things- like scheming to create favorable match ups for available personnel- were the exact same things people were blasting Capers for doing in the last few years.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the change like anyone else. However, the reasoning most people are putting out there makes zero sense to me. I'm fairly confident that if you go back to old articles written about Capers' defense when he became the DC in GB, they read almost identical to the articles about Pettine's defense.. Including the comments about it from MM and the fan base.

Largo-Lor's picture

It seems to me that this is said about every new DC for every team. What else can they say? The problem is that over the years those same qualifications lead to stale tendencies that are predictable. So they get caught up in "complicating" the scheme to hide the tendencies...creating communication chaos when new bodies are thrown into the scheme. I think that is why MM is scrubbing the offensive playbook as well.

I'd rather sit back and criticize...tough job for anyone.

4thand1's picture

We had a young Raji, CMIII, and a guy named Woodson.

Oppy's picture

Raji And CMIII were drafted after Dom Capers was hired as DC.
Charles Woodson was here already, though.

Coldworld's picture

True. But few defenses had become as predictable by teams on a repeated basis ....

Johnblood27's picture

Just look into their eyes.

Forget scheme.

Pettine is a completely different animal.

A better, more competitive animal.

holmesmd's picture

Fackrell is likely a bust and brings nothing positively unique to the party that isn’t already in the room. He’s developmentally “old” and plays hesitant and without any nasty. Not really characteristics one would covet for an EDGE. I honestly think he’ll really need to have an incredible camp to even make the 53! Gilbert & Donnerson are significantly better athletes and I see no reason to waste a roster spot on KF. He seems like a really nice guy but I’m just not impressed with his career so far.

Oppy's picture

His #1 asset was his length, and that's something i dont think anyone else on the roster has. With proper strength, that length allows a pass rusher to keep a tackle from ever getting a hand in your chest.

His frame was like Peppers, but needed to be filled out with muscle mass. As I was saying in an above post... probably not going to see a huge change in his body at his age, unfortunately.

marpag1's picture

"His frame was like Peppers, but needed to be filled out with muscle mass."

OK. That might be just a smidge of an overstatement, though - or maybe understatement, I'm not sure - given the fact that Peppers weighed in almost 50 pounds more than Fackrell, and Peppers was definitely not fat. So that would require Fackrell to do a hell of a lot of "filling out."

holmesmd's picture

Agree Oppy and get your point. To compare KF to JP in any regard seems a bit comical at some level. I think JP is 2 inches taller, has longer arms, and is a metric *hit ton stronger. I get your point put length alone even with added beef isn’t always enough. I want mean, nasty, EDGE players with some tools to get to the QB. JP should have been at least “offered” another short term contract. The team loved him and he loved being a Packer. I’m still pissed off about it! The guy had 13 sacks last year on a defense far superior to ours. How much better would the fan base feel if he would have been offered a modest 2 year flier?! I would say quite a bit better IMO. The guy is still playing at an impressive level. He doesn’t need money. He’s a shoe in HOF’r. It’s mind boggling to me that TT/Ball or whoever didn’t even offer the guy anything. I know for a fact the MM was livid about it as he knew what Pep meant to that front 7. I believe that may have been one of “many straws” that allowed BG to slide into the GM position. Sorry I wandered off topic a bit.....

Lare's picture

Biegel and Gilbert may be a pleasant surprise, but counting on Perry, Matthews and Fackrell to stay healthy and provide a good pass rush is wishful thinking at best. And as others have mentioned, Pettine may be much better than Capers but even he isn't going to bring anything to the defense that he hasn't in the past.

Disappointing that Gutekunst/Thompson didn't do much to improve two of the biggest needs on this team (pass rush and OL).

Since &#039;61's picture

Do you think MM was checked out when the team went 15-1 the season after the SB or in 2014 when the Packers were one play from the SB?

If he was ever going to checkout, he would have done so after his brother passed away so unexpectedly.

He’s still here, he’s just different with a piece or two missing and a lot more baggage. No different than the rest of us as we carry on through life. He is still resilient, still has integrity, trusts his process, players and coaches, maybe too much sometimes and he is an advocate for the Packers tradition and history. Not to mention about a 640 winning %.

The Packers could have done a lot worse at HC since 2006.
Not saying that MM is Lombardi but he has done an excellent job in an era of free agency, salary caps, a very limited # of top 15 draft picks, an annual plague of injuries, bad officiating and rules changes. Like everyone else here I wish we had more SBs, but on balance compared with his peers MM has been a very good HC for the Packers. Thanks, Since ‘61

holmesmd's picture

Well stated ‘61. I agree completely!

Coldworld's picture

If we canned McCarthy, he would be number one target for half the league. What he needs occasionally is a kick to ensure not to personally invested in players and coaches. That’s the GMs job along with getting the right players for the HC.

Seems to me TT declined markedly on both scores in recent years

dobber's picture

I agree with that sentiment, but doesn't the same thing hold true here as it does for players? If you've got a player who just isn't doing it in your anymore and you're confident you can do better, you don't keep him based on whether or not he's going to get picked up by someone else. You've got to do what's best for yourself, first.

I'm not arguing that they should cut ties with MM (although many around here have been doing so for some time). I'm just saying that teams need to be objective in how they evaluate players AND coaches...

Johnblood27's picture

Madison aint chopped liver.

and the OL room isnt full of sucksters.

The coaching and pro personnel folks of the GBP must see something that you dont, if we can even begin to fathom that...

White _tornado's picture

I personally am going to be a little more cautious yhan many of you about the new players , the new d.c. and guys like Biegel.

History shows us most rookies drafted beyond the first half of the 1st round do very little as rookies. In fact a large number of all rookies get injured their first year. Then you add in the normal 20 to 30 pct that are total busts , makes it hard to get too excited.

As for pettine, i wasone of them that was ecstatic that Capers was hired. The man was atrue defensive guru a mastermind if you will. So what happened? I dont think capers forgot how to game plan. Id guess he checked out the same time MM did. Right after winning the Super Bowl. Has McCarthy checked back in yet?

As for Biegel, i wish him the best! But i wont get too excited. Theresan old adage in football "injured players tend to stay injured" Anyone remember Eric Affholter? Chuck Webb? Shawn Patterson? Justin Harrell? CMiIII ? Nick Perry? You get my point.

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

Can't disagree more. Injured players tend to stay injured? Guess we should give up on Rodgers then, evidently Gurley and AP never got hurt their last year in college, and Jordy wasn't Comeback Player of the year and Woodson might have done the same with the Packers. Injuries cannot be generalized and then considered chronic in every case.

White _tornado's picture

In a sense 61 yes i do think MM checked out after the SB win. If a bunch of schlubs like us see the defense was a mess, why couldnt MM?

Remember, fans dont know anything. These people get paid huge sums of money to know better than we do.

Part of the job of the head coach is to evaluate his assistants. McCarthy failed miseraly in that aspect!

Since &#039;61's picture

As I posted, in some instances MM has remained too loyal for too long with some of his staff and players. But remember we don't know what goes on in the locker room or off the field with the staff in particular. MM won an SB, then went through an 2014 NFCCG loss with the same staff and then lost his brother and we don't know how much support or what his staff meant to him as they went through that together.

I wanted Capers gone since 2013 but MM kept him well beyond that. I don't know why but I do know about evaluating people and their performance and I know that it's not just about looking at cold hard analytics especially when you know people and they have been there with you. This why I have used an outside firm to conduct interviews and performance reviews since 2011. My business partner and I make the final decisions but an outside firm keeps emotions out of it, provide credibility and create the perception that no one is receiving special treatment . MM is not in a position to that (at least I don't think he is)

I won't argue the point that MM failed in some of his evaluations, I'll just say that he trusted his process and either his process was flawed in some cases or he screwed up or both. It happens to the best of managers in every profession. Thanks, Since '61

holmesmd's picture

Really? JP was the Packer’s sack leader for the 3 years he was here. MM stated in his post season presser that he very much wanted him back in GB. What did FoggyTed do? Not even offer to make the guy an offer. I don’t give a crap if JP is 50 yrs old, he’s better than any pass rusher on the Packer roster! Be mad & downvote away but production doesn’t lie. He also was on a snap count! How profound is that?! MM can only coach the players he can put on the field. There is way more fault to direct at management in my opinion. Player acquisition and retention have been marginal at best.

White _tornado's picture

In a sense 61 yes i do think MM checked out after the SB win. If a bunch of schlubs like us see the defense was a mess, why couldnt MM?

Remember, fans dont know anything. These people get paid huge sums of money to know better than we do.

Part of the job of the head coach is to evaluate his assistants. McCarthy failed miseraly in that aspect!

Johnblood27's picture

maybe he could call ari fleischer for some outside input...

it worked before...

Bure9620's picture

The pressure is certainly on Biegel, but I am simply not convinced Fackrell is even the 5th best pass rusher on the team and frankly I feel he will likely get beat out by Gilbert and potentially even Donnerson in camp. Donnerson is extraordinarily raw, yet with that athleticism he could make a few splash plays in pre-season which would be enough, he could be a solid special teamer.
Biegel is sneaky athletic and actually has a decent array of pass rush moves, I think he will fine, he needs to show he can play the run too. Fackrell has been given opportunity after opporortunity and has shown he is not and NFL football player. Gilbert was this teams one bright spot the final 2 weeks of the season, consistently causing pressure, collapsing the pocket and creating havoc in the backfield.
As I have stated on here several times, Tackle is a bigger need right now than edge rusher, with a new scheme, better coverage, we have some guys that can get home.

PackfanNY's picture

I hope Biegel can get on the field this year. I have no idea what he brings since his rookie season was a big fat zero. Maybe now he gets that full camp and shows us something. The forgotten player is Montravious Adams on the Dline. Same exact situation. Fackrell has not done anything. Hopefully Gilbert shines.

Mark Gaedtke's picture

I strongly suspect that Pettine has talked at length with his protege, Wisconsin DC Jimmy Leonard, regarding Vince Biegel. Jim knew exactly how to use him and so will Pettine.

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