Cory's Corner: The Packers Will Win With Physicality

Don't underestimate the winning power of blocking. 

What’s the most underrated aspect on the offensive side of the football?

It’s blocking by a landslide. 

And ever since Matt LaFleur’s first season in 2019, that one quality has not been overlooked.

As the Packers and the rest of the NFL close for their annual brief summer break, Green Bay should feel very confident about the direction of their offense. And yes, I got the memo that Davante Adams isn’t playing in Green Bay anymore and I realize that left tackle David Bakhtiari, right tackle Elgton Jenkins and tight end Robert Tonyan will likely start the season on the injured list. 

But the one equalizer on offense is doing the little things right. According to Pro Football Focus, Dominique Dafney was ranked No. 6 in run blocking and No. 14 in pass blocking last year among all tight ends and Marcedes Lewis was ranked No. 9 and 19. Oh and then there’s this, Allen Lazard was ranked No. 9 for pass blocking among all wideouts last year. 

This team can block. And now it has a former offensive lineman in Adam Stenavich as the offensive coordinator. I’m not saying that the Packers should immediately entrust a three yards and a cloud of dust philosophy, but at the same time, they are going to punch you in the mouth first. 

The offense may not be as electric as you may have remembered it from the past few years, but this team is going to move the chains. Aaron Rodgers was already very good with bootlegs and play-actions, but expect that with a hearty dose of physicality. 

It’s actually pretty ironic. When LaFleur was hired, people started to wonder how long it would take before he turned Green Bay into San Francisco East.

That time is now. 

The Packers have a stable of two capable running backs that can pass, run and, you guessed it…block. And they might have one of the deepest offensive lines in the league. 

This team isn’t going to win with a high-wire circus act this year. It’s going to win with bloody noses, the snap of shoulder pads and sheer offensive will power. 

Of course, when was the last time a team with the defending NFL MVP at quarterback was predicted to win with power instead of precision? Yeah, on the surface it may sound crazy, but the one attribute this team needed in last year’s NFC Divisional Round Playoff loss to San Francisco was physicality. 

So go ahead and talk about scheme, intelligence or speed. I’m going to stick with the one thing that still matters: blocking. 
 

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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 recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (25)

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lou's picture

June 18, 2022 at 07:22 am

Great to see Dafney getting some recognition, hopefully he can stay healthy. His prowess as a blocker and take no prisoner attitude on special teams is obvious even to the casual fan which is important because Lewis can't play forever.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2022 at 07:44 am

And it could be why the team keeps drafting Offensive Linemen. “We want our best 5 out there”. Has been the mantra for these last few years. No talk about the unit as a whole but more about game to game decisions. Also it might explain why they keep the TE/H Back position filled (It might explain the drafting of Sternburger) i watched Jones take on some pretty hefty guys in his pass pro. I also looked at Clark and saw that his college tape showed his ability to get off blocks to tackle and it continues in the NFL. Blocking is important.

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NickPerry's picture

June 18, 2022 at 07:42 am

"The Packers have a stable of two capable running backs that can pass, run and, you guessed it…block. And they might have one of the deepest offensive lines in the league."

I've been saying this since before, and especially after the draft. Whether you like Gute or not, you have to admit he's done an excellent job or both rebuilding and retooling a position group on the fly since becoming GM. He did it with the OLB and Safety group his 2nd year as GM. He added Dillon while having Jones and Williams, and then drafted Hill last year. But the one group he's added to every year is the O-Line. You can NEVER have enough BIG and athletic O-Linemen on the roster and the Packers have no shortage. They are DEEP.

The Packers are going to bludgeon opposing defenses this season running the ball this year and then whoop their ass on defense. It may not be the high flying offenses like they've had in the past, but I think it's going to be MORE FUN to watch...

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mrtundra's picture

June 18, 2022 at 07:50 am

I cannot wait, NickPerry! I want to see a Green and Gold steamroller flattening every thing in it's path! GO PACK, GO!!!

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NickPerry's picture

June 19, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Hey mttundra...Yup, "A Steamroller" is a good way to put it I think... I can't wait either.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:46 am

I surely hope you're right, Nick. But - ok, you know...

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NickPerry's picture

June 18, 2022 at 02:10 pm

I do too Croat, but I REALLY believe this. I think the defense will be good to start and become absolutely dominate down the stretch when Wyatt, Walker progress. Obviously they need to stay healthy.

Wyatt is older than Clark was when he was drafted. I think he's probably more "Pro Ready" than Kenny was just because he's older. The one I'm stoked about though is Walker. I think the Packers are going to use him in many of the ways that the Cowboys used Micah Parsons last season.

The Packers are going to have a LOT of meetings of bodies at the QB this season.

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Savage57's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:18 am

Imagine a Packers team that just grinds you down on both sides of the ball.

Pretty wild to think about when you consider passing's dominance in the Favre/Rodgers eras.

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Postman's picture

June 18, 2022 at 09:58 am

In the later years of Favre you are forgetting Aman Green era. They should have run the ball prior to the 4th and 26 in Philly. Just another Packer blunder on the way to the Super Bowl.

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wildbill's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:17 pm

If you can’t stop a 4th and 26, you don’t deserve to win the damn game

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croatpackfan's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:49 am

Finaly, we agree completely, Cory. I believe Packers is build for smack the mouth football, both on O and on D. The issue could be "battle field general", would he follows the battle plans or he will know better...

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NoNonsense's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:51 am

"Out with the illusions, in with the contusions"

If they line up Lazard and Watson, Lewis and Daffney with AJ Dillon behind them, good luck to the defense. That is some smash mouth football right there. Back to the black...and blue division days.

So delicious that we get the Vikings game one, some of their bodies are gonna match their jerseys.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 18, 2022 at 10:18 am

That scenario would see 8 men in the box on defense. I’d prefer to line up 3 wide and Lewis. Then the defense almost has to play Nickel or risk giving up a big play, leaving only 6 defenders in the box against Dillon, Lewis, and the 5 offensive linemen. That’s 7 on 6.

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egbertsouse's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:57 am

It would be great but I will believe it when I see it. Especially when they are down a TD or two. In those cases I can’t help thinking they will revert to form and start hero balling again, chucking it 30 yards on third and one. I hope you are right, I love smash mouth football.

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CheesyTex's picture

June 18, 2022 at 02:04 pm

"...I will believe it when I see it."

Tough to do for a line built for zone blocking scheme. If they can now convert by runs on third and short or in goal line situations, we are in for a lot of happy days.

wphw

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PeteK's picture

June 18, 2022 at 04:59 pm

Denver did it to us in the SB with a zone scheme to the tune of 179, Elway threw for only 123.

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Since'61's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:59 am

NFL offense has been, still is and will always be about the blocking. If your 5 guys up front make their blocks they will protect their QB and create daylight for the RBs.

Good downfield blocking by our WRs is an added bonus to
solid OL play. Good blocking is the equivalent of good tackling on defense. A team needs both to win. It is not optional it is a must have.

BTW, good blocking and tackling applies to STs as well.

“Football is about blocking and tackling. The team that blocks better and tackles better will win their games.” Vince Lombardi. There is nothing else to add.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Leatherhead's picture

June 18, 2022 at 10:19 am

Nothing happens on offense unless guys get blocked.

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Since'61's picture

June 18, 2022 at 07:35 pm

That has never changed despite the rule changes and everything else over the decades. The offense goes as far as their OL takes them. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2022 at 09:37 am

"And they might have one of the deepest offensive lines in the league."

They have a lot of bodies and a lot of potential, but until they get 69 and 74 back on the field and playing well, depth is an issue.

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Starrbrite's picture

June 18, 2022 at 10:58 am

…and that is how the Donkeys beat us in the SB— Terrell Davis and their blocking scheme wore us out. Elway completed 12 passes in that contest.
For me personally, it was the most devastating loss in franchise history—I despise (still do—always will) that franchise.
I see us becoming somewhat like the Titans—bludgeoning opponents with the run game, but with a much better QB and defense to steamroll us to a SB.
I’m very excited about this year.

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PeteK's picture

June 18, 2022 at 05:02 pm

You beat me to it , Star. LOL

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stockholder's picture

June 18, 2022 at 12:09 pm

I don't see this OL being ready!
If Jenkins ,Bahk, And Tonyan don't play. There are still too many Question marks yet. Who plays RT?
And who says they won't have more problems? Especially trying to "force" this class of Rookies, in too early.
There were guys "hurt" last year.
And they must have had their reasons for not using Nijman.
Confidence; might have more to do the success of this Offense, more than physicality. ( For everyone of these guys. )
I'm sure everyone will know what their job is. Just how fast they're ready, will be the key. And if they're " not confident ".
You can forget the persuasive thinking.

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SnakePigskin's picture

June 18, 2022 at 04:59 pm

GB as the monsters of midway? I dunno too much cheese makes one soft, that’s why they have so many injuries. Would sure like to see it though.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 18, 2022 at 08:48 pm

If Bakhtiari is on the IR to start the season something is very, very wrong.

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