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Eagles Game Film Review: The Value Of Jarrett Bush

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Eagles Game Film Review: The Value Of Jarrett Bush

I got a DVR. I must say it's much nicer rewinding and fast fowarding than it ever used to be. And skipping through the commercials is so easy. I love it.

Special teams:

  • Jarrett Bush didn't make any tackles on special teams, so his value wasn't immediately obvious. But it's clear Shawn Slocum had a plan for keeping Pro Bowl return specialist DeSean Jackson in check. On each of Tim Masthay's first three punts of the game, all three were to the left side of the field where Bush lines up as a gunner. On the first two punts, Bush was able to easily beat his man and force a fair catch from Jackson. On the third punt, Bush was double teamed and forced out of bounds, but with help, Jackson was still only held to a 7-yard return. Jarrett Bush receives a bulk of the credit for making Jackson a non-factor on returns.
  • Tom Crabtree was the unsung hero on special teams fighting through a two-man wedge to make a tackle on kickoff plus being a key factor on several of Jordy Nelson's long returns.
  • In Tim Masthay's first regular season performance as a holder, he cleanly picked the ball out of the air (including one low snap) on all of Crosby's kicks.


  • The Packers didn't play a single snap in the base defense. Of the 66 plays I charted including penalties, they played nickel 60 times and dime six times. They stayed in nickel even on the handful of goal line and short-yardage situations, including the 4th-and-1 stuff of Michael Vick to preserve the victory.
  • On four plays, the Packers only rushed three players and were able to get a surprisingly good rush with only three thanks in no small part to Clay Matthews. On three out of the four plays they rushed three, Brad Jones dropped in coverage. Cullen Jenkins dropped once.
  • I'm sure you noticed Clay Matthews lining up at an inside linebacker position several times throughout the course of the game. He rushed the quarterback from his ILB spot three times. Of those three plays, one ended up in a sack and another ended up with him laying out Michael Vick shortly after releasing the ball.
  • On two of the plays Matthews lined up at ILB, the Packers showed some exotic pressure with Jones and Jenkins. One one play Jones and Jenkins stunted and on the other play Jones and Jenkins lined up on opposite sides of the field with Jones rushing from the left side.
  • When the defense lined up against Michael Vick in the first half, it was the first time they'd seen the Wildcat since last season at Cleveland. And even then, I think Josh Cribbs only ran it for a play or two.
  • On Frank Zombo's sack, it was the first and only time on Sunday where they brought a safety blitz. Both Morgan Burnett and Nick Collins rushed up the middle drawing attention from additional blockers and aiding Zombo in getting to Vick.
  • B.J. Raji rarely came out of the game. It was primarily Jenkins and Pickett rotating plays.
  • If there's one position (aside from kicker or punter) that can afford to play with a club-like cast, it's the defensive line. The club didn't seem to affect Jenkins much at all. That shouldn't be much of a problem moving forward.
  • Ryan Pickett dropped into coverage once when Tramon Williams and Brandon Chillar both blitzed.
  • Both Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar had quietly solid games even though they didn't tally a single "impact" play (sack, interception, forced fumble, recovery, etc.) between the two of them. Best of all, they held their own in pass coverage.
  • I'm still trying to decide how much of an impact A.J. Hawk not playing on defense had an effect on the team's performance.
  • I think I saw only one cross dog all game.


  • There's definitely something to be said for sacrificing fewer blockers for more available receivers. On the 9 plays the Packers kept either 7 or 8 players in pass protection (whenever the Packers kept 8 in protection, it was always out of the "full house" inverted-wishbone formation), Aaron Rodgers was 2 of 6 passing, suffered two sacks and had to scramble for a first down when he couldn't find an open receiver.
  • I'm not excusing the play of tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton on the plays in which they gave up back-to-back sacks, but Ryan Grant offered almost no assistance in pass protection. He stayed in to block both plays and he may as well not have been on the field. He did nothing.
  • Trent Cole was giving out football lessons on Sunday. He just wins 1-on-1 battles. He gave Clifton trouble against both the pass and rush, and threw around Tom Crabtree on a couple of plays as well. Of course, it's really unfair to expect a first-year player like Crabtree to win 1-on-1 battles with a guy like Cole.
  • On the touchdown pass to Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley and James Jones drew the coverage deep into the endzone while Driver ran his route just deep enough to barely get beyond the endzone line. Perfect timing, perfect execution.
  • Asante Samuel is the first player to my memory to break up the run/pass option slant intended for Donald Driver. The Packers have to be careful. They go to the well on that one a lot. Other smart corners around the league could probably pick up on that as well.
  • Korey Hall sacrificed his body several times while lead blocking. That's the most effective I've seen him in the run game in a while.
  • Jordy Nelson continues to the primary wide receiver in 1 receiver sets. That's not surprising because they do a lot of running out of those sets and Nelson might be the best blocking receiver on the team.
  • The Packers ran the "Big Five" formation one time with Brett Swain out on the field.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Morli's picture

I think a friend of mine mentioned during the game: Those maxprotect-sets were all mainly used to make sure nobody comming up through the middle, while they nearly offered no help for neither Clifton nor Tauscher.

sammer's picture

I thought the pass rush was excellent yesterday... I know the Eagles have OL issues, but I also think our sack total might have been twice as high if anyone other than Mike Vick was taking snaps.

Look out, Brett, here we come...

TheMills's picture

Totally agree. Raji would have had one more (maybe two) if it wasn't Vick. Boy, it sure is frustrating watching Vick run circles around guys.

Cecil's picture


Excellent coverage. And major props (still) for making every Packers practice. But you're basically scouting for the Bills this week, aren't you? Hopefully no one from the Bills reads Cheesehead. :)
Keep up the good work.

Asshalo's picture

I wonder how the defense would have done had they game planned for Michael Vick, who said the outcome would have been different had he played four quarters. I thought this was extremely presumptuous.

I thought they adjusted poorly to vick at times, but I think the defense would have done a lot better had they prepared for Vick as opposed to Kolb.

That said, I don't know why they didn't Blitz more at Vick. Having 1 or 2 extra DBs doesn't do much when Vick had all day to throw. The rushers learned pretty quickly it was much easier to over-pursue Vick as opposed to Kolb. As a result, they had to stay honest and didn't get much pressure (comparatively to earlier). Vick doesn't make that quick of reads like Kolb so why not send some extra pressure more often while the rest of the line stays honest? There's obvious risks associated with this, but why not mix it up more? The stop on the final drive would quickly refute this though-- it just seems a little old getting burned by prevent D.

Idiot Fan's picture

It's funny, I was yelling the opposite at the TV. If we blitz and he gets around the blitzer then he's got 30 yards of open space to run in, but if we drop 8 into pass protection and just contain him, then he's forced to throw it. His arm doesn't scare me; his running does.

nerdmann's picture

I agree. Contain Vick, force him to beat you with his arm.

jeremy's picture

Right, there's plenty of film on how to do it.

Asshalo's picture

Like I said, they got burned when they over-pursued. But when their 3, sometimes 4, rushers stayed honest he had all time to throw. My point was, instead of keeping 6 DBs in the backfield, why not send one or two of them at Vick more.

jerseypackfan's picture

Are we really beginning to praise #24? The world really must be coming to a end after all.

jeremy's picture

I think we are going to see a different Crosby with Masthay holding. And, I think we are going to like it!

CounterPoint's picture

Great Review- but how exactly would a punter catch the snap with a club-like cast?

Chad's picture

"There’s definitely something to be said for sacrificing fewer blockers for more available receivers."

I remember Pat Kirwan saying/writing this as something Rodgers has said before. And it makes complete sense.

Give the QB more options to create match-up problems in front of him rather than more time to throw the ball to limited options who can only do so much in good coverage. Something has to give, and it's usually the pocket.

Or just use some screen plays... :-P

thepretzelhead's picture

Like to see 10 carries to Kuhn....give d's more to scheme for. Thanks for the review

dgtalmn's picture

I saw that Hawk did not play, I actually thought he was inactive until I checked. Not sure if anything should be made of it, but I'd be pissed if I was Hawk.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Brian, did you just recently get a DVR? My life was changed by mine 4 or 5 years ago. They really make it easy to be a lazy POS I tell ya.


PackerBacker's picture

I agree that they have to start being careful with the quick slant to Driver, but two things. I think Driver needs to do a better job on that play of getting in front of that ball and disrupting the defender. He just seemed to sit there and not do anything. Fight for it. Also, it would be interesting to see the Packers use this in the future. Have Rodgers pump the ball at Driver and then try to hit him after the CB jumps the route. Just a thought.

JerseyAl's picture

Alas, you are dead on about Bush. I was just writing something about it too.

Chad's picture

Does AJ Hawk do anything on Special Teams?

If not, his presence on the game roster would seem to indicate that Capers was planning on using the base defense at least somewhat... at least until that D-lineman started dropping like flies.

JerseyAl's picture

I spotted him on the kickoff coverage team.

ACDC84's picture

"Great Review- but how exactly would a punter catch the snap with a club-like cast?"

LOL great point.

Thanks for the review Brian. Awesome as usual!

PackRat's picture

Watching each offensive snap in slow motion really showed you how cool AR12 is. Based on the "running of the bulls" Philly was allowed to perpetrate, AR12 had ~2 seconds for each pass except five--his fault was not checking down on third downs fr the first, instead going for bigger plays that needed a second or two more to develop.

Almost the ENTIRE line got toasted on nearly every pass play. Wells was the only warrior who fought and protected on every play. Granted, Clifton had a beast to block solo and got toasted on almost every play (the ones he didn't invariably resulted in completions). Tauscher played more like the Pillsbury doughboy without an anchor and not the svelte mauler version we have been whistling this preseason about. College and Sitton only sporadically offered help and, when pressure was brought, they didn't react. College, despite what some on the board are telling you got walked back on almost every play.

I was surprised they didn't get the TEs more involved. Lee had some monster blocks.

Now running was an entirely different animal with good push from the guards.

DBH's picture

Did anyone notice yet ANOTHER roughing the passer/facemask on Aaron Rodgers not get called???

One of the most frustrating things for me to watch over the past year and one game has been how many times AR gets hit to the head first or get his facemask ripped around and it doesnt get called. The rules changes last year were applied aggressively to QB's like Brady, Manning, Favre, and the fraternity of future HOFers, but Rodgers has not been protected by the rule whatsoever.

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