Film Study: Ha Ha’s Redemption

Robert Olson highlights Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s bounce-back game against the Lions.

Yes, unfortunately, the Packers lost their third straight game to a one-win Lions team that had not won at Lambeau Field since 1991. However, this article will focus on one of the few positives of this game: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s bounce-back performance. One week after playing poorly and having an argument on the sideline at Carolina, Clinton-Dix acknowledged and apologized for any mistakes he may have made, and went on to play one of his better games as a pro. This demonstrates his maturity and ability to have a short memory, which is impressive for a second-year safety.

This article will present three great plays by Clinton-Dix, two of which are open-field tackles. Before diving into this first play, it is important to point out how much improvement he has made with his tackling. He has always been a very willing tackler, but for most of his career as a pro, the main criticism of his play has been his form/technique when missing tackles. Lately, though, his tackling has been excellent.

On this first play, the Packers used their 2-4-5 nickel and played “Cover 3 Buzz.” The Lions ran “One-Back Power” out of “11 personnel” (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR). Clinton-Dix was the “buzz”/hook zone defender (red arrow). As the buzz defender, his job was to come down and fill versus the run. Lions rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, a very quick and athletic player, did not run where the play was designed to go. Instead, he cut it back against the leverage of his blockers to the weak side, where there was a sizeable hole. However, Clinton-Dix did a nice job of recognizing Abdullah’s cutback and made a great open-field tackle to limit this to a two-yard gain. (The Packers accepted a holding penalty on this play, but that should not take away from Clinton-Dix’s performance here.)

On this second play, it was 3rd & 11. The Lions had “11 personnel” on the field, lined up in a “Trips Closed”/“Pistol” formation, and ran a “Tunnel Screen.” The Packers countered with the 2-3-6 dime, and ran a five-man, Cover 3 fire zone pressure with Clay Matthews and Casey Hayward blitzing. Since Hayward (the slot CB) blitzed off the edge, Clinton-Dix had to cover the area that Hayward voided. So, Clinton-Dix’s responsibility was “Seam to Flat” (red arrow). This was a well-executed screen and there were multiple blockers out in front of Golden Tate, but watch Clinton-Dix. He did an excellent job of recovering when Lance Moore tried to cut him, and made a perfect open-field tackle short of the sticks. If he would not have recovered as quickly from the cut block or if he had missed the tackle, this would have been a big gain.

The third and final play of this article will analyze Clinton-Dix’s interception. It was 3rd & 9. The Lions had “11 personnel” on the field again. The Packers utilized their 1-4-6 dime package, and Dom Capers called a six-man, Cover 1 blitz that he has used multiple times in the past. Clinton-Dix’s responsibility was to cover the #2 WR man-to-man since Hayward was blitzing off the edge. Lance Moore, the #2 WR, ran a Post route. Clinton-Dix was in an outside position (outside leverage) versus Moore’s Post route, but he had safety help in the deep middle of the field from Morgan Burnett, the single-high safety. The throw by Matthew Stafford was not great, but Clinton-Dix still made an outstanding grab on the interception.

Even in defeat, there are almost always some positives to point out, just like there are usually some negative plays in a win. Clinton-Dix himself would tell you that last week at Carolina was definitely not his best showing, but he was able to put that behind him and redeem himself against the Lions.

Thanks for reading, Packers fans. Follow me on Twitter at @RobertOlson92 for daily analysis on the Packers.

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Comments (11)

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zoellner25's picture

November 19, 2015 at 01:21 pm

Where is that troll who said HHCD got lucky on this INT?

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JerseyAl's picture

November 19, 2015 at 03:08 pm

the only lucky part was that Stafford severely underthrew the pass. But Ha Ha still made an excellent catch.

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D Ernesto's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:14 pm

Funny I thought the same thing, Good ol Ha Ha was seriously out of position, what else is new, and Stafford tossed a duck, Had he thrown it up higher, Moore who was in the end zone would have made Ha Ha look like a fool.
I think he is a bust aka Datone J and Nick Perry. I hope Lacy comes around. He make make my list

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Dan Stodola's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:10 pm

Your a fool. HHCD was in excellent position. Used outside leverage and undercut the pass for the INT. He had to dive and go low, so if was thrown higher Ha Ha would not have had to dive to make the INT and if it over his head, Burnett would have been there to make a play on the ball.

Not only are you a fool, your a troll to boot. Nice Life!!!

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zoellner25's picture

November 19, 2015 at 09:05 pm

No, you are right Ernesto, the wise. A guy who watches film, knew the route, and made a fantastic play, got lucky. That's like saying if ARod would've just thrown that last ball vs Carolina a bit higher and farther, we score a TD instead of the INT. You can't change what happened, HHCD got the INT. Period.

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Razer's picture

November 19, 2015 at 01:39 pm

Will Casey Hayward ever get an article like this?

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JerseyAl's picture

November 19, 2015 at 03:05 pm

lol... check in later tonight...

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 19, 2015 at 02:15 pm

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me Dom didn't call any new plays?! No new looks?! This is an outrage!

Ok, I quit. I promise I'm done.

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EdsLaces's picture

November 19, 2015 at 03:59 pm

When you drop 100$ on a jersey mostly because he has a cool name and the best number in football......the guy better pan out:)

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carl's picture

November 19, 2015 at 06:57 pm

Hope the team play'up to packer standers.
Not to sure OL will hold up though.
GO PACK GO!!!!!! Keep the faith all.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 19, 2015 at 08:37 pm

Thanks for this article. Some nice plays by Dix. Looks to me like Burnett would have been late with his help. Also, only Randall bumps a WR, again a little downfield - all of the other WRs get a free release on a day when the refs were allowing physical play.

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