How \'Psycho\' Will Capers Get?

Yes, I was just as excited as everyone else when the Packers unveiled their 1-5-5 Nickel on Sunday, dubbed  'Psycho' by Dom Capers. (On a side note, big thanks to Tom Pelissero who Tweeted the name of the formation almost instantly after it appeared on the field. As a fan, I can't get enough of that kind of stuff...)

The Packers would like to have us believe that Capers was forced to go deep into his bag of tricks due to all the injuries on the defensive line - I find that hard to believe. Yes, the Packers were short bodies on the line last week due to injuries, but it's not like they used the formation exclusively on third and long. In fact, they hardly used it at all - six times total and only on third down.

No, my hunch is that Capers has known for awhile that he would be using this look later in the season, especially when he got Brandon Chillar back from injury. It gives opponents something else they need to worry about and practice for. And I highly doubt Capers will be making the appearance of the 'Psycho' package a weekly occurrence.

But the Steelers are a good team for Capers to run it against at least a few times.

Why? Pelissero does a great job of explaining the hidden strength in the scheme:

The newly unveiled “psycho” defense is unique because it puts five linebackers in the nickel package, but its most dangerous member might be the lone lineman, DE Cullen Jenkins.

Because it’s more difficult for the offensive line to sort moving players before the snap, Jenkins more often than not will end up isolated on a pass play. So, depending where he’s aligned, Jenkins practically can have his pick of the most favorable one-on-one matchup.

Against the Bears, that matchup was with protection-challenged LG Frank Omiyale.

Wouldn't you know it? The entire Steelers line is 'protection challenged' - not only that, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed today that starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu will miss Sunday's game, most likely forcing second year undrafted free agent Ramon Foster into the starting lineup.

Cullen, meet Ramon. Ramon? Cullen. (psst, Ramon - Cullen's a little Psycho...)

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Comments (21)

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PackersRS's picture

December 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm

The Steelers, Ravens and Patriots have been using this formation for 4 years now... I love it. I think it's the perfect fit for Kampman, when/if he returns.
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Also, what scares me, good scare, is another quote from that article:

“We thought it gave us a speed unit and it would be an unscouted look that they hadn’t seen just yet. I always think at this time of the year, if you can always have a couple of things that you haven’t showed, it helps.”
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After the Big Okie, and the Psycho, what's next? Woodson at Nose? Poppinga playing CB in nickel? Jarrett Bush on the bench?

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Scrumptrulescent's picture

December 15, 2009 at 02:01 pm

Should work fine. The Steelers don't try to run, they're pass happy. And they have a wet tissue OL that can neither pass block nor run block.

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alfredomartinez's picture

December 15, 2009 at 02:12 pm

psyyyyyyychhhhhhhoooooooo...caperssss, in ya face yo!

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D.D. Driver's picture

December 15, 2009 at 02:55 pm

The name of the formation is actually "Francis Sawyer." But everyone calls it "Psycho." Any of you guys call it Francis...and I'll kill ya.

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DaveK's picture

December 15, 2009 at 02:57 pm

Love it! We probably won't see it again until the playoffs! Big Oakie. Psycho. Can't wait to see the next wrinkle. I wonder if he comes up with name first? Maybe the "Fatty McSkinny" which would be a 5-0-6.

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PACKERS.'s picture

December 15, 2009 at 04:05 pm

Honetly, I have been trying to understand all this formation stuff for quite some time, but hey, whatever works. Let's get psycho!

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LACheez's picture

December 15, 2009 at 05:02 pm

my wife is a steelers fan, so things around our house might get a little tense on sunday, but, damnit! the steelers have 2 super bowl wins in the last 4 years! i would love to see the packer defense tear it up at Heinz Field. I think this would be a huge win for us...if not, Seattle shouldn't be too tough, but with Arizona struggling they may need a win pretty bad the last week. let's go psycho!!!!!

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PACKERS.'s picture

December 15, 2009 at 06:07 pm

IMPORTANT: Jolly has been charged with drug possesion. Please follow the above link for more info.

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WoodyG's picture

December 15, 2009 at 08:05 pm

The first time they set up in this 'psycho', I was yelling time-out, time-out....... Something's not right...... Capers had to have this in the works for some time......... You don't install the 'psycho' after only a couple practices ......... The biggest off-season addition to GB seems to be the biggest off-season addition - Capers.

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Cletis's picture

December 15, 2009 at 08:45 pm

A big test for Capers' creativity will be when the Packers play the Cardinals twice in consecutive weeks in January, and again a week or two later when they play Minnesota for a third time this season. He better have some more psychos and okies up his sleeve to keep 'em guessing in those games.

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Mo's picture

December 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Aaron great job on the analysis of this new formation. Only problem i have with it is that whenever we used it in the bears game, cutler hardly got pressured which is why capers went back to the base. Will the pack ultimately perfect the psycho or will it be its achille's heel?

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FITZCORE1252's picture

December 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Sure sounds like Jolly's gonna have to turn himself in, like quick. Hope his lawyer can buy some time (for my own selfish reasons of course).

GBP 4 LIFE

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packsmack's picture

December 16, 2009 at 01:56 am

Jolly's not going to be arrested or turn himself in or anything like that. The charges against him were expected to be re-filed, and they have been. The trial won't be til the spring, at the earliest...

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alfredomartinez's picture

December 16, 2009 at 04:01 am

HEY YO JOLLY, FUKE DA POLICEEEEEE!!

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Packnic's picture

December 16, 2009 at 07:23 am

DDD with the late entry for blog comment of the year!

Lighten up Francis.

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Scott W's picture

December 16, 2009 at 08:38 am

DDD-Echoing packnic...love the Stripes drop in...made my Wednesday, thanks for the laugh.

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joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

December 16, 2009 at 09:09 am

jolly, you can't get suspended - all the plants will die!

(i know ddd, it's a stretch, but you took the best one.)

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Oppy's picture

December 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Mo, in another article elsewhere it is stated that the 1-5-5 look was used six times during the game- and I believe it was always on 3rd down (Might have been only 5 times on third down).

At any rate, the Bears only converted that 3rd down once against "Psycho".
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Also, I was pretty sure I have seen this formation a few times already this season (I even commented on it during the game), but all the press seems to indicate this was the first time it was on display.
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I KNOW i've seen the Packers D line up in 1-5-5. Just wondering if any of you rail-birds remember seeing it during preseason games or training camp practices- It's the only place I guess I could have seen it run previously. Anyone?

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PackerAaron's picture

December 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Oppy - funnily enough, they ran a 1-5-5 look a few snaps under Sanders, as well as a 0-5-6 on one occasion. But Sunday was the first time we've seen it under Capers.

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bomdad's picture

December 16, 2009 at 01:51 pm

Remember Sherman/Slowik's schizofrenic defense? That one that changed personalities.

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fish's picture

December 16, 2009 at 07:05 pm

A Superbowl Winning Coach Perspective
Mike Tomlin PC - vs Packers

http://news.steelers.com/multimedia/MediaCenter/

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