James Campen: Coaching Genius

Former Packers defensive lineman Matt Brock's recent appearance on a Portland radio show shed some light on what possibly sent Ndamukong Suh over the edge on Thanksgiving.

I'm sorry, but this is brilliant:

...former Packers defensive lineman Matt Brock had an interesting story about what might have caused Ndamukong Suh to go over the edge.

Here's a transcript of Brock's account. When Brock refers to James, he's talking about Green Bay offensive line coach James Campen:

First of the all, you know the experience of the Green Bay offensive line right now? It's like next to nothing. They have so many injuries. They've got guys with one, two, three, four, and maybe 14 starts under their belts playing right now. The only reason they're winning is because Aaron Rodgers is a stud.

So my friend, James - man, I probably shouldn't say his name, he told me not to tell this, and I was like, "Whatever," - he's the offensive line coach. The center, or one of his guards, he's had like one or two starts in his career and he's got to play against Suh. So he's pretty puckered, right? So, he talking to James, the offensive line coach, going, "What do I do? What do I do?"

James is just in his mind going, "This guy is going to get killed. I got to take his mind off it, give him something else to do." So he says, "Ok, every time you're in a pile, I want you to focus on something. I want you to untie his shoes."

He goes, "What?"

"Anytime you can, just reach in, he's got floppy shoe laces, he doesn't spat or anything, just untie his shoes. It will irritate him.

He untied his shoes three times in the game. That's why he stomped him. That's why he banged his head on the ground and he stomped him. When (Suh) went to the sideline it looked like he was telling the coach, "I didn't do anything" and he put his foot up like, "I didn't stomp him. I didn't do anything." He was actually going, "The damn guy keeps untying my shoes."

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Comments (41)

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PackersRS's picture

December 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

Wow. I mean, what the hell is going on? Campen is able to suit up a bunch of rookies and the OL isn't a complete disaster. Slocum is doing a great job with his units.

Winning is contagious, apparently.

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FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

December 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

That is just plain awesome. Really, truly, awesome.

GBP 4 LIFE

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dullgeek's picture

December 15, 2011 at 10:45 am

Double knotting couldn't fix that? It's what I do to keep my kids laces from constantly coming undone.

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IowaPackFan's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

You think Suh would think of double-knotting?

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Beep's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Double knotting doesn't help, because if the laces do come untied somehow, its impossible to get the knot out on the fly. You ever try to tie your shoes when your adrenaline is pumping? Never easy.
You need to spat your shoes like he said. Guys aren't taping the outside of their shoes for ankle support, its to keep the laces in.

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Derek's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:01 am

Cool. Just goes to show that a guy like Suh is a head case. Immature. just get in his head, and he will eventually do something dumb. Campen did a real nice job of film scouting Suh if this is true.

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jim's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

LMAO. hilarious.

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Kay's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:29 am

If this sets someone off, they have issues mentally & psychologically

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:29 am

I'd be much more impressed with Campen if he actually taught EDS enough technique to block effectively instead. That's just me though. I'm a Campen "hater".

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PackerAaron's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

You mean like he did with Bryan Bulaga, Marshall Newhouse, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton....? You mean like those guys?

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

I'll say the same thing I always do when it comes to Campen. Until he gets one guy who is physically talented but raw to play up to his ability I'm going to doubt him. Our Oline is talented and tough but I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone that claims they are technically proficient. Just my take on it.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm

If you can't see the improvement in Bulaga's technique alone from last year to this year, there's nothing more we need to discuss.

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Phillthy Phill's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

love the article. Bulaga has improved technique, up to his potential of being drafted as an LT? No. I feel he can produce a lot of guard's, guys who can fight in a box, but not the LT type player we will need once Cliffys gone.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

He's been at RT all year. How on earth do you know he can't be a LT?

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Bulaga played for three years under Kirk Ferentz at Iowa who is universally held as one of if not the best technical coaches in college football for linemen. He had an outstanding base coming in. His game has cleaned up quite well this year. I believe it's due to the game slowing down for him with playing time. If you want to contribute it to Campen teaching him something that Ferentz couldn't or didn't over the nonexistent offseason you are more than welcome to that opinion. It will however clash mine which is certainly nothing to lose any sleep over.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 15, 2011 at 01:04 pm

So Campen wasn't teaching him every day in training camp (I was there and swore I saw it differently, but no matter) and he doesn't teach him anything from Wed-Fri during the season. Just lets him run out there and do his thing.

Works for me.

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PackersRS's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Bulaga, this year, is one of the best tackles in football period. Graded as the best RT by PFF.

Why on earth wouldn't he be able to produce at LT?

This notion that it's completely different to play LT than RT is ridiculous. The way this offense plays, they leave the tackles on an island most of the time, regardless of side. Rarely they leave a TE to chip, and it's usually on the left side.

Moreso, with the way Rodgers scrambles, usually to his right side, it's actually worse on the RT than on the LT.

But there's no reason whatsoever to move him to LT.

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maxginsberg's picture

December 15, 2011 at 01:02 pm

Bulaga? He'll never make it in the NFL; his arms are too short.

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 04:35 pm

Yes. That's exactly what I was saying. Campen does nothing but play sheepshead in the lockerroom and fondly recalling the good old days he spent with BF goosing him. You nailed my point.

Campen is IMO a very mediocre at best coach who has a talented and tough line who he can only get to play run of the mill football. Sure he could have magically gotten really good at coaching over night a couple years ago. That's a legitimate possibility. I lean more to the side that he's been given much more talented players who he's doing the same job with (again IMO a poor one) and that's were the "improvement" is coming from.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 15, 2011 at 04:49 pm

That's really sad.

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 07:15 pm

What's sad? That I have a differing opinion on how effective of a coach Campen is than you? I feel the same way about Slocum too. They just aren't that good of coaches.

Also.... This whole story is being reported as not actually happening. Sounds like Brock attributed it to the Packers because he thought it sounded entertaining when it actually happened while Suh was in high school.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 16, 2011 at 12:56 am

<em>What’s sad? That I have a differing opinion on how effective of a coach Campen is than you?</em>

No, that you are completely condemning his coaching ability without ever watching him, you know, coach.

And yes, I saw that. It's still hilarious. ;)

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PackersRS's picture

December 15, 2011 at 07:28 pm

Holy crap that's condescending.

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wgbeethree's picture

December 15, 2011 at 08:39 pm

I completely agree but it's his site.

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joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

this is my favorite story ever in the universe for all time multiplied by infinity.

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joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:51 am

no, infinity times 3.

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tony's picture

December 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

If Suh wasn't such a psycho, he could have notified the official and probably gotten a penalty out of it. Do what ya gotta do, guys.

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Evan's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I'm curious what penalty would have been called had Suh told the officials EDS kept untying his shoes.

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tony's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Ha I know... Probably unsportsmanlike, because it is, I guess. Still awesome, though.

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Kendra's picture

December 15, 2011 at 02:02 pm

First, the officials would have to witness it in order to call a penalty. The key is that it'd be done in the pile. Lots of stuff happens in the pile that goes uncalled.

Untying shoelaces is probably one of the least violent things to do and that's why it's so brilliant. Suh is probably used to verbal and even more violent things but the shoelaces would just get under someone's skin.

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Mossdog427's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm

wow... how "sun tzu"

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Chad Toporski's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

LOL... best anecdote I've heard all year. Thanks for sharing, Aaron!

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Beep's picture

December 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

This is truly awesome.

Just to confirm the story...check out the picture of the stomp and Suh's big bunny ears flappin in the breese.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Detroit-Bad-Boys-N...

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Bugeater's picture

December 15, 2011 at 02:42 pm

This is gonna keep me laughing far into the playoffs!

Well done Coach Campen!

Now, on to tickle torture training to prepare for the Super Bowl!

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fish/crane's picture

December 15, 2011 at 02:59 pm

Something came untied that game...that's for sure.

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Mojo's picture

December 15, 2011 at 03:10 pm

Stewing Suh's snafu-ed shoe.

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jim's picture

December 15, 2011 at 08:56 pm

the beauty to this story is that after the event, i recall EDS being asked why suh did what he did, with EDS's response being something like "i dunno" but it was a denial where he couldnt look in the eye of the interviewer....i thought something was up. i just didnt realize that i would get this much enjoyment out of it....great story. thanks for enlightening us.

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madden07's picture

December 15, 2011 at 09:08 pm

When I first heard this, I thought "untying his shoes" was slang for cutting his legs out, but this is just funny. Maybe next game he should tie his laces together.

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markinmadison's picture

December 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Now THAT made me LOL.

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Otto's picture

December 16, 2011 at 01:24 am

I've heard their plan for the week 17 match up is to give Suh "wet-willies" through the earholes in his helmet.

*This may be just a rumor, though.

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Ceallaigh's picture

December 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

The most hilarious part of this strategy as it will probaby work on January 1, 2012 as effectively as it did on Thanksgivng. The only thing that would probably get inside Suh's head more would be for Detrich-Smith to whisper sweet nothings into Suh's ear or maybe give him a Wet Willy at some point.

Campen is officially my hero.

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