Mike Pettine a Welcome Breath of Fresh Air at Introductory Press Conference

Mike Pettine made a strong, positive first impression in his first press conference as Packers defensive coordinator.

Mike Pettine had never been to Green Bay, Wisconsin until he interviewed for the Packers’ open defensive coordinator position. He had been to every other NFL city during his tenures with the Jets, Bills, Browns and Seahawks, but Green Bay had eluded him in his teams’ respective schedules during those seasons.

While Pettine didn’t go into detail about the first impressions the city and Lambeau Field had on him, he certainly made an impression in his first public appearance as defensive coordinator.

Pettine was open and engaging in his introductory press conference, a refreshing change of pace as far as press conferences from Packers’ staff goes. He comes across as a man who takes a lot of joy from being a teacher of the game, and even said as much at one point, talking about how he’s looking to being a “teacher” again, rather than a “principal,” which is more along the lines of what the head coach does.

“I missed the camaraderie of the room, the interaction with the staff, the interaction with the players,” said Pettine. “The chess game part of it, the designing a game plan tailored to your opponent.”

When asked what a Mike Pettine defense looks like, he had a quick answer.

“First of all, we’re going to be prepared. It’s about paying attention to detail,” he said. “There’s no magical—people talk about scheme and what kind of playbook. That’s a very small part of playing defense—playing great defense. It all starts with the fundamentals. We can line up and play one front and one coverage, and if our guys are prepared and play with great technique and great passion, we’ll be successful. I always want to make sure our guys know scheme is worthless unless you play with great passion and great technique.

That final sentence was perhaps the standout quote from Pettine’s press conference—it sums up everything we can come to expect from Pettine.

Packer fans who had to watch week after week as defensive players were confused about their coverage responsibilities and had difficulties getting set will be especially pleased to hear this. It implies that Pettine will not focus as much on “outscheming” his opponents as he will outplaying them.

This is not to say Pettine isn’t a schemer or a smart coach. Quite the contrary—he came off as extremely sharp, keen to break down plays and ready to get to work. He understands that on a basic level, your guys are not going to be successful if they don’t have clear expectations and do not understand their jobs.

Fans can still expect to see multiple looks out of Pettine’s defense, though. As he wisely stated, the concept of a permanent 3-4 or 4-3 defense is essentially dead. Few teams play a majority of the game in their base set any more, as the game has evolved to include more spread offenses, necessitating nickel and dime coverages.

“The 3-4/4-3 debate I think has really fallen by the wayside in recent year. Ten years ago you played base defense 700 snaps a year, and the three wide receiver set was really limited to two-minute. In recent years, that’s really flipped… Even though we call it base, it really isn’t base any more.”

Pettine sounds like a guy who’s excited to be in Green Bay and to be coaching again, and his success with previous defenses he’s coached speaks for itself.

We’re a little over seven months before we see Pettine’s defense take the field for any meaningful football action. But as far as first impressions go, it’s hard not to like what Pettine has shown.

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

0 points

Comments (54)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
The TKstinator's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:13 am

Agree! Especially with your ninth paragraph.
I watched his whole interview and thought he sounded really good. I HOPE that if/when the d has a rough patch we don’t immediately jump to the “Pettine’s an idiot” setting.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 26, 2018 at 08:06 am

Capers took years to deteriote his status. Even after 2011-12 he still got a lot of pass from the fans.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 26, 2018 at 08:17 am

I agree, but just evaluate these guys objectively. Ray Rhodes was out in a year for good reason. I can still make a decent argument that it wasn't Capers' fault but just a slew of injuries at CB in 2016 and lack of talent in 2017. Except it was his fault.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 26, 2018 at 09:21 am

You can only offer the same excuses for so many years. Capers lost Woodson, Jenkins, Bishop and Collins. How can you blame him for the defense regressing. But 7 years later and they never recovered in spite getting the first picks the Packers had over and over. The excuses wear out.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 26, 2018 at 09:40 am

As a manager, you make the most of what you have. If all you have is nuts and bolts, you need to adjust your design so you don't need screws. Dom never seemed flexible enough to figure out how to do that.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

What a great analogy.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 27, 2018 at 12:23 am

Exactly correct. Situation was veering towards a train wreck and someone finally noticed. 7 years of missed tackles, communication errors, embarrassing play reactions and coverage and on in far too many moments a lack of fundamentals. Excited that we have a coach who sees that. His statements make it appear that he spent some time reading our columns and posts. Sure knows our hot buttons.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Portland Mark's picture

January 26, 2018 at 02:29 pm

When you consider that Heyward and Hyde are all pros on other teams it seems to me that Capers didn't know what to do with the talent he had available.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

January 26, 2018 at 04:58 pm

I tend to agree, though I also think that must have applied to TT as well (or whomever he delegated that too).

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

January 27, 2018 at 09:01 am

Agree. That is vexing.

(Plus, I got to use the word “vexing”!)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:02 pm

We just have to be patient. Liked what I heard and makes me want to grab my pads and helmet a get out on the field. Wait. I’m 62. That won’t be happening. Looking forward to the draft, OTA’s and obviously the new season. A lot to be fired up about.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
nostradanus's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:50 am

It also sounds like Pettine is planning on Mathews being big a part of this Defense so I would expect a re-structure to his contract which extends him for another three years at a "cap friendly deal"
McCarthy and Pettine were quite clear that the cupboard is not bare on Defense, there are plenty of talented players and they are going to build a scheme around the players strengths. Sounds great so far!
GO PACK!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

January 26, 2018 at 07:01 am

He also talked about him playing inside and being able to play multiple spots. I would not be surprised if he played ILB a quite a bit.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 26, 2018 at 11:33 am

Methinks they may respond with a vengeance. Could rejuvenate Matthews.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:05 pm

Could rejuvenate a lot of the players on both sides of the ball.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

January 26, 2018 at 07:01 am

“First of all, we’re going to be prepared. It’s about paying attention to detail,”

That right there to me says that Pettine got a good look at the Packers defense of 2017. As it seemed for most of the year that they weren't prepared and didn't know what they were doing. Players weren't on the same page therefore were a step late most times.

This play pretty much sums up the 2017 packers defense.
https://twitter.com/AaronNagler/status/954050691781316613

When players are on the same page, and know exactly what they are doing and what the other players are doing, they can play faster. When they are unsure where everyone else is going to be or what they are supposed to do, that is when offense take advantage of that.

I am looking forward to see what kind of magic Pettine can bring to the Packers defense. I have a feeling the players are going to love his new scheme.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GBPDAN1's picture

January 26, 2018 at 08:37 am

I agree RC. That " we're going to be prepared' statement is what stood out to me most. Watching our confused D for the last so many years was frustrating. I hope Pettine can get our D on the same page, especially the younger players.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

January 26, 2018 at 09:41 am

And to go with that, I liked when he said that he has to adjust his scheme around the players he has. That you can't run a scheme with the players you don't have. I loved hearing that part.

With Capers it felt like he was trying to use players that didn't fit their scheme and really didn't change his scheme to fit the players he had.
And also some things I never understood. For example, when Brice got hurt they shifted Jones to pure safety, when early in the year he was playing great as an ILB/S combo. Jones was playing up near the LOS up until that point then got put back at safety where he really wasn't practicing. Therefore he struggled. Also Evans was really good in the preseason at pure safety. So why not put him in there and have Jones continue to playing the position he was?
Also, Pipkins played really good late. Why did they continue to put Hawkins out when he struggled?
Some of these things I never understood.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

For some reason it's clearer to me now. This team did not need to learn any more schemes, they needed to learn fundamentals. Each year brought a new package that he asked young and new players, so many of them bad picks to begin with, to learn in an already limited amount of time and practice regimen.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:13 pm

Also when everyone is on the same page and “understands “ the concept of the defense as a whole a mistake by someone can be not as vulnerable. It’s when players are running around with the deer in the headlights look big plays happen and can result in scores. Team play where everyone has each other’s back will happen when players are assignment sure.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:15 pm

Absolutely Tundraboy- fundamentals so key.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:18 pm

Fundamental tackling will be a key part of a good defense and proper teaching on “how to tackle “

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 27, 2018 at 09:53 am

I have a hard time thinking that Capers and his staff DIDN'T think they were diligently preparing with an eye toward detail. I don't think they were like some of my students who roll out of bed on an exam day and wing it. The question is: what were they ultimately preparing?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

January 26, 2018 at 07:01 am

“There’s no magical—people talk about scheme and what kind of playbook. That’s a very small part of playing defense—playing great defense"

I like the fact he made sure to say "Playing Great Defense". I also like that he pointed out he likes being a "Teacher". There's been far too many seasons where this defense has looked completely clueless, they NEED a teacher.

He also mentioned a priority to playing great defense is playing good pass defense. I have a strong feeling we won't see to many receivers running trough the middle of the Packers defense without a Packers defender within 10 to 15 yards in 2018.

It will take some time but I think they have the right man in place. I really like the way this off-season has started out. It's EXACTLY what the Packers needed.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
HankScorpio's picture

January 26, 2018 at 07:57 am

The line you quoted is my favorite one from the Pettine PC. Capers tried to scheme his way to success. We were always hearing about NASCAR, Big Okie, Nitro and whatever other cool sounding nicknames for his latest science experiment. In doing so, he let fundamentals lapse. If they spend less time working on teaching more looks and more time teaching them to play fundamentally sound, I think things improve on defense with the existing personnel.

And only gets better if Gute can provide a talent shot in the arm this offseason.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 26, 2018 at 07:47 am

Best thing that's happened to Green Bay, coaching wise, since Mike Holmgren and staff came to town.

My only concern with Pettine is MM having possibly forced him to keep guys he didn't want like Whitt and Moss, etc. Plus, he left coaching for a full year and then basically worked from home last season. He said he wasn't all the way in last year but now he is. It's tough when you leave a grind to be able to get fully back into it again.

Intelligence, passion and aggression is back in Green Bay. I've really missed you. Welcome home.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 26, 2018 at 08:14 am

'It all starts with the fundamentals. We can line up and play one front and one coverage, and if our guys are prepared and play with great technique and great passion, we’ll be successful"

Reminds me of Lombardi' s attitude towards the Sweep.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

January 26, 2018 at 08:59 am

For me, it's good to hear a Packer's coach finally speak about playing with passion on defense. Passion and a sense of urgency has been lacking on the defense since the 2010 SB season.

I also like his approach to being prepared and knowing fundamentals and technique. I hope this means that our defenders will not be out of position and that they will know how to tackle.

It may take some time but it sounds like the defense is heading in the right direction. It will be good to watch a Packers defense that doesn't play like tackling is illegal.
Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 26, 2018 at 09:21 am

"It will be good to watch a Packers defense that doesn't play like tackling is illegal."

They were confused as to what an "Illegal Use of Hands" penalty really meant...erring on the side of caution and all...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 26, 2018 at 11:44 am

Fundamentals, technique, boy has that been missing. Passion? Nice summary 61.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

January 26, 2018 at 02:58 pm

Thanks, Tundra. Since ‘61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carlos's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:22 pm

Hey 61, playing defense is a mindset that I think is on it’s way back to Green Bay.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

January 26, 2018 at 09:23 am

Getting rid of Capers was typical of how long it took the Packers to address a glaring problem. This is what has to change with MM and MM, when it's broke, fix it dammit.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 26, 2018 at 02:31 pm

A winner values winning. MM values loyalty and friendship over winning. He's about the buddy club being together way more than he's ever been about results. MM has never understood what priority one is as a HC. It's to win the SB, not make sure your buddies have a job. THE ONLY reason he moved this year is because he was forced to. His safety net was forced out as GM and now he's all of a sudden awake to the reality Dom isn't getting it done? This org from top to bottom has been asleep at the wheel letting Aaron Rodgers drive the car. It took Hundley driving us into a ditch to realize that maybe we should take a look at things.

When you give a 3+ minute answer to why your season was still successful after getting embarrassed in an NFCCG, you're not a winner.

When you stand up and tout yourself as a highly successful coach, you're not a winner.

When you let guys continue to under perform that prevent the team from winning to carry on and make excuses for them, you're not a winner.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Point-Packer's picture

January 26, 2018 at 03:56 pm

I blame the Packers beat writers for Capers overripe tenure in GB. If they had put public pressure on the organization to get Capers out of town, he would have, and should have, been leaving GB years ago. Took far too long. Excited for the new blood. Perrine is saying all the right things.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
nostradanus's picture

January 26, 2018 at 05:25 pm

I am expecting the Packers to move Jones closer to the line of scrimmage as a linebacker and also move Rollins to Safety. I also predict they will let Burnett walk.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Cartwright's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:38 pm

What gets me is why keep the assistant defensive coaches if technique will be paramount now. Technique, such as good tackling, has been an issue for years. If these coaches couldn't teach it then what makes them able to do it now. What, does Pettine have a magic formula and the assistants will disperse it, I doubt it. Let's face it these coaches have under performed for years. How many defensive lapses and missed tackles have we seen, and at playoff time when the world is watching. They should have gotten rid of the whole motley crew when they fired Capers, it wasn't just his fault. Start fresh and let Pettine get his own people who are on the same page and know how to teach his style of defense, that to me would have been the most sensible approach.
Man, McCarthy really likes to hang on to his own folks to the detriment of the team. Wonder if Coach Mike will have these tenured assistants on short leashes, and makes them more accountable. Or, working for a new DC, his colleagues get the benefit of the doubt and a new 7 year let's see how it goes plan.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:30 pm

Careful, Fordham! You might get down voted for asking a common sense question.

Your point is perfect. There is no answer to that. It's checkmate. Whitt doesn't know how to teach technique all of a sudden because Dom is gone and Pettine is here.

Love the great question/point. Kudos. If only those who could make changes would ask such things. It really makes you wonder who is minding the store.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 26, 2018 at 06:31 pm

Careful, Fordham! You might get down voted for asking a common sense question.

Your point is perfect. There is no answer to that. It's checkmate. Whitt doesn't know how to teach technique all of a sudden because Dom is gone and Pettine is here.

Love the great question/point. Kudos. If only those who could make changes would ask such things. It really makes you wonder who is minding the store.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WKUPackFan's picture

January 27, 2018 at 04:15 am

You are obsessed about being downvoted. If you are going to post goofy screeds about things you know nothing about, e.g., MM being more concerned about some imaginary "buddy system" than winning, you are going to get downvoted. Live with it, or quit posting bad opinions.

Either way, quit whining about about it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 27, 2018 at 10:25 am

I like being down voted. It reflects more on the down voter than the down votee. You would do well not being obsessed with me.

Letting Packers fans judge my opinions is only going to go one way when they're not team flattering and I know this. I also know once you get a rep for not being Packers positive, you're toast with certain posters. Been around forums for many many years. Always the same. Archetypes don't change.

BTW, how in the world can you tell me I know nothing about MM and how he does things? There's 12 years of behavior on display. Do you watch his pressers? He said in a recent one he just hates firing people. He has an unusual level of loyalty. You dispute that, number one? Number two, you disagree that it's been detrimental?

What I find funny is you tell me my opinions are terrible but you offer nothing to counter it which indicates you're offended by what I say not that it's a dumb opinion. Let's see what you have to offer other than being obsessed and critical of me. I have a feeling you'll shrink back now.

Go Hilltoppers.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 27, 2018 at 03:03 pm

Loyalty moving right into stubbornness has indeed been fully on display. Difficult for me to understand how anyone could dispute it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WKUPackFan's picture

January 28, 2018 at 02:32 am

Perhaps your understanding skills are not fully functioning. Try understanding that my comment expressed no comment regarding MM's level of loyalty. Rather, my comment was in response to someone who has no knowledge regarding what MM cares about claiming that MM has a "buddy system".

Thus I wasn't "disputing" anything. However, feel free to align yourself with John Kirk's of the world. Next you'll be joining Kirk's opinion of how Pettine displays all of Kirk's perfect leader and winner qualities, based on one press conference. Now if Kirk would simply list his qualities for all to critique, as opposed to some amorphous statement that you seem all to ready to accept.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WKUPackFan's picture

January 28, 2018 at 02:13 am

Keep the Hilltoppers out of your mouth. And keep flattering yourself by thinking anyone is obsessed with you.

A lot of managers in any occupation hate firing people. They realize that, while a change may be best for the organization, a firing severely disrupts a person's life, and his family's.

You can pick and choose any of MM's isolated comments that you wish. Unless you know MM personally, which I highly doubt, you're just engaging in speculation by saying that he is choosing his buddies over winning.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 28, 2018 at 01:36 pm

Are you not engaging in speculation when you choose to comment on other posters? Do you know me or the guy you reacted to above your comment to me?

There is no CHtv or any other forum if you think everything should be absolute. This is an opinion site. My opinions are based on evidence, perspective, and a host of other things just like many others here.

I've detailed several times what doesn't make MM a winner and why I like Mike Pettine. You wrongly allege I liked him off one Packers presser. I loved that guy when he was HC in Cleveland and he was the DC I wanted more than any other. You're honestly on me for being happy believing we finally have a person of influence that aligns with what I believe represents a winner? I want the team to win SBs and I fully believe guys like Pettine help while guys like McCarthy hurt. That is my belief. You have no respect for my right to believe that but you never offer anything to me other than criticism of my views. That's bizarre.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
WKUPackFan's picture

January 29, 2018 at 11:03 am

"I''ve detailed many times what doesn't make MM a winner".

No matter how many times you claim to have detailed it many times you have yet to republish those details. If you really have detailed it many times those details should be easy to republish. If nothing else, just go to one your previous comments and do a cut and paste.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 28, 2018 at 05:42 am

"I like being down voted. It reflects more on the down voter than the down votee. "

Unless CHTV adopts All-GBPs old stance of attaching screen names to all those who up and downvote, it reflects nothing. Upvotes and downvotes tend to be as much about what someone thinks of you as your opinions.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

January 28, 2018 at 06:05 am

Winner winner chicken dinner!!!

EXACTLY dobber. I could post nothing but the most positive possible post about the Packers and I'll be down voted.

On "Packers Talk" they still use the format where you see who votes which way on a comment. There's just not that many readers there for some reason and there should be, it's a great Packers site as well.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
holmesmd's picture

January 27, 2018 at 04:30 pm

I think the notion that replacement= improvement, is a pretty large assumption?!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

January 27, 2018 at 05:44 pm

Perhaps. However, you can't not change when change needs to be made.

If fear is your guide, then no change would ever be made ever because changing doesn't guarantee better or worse. It's an unknown path.

This quote sums up the Packers org and specifically Mike McCarthy quite nicely:

“The question is not why should we change but rather what sort of death wish are we promoting by refusing to change?”
― William Badke

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
DD's picture

January 27, 2018 at 08:50 am

Love the Perrine hire. Players do their job, tackle, cover, be aggressive, not afraid of making a mistake. Agressive, not soft. Players, not scheme smoke! I also think there will be more team speed to the ball with a gang mentality. Finally we hope. I'm very ecited!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
DD's picture

January 27, 2018 at 08:51 am

Pettine, opps.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Qoojo's picture

January 27, 2018 at 09:41 pm

Barr is really going to regret injuring Rodgers. If Rodgers plays all year, then the Packers probably follow the Vikings' path of this year. Capers might still have his job even.

I think the packers have a chance to be "real" superbowl contenders in 2018. I have high expectations.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Chuck Farley's picture

March 03, 2018 at 02:51 pm

Like many I wanted capers gone...but there was this thought in my head, all these schemes was his way of working with crap talent. Datone, worthy, many others. Petine may find out soon enough how tough this new job is. A good is required guys with talent

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.