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Mike Pettine Must Utilize Packers Current Talent

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Mike Pettine Must Utilize Packers Current Talent

There is no question that new Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is going to do his best to upgrade the defensive talent. But if Mike Pettine is going to have success as defensive coordinator, he will have to get it done with some of the guys currently in the building. 

One thing to like about Pettine and the Packers, is that he is not committed to one front. He has a background in the 3-4 under Rex Ryan, but he is willing to adapt his scheme to his players. That’s something the Packers need.

They need to stop trying to find players that project to fit well in the system. It seemed that happened a lot under Dom Capers, sometimes to the detriment of the defense. Mike Daniels is a perfect example. Instead, the focus should be on finding the most talented, most athletic players possible. 

If you came up with a prototypical 3-4 defensive end, it would look nothing like Daniels, who is short and stout. He’s listed at 6-0, most teams like 3-4 DE’s to be 6-3, 6-4 or 6-5. Long arms can help fend off double teams and get hands in passing lanes.

However, Daniels doesn’t possess those things. But because of his incredible strength, his low pad level and tenacity, he is able to take on double teams all the time. He’s stout against the run and one of the best interior pass rushers in the league. The Packers were lucky they found him in the fourth round. The guy they wanted before him, Jerel Worthy, who had all the ideal measurements, didn’t make it two full seasons in Green Bay.

My point is the Packers need to stop worrying about scheme and start worrying about finding talent. Any coach worth his salt can find a scheme that will make Daniels look good. You think Clay Matthews, when he was in his prime, could only have been successful in a 3-4?

No. Great players are great for a reason and it has nothing to do with scheme. That being said, there is no doubt, rebuilding this defense is going to take some time. Matthews and Nick Perry, the two best edge rushers, might both be gone within a year.

Matthews could have already played his last game as a Packer. But whether Matthews is part of the roster or not, the Packers need to upgrade the pass rush. Maybe Pettine can get something out of Kyler Fackrell and Vince Biegel? That would help.

But at least because of his multiple-front concepts, the Packers don’t have to feel pressured into finding a guy that fits into a 3-4 scheme or someone who can stand up. For that matter, Green Bay should think long and hard about letting Perry play more with his hand in the dirt.

In Daniels, Blake Martinez, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Dean Lowry and Damarious Randall, you have some solid players. Kevin King also has a chance to be good. Josh Jones, raises some questions, but he also has vast potential. 

Those are exactly the kinds of guy that Pettine needs to get the most out of. Randall, King and Jones were all first or second-round picks. Randall played well in 2017 and King did at times before getting hurt. Jones, despite all his natural gifts, didn’t make a huge impact.

If Pettine could get those three guys playing well, with Clinton-Dix that would be a good start. Morgan Burnett might not be back, but if he is, he would also play a key role. Then, the Packers really just need another solid corner or two, and they would be in good shape.

Say what you will about Ted Thompson, he invested a lot of resources in the defense, but for whatever reason, Capers couldn’t make the most of what he had.

Hopefully, Pettine, who has a reputation for getting the most out of his players can. Because as hard as Gutekunst is going to work to upgrade the roster, he can’t work miracles and the bottom line is, that Pettine will have to make it work with some of the guys he is inheriting.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (93) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

NMPF's picture

Gutekunst needs to put the kibosh on the past draft philosophy of square pegs for round holes.

Houndog's picture

Agreed NMPF,
But with TT still looming in the background with a BIG title, Murphy not having the balls to do anything about that, and Ball's tight fisted approach with money, we'll soon see if anything's changed.

Great article this morning on "Packers Talk" about this new structure (or lack thereof), where this group could be headed, and who's really heading it!
"The spectre of Ted Thompson will loom, perhaps more than the current power structure that’s really just a reassembly of the old power structure, is letting on. Ultimately, the onus is much more on Mark Murphy. His job is more than ever a broken clavicle away from being stripped away."

I do love the fact that it's Murphy's head on the chopping block now.

fastmoving's picture

BIG title.....??????? you kiding, right? or you have really no idea what you are talking about.
and MM goes nowhere in the next decade.
Only if he wants to do something else or somewhere else......

OrganLeroy's picture

Hounddog is one of those posters who's not only always negative, but clueless and detached from reality!

Nick Perry's picture

@ Organleroy.... What about his comment is clueless. Several of the articles or Podcasts have questioned this new alignment by Murphy. Just the fact that Murphy didn't tell Gutekunst he couldn't fire the HC until after the fact is a bit concerning IMO. Matter of fact I listened to a piece on ESPN Milwaukee that mentioned when Minnesota used a structure like this we MADE FUN OF THEM!!! But now that it's in GB it's suddenly okay?

Jason Wilde was shocked when it was announced Murphy was the only one who fire the HC, I was too. You've replaced a dinosaur in Thompson but have they? With Thompson and Ball still in the background all up in Murphy's ass and ear I can't help but question this "Arrangement".

It's been said by Murphy that Gutekunst will have FINAL say in all personnel decisions. For the sake of chances at SB Titles and FINALLY getting over the hump I sure hope so. If Thompson and/or Ball have ANY say in who the Packers ultimately sign, it's going to be a lot more of the same ole same ole.

holmesmd's picture

Dude, you may be a bit paranoid...don’t ya think? SMH. If things had stayed the same without changes, would you have been happier? Some folks just always look for the sky to fall. I find living like that exhausting.

fastmoving's picture

you cant take these worrieers with here funny conspiracy theories serious. they like act smart and the like be worried even more.
the only thing that would help them would be 20 bad seasons.......maybe. but even that its fare from a sure thing.......

just embarrassing

but at least you can understand why the things go here the way they do the last 13 month

and by the way.....normally the take is that most of the beat writers are idiots anyway......but if Wilde has something fitting in here world than it must be true. till tomorrow, when he is the old loser again

Turophile's picture

NMPF. This is often said, but I doubt it's wisdom.

You would take off your draft board pass rushers like Okoronkwo, Key, Chubb, Ferrell (if he declares), Davenport, Holland, Hubbard. They are all listed as DE, not OLB, where Green Bay would use them.

The problem is not 'square pegs in round holes'. Its finding a way to make talented players work within your defensive system. Ferrell, for example, might be listed as DE but he has the athleticism and movement skills to transition to OLB. guys like these are too rare to take off your board. How many really talented true linebackers are there, at 255 lb+ in college - the answer is not enough.

there are very, VERY few really talented players out there at any position, you don't make such a small resource pool even smaller by dismissing players who can be a huge asset to your team.

DE to OLB, S to ILB, S to CB.............I DON'T CARE. It is all about making it work, by good coaching, by tweaking a scheme to put players in positions that maximise what they do well. Pettine is said to be good at that, i hope he is.

ShanghaiKid's picture

@Turophile I’m not trying to troll you here, but how did that philosophy work Datone? How’s that been working out with Randall? How did Josh Jones look last year? What happened to Hyde when the bills gave him FS snaps instead of pidgeonholing him to slot duties? What happened to Hayward when given a chance on the perimeter?

At some point you need to draft a CB to play CB, a LB to play LB, and pass rusher to actually rush the passer etc.

OrganLeroy's picture

Ferrell is 6'5" & 260 lbs. That's OLB measurements. All of these guys are listed at DE because that's the position designation on their college defenses scheme, all you have to do is look at their height & weight and that'll tell you where the VAST majority of them will play in the NFL.

Ryan Graham's picture

Turophile and Shanghaikid, you both bring up good points. It's okay to to not label someone at one specific position, but it did feel like every other pick was made this way. Dom Capers was very unwilling to adjust and tweak his scheme to the benefit of his players, his way or the highway. little to no in game adjustments, and minimal change from matchup to matchup.

The personnel Pettine has to work with is best suited for multiple fronts, particularly out of 4-3 packages. That would take the pressure off of the linebackers and would allow Clark Lowry and Daniels more opportunities to make plays up the middle, which in turn creates potential for success in pass coverage. Will be interesting to see How this new look D shakes out...

fthisJack's picture

Chubb runs the football.

Turophile's picture

@fthisjack
N.C.State's Bradley Chubb, not Georgia's Nick Chubb. This one doesn't split carries with Sony Michel...............

HankScorpio's picture

From what I've read so far, Pettine sounds like the kind of guy that will make the hole whatever shape it needs to be. So square peg or round peg ought to work much better.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

You forgot kenny clark. The beast.

Chris Peterson's picture

He is a beast. I guess I left him out because I think of him as already producing, not some I am really worried about. But yea the is one of the cornerstones of this defense.

Coldworld's picture

If he doesn’t get more out of the secondary and linebackers than Capers was at the end then he was not a good hire.

I am not sure that fitting players to the scheme holds up as an observation . Hyde and Hayward were played in ways that appeared to be picking player over fit. Datone Jones was an athlete not a schematic fit and there were plenty of others before him. I would argue Capers ceased to be able to scheme around his talent not that TT picked for his scheme. Daniels is the outlier in my view.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree. Jones couldn't cut it at 3-4 DE, 3-4 DT, 4-3 DT, or 3-4 OLB. He doesn't look like a NT, ILB, OLB, or DB. It would have taken a helluva a DC with some sort of unique scheme (or teaching) to find a spot Jones could play at an NFL average level. And yet I kind of wanted him back last season.

Coldworld's picture

He did alright in his last season or two if you disregard contract. I thought we might pick him off the street at some point as depth for not much money.

TheVOR's picture

Dead nuts. Also, the notion that the defense will be terrifically better just using the same cast of characters is probably super optimistic. What Green Bay needs is more draft and UFA talent added to the best of the current roster, and we'll have a chance to be special. Thompson missing BIG TIME on Adams and Beagle really crippled our chances to improve. I'm so glad Thompson will be tossed here soon enough, that guy missed on too many defensive players IMO. We need better pass rushers, and I think it's clear Clay Mathews needs to become an inside LBR, and we need another beast rushing LBR.

OrganLeroy's picture

Another clueless poster referencing Adams & Beigel, you'll be eating Crow soon enough.

pooch's picture

Beigel will never stay healthy..book it

Coldworld's picture

.

pooch's picture

How can you dislike this post,,you guys have no clue

Ryan Graham's picture

I don't understand why anyone would think to dismiss a 3rd and 4th rounder after, well let's see. half a rookie season where they each missed significant time in training camp, not to mention position coaches and coordinators are being replaced. With that logic, Aaron Rodgers is throwing the skin for Seattle. or SF. or Chicago. not to say they are each the second coming, but damn. Biegel played well when he had his opportunities and it's not like he's plateauing.

And I don't care what anyone says. Josh Jones played just fine as a rookie and flashed as a playmaker. Give these 2nd year guys a chance to develop....sheesh

TheVOR's picture

Dead nuts. Also, the notion that the defense will be terrifically better just using the same cast of characters is probably super optimistic. What Green Bay needs is more draft and UFA talent added to the best of the current roster, and we'll have a chance to be special. Thompson missing BIG TIME on Adams and Beagle really crippled our chances to improve. I'm so glad Thompson will be tossed here soon enough, that guy missed on too many defensive players IMO. We need better pass rushers, and I think it's clear Clay Mathews needs to become an inside LBR, and we need another beast rushing LBR.

Coldworld's picture

That is the same as saying Capers would have been good if we gave him better players. Balderdash sir!

Turophile's picture

If you think Biegel is a Beagle, perhaps you should take up foxhunting instead...........toot toot !

Seriously, dismissing rookies who have had almost no chance to show what they can do, is so foolish it is ridiculous.........And you call yourself VOR (voice of reason), try VOS instead.

Coldworld's picture

I agree. The assumption that all players will play well in season one is just not what history shows. Running backs perhaps, but it is a small group of exceptions that take off in most positions.

If you look at players who miss half their first season, it becomes even more ridiculous to make a judgment. We simply do not know if either will be good bad or indifferent at this stage.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

You state that great players are great for a reason and it has nothing to do with scheme

I believe that is totally an incorrect statement. There have been plenty of players that have been in great systems and were great like Desmond howard who went to the raiders and did nothing. Also there was an mvp def. back in the 90s on the Cowboys who did nothing on the Raiders. Look at Julius peppers. The pack put him as LB and he did much better as DE on the panthers. Look at jared cook. Looked like crap with other teams, then line him up with a good QB and then you have a star. Look at micah hyde he was good on the packers but not a pro bowler and same with casey heyward. Well, they are pro bowlers now with another team. Ha ha Clinton dix played better in mam to man coverage but sucked in a zone scheme. The scheme,system and everyone doing there part makesyiu look great. Come on all these guys run 4.4 to 4.8 are all over 6 foot and 200 to 300 lbs. If i have to compensate for other players and have to do 2 to 3 things that doesn't make me look that good. But give me just 1 thing to do and i look like a super star

Chris Peterson's picture

Scheme does matter, but I believe if a player is good, he will excel no matter what system he is in. Both Hayward and Hyde were very productive and Peppers, who played 3-4 LB, went back to Carolina as a DE and had an even better system. Cook produced with the Rams and was ok with the Raiders, his issue was no QB. That matters more than the system. The players around you matter more. But I don't believe schemes make players, it's the other way around.

stockholder's picture

You mention Cook. How about trading for him again? Or were to many bridges burned? 2. How likely are the packers to select a TE in the top 3 picks?

OrganLeroy's picture

It's a very deep TE class and you can get a really good one in the 4th, but if we have 4 picks in the 1st 3 rounds, which is possible, I hope they grab one in the 2nd or 3rd.

pooch's picture

Sign Grahm,spend picks on pass rushers

pooch's picture

Sign Grahm,spend picks on pass rushers

fthisJack's picture

Gisecki or whatever his name is

Jonathan Spader's picture

Peppers disappeared in Chicago not in GB. He was great in Carolina did next to nothing in Chi and was once more great in GB. One of the reasons Peppers had a great year this year is a better supporting cast in Carolina. Better pass rushers and cbs means more opportunity for Peppers.

Hayward had a probowl type year his rookie year in Capers system but then couldn't stay healthy. If he truly is a probowl talent player than maybe he would have been a probowl talent in gb who knows? According to this article by Chris he would have been.

I wanted to keep Hyde and everyone on this site saod he was too slow and good riddance. Now you're crying once more for speed. Josh Jones had a great 1st game and then was riddled with mistakes after that. Hopefully nee coaches and DC get the most out of him.

Coldworld's picture

Hayward was not that great in year one with one exception: interceptions in the slot. Then he was hurt and then Capers used him almost like he used Hyde in his last season

Oppy's picture

Not that great in year one with one exception: He did the ultimate thing a CB can do to change the tide of a football game.

KGB wasn't all that great at DE, all he could do was sack the QB.

I mean, come on.

BTW, on top of his SIX interceptions for 80+ yards (one less than his career high of 7 during his "breakout" season in SD in 2016), Hayward also had 21 passes defensed his rookie year.. one less that he did this season.

Dude had a pretty damn good rookie season.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Thank you Oppy

Coldworld's picture

He was a ball hawk, but he was far from a shut down corner and missed on many plays too. I am not down on Hayward whom I would have kept.

I am simply noting that he was not given a chance to be what he could in GB because of injury and how he was used afterwards. He had to go somewhere else that used him in a way that let him achieve his potential. Whether coach or scheme it was not the player that suddenly changed after he moved.

Coldworld's picture

Good post Doug N

elijahBLUE's picture

I think for any fans who have coached any sport, we realize we may have an idea of what we would like to run as an offense and defense but then we are hit with the reality that our players may not be capable of doing what we would like. There needs to be some adjustments more often than not.
I think there is some good talent on Packers defense. My frustration with Capers was that he never seemed to change his intent. I don't think after 2012 that he had the players to do what he liked. One can wish and wish that TT would give him the players he needed to run his defense but if that didn't happen - which it didn't - then it's on the coach to make the adjustment.
From the SI article on Pettine, I believe he will make the needed adjustments to his plan, and get the most out of this group. Let's hope!!!

ShanghaiKid's picture

It’s going to be a task to get the D up to snuff. I’m hoping the Pack can find a veteran or two to help the younger guys. And we absolutely, 100%, cannot afford to whiff on picks this year. Yes, Pettine needs to work with what he has, but he also needs help from Gute.

Razer's picture

I agree but if you look at what New Orleans was able to do in short order, we may not be far off. If we get two very good results from the draft and a solid FA pickup, we could see a quick turn around for this defense.

fastmoving's picture

If I remember right, so Bates did it also in really short time here........... kind of the same situation

ShanghaiKid's picture

Completely agree with both of you guys. And I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m just saying that missing on picks can’t happen.

Coldworld's picture

And just relying on novice depth players is probably unwise. Got to have some who know how to play even if they aren’t great. We tend to have had just a bunch of novice prospects.

Spud Rapids's picture

The big question mark I have is who is Clinton-Dix? Is he a star or is he a bust? Pettine is going to expose Haha for what he is either way. That intrigues me because Haha has the range and athletic ability to be a field tilter so we'll see

Razer's picture

Yeah, I am anxious to see what becomes of Clinton-Dix. I had great hope that he would be our Harrison Smith but he totally regressed last year. Hopefully Pettine's schemes can get him on-track.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I think it's because Darren Perry sucks the secondary coach was supposed to be so great if you look at that Carolina game where the guy lands on his butt in the endzone you'll see HaHa Clinton-Dix standing 2 feet away and all he had to do was push everybody out of bounds that is supposed to be instinctive and that is supposed to be drilled into his head by the defensive back coaching staff and not just to stand there and let the guy Bobble the ball and bring it down as a catch for a touchdown that is a coaching issue not a player issue. I'd get rid of that Darren Perry get somebody else in there but I trust the new DC to recognize that boob.

Razer's picture

I have too many Clinton Dix bad plays in my head. The one you cite. where he did nothing but watch the catch being made in bounds. He followed that up with letting Detroit's Abdulah run into the end-zone without attempting a tackle. By season's end I didn't see a football player, I saw a liability.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Just bad coaching..lombardi would say if you dont lay it on the line I'll personally kick your azz....Do you think capers would say that. Of course not. And so you have what you have

Oppy's picture

You think that's a good management and motivational strategy for full grown men? Threatening to kick their ass?

Lombardi or not, that's some disrespectful, ridiculous BS.

Johnblood27's picture

shut up or I'll kick your azz!

fthisJack's picture

no...u saw a guy that gave up on his team cause he wasn't happy with Capers defense. he needs his ass reamed by Pettine. either you play hard every play or you hit the road Jack!

fastmoving's picture

He cant be a bust anymore.
like most of the time something in between. But in my opinion he has a chance to be good and he can be for sure a lot better than this season................

Coldworld's picture

Remember it took Collins 3 years to click playing with good QBs week in week out. I do agree HHCD looked lost last year when he did not the year before. That suggests scheme had some role

Coldworld's picture

If a player doesn’t feel comfortable in a scheme or assignment and knows his team mates are not either then the natural tendency is to play more cautiously and also to react more slowly. In the NFL with the speed of the players and arms of the QBs, those tendencies alone can make a difference between a great season and a poor one even without taking into account breakdowns in coverage and other effects likely to accompany these issues.

I have no doubt that this affected the LBs and particularly the secondary in pass coverage and it seemed more profound in 2017 than 2016. What we need to find out is how much better the players could have been. Hopefully the coaching change will address this root cause of not playing to potential.

Ryan Graham's picture

You can have the same thoughts about Cli nton-Dix as just about any other hat on that u nit unless their names are Clark, Daniels or Martinez. The reality is that there is a New Order in town and everyone's job is up for grabs. Kind of what happens when there is a New boss, everyone starts to straighten out their shit. you're gonna see those who really want to win out there on Sundays next year if Pettine can connect with these young guys and get them to buy into his schemes

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nick Perry did not sign a team friendly contract. He is a tough cut until after the 2019 season. $11M in dead money makes him extremely likely to be around for more than one more year.

I've seen several posters suggest that PM Gutekunst should tailor his picks and FA signings to specifically fit Pettine's defense. If not in physical size, then in football IQ. The author seems to suggest otherwise. I am not advancing an opinion here. Getting great athletes makes sense, getting what the HC and DC want makes sense as well.

Razer's picture

...Nick Perry did not sign a team friendly contract...

Add to this - Nick Perry again couldn't stay healthy and disappeared against the good teams. I was hoping that he could turn the corner and pick up where Matthews left off. Another guy that Pettine will need to figure out. Lot of under performers on this defense.

RCPackerFan's picture

For Pettine to succeed he has to get everything he can out of the current players. Which honestly, he does have some really nice pieces to work with.

This is how I break down the defense. I am putting players into tiers.

1st Tier:
Daniels, Clark, Martinez- IMO, those are the 3 top players on defense. These guys are the most consistent and simply make plays.

2nd Tier:
Mathews, Perry, Clinton-Dix.
Mathews and Perry still can affect games. Problem for them is injuries, but also I didn't like their scheme and how they were used. Capers ran the 2-4 way to much which essentially wore out those guys. I think with Pettine he will have them playing a little different role and I think both will benefit. Clinton-Dix I think will be revitalized in a new scheme.

3rd Tier:
King, Randall, Jones, Lowry.
This group IMO is the up and coming and the crucial group for Pettine to get the most out of. Lowry could really benefit from a new scheme. Jones could be a star if used in the right way. King simply needs to be healthy. Randall needs to play like he did in the 2nd half of the season.

4th Tier:
Biegel, Adams, Pipkins, Thomas, Brice.
This to me is the group of players that have flashed ability but is still kind of a mystery. I think all of these guys could at the very least be top level backups next year, but also could be moved up into starting roles and play well.

IMO, they need to find upgrades at 3 spots almost immediately. They have to get better at pass rusher, CB, and ILB. They need more pass rushers. I think Perry, Mathews, Daniels, Clark can do it, but they need more help! They need a speed rusher who can put fear into opponents. Having a stud ILB to pair with Martinez would give the defense some great flexibility. Getting a lockdown style CB to pair with King and Randall would do a ton!

They aren't far off imo. I think Pettine will do well!

OrganLeroy's picture

People need to STOP listing Adams and Beigel in any catagory other than RED SHIRT season. They missed all of OTA's and training camp & pre season. What the hell did anyone expect after that. MM is very high on their talent. Next season is actually their rookie years.

Coldworld's picture

True. For that reason, we also have seen nothing to suggest that they can contribute either. Thus we can hope but should not expect.

4thand1's picture

If Pettine turns this defense around the 1st year we have a deep playoff run. Just improving on 3rd down will be a major step. I believe this group gave up on Capers and who could blame them. Just the fact that there's new blood will get these guys fired up like there's blood in the water. What we had here was a failure to communicate, says the warden in Cool hand Luke.

fthisJack's picture

how can it be any worse really?

Coldworld's picture

In my view, it was the most chaotic defense over a whole season that I recall.

stockholder's picture

I think your about to see the best defense in years. Na Na Dix is a Packer stand out. Jones and Brice give us two players that will show up. Hopefully Burnett thinks more of his teammates and signs even for 1 year. The Cbs are the best in 8 years. King and Randall are gamers. I believe these 2 will set new highs in INTs. They have the talent and speed to be all-pros. Good depth in House and Rollins. The LBs are still in good shape if they don't dump Mathews. TT paid Peppers. And Peppers helped everywhere. Lets not plug Mathews as a loser. He's still the emotional leader that teammates follow. Perry must stay off the DL. IF Martinez shows more quickness this year, he's All-pro. More SACKS PLEASE! The talent is good enough with Ryan, and Biegel still bringing in fresh legs. The DL has 3 players better than average. Clark , Daniels, and Lowry. Adams needs to be pushy. He can push the 3 in front. But even if there are Questions. The Past is the PAST. I see a defense that can make it to the super- bowl. And any draft pick is a plus.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Lets not go insane....lets see what happens in reality in 2018.

Tundraboy's picture

I thought he was being sarcastic.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Come on guys stop drinking the freaking Kool-Aid you drink the Kool-Aid every year we've lost past 7 year. Evaluate the Kool-Aid for what it is it's just Kool-Aid.

Bedrock's picture

What I like about Pettine is that he capitalized on a player’s strength. What does his defense need to be successful?...Players that have any singular asset. He’s shown the ability to teach communication and make in-game adjustments. Capers, however, needed specific pieces and specific traits, combined with the ability to pick up a complex scheme and communicate it on the field. Gutey doesn’t have do the nearly impossible task that TT had of finding the “red round peg”. Gutey needs to find players with a strong trait. DC Pettine will use square pegs, round pegs, red pegs, etc. to build a sturdy defense.

cheesycowboy's picture

Mark Murphy has finally put his stamp on the team.
He is now formally in the loop of football operations from contracts to players to coaching. Time to see what has got.
Optimistic as well as curious. Sincerely,

Packer Fan's picture

Defense for me is very much team success. When everyone is playing together, the defense will be respectable. But there are severe needs. Especially in the secondary and for sure better pass rush. I say keep Matthews and Burnett. We need veteran depth and leadership. If we are expecting a dominant defense, that will take a few years to build talent through free agency and the draft. But for 2018, improvement. Respectable would be great and perhaps a bit beyond that.

Coldworld's picture

For that reason I would keep House as well

BradHTX's picture

My fairly simple 5 point plan for fixing the defense, based on my vast wealth of experience as a simple, reasonably intelligent and observant casual fan:

1 - Resign Burnett. The whole D always seemed to play better when he was on the field. He's not a game-changer alone, but he seems to help communication among everyone.

2 - Bring in a FA vet CB to play boundary opposite King, perhaps Tramon W. since it's being suggested he still has something left in the tank and knows Pettine. Draft a CB around 2-3 to learn and take over in a year or two.

3 - Move Randall to the slot. All last pre-season, all the talk was how great Randall was going to be in the "star" position. OK, a lot of last season Randall's head wasn't screwed on straight. Give it another shot.

4 - Draft the best Edge player available at #14 to start opposite Perry. Emphasis on pass rushing ability, obviously.

5 - Make Matthews the roving pass rush specialist who plays downs as both OLB and ILB. Matchup nightmare and less stress on his tender hammies.

Starting roster (players who depend on sub-package in parentheses):

(Lowry) - Clark - Daniels
Perry - Martinez - (Matthews) - Rookie OLB
King - (Randall) - Vet CB
HHCD - Burnett

This is not an untalented group; they truly just under-achieved and suffered a glut of injuries this year. With a change in scheme/attitude and a bit better luck, this can be a high-performing group.

Packer Fan's picture

Good thoughts. Yes exactly on the vet DB. Perhaps a shutdown corner if possible. And somehow a pass rusher. I am not sold on House. Tramon Williams may have some energy left. And we need strategic veteran depth.

Coldworld's picture

Aren’t likely to be many shut down corners in FA at any time and likely none this year. House is a good backup on the outside. We have to stop the TT habit of having all rookie rooms and have some experience in our depth, not just raw prospects that might, just might, turn out to be a better player in a couple of years.

Coldworld's picture

Randall may actually be better on the edge. He was a different player in the second half. Let’s not make a Hayward type mistake with him.

Coldworld's picture

Randall may actually be better on the edge. He was a different player in the second half. Let’s not make a Hayward type mistake with him.

fthisJack's picture

my thoughts...

1. look to restructure Cobb, Nelson, Mathews contracts to gain cap space.

2. draft CB Joshua Jackson at 14 giving Pettine his strong CB room.

3. WR with speed and size.

4. OLB or DE that can get after QB in the draft.

5. TE in the draft and FA. need 2 guys here.

6. a fast ILB to complement Martinez.

7. a backup QB that has experience and has won games in the NFL.

Lphill's picture

I am not sold on Nick Perry , overrated and always hurt , cut him not Clay , use Clay on 2 nd and 3 rd downs , keep him fresh move him around , the Packers defense is better with Clay not with Perry, I know a lot of you love Mike Daniels but he is not a household name by any means , undersized for what he does , but if his price is right and there is nobody better then fine, let's let the new D.C. Evaluate and decide who fits and who goes.there will not be 11 new faces out there on the defense next year , maybe one or two .

cuervo's picture

"I am not sold on Nick Perry , overrated and always hurt , cut him not Clay"

While I understand your setiments regarding Perry, there's this pesky thing called a salary cap. If you cut Perry we eat 9 or 10 million in dead money, so there is ZERO chance that will happen. If you cut Matthews there is no dead money and we save 10+ mio.

Money very often determines who you keep and who you let go.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Its ALL about match ups every football player on our team has to be better than the guy on the otherside of the ball.

"I AM BECAUSE WE ARE - THE GREEN BAY PACKERS"

Lphill's picture

Story on NFL.com Rex Ryan said Pettine is going to be the best DC this coming season and is a great fit for the Packers . Rex Ryan knows defense .

Jonathan Spader's picture

Of course Rex Ryan said that Pettibe worked under him. MM also said he had complete confidence in Hundley. MM is supposedly a QB whisper. Words mean nothing. Temper your expectations of Pettine and figure he can't be worse than Capers these past 2 years.

fastmoving's picture

when Ryan knows just a little about D, why would he always bring his twin brother?????
Both guys knows the same about football and thats barley more then my grandma......

but they can talk loud.....and thats sometimes enought today,

as sad at it is

4thand1's picture

I'm getting all optimistic again. I thought we would be making a deep run this year, that our offense would be unstoppable. I thinking we are going to be a better team all the way around 2018. My gut tells me the whole culture has changed and the team is going all in.

bodei1newbie1's picture

what they need the most is a defensive linemen and have clark and daniels on the ends in the 3-4 or two defensives linemen if they run a 4-3

Nick Perry's picture

Personally I like the Packers new hire. There's a piece on ESPN Milwaukee where they have Jim Leonard on as a guest and he discusses his time under Pettine, I suggest you all go listen to it because it's pretty good listening.

I can't help but wonder how Perry might perform with his hand in the dirt playing DE under this guy. If the Packers add another couple of pass rushers what will a 4-3 front with Perry, Daniels, Clark, and (?) look like rushing the QB. Clark came on last season and in Pettine's system it's designed for his top 2 pass rushers to be blocked one on one. Clark, Daniels, and Perry if healthy can win MOST of any one on one match-up. I'm especially excited about Clark (Thanks RC) with that kid's strength and quickness he could really become a good pass rusher.

Just imagine what might be IF Gutekunst HITS on more than one of his first 4 picks for example, something that proved to be a tough thing for Thompson to achieve.

egbertsouse's picture

I wish that the writers would stop putting HHCD in the “solid player” category. He is not solid, he is awful. I hope he and his crap attitude are gone next year.

DD's picture

The key is defense. Look what vikes have done in a short time with an average QB. Defend home field, play in a dome, home field in playoffs, Zimmer built a defense!! How long have we had to build a defense around our HOF QB? The key will be Pentine, only problem I see is TT still looming in the wings, and McMike not liking the changes and still being very predictable and not being a developmental genius. Teams build defense for success: how long has it been for us? Two times in two decades? One for Farve, one for Rodgers? This is ridiculous.

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