#PackersDaily: New cornerbacks coach, new approach?

With Matt LaFleur reportedly adding cornerbacks coach Greg Williams to his staff, could there be a different approach to the position in Green Bay incoming? Aaron chats about that and all things Green and Gold.

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7 points

Comments (8)

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gpt999's picture

February 08, 2023 at 05:08 pm

While I want to be optimistic that GW can turn one of our existing DBs into another Budha Baker, its hard to be optimistic when the hiring process involved either MLF or Joe Dingle Berry. The interview must have consisted of a lot of "Yeses" to have been hired by these 2 subpar coaches. I can already see the 3rd and 5 soft zones with the DBs playing 10 yards off the line... PLEASE, PLEASE prove me wrong GW!

I guess this is just another indication that Joe Dingle Berry will most certainly be DC for next season. Oh joy, joy.

3 points
mbpacker's picture

February 08, 2023 at 05:45 pm

Just read where Roger Goodell said that though not perfect, the officiating has never been better. I suggest that he shack up with Rodgers for the 4 day total darkness retreat, and mediate to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon repeatedly. Hopefully, Rodger comes out with more clarity on officiating.

5 points
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2023 at 03:22 am

Greg Williams was the DB coach for Arizona since 2019. He got canned along with Kliff Kingsbury. Arizona fired Kingsbury even though some genius gave Kingsbury an extension through 2027 just last March. Oh, right, ARI also fired GM Steve Keim. Prior to that, Williams was the DB coach for the Broncos, Colts and Chargers. He was the assistant LB coach for the Chargers from 2009 to 2012. Maybe he can teach someone to tackle.

Per Tex Western at APC, the Cardinals' pass defense by DVOA ranked 26th, 9th, 5th, and 21st during Williams' four years as DB coach in Arizona. I would note that the Cardianals drafted Budda Baker 36th in 2019 as a SS and he has been above average every year. The Cardinals also found Jalen Thompson, a UDFA, in 2019, and he started immediately (2019) and has been above average every year. Both Baker and Thompson have remained healthy over those seasons (except for 2020 when Thompson missed a lot of time). In 2022, they played 968 and 1097 snaps, respectively. So, ARI has been able to put the same two above-average safeties out there every game for the last four seasons. Kudos to the GM who found Thomas and to the coaches who recognized and developed his talent.

The talent at CB has been less wonderful. The Cardinals selected a CB high in 2016 but he was out of the league prior 2019. They did use a 2nd in 2019 and a fourth in 2021 on CBs. Let's look at who played CB for them in 2022. [Year acquired - pick # - PFF grade - snaps - name.]

'21 - 137th pick - 55.3 PFF - 777 snaps - Marco Wilson
'19 - 33rd pick -- 66.7 PFF - 593 snaps - Byron Murphy
'16 - UDFA --------68.5 PFF - 418 snaps - Antonio Hamilton
'20 - UDFA --------46.3 PFF - 281 snaps - Jace Whitacker
'22 - 245th pick - 55.7 PFF- 235 snaps - Chrisitan Whittacker
'19 - 40th by LV: 48.3 PFF - 124 snaps - Trayvon Mullen

Mullen stunk up the joint for the Raiders for three seasons, and then was traded to Arizona for a 7th round pick. He continued to stink and the Cardinals released him after 8 games and 124 snaps. Dallas picked him up and he played a dozen snaps for the Cowboys in one game. He signed a futures with Baltimore. That second round pedigree keeps getting him some looks around the league.

Antonio Hamilton managed to stay on the Raiders' roster just barely in 2016 and 2017, and then became a special teams demon in 2018, 2019 and 2020 (700 ST snaps in 2019 plus 2020) for the Giants and then the Chiefs (2020). In 2021, Tampa Bay signed him as a street free agent but waived him right after the draft. Arizona signed him to the practice squad. After elevating him from the PS, someone figured out he could play CB a bit, and he ended up playing 312 pretty good snaps in 2021 (65.4 PFF grade - light green). Hamilton was placed on IR NFI in early September and the Cardinals were not able to activate him until October 8, 2021. Thus, Hamilton was limited to 418 snaps in 2022, but posted a 68.5 PFF grade last year.

In 2021, Arizona rolled with Byron Murphy and Marco Williams at CB, their 2nd and 4th round guys. They brought in old pro Robert Alford (class of 2013) even though he was 33 and had missed all of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Alford rewarded Arizona by providing 580 solid snaps (66.9 PFF grade). Alford went on IR on December 18th, 2021 and retired after the 2021 season.

In 2020, the Cardinals' CBs were Patrick Peterson (1096 snaps), Byron Murphy (795), and Dre Kickpatrick (750 snaps). Peterson did not have a good year. The other old pro, Kirkpatrick (17th pick in 2012) was washed up (49 PFF grade) and lasted 95 snaps with SF the next season before being out of the league. FS Thompson got hurt and the Cardinals had to play Chris Banjo some 436 snaps at safety. Banjo apparently wasn't bad, as PFF gave him a 63.6 grade, but that is kind of Banjo's overall history. Not bad but looking for an upgrade. Despite these personnel issues, Arizona finished 9th in DVOA pass defense that year.

I just pieced together information from PFR, PFF, APC, some articles on Revenge of the Birds, and looking at transaction reports. I don't watch Arizona play except against GB. Williams seems like a solid hire from what I can tell just looking around. He played a couple of guys who lacked any pedigree and managed to get decent results from some old guys as well.

1 points
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2023 at 04:25 am

Oh, Williams was the CBs coach. Arizona actually had a DBs coach named Marcus Robertson who was just hired by New Orleans. Revenge of the Birds (Arizona's SB Nation blog) specifically gave credit to Robertson for coaching safeties like Baker but also CBs like Woodson and Aqib Talib. A contributor to SB Nation noted that he was not surprised Williams and Robertson got hired since they were the two best ones (I assume that means of the coaches who were released).

I note that the Packers had first round selections in Jaire and Stokes at CB, plus third rounder Rasul Douglas, not to mention first rounder Savage and 5th rounder Adrian Amos (though he was a fairly pricey free agent acquisition).

2 points
Cheezehead72's picture

February 09, 2023 at 07:12 am

I would like to know if he is zone or man with his tendencies. The Packers hired a heavy zone DC that is unwilling to change and have CBs that are suited more for man. When they played zone last year they were lost.

4 points
dobber's picture

February 09, 2023 at 07:42 am

It's likely that he coaches the players to try to fit what the DC will ask them to do.
It's my hope that he has good intuition, a persuasive manner, and a loud voice.

Packers still haven't named a "passing game coordinator" if they choose to go that route again.

0 points
T7Steve's picture

February 09, 2023 at 08:01 am

In today's NFL, I regret, you have to do both press and zone or you get cut up one way or another with the way QBs are running now. I think you can be successful running an aggressive zone like the 49ers use so well. Of course, they have a front that gets after the QB.

It might be this guy can get these DBs to communicate and be in the right spots better. He's had a long career coaching and must be good or wouldn't still be in the NFL unless he'd been working for the Packers like Berry.

-1 points
Lphill's picture

February 09, 2023 at 09:06 am

different coach same scheme under Joe ( nobody calling me for a job) Barry .

1 points