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Perry Can Stress Simple Correction

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Perry Can Stress Simple Correction

The loss of Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins is easy to point to when it comes to the parade of big plays the Packers defense has been giving up in the passing game.

Charlie Peprah, who played so well opposite Collins during the teams Super Bowl run last year, is simply not athletic enough to make the kind of plays Collins could and second year safety Morgan Burnett, while as athletic if not more so than Collins, has been plagued by mental breakdowns at the absolute worst times.

Both of these developments are somewhat understandable. What surprised me going back and watching the Chargers game again was how poorly Charles Woodson played in space when employed as a safety on a handful of plays.

In particular, on the first touchdown to Vincent Jackson Woodson gets caught playing way too flat, keeping his eyes on the quarterback and losing track of the deep post route being run by Jackson.

This happened again and again, regardless of who the deep safety was. All three players, be it Woodson, Burnett or Peprah, took turns getting caught too shallow and flat footed as a Chargers receiver (usually Vincent Jackson) got behind them.

Darren Perry, the assistant coach in charge of safeties, has no doubt seen the same thing and will spend this week stressing, repeatedly, that whoever has responsibility deep simply must be cognizant of where the deepest receiver is at all times.

Too many times against the Chargers, and on various occasions throughout the year, the deep safety has been caught anticipating throws underneath. It's an ongoing problem that last weeks game threw into focus. If you are the last line of defense, as the deep safety often is, you simply can't get caught flatfooted while watching the crossing routes underneath.

Perry now has plenty of tape to back up this point and drill it into his guys heads.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (12) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

I have noticed Woodson peeking back at the QB numerous times throughout this year. I think the all-time pick-six record is on his mind. I do believe he was humbled after the Chargers game and will be more cognizant of his assignments.

SirPacksALot's picture

Teams know what we're about... the pick. They can easily trick our DBs with a pump fake or the WR faking a cut the sprinting ahead. It's time this team got back to basics, they can't all be going for the highlight reel.

packeraaron's picture

Funnily enough, Christian Ponder said basically this exact same thing on his conference call with the GB media today when asked about the opening play in the last game. He said they had seen an over-aggressiveness on the part of the corners on the underneath/short stuff.

Glorious80s's picture

Given RB AP and that Ponder is a more mobile, capable QB, who, had opportuinies to watch the UF-Tebow option run plays, which Denver just used vs Oakland this past week, I am concerned with the Vikes pulling something unexpected.
Hope coaches and players will be alert.
Also, was Ponder planting an idea re the over-agressiveness?

bomdad's picture

And then he threw two picks anyway.

PackersRS's picture

Yep, it's a big part of why we're giving up so many plays (communication, like Nagler pointed out, is the main culprit).

But that agressiveness is also the reason why we lead the league in interceptions.

IMHO everyone, including Woodson, needs to stop gambling and play what the defense calls them to. Capers will call trap plays for them, they need to trust the system and stop pressing.

Oppy's picture

I think Capers gives Woodson the freedom while playing CB (especially when he's covering the slot) to gamble a bit.

Also, I think it's possible that Capers not only uses Woodson at the LOS in blitz and run support for his tenacity and play making ability, but it may also be for the added benefit of keeping Wood out of mismatches in coverage occasionally while still utilizing his play-making abilities as well.

Cole's picture

I'd rather them not intercept a single pass but play solid coverage rather than get a few and get torched for four touchdowns.

Oppy's picture

POint blank:

Woodson is a gambler, always has been, always will be.

I've stated all season that his ability to -COVER- WR's is almost to the point of being a liability- either he doesn't have the legs, the reaction time, or the hips to do it at a #1 CB level anymore. ( I think PFF, or was it FI? had Woodson ranked in the high 80's or low 90's among active CB's in coverage in the NFL this season.. That would place him as one of the lowest ranked #3 CBs in the league.)

He makes the big plays by his read and recognition skills- he studies film and takes mental snap shots of two or three specific combinations of formation/personnel/situation/tendency and when he thinks he sees it on the field, he goes with his gut and sells out big time. Often he's right, and it's a pick. Sometimes he's not, and he doesn't have the recovery speed or COD to make up for it.

That's fine and dandy when you're playing underneath a safety.. But Woodson apparently doesn't understand that when he's playing the over coverage, he no longer has the luxury to freelance and gamble. If he's a step late trying to undercut the WR and jump his route, that guy is gone.

I know everyone is hot in the pant for Wood to move to S in the near future to extend his career, and on paper it makes good sense: it puts him in a position that won't be compromised by his losing a step; he can read the entire field and take advantage of his high football IQ, etc and so forth. But so far the reality is, Woodson doesn't have the restraint or perhaps the selflessness to adequately shoulder the -responsibilty- of being the last line of defense.

packeraaron's picture

"Woodson's ability to -COVER- WR’s is almost to the point of being a liability"

Sadly, I agree. He just can't run anymore.

PackersRS's picture

Hot streak.

bomdad's picture

I'd rather have 16 INTs than 16 sacks.

Agree that Woodson at safety is a bad idea. He's more of a linebacker and the reason why the Packers nickel package is the best in the league.

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