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Perry Fits Hybrid Defense

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Perry Fits Hybrid Defense

Revisiting a column written a couple weeks ago, one could make the argument that the Packers' selection of Nick Perry in the first round of the NFL Draft only lends more credence to the notion that the Packers will play some sort of hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense starting in 2012.

The idea was influenced by the New England Patriots defense last season when they, in essence, played a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense all at the same time, a 3-4 to one side of the field and a 4-3 to the other.

It's not an easy scheme to comprehend, and I highly suggest reading the original column for more on the Xs and Os.

The thought the Packers could be playing some sort of hybrid defense was influenced by several of their personnel moves, including the signing of Tony Hargrove and Daniel Muir on the defensive line, and their interest in Dave Tollefson, perhaps all unconventional fits in Dom Capers' defense.

And when looking at Perry, a college defensive end being asked to transition to outside linebacker at the professional level, it would appear he'd fit the prototype of what the Packers are looking for in a hybrid defender.

"This kind of thing is becoming very prevalent in college and more and more common in the NFL," said Chris Brown of Smart Football several weeks ago. "The advantage it (can) give you is that you can have a four-down front for purposes of stopping the run but your defensive end to the weak side is athletic enough to drop into coverage in man or zone blitzes and so on. In fact, he might be less of a defensive end than just a big linebacker."

I even speculated at the time that the Packers would draft one of the highly rated defensive end/outside linebackers that seem to fit a hybrid defensive system.

"The odds that the Packers select Ingram, Upshaw, Perry or Mercilus––or trade up to grab one of them––aren't exactly far fetched," I wrote back on Mar. 30.

In reality who knows what the Packers will do. Head coach Mike McCarthy said at the NFL's owners meetings that he'd like to get back to playing more 3-4 base defense.

But maybe he's just not trying to tip his hat. More 3-4 defense would mean more of Charles Woodson on the perimeter, a place where he's no longer suited.

And perhaps that could mean a switch for Charles Woodson to safety, but that's a whole other topic of debate for another day.

For the time being, it's fun to speculate what Perry could mean to the Packers defense in 2012. They need the help, no doubt about that.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

3-3-5. I'm hammering that till it's proven wrong. Then I'm denying ever talking about it/changing the subject.

If it's proven right, I'm gloating and linking to several of my posts saying so.

pkrNboro's picture

I like your style.

I could also get into 4-2-5, if it meant Hawk wasn't doing "jumping jacks" in coverage...

SIDENOTE: I tried to gloat once, but was basically told: "who cares; move on"

I'm still bitter.
and hurt.

PackersRS's picture



Bohj's picture

To me, a hybrid system to employ a 4-3 is irrelevant when you are employing the 3-4. The 43 seems too predictable with an occasional blitz. Works well for teams that have sick beasts on the d-line like the g-men and the Detroit kitties. This new shift to spread n' shred passing favors the 3-4 because you recruit super fast linebackers to cover these new breeds of tight ends like gronk and Finley.

Perry has speed and some impressive hops for his size. Good for destroying qbs, batting down passes, but most importantly disguise some inside coverages out of the slot. That's why I wasn't as big on upshaw.

Returning to a true 3-4 this year will be using perry to get more pressure on the qb. The only reason we had to use so much nickel last yr was to make up for the weak ass pass rush. It became painstakingly predictable. Now we can go back to disguising coverage and pressure like 2009. Think..... Lamar woodley impact for the steelers.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

That's what I envision, lamar woodley. Maybe some Ryan Kerrigan too?

MarkinMadison's picture

Didn't she have her knee taken out by some trailer chick from Washington State?

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Took me a second... LMFAO! No, this is her brother I'm talking about.

ppabich's picture

I posted this on another column, but I completely agree. Good teams acquire the best possible talent and use them to their best capability. For example when the Packers moved to a 3-4 the coaching staff realized that Woodson was no longer suited to play every snap on the outside. But he was still the best player the team had on defense. They realized how valuable he could be in the slot. The same thing could be said about Perry, he is no way going to be ready to play very much coverage in his rookie year. But if he does have the ability to rush the passer, he has to be on the field. I don’t think he is Aldon Smith, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his usage rate is similar. I’m not sure that defenses are necessarily being multiple just to confuse offenses, but to take advantage of different players skill sets. And if the Packers continue to be a base nickel team, which is basically a 4-2-5, having a line of Matthews, Raji, Hargrove/Neal and Perry could potentially be pretty solid.

The Draft is fun, I’m excited.

chris k's picture

think willie mcginest

MarkinMadison's picture

Great stuff Bryan. Tell that b#$#%h A.N. that with you pumping out good stuff like this, we don't miss him at all. Sniff. Traitor.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Yeah, Brian is great. Zach impresses me, seamless transition. Who was that one guy that used to write here? Kinda funny looking, weird hat... His name escapes me. Andy? Eric? Something like that... I think it was Andy... Yep, I remember now, Andy Niffler... He was pretty good.

Oppy's picture

Andy Niffler? I HATE that bastard.

Used to steal my lunch money.

Nerd's Laptop's picture

Slim him down and move him to safety. KIDDING.

BubbaOne's picture

Where's Kevin Greene? I expected to see him at the podium frothing all over the mic re Perry's ability and potential.

DanTX's picture

Maybe they don't want him up there b/c we aren't finished at linebacker, in or outside.

Ruppert's picture

We need gas guzzling SUVs, not these fuel-sipping hybrids.

And by that I mean I want to draft a d lineman or 2 yet this draft.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Nice selection by Green Bay. Perry has some weak areas that need to be coached up but overall, he fits the bill of a rusher. I think he has the best bending ability of any rusher in this year's draft. He uses his hands decently as he's able to pop the arms of OTs as he gains leverage around the corner to the set point.

He'll be asked to cover but sparingly. I don't see him playing straight man coverage on any TEs be they tight or flexed. He's simply not a man on man space player. He'll be asked to do the same things Matthews is.....namely, take zone drops from time to time. Against 21 and 20 personnel he'll be a rusher in passing situations. In 10, 11 personnel he'll be a rusher and limited zone dropper depending on the call. I know some people are concerned he won't be able to cover TEs but trust me....he won't be asked to do that very much if at all.

This was a nice value pick at the spot.

redlights's picture

Welcome back POC!

Any comments on R2/3?

dawg's picture

NP. My only concern, after watching film, he seems late getting after the QB.
NFL will not allow him time, needs coaching! BIG TIME!
But good pick.

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