Pettine Knows the Packers Run Defense Needs to Improve

Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine spoke to the media Friday and knows the run defense must be better in 2020 for the team to take the next step forward.

Mike Pettine held a conference call with members of the media on Friday. One major issue the Packers defensive coordinator addressed was the team’s run defense which clearly needs to improve in 2020.

Last season, the Packers ranked 23rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and opponents averaged an unacceptable 4.7-yards per carry against the Green Bay defense.

When we last saw the team on the field, the Pack allowed the San Francisco 49ers to gain 285 yards on the ground and score four rushing touchdowns in Green Bay’s 37-20 defeat in the NFC Championship Game.

“It was beyond disappointing. It’s tough to realize that we played our worst game at the worst time,” Pettine said. “At the same point, we own it, we’re not running away from it. There’s no excuses being offered. The key thing is to learn from it so it doesn’t happen again. We just weren’t good enough in every aspect whether it was scheme, effort, energy, technique.”

Pettine tried to look beyond the title game, though, when assessing his defense’s overall performance last season. “You're always remembered by your last performance, and I hate for it to tarnish what we were able to accomplish during the year when we won 14 games,” he said. “We're not going to do that and let it be this dark cloud hanging over us, but at the same time it's not going to be something we sweep under the carpet. We'll address it, and we'll do it again when the players are in town and its face to face. But it’s certainly been a focal point.”

Pettine acknowledged that his emphasis is on stopping the pass. When asked what about teams that come out and want to run the football first, he responded, “If that’s what teams want to do that’s fine.”

Then he expressed faith in his scheme. “We are big believers in our system,” Pettine added. “When it’s executed correctly, we can play the run damn well in pretty good stretches. There are times when we don’t allocate as many resources to stop the run and we are going to be potentially a little bit short.”

As far as correcting the problem, Pettine said there was coaching that needed to be done. “We have to preach to our guys up front that, ‘Hey, listen, you can’t trade one for one. This is a hole that we have to have a gap and a half mentality.’ So, the one thing we’ll continue to stress, and I think our coaches up front do a really good job of it, is if offenses are good, they’re going to get a helmet on a helmet. We’re going to get blocked. The key is not to stay blocked and having the understanding of how to violently release off the block, and the timing of it—not to do it too soon, not too late.”

The Packers personnel has not changed significantly since last season. The biggest change is the replacement of ILB Blake Martinez with free agent addition Christian Kirksey. Although the Packers won’t have a full offseason program this year, Kirksey and Pettine worked together in Cleveland a few years back so the Packers big addition at ILB will have an advantage over other newcomers.

Pettine also stressed that Kingsley Keke impressed him late last season and made a lot of progress. He is hoping to have more of a rotation along the defensive line to keep players fresh.

He also expects 2019 first-round pick Rashan Gary to have a bigger role both as an OLB rushing from the edge and playing on the defensive line on obvious passing downs and rushing the passer from the inside.

“I do think at times Preston [Smith] and ‘Z’ [Za’Darius Smith] probably played a little too much, and we do want to take some off their plate,” Pettine said. “Rashan is certainly built to handle giving those guys a break.”

When it came to the run defense, Pettine cited one more advantage the Packers expect to have in training camp that will help jump start their improvement. “What’s great is that our offense has such a strong commitment to running the football that when we do get to go against them in camp, that’s going to be a point of emphasis on both sides,” Pettine said.

At the end of the day, Pettine was proud of the team’s overall season and knows the run defense must improve if the team is to take the next step in 2020 and reach or win the Super Bowl. “We’re not dwelling on it, but it’s something we know if we want to take that next step…there’s a lot we need to get done between now and then.”

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (68)

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Lare's picture

May 23, 2020 at 12:47 pm

"Pettine also stressed that Kingsley Keke impressed him late last season and made a lot of progress."

Didn't Pettine also tell us how great Montravius Adams looked in camp last year and was expecting him to have a big season?

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GilMartin's picture

May 23, 2020 at 01:10 pm

I see you have a good memory, Lare. Yes, he did. Unfortunately that didn't translate to a great regular season last year for Montravius Adams. We'll see what happens with Keke. Thanks for commenting.

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:11 pm

We all know that Adams has the munchies this off season.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:21 pm

LOL. Sure seems that way. Thanks for commenting

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:41 pm

Maybe Pettine can get Lurch to play DT for us. Sorry, I couldn't control myself

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm

You're on a roll....

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 09:27 pm

Adams pre-season is his regular season. However Adams may have outdone himself this off-season with the 3 misdemeanor charges. His commitment to (not) play but get pay is at an elite level.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 23, 2020 at 08:57 pm

Adams is in his contract year. He has every incentive to stay healthy and play well. If he does, he could sign a 3 year, $15 million deal with half guaranteed. Financial security for the rest of his life.

Or if he gets cut, or gets hurt, or just doesn’t play well, then he’s looking at a make-good contract for the vet minimum. Big Difference.

This legal stuff will pass, but if Adams doesn’t understand what’s at stake by now then he’ll need to be released. He needs to show up in great shape and win a spot or we should replace him.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 09:54 pm

You're chucking a career hail Mary. If you recall, this is a player that spent his draft day at at hospital birthing unit. This is also a player whose big off-season training program included driving around with no insurance. As for his on-field contributions to date... well... I suppose there's always tomorrow. Or not for Adams.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Agreed, Leatherhead. This is a make or break season for Montravius. If he doesn't step up now, he's probably out of the league or another camp body (somewhere else) at best in 2021. Thanks for the comment.

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PhantomII's picture

May 25, 2020 at 12:37 am

I've seen enough of this Adams, without seeing him on the field enough. He should have started last year. Someone else can pay for him regardless of what he does this year. Legal stuff shows where his head is.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm

I hope he does take that step forward on the field. Look, if he doesn't, he won't be long for Green Bay and possibly the league. Thanks for commenting, Alberta_Packer.

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fordguy's picture

May 24, 2020 at 03:49 pm

Is it bad to say you hope he doesn't have a good year so he won't turn into another Nick Perry who plays good for contract year and then........ I think you all know the rest.

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dekan51's picture

May 23, 2020 at 01:43 pm

what ticks me off is that his only solution is to what, coach they guys better? they have to do their technique better? if your guys are getting whipped at the line, as they were in the 49 game, you might have to give them more help. change what the offense is looking at. telling people to hold their block longer, or shorter, is a fancy way of saying it's not my fault, it's theirs. i was really hoping he was gonna be fired after the season was over, but he definitely is on thin ice....

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Coldworld's picture

May 23, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Maybe it is true. Certainly if he can’t fix it I would think he will be in for a short tenure, but this isn’t his first gig, and he has contained the run before.

One thing I got from this is how hamstrung he admitted he was by the lack of linebackers and true hybrids. I get the clear impression that he thinks Martinez was a problem and that he had to play light at a key position when it comes to defense. That would hamper any coach. They must like what youth they have in that area more than most of us because they have relied on rookies and players with no experience to remedy that beyond signing a player they clearly see as an upgrade but one with an acknowledged injury risk.

Finally, maybe Adams comes on this year finally, one never knows. What Pettine actually said was that he put a rocket up Adams’ behind and that Adams had taken it seriously in terms of physical work and consistent effort. Perhaps Adams had more to make up than we thought. We will see. But Pettine didn’t do much pick him out to complement him but to remind him he needed to put his house in order and to provide encouragement that this would yield dividends if he keeps it up. We will see if it did and if it does.

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PhantomII's picture

May 23, 2020 at 09:13 pm

What I notice about Pettine is if our defense is having trouble with a teams offense. He is very slow to make adjustments on the fly and it takes until after half time to see any positive affects of said adjustment. As we all seen with the SF game it was over by halftime. He likes his (multiple) personnel groupings which in this game leads to multiple first downs and multiple points.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:36 pm

The adjustment issue is real and it's a good observation, PhantomII. The defense has been slow to adjust and in the 49ers game, it never really did even when he had to know they were going to keep running the ball down our throats until we stopped them.

We shall see what 2020 brings. Thanks for the comment.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

May 25, 2020 at 07:20 am

It's the same criticism fans had about Capers it's not at all a good observation it's a cop out. Did the 49er defense make an adjustment on the fly to the Chief offense in the Superbowl? No and that's because Mahomes was on a roll and Reid made good halftime adjustments. The Packers defense also won quite a few games for a lackluster offense in 2020 but fans are shortsighted on dwell on the last game. They can't see that overall in 2020 there was a vast improvement defensively. Instead fire everyone and give up on everyone and hard on the bad finish.

Davante Adams was praised in camp but it didn't translate into on field production the first few awesome camps he had. Fans cried trade him or cut him and nicknamed him drop adams. Now we have another Adams who is crushing it in training camp but the production hasn't translated onto the field. Maybe fans should relax and see if the coaches are right again.

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PhantomII's picture

May 26, 2020 at 12:50 am

Thanks Gill, Yea, it seems like I heard a commentary when he was with his mentor in NY. Ryan grew up with his dads influence so everything was second nature and his mind was ahead of Pettine's when explaining defensive changes. They did hire a defense coach who has DC experience in case things don't improve. One thing about a thorough butt beating like that. Everyone knows what you need to fix...OLB holding the edge....More DL on the DL. Another ILB on the field. Plug your hole, wrap up and tackle.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm

I think Pettine believes Martinez was not well equipped to be the ILB in order to stop the run for the defense. We will see if Kirksey can do any better, assuming he stays healthy.

As for Montravius, this is a do or die season for his career. If he doesn't step up, he's unlikely to be a Packer going forward and will struggle to find himself on any team's roster. Thanks for the comment.

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:17 pm

To me it just seemed that the DL was shooting the gaps too often and the opposing OL was taking advantage of it.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm

In the 49ers game or all season?

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PeteK's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:45 pm

All season. I would slow down a good running play against us and found players slanting the gaps .

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 23, 2020 at 05:06 pm

What is he supposed to say? My guys suck and I want different guys?

He's owning the problem on the coaching end. It's a fine start and still better tham McCarthy disowning that his systems time had passed with continous hogwash about pad level and etc.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:40 pm

He has identified and acknowledged the problem, now he has to find a way to solve it and obviously with the guys he has. He is obviously encouraged by Kirksey, who he coached in Cleveland and views him as an upgrade in his system over Martinez.

Now he has to get the job done. Thanks for commenting.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:31 pm

He wasn't fired but I would say if there isn't a noticeable improvement this season, things might be different. Remember, Pettine was brought in my McCarthy, not by LaFleur.

Obviously, Pettine believes in his system. He's right when he said few teams can run like the 49ers did, but he failed to adjust in that game and the first 49ers game as well. We'll see if this year's team improves against SF in particular and overall. Thanks for the comment.

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fordguy's picture

May 24, 2020 at 04:10 pm

Do you think it's a leadership problem that after the 49rs game that Z Smith was saying he had players hitting him so he could get fired up? To me it seems like the team was more focused on getting along with each other instead of playing like a junkyard dog.

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greengold's picture

May 23, 2020 at 02:03 pm

I like it and can get on board with what he is saying. Seems there is so much negativity directed at Pettine, but, the guy really missed having quality ILB play. Blake Martinez was not the player we needed, and I can't figure out how they stuck with him as long as they did. He was small, slow, lacked real instincts to stuff plays before they were already won, and was abysmal in coverage. I admired his willingness to learn in film study, and to conduct himself as a true professional, but he had major shortcomings at the position. Our middle D suffered greatly as a result.

Granted, Lowry, Lancaster and Adams did him no favors last season with equally dismal play. I can see where Keke having further developed will help, as will the additions of Willis and Hester in upping the competition on our DL.

I'm also encouraged with the additions of Christian Kirksey and Kamal Martin. Both of those players are better for Pettine's system. They have size, speed, instincts, coverage skills and make the hustle plays that we haven't seen at ILB in years: TFL, FF, FR, INTs, sacks, PD.

While Gutekunst really stuffed his kitchen with talent the past two seasons, ILB was a cupboard that was left pretty bare, as was DL. Every good defense has great ILB play, and maulers up front. Yet, Pettine takes a good amount of bashing from many fans. Burks, Goodson and Martinez really stunk up the joint, as did Lowry, Lancaster and Adams. Better play from both areas of this defense will not only help, but could take this defense to the top... we'll have to see, but if they can get run stop figured out, the Packers are already very sound against the pass. Please don't jump all over that statement, but, if they do get run D fixed... how good can this defense be? If they have 2 ILBs who can provide coverage as well as the ability to shut down the run? Wow. Could be far better than many of us might think.

Also, I don't think Gutekunst is finished adding personnel on our DL. The play of anyone not named Clark or Keke on our DL was a real indictment of poor play nearly the entire 2019 season. The Packers were gashed readily and often last year. We'll see if Lowry and Lancaster improve. If they don't, I have zero doubts they will be shown the door, right behind Adams. Gutekunst still has additions he can make after roster cuts to 53 and via trade, and he's pretty much shown himself adept at using every avenue at his disposal to make his team better.

Have to give Pettine his chance to develop the players he has. This will be year 3 for him, and his first was pretty much devoid of talent. He's changed out some of his coaching staff as well, and I'm willing to give him a break and see how they do this season. Just hoping for the best.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 23, 2020 at 06:21 pm

Really nice sum up of Pettine and his defense greengold. Only add that will be Pettine's third year as DC. (If we have a season)

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

The defense did improve last year under Pettine because of an influx of talent via free agency and the draft. Hopefully, Kirksey is a better fit in Pettine's system than Martinez was. I think they stuck with Martinez last year because they really didn't have any realistic alternatives on the roster.

We shall see if the DL play improves in 2020 and how the defense responds overall. We shall see what Pettine and Gute do with this defense this year. Thanks for the comment.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:22 pm

The D-line was the core of the problem. Only Clark was a legitimate starter and opposing teams knew to double-team him 75% of the time. Meanwhile Lowry did not play to his new contract. Too often he was stood-up at the line of scrimmage - only catching the wake of passing running backs. While Lancaster, for a player of his physical attributes, was a relatively easy block. And Adams should be heading any Bust Lists that may be out there. One of the results of the sub-standard line play, was that it often exposed the ILB to uncontested blockers. For this I have partial sympathy for Blake Martinez.

Now Pettine (and management) will be loathe to call-out specific players - so he circumvented it with coach speak. Do I expect that there will some some changes to his defensive schemes? Yes. However I expect that there will be more changes to personnel - as Packers attempt to upgrade the talent and chemistry on the D-line and ILB.

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greengold's picture

May 23, 2020 at 03:11 pm

Totally, totally agree. Very well said.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 03:21 pm

Thank you but I was just following on your previous comments.

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Lare's picture

May 23, 2020 at 03:27 pm

"One of the results of the sub-standard line play, was that it often exposed the ILB to uncontested blockers."

It also put your DB's at a greater risk of injury trying to tackle running backs barreling at them with a full head of steam.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Without question, Lare. There is a ripple effect.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm

The defensive line play certainly needs to improve and they didn't bring in much in the way of new talent in this area during the offseason. Lancaster, Adams and Lowry did not live up to expectations. Getting the lineman not named Kenny Clark to play better is a key to defensive improvement. Thanks for the comment.

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Lphill's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:20 pm

Burks will be the starter , this one inside linebacker scheme with a safety is ridiculous, when Hawk and Bishop played together that was a great tandem, forget about stopping the pass , everyone knows to run on the Packers. Pettine doesn’t have the players he needs to stop it.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:51 pm

I cringed a little bit upon your mention of Burks as a starter (but knowing it could be a reality). He seems fine going from sideline-to-sideline and transitioning into coverage. It's when he's engaged by offensive blockers that's he's neutralized (attachment issues?). For Burks to be effective, he'll need to kept relatively 'clean' - which is the responsibility of the D-Line. So it's an If and Then conditional statement. If the D-line can protect the ILBs - Then the ILBs can perform to their job descriptions. But it's a BIG IF.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 23, 2020 at 06:23 pm

So our Dline sucks and our interior linebackers sucked. Hard to believe we held half our opponents to 16 or less.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:19 pm

No - 2/3rds of the D-line sucked ,and, I gave out a sympathy grade to our ILBs - who received minimal support and protection from the D-line.

As for the Packers (under 16 pts. allowed) record - it was against the Bears (twice), Vikings(twice), Broncos, Panthers, Giants and Redskins. Hardly upper echelon teams.

Had the Packers been able to hold their opponents to 16 or less during the playoffs - we might have won the Super Bowl! At the very least the Packers would have been in the Super Bowl game.

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:40 pm

Some of those teams were very competitive.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 08:29 pm

The combined W-L records of those teams were 37-59. Not at the same level of the upper tier and playoff teams.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:00 pm

On defense, each part affects the performance of the other parts, that is true. If the D-line play picks up, the ILBs and secondary will have an easier time. Burks is speedy but not heavy so yes, having him "clean" will help his performance. Fingers crossed.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 23, 2020 at 05:32 pm

Kirksey will be the starter.

Burks will play packages if he even makes the team. Perhaps Burks really was hurt last year.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 23, 2020 at 10:02 pm

What are the 3 certainties of life? Death, taxes and Burks being hurt every year?

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Burks will probably be the favorite to start at the other ILB position, but he'll have to earn it. He has looked good in preseason both years he's been with the team but he's been unable to stay healthy either year. Last year, he couldn't get on the field even when he did return. Hoping he comes through and isn't considered a bust.

As for Hawk and Bishop, yes ,there were much better at stopping the run, but that was also a different defensive system. Thanks for the comment, Lphill.

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Lare's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:23 pm

By size, the DL on the Packers roster are;

Clark- 314 lbs
Lancaster- 313 lbs
Adams- 304 lbs
Hester- 304 lbs
Willis- 300 lbs
Lowry- 296 lbs
Keke- 288 lbs
Previlon- 287 lbs
Garvin- 250 lbs

Put two or three of them up against five OL that are 320-330 lbs, who do you think is going to win?

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jlc1's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:59 pm

Don't know what SF's DL weighs in at but given how fast they are, at least against GB, my guess is they are not heavy either. But they get the job done so while the idea of the Pack line being small is useful it is incomplete I think.

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stockholder's picture

May 23, 2020 at 06:52 pm

Reggie White was 6' 5". 300 lbs . DE! These guys just aren't in that same category.

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Since91's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:10 pm

The loaded and large D Line of
White
Jones
Brown
Dotson
Did not fare to well against the smaller quicker Broncos

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 04:34 pm

I'm worried where the 150 tkls will come from and Kirksey's injury history. However, we have some new bodies and hopefully improved play from Gary and Keke. Gary has the physical ability to be that disruptive force at DE. The other hope is that we can control the clock more with Dillon and Sternberger/Dequara blocking. A tackling dummy can at least trip somebody up which is better than Graham blocking.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:05 pm

Kirksey staying healthy will be a big key for this season because of the lack of proven depth at the ILB position. As for the blocking from the TE and H-back positions, it should be an upgrade over Graham's contributions last year, no doubt. Thanks for the comment, PeteK.

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nostradanus's picture

May 23, 2020 at 05:28 pm

This is the third year in Mike Pettine’s defensive system. The Packers have a lot of talented young vets, However as we have all talked about at nauseam the failure of the Packers general manager to value inside linebackers and true run stopping defensive lineman is going to end up with the same general result.

Pettine’s defense has been pretty good against the pass and disrupting the quarterback with an aggressive pass rush scheme. Also the turnovers were up last year and I would think that trend would continue as Alexander and savage continue to mature.

I don’t think the run defense under Mike Pettine will ever be great but it definitely can improve and I think they can and will have a top 10 defense this year!

Go Pack!

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flackcatcher's picture

May 23, 2020 at 06:32 pm

Maybe the Packers should be feeding their DL more snacks... (Get it SNACKS... yeah exiting stage left....:-)

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PeteK's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:46 pm

We have one already, Adams LOL

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:08 pm

In Pettine's model, stopping the run is secondary to stopping the pass and there is no doubt that is correct more often than not. The Packers defense didn't face a lot of elite QBs last year, this year we will see more. Pressuring them is going to be a key to defensive success. Would love to see a top 10 defense this year. I think we'll have a great season if the D is even top 15. Thanks for commenting, as always.

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stockholder's picture

May 23, 2020 at 06:46 pm

No, The Run defense can't be fixed with it's current players. Big and fast at both ends must happen. And I believe If this defense doesn't get more from Lowrey and Ke KE. Pettine will be leaving. Clark is the model player for this defense. Speed wins in the NFL. And matching the Des with Clark hasn't happened. So how can we get speed on the corners? Find somebody else.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:15 pm

Who do you have in mind, Stockholder, at least who is reasonably available and can fit under the cap? Thanks for commenting.

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stockholder's picture

May 24, 2020 at 02:24 pm

Watch Clark . He's faster then Raji. Replace Lowrey with Clarke. I believe Lowrey should be on the other side anyways. (where he played in college. ) Need is a Nt @ 350 lbs. We need another Grave Digger. If were playing 3 up front they should be Nts. Not guys who are 280-290 and more suited for a 4 front. Currently : their just to slow and will get slower with weight and age. IMO Clarke can be just as good as Reggie White. And he was 6'5" 300 lbs. @de. So if Dareus is available after his concussion. He would be a great sign on a prove it. Think Clark, Dareus Nt, and Hester.

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Rudedawg67's picture

May 23, 2020 at 09:21 pm

Pettine knows the Packer run defense needs to improve. Tell us something that we don’t know. Besides just personnel changes maybe a little change in defensive philosophy and scheming would help.

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gkarl's picture

May 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

The run D may improve a little but don't expect much change in personnel or scheme from Pettine. Nothing in this interview leads me to believe much has changed, Pettine is still committed to stopping the pass as a priority.

Nothing from the FO drafting or FA shows it is making stopping the run a priority either. The priority for the front 6 or 7 is getting pressure on the QB.

I think the best we can expect is a middle of the pack run defense and hope that will get the job done. Anything else right now is just lip service.

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Cheesey51's picture

May 23, 2020 at 07:57 pm

They won 14 games last year!!! GB had there hat handed to them in all the losses.
So yes the run defense is a problem.
The free agent pickup of ILB "Kirko" and the increase in snaps with Gary & Keke will make this is better team against the run. The above mentioned are skilled fast players. Smart too. MP and his staff are in it to win the SB.

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PhantomII's picture

May 23, 2020 at 09:50 pm

We won a lot of games because most teams are throwing it 70% of the time and our OLB's are coming downhill at them hard and Pettine is flooding the secondary w/ 6 DB's. Everyone who tries runs on us some. The teams like SF that run it 70% of the time or 95% against us and do it well hurt us the most. Seattle had 3 starting RB's out when we played them. No sure thing we win it if they are better manned in that game. They gave SF a hard time. Pettine's run heavy scheme needs to go to 1-NT, 2-DT's , 2-OLB/ DE's and 2-ILB, 4-DB's. We need 1-NT and 1-DT stat.

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greengold's picture

May 24, 2020 at 09:02 am

I’m super high on Martin in this defense. Frankly, I don’t see Oren Burks making this Packers team this year. Martin and Summers will stick, along with Kirksey. If you really look closely to highlights, Kamal Martin and Cory Lattimore have very similar games/profiles. Lattimore got better than $14M/year? Myself, I cannot wait to see Martin play in this Packers D.

Agree on Keke and I think he’s going to be special this year. He reminds me of Santana Dotson.

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:10 pm

You definitely described the ideal situation, Cheesey51. I hope we come close to that. My biggest fear is what happens if Kirksey is injured this year. There isn't much proven depth at the ILB position. Thanks for commenting.

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greengold's picture

May 28, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Yeah, I'm not the least bit worried with Ty Summers on board. That guy is going to either start, or provide quality depth at ILB. He's a super talent, and heavily under the radar. I can't figure out how he gets no consideration amongst Packers fans. He had his worst game against the Ravens in preseason last year, got a lot of shit for it, but wound up the best ILB in all of NFL in preseason play when it was all said and done. I've seen comments pointing to the flaws that were bared, but, he was a rookie. I think this year he will show well in competition for a starting position at ILB.

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Spock's picture

May 24, 2020 at 09:08 am

I've been taping the re-runs (runs, hey) of the teams the Packers played a while back and last night decided to look at the 1999 playoff game of the Packers Vs. 49ers. The Packer defense included: Santana Dotson, Gilbert Brown, Reggie White, Leroy Butler, Darren Sharper, etc. I've only watched most of the first half before going to bed but it was interesting to see Garrison Hearst averaging 7.8 (!) yards per carry on these guys. Fritz Shurmer was the D coordinator for that game. Hearst looked a lot like the SF dude bursting thru the secondary last year. I've got to say it was fun to watch how much Brett Favre was using Dorsey Levens in both the run and pass game. Ah, the good old days. (Sigh.)

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GilMartin's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:12 pm

Great memories, Spock, no doubt. That was a very good defense. Thanks for sharing.

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