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Time For Shields To Toughen Up

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Time For Shields To Toughen Up

Three games into the 2011 season - there has been way, way, way too much of this from Sam Shields:

I mean, that is just pathetic.

I know he was a wide receiver in college. I know he missed valuable time during the offseason due to the lockout, time that would have been spent with coaches going over technique, etc, etc.

You know what it does look like happened this offseason? It looks like Sam Shields had a heart transplant. Or to be more accurate, it looks like he had his heart removed.

Shields is a phenomenal talent. I've written before that the sky is the limit for him in the game of football - but he has to want it.

Yes, he's an amazing athlete. Yes, he has the potential to be one of the best cornerbacks in the game. He also has the potential to be a one year wonder who won a ring, spent way too much unsupervised time down in Miami while the lockout was going on, came back and never really improved and who just coasts through his career depending on his natural ability.

It's really up to Sam - but there have been way too many "attempts" at a tackle like the one shown above from Shields so far this year (According to the guys over at Pro Football Focus, Shields is tied for the league lead in missed tackles with 6)

He needs to stop putting his arms around the ball carrier in a half-assed manner and bend his knees, put his hat across and explode through the offensive player the way he's been taught.

I found it interesting that he had what was by far his best tackle of the season on Sunday against the Bears after getting into an altercation with Bears wide receiver Devin Hester, his friend from the University of Miami.

On a third and long, Matt Forte cut back across the field on a screen pass and seemed to be getting the corner. Shields flew in and took Forte's feet out from under him, after which he popped up and was clearly amped. On the next possession, Shields made a fantastic pass break up on a slant pass on a 4th down play intended for Johnny Knox which essentially ended the game.

Shields needs to play with that fire all the time - not just when he's gotten into it with an opposing player. If he can display that kind of intensity down in and down out, he could be a remarkable football player.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (57) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

scott graff's picture

classic, getting coached on how to tackle by a guy who has never tackled anything but a star wars lunch box.

packeraaron's picture

Not since high school, to be accurate.

Love these types of responses. Yes, lets only comment on things we've done in our lives. How devastatingly moronic does that sound? Pauline Kael never made a movie in her life but is considered the greatest movie critic of all time.

Have you ever criticized the President? Any President? You have? HOW could you do that? YOU'VE never been President.

What an asinine point.

Chad Toporski's picture

Funny, apparently Joe Whitt feels the same way as Aaron does... maybe he doesn't know anything either, though...

Matthew's picture

classic, not addressing any points, just offering a cheap, simplistic comment.

packeraaron's picture


scott graff's picture

LOL? jesus, are you a 14 year old girl on instant messenger?

packeraaron's picture

From the guy who responds with "hahahahaha!!!"

PackersRS's picture

Yet still you couldn't answer before to Nagler, when responded to you, could you?

Don't think so.

The thing about trolling, a tough guy in real life doesn't troll. He doesn't have to.

Only the cowards troll. They feel secure behind the screen, like they're getting back to the world for being such a pathetic miserable person.

Everyone knows that after the awkward laughter you cry yourself to sleep.

Tommyboy's picture

This has been Aaron Nagler on "How to kick a guy's ass in 80 words or less."

Idiot Fan's picture

Well, it does help to have previous playing experience when trying to determine whether somebody is lying on the ground having been tackled or still running down the field. I often get those two confused, though I've never played football.

redlights's picture

I hope that Shields "gets it" now.

If not, he is one hammy away from being inactive. That's what happens when you rely on natural ability too long.

scott graff's picture

Poor reference and defense. Pauline Kale was talented and respected among her PEERS, not just a fan of movies. She also didn't tell people how to do their jobs better, just gave her opinion.

packeraaron's picture

Where did I compare myself to Kael? Oh wait. I didn't.

scott graff's picture


bigfog's picture

You're out of your element Donny.

Matthew's picture

and yet you are telling the author hwo to do his job. None of us are correct 100% of the time. Nagler wasn't writing that Shields is some bum or should be benched. He wrote an opinion piece on an opinion blog. But I thought he raised an interesting possibility of how the lock-out could have affected him. With this notion I agree. But heck I could be completely worng and he could just be having a few bad plays. But I like a discussion and I don't think bring the you never played card brings anything to the table

scott graff's picture

what the hell are you talking about? I never told him how to do his "job" I just commented that I found it profoundly funny that a fan blogger was given shields instructions on how to form tackle

scott graff's picture

and the high school football defense is old as hell too, we all know your appleton school didn't make cuts and you didn't get off the bench

packeraaron's picture

What position did I play?

scott graff's picture

tackle and guard

scott graff's picture

you guarded the water and tackled anyone who got near it

packeraaron's picture

Quarterback. Broke my wrist in a tackling drill, funnily enough. ;)

scott graff's picture

starter? what high school?

dougie smooth's picture

Aha, you broke your wrist! So you admit you're a terrible tackler. STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOTBALL!!!

Matthew's picture


- damn good form tackling on that unch box and good strip of the fruit roll-ups. That was a game changing turnover.

- agreed with Shields. For alot pf players (heck for anyone in their early 20s), there is alot of temptation when heading back home with no structure. We probally won't hear about his off-season work...or lack thereof until after the season. But it will be interesting to watch his level of play.

- important i think, that i am not questioning Shields character. Life is a series of events. Some we navigate through succesfully other times we fall short. Just hope that Sam, like all of us, realize that wasted potential and opportunties is a travesty.

(On a somewhat related note)...don't think enough was written on Newhouses work ethic in the off-season. He missed that important off-season between rookie year and year 2. And yet by all acounts he came into camp in superb condition. Irregardless of his play, he won me over on day 1 when i started reading reports about how good he looked physically. Hopefully Shields and other young guys are influenced)

Eric Elstad's picture

This is spot on.

packeraaron's picture

What? How could that be? I've never tackled anything! ;)

scott graff's picture

but the dude in front of you in line at harry potter for telling you star trek is better than star wars

Tommyboy's picture

scott...really...just stop. Seriously, he's got you dead to rights. The notion that he can't critique what is quite possibly the world's most pathetic attempt at tackling because, in your opinion, he hasn't tackle anything, is absurd. It's cool, man. Seriously. I'd buy you a beer right now if we were out. Just chill...

al's picture

Actually keep going because this is quite hilarious.

PackersRS's picture

Yeah... Still waiting for my response. Everyone got one but me... Must be asking his mom for some dinner.

Robert Greenfield's picture

Good points. Shields has been worrying me since the Super Bowl. Yes, he had an interception, but I thought he otherwise had a bad game. On special teams punt protection, he got pushed into Tramon and caused a fumble (this has been happening again this year) and got burned by Wallace for a TD that kept it close. I don't know how good he can be. If on natural ability alone, excellence. Guess I just hope Woodson can help impart the other half onto his game.

Lynn Dickey 12's picture

Scott, the tone and contents of your posts are untrue, childish, and do not match the culture built by the Cheesehead TV community.

I'm sure there's some nice website out there that will very much enjoy your comments. Where that is, I don't know...but we'd all appreciate it if you'd go find it.

You run along now, buh-bye.

PackerBacker's picture

Most try to keep it classy here Scott.

Pizzadoc's picture

+1000 Well said.

Mojo's picture

I heard Shields was the one suggesting they wear pink this weekend.

reboob43's picture

This is hilarious reading these comments. Scott Graff sounds like landuece/[email protected]@bs from the Chicago Bears Yahoo Message Boards.

Jake's picture

Good points in this article, makes sense. Think about last year, Shields was a converted receiver that went undrafted and got a shot with the Packers. He was low on the depth chart, and had to fight for everything he got. He made the most of his opportunity and worked his ass off for it. But he's still a young kid, he won the superbowl in his first year. It's natural he's not going to have quite the same fire after that.

I like Sammy a lot, and I think he'll get it together with Woodson mentoring him and what not. The important thing, I think, is that despite his play prior in the game, after the altercation with Hester, he showed his true colors. Better that than it just disappear entirely after his rookie year.

Cole's picture

If I were shields I wouldn't miss a tackle ever, I'd be too afraid of chuck ripping me a new asshole if I did.

AJKUHN's picture

I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember Sam being pretty physical last year. Hopefully he gets that fire going and lets Wood smack him around a bit. Gotta say, Aaron is spot on this time.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Mr. Nagler, in his article, said, "He needs to stop putting his arms around the ball carrier in a half-assed manner and bend his knees, put his hat across and explode through the offensive player the way he's been taught."

To Mr. graff, this is, for all intents and purposes, an adequate description on how one should tackle an opponent. In our game we tell the men to "come to balance, club up, grab cloth, roll the hips and run the feet." "Hat across and explode" is a quicker way to explain it the lay person, but nevertheless, it makes perfect sense. If you'd care to get in to the minutiae of football I'd be happy to entertain you. Otherwise, Mr. Nagler's description was just fine. Good day to you sir.

packeraaron's picture

How could I forget "come to balance" - love that phrase.

My only question is - was that a Jon Stewart "Good day to you sir" or a John Candy as Dean Andrews Jr in JFK "Good day to you sir"?

asshalo's picture

You know what Shields and Hester were arguing about? Who got more money at Miami.

Seriously though, with Woodson aging, I worry of the future of the corners. Shields is spoiled by a very talented defense and if he doesn't start developing his talent, you can sure bet Thompson will be find someone who will.

Jordan's picture

Spoiled by Hawk's abilities in covering running backs and tightends?

fishandcrane's picture

Perhaps this is where the new practice rules reveal themselves. Making the marginally tough soft.All teams must be struggling with that.

Lynn Dickey 12's picture

What is it now? 11 padded practices during the season? 17 75 minute padded practices + 4 preseason games?

I don't see how players are able to improve their skill sets with this practice regimen unless they are internally motivated to put in extra time on technique and execution.

More important than ever to draft players that are accountable, hard working, and motivated...I think that's probably the definition of "Packer People" we've been looking for.

BubbaOne's picture

Plain and Simple: if pro bowlers Woodson, Collins, Williams, and coach Whitt can't get him to apply himself TT won't be giving him a new contract.

BTW-on a somewhat related topic I liked how AR diplomatically called Finley out for his mental errors. After a 3 TD performance it was a great time to say "yea, and how much better could he be if he really applied himself."

Rich Beckman's picture


So you are a Shields hater too?

Great post btw.

denniseckersly's picture

Buddy from the "U" !!!

Jordan's picture

Shields was a gift from the football gods when TT was "counting on" Pat Lee in 2010.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Point Packer's picture

I just got done eatin a frozen pizza and was going to comment on the sauce, but then remembered that I've never actually made pizza sauce.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Alright, you guys quit playin' grab-ass, I gots somethins ta say...

"He needs to stop putting his arms around the ball carrier in a half-assed manner and bend his knees, put his hat across and explode through the offensive player the way he's been taught."

- That kind of nonsense will draw a 15 yard penalty and possible suspension. What, exactly are you thinking?

"I found it interesting that he had what was by far his best tackle of the season on Sunday against the Bears after getting into an altercation with Bears wide receiver Devin Hester, his friend from the University of Miami."

-When that went down i was wondering if they were buds, I know the boys from "The U" are a tight knit community. I found that skirmish to be quite interesting.

"He also has the potential to be a one year wonder who won a ring, spent way too much unsupervised time down in Miami while the lockout was going on, came back and never really improved and who just coasts through his career depending on his natural ability."

-You forgot to mention his BADASS neck-tat he got in the offseason. I took a pic of it to my guy, getting one next week. But bigger.

But in all seriousness, dude just needs to stick his nose in there and get dirty. This is the Not For Long league, and last years performance by the upstart Shields will soon be a distant memory if he keeps pounding the pooch.


MarkinMadison's picture

WTF. Fitz makes sense. This thread got weird.

You can boil down this whole article to three sentences. 1) Arm tackling is bad. 2) Low effort is bad. 3) Shields has been doing both too much. Roll tape. We're not talking about pro schemes. We're not talking about advanced moves, counter-moves and techniques. We're talking about basic tackling fundamentals. We all were taught the same thing when we were kids. Maybe with a little different phrasing, but whatever. P.O.C. should not even have to weigh in on this. When you look at the tape Nagler put up anyone can see this.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Always make sense, you Earthlings just may not always comprehend.

PackersRS's picture

Forehead tattoo is said to be the new rage.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Dude, I was gonna surprise everyone with a pic, but you ruined it. I am indeed getting it on the forehead.

DAWG's picture

I think MM made reference to the poor tackling around the league dew to the lockout. I agree, time to clean this up.

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