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Trgovac - Unsung Hero

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Trgovac - Unsung Hero

Great point by commenter 'DanTX' in the last post.

As long as we’re praising, I think a guy that’s been instrumental to the recent defensive success isn’t even on the field. Mike Trgovac is a quality head coach. He doesn’t get Capers’ headlines, but he’s a guy that was brought in last year with the “ctrl+alt+delete” that no one seems to talk about. Jolly is playing better, Jenkins is Jenkins, and Pickett is holding the line. Kudos to Trgo.

He's absolutely correct. (Though it should be noted Trgovac has never been a head coach - though I think Dan may mean defensive coordinator, which Trgovac was in Carolina) And I would add that you're starting to see improvement from B.J. Raji as well, who has only begun to scratch the surface of his capability. Of course, some of that is due to his getting healthy, but every week you can pick out a play or two where you can really see him doing the little things right - and that's coaching. A good example is from the Tampa game - where he unfortunatley ended up getting a facemask penalty called on himself - but from the snap up until that point he is textbook in his shedding of blocks and locating the football. That's good coaching.

There's also a play against Dallas that I hope to have a clip of to play sometime tonight of a play Raji made last Sunday where he bursts through the line and runs down Tashard Choice from the backside of the play. It was an incredibly athletic play for such a big guy and I think it helps show how the burst that was missing at the beginning of the year is definitely on the way back.

The emergence of the defensive line is a big, big story. Yes, it helps that they're relatively healthy. But Jolly in particular is just another player this year and I think a large part of that is coaching. Yes, he's in a contract year - that definitely  explains the hustle and intensity - but he's never been the world's greatest technician and he has been nothing short of a revelation even while having to play a ridiculous amount of snaps.

One other very impressive aspect of the job Trgovac is doing is knowing how much grunt work is involved on the defensive line in the 3-4. Yes, it's a one gap system that allows them to shoot through on some occasions and make some plays, but for a lot of the time these guys are tying up blockers to let the linebackers and even defensive backs make plays in the backfield. Yes, you've heard Jenkins gripe a little bit - I'm surprised there hasn't been more of that to be honest with you, and that speaks well to what they're being sold by their position coach.

Because the defensive line is obviously buying.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RockinRodgers's picture

The D-line has been pretty good this year, much better than last year.

Speaking of Jolly. Do the Packers re-sign him or let him walk?

PackersRS's picture

Yeah, I've mentioned it over at that Trgovac has been the one constant good thing about our team. The DL has improved considerably since last year, and thus the run stop has been revamped.
However, we're not getting a lot of pass rush from our Dlinemen, specially on 3rd downs. I think that's one area that they should focus a little more.
But I get it. Their #1 goal was to stop the run. And in the new 3-4, the DL #1 goal was to be gap-sure. They've achieved it with a lot of consistance. Now it's time to work on the gap-penetration. (I'm talking about football here...)

Holly's picture

One of the best additions the Packers made this offseason. Especially in run defense, the line is far and away better.

alfredomartinez's picture

my fav play from that game was when Barber runs to the left and breaks away from Jenkins, and i think Al Harris tried to make a stop, when all of the sudden you see Jenkins coming from the back field springting and making the tackle to knock Barber out of bounds. He must have had ran about 7 yards upfield after failing to take him down initially, but it showed me the dedication from such a big player, to finish up his assignment. i think that all took place in the 3rd quarter...i dunno i was pretty faded by then...GOPACK!!

Packnic's picture

My current theory is this: Dom Capers came in and saw that we were 26th in the league in rush defense. Promptly said "this shan't stand!" and geared the team toward focusing on stopping the run. Maybe neglecting the blitz schemes and frustrating lineman in the process. It all starts with the Dline, now that they feel like they have got to #4 against the run, they can start developing the other skills that the 3-4 brings. This particular theory excites me to no end, because it means we will only get better as the season progresses.

bomdad's picture

I stand by my prediction that Cullen will resemble Richard Seymour. Pretty soon teams will start to help on CM3 and the sacks will pick up.
All the "misfit" talk revolved around Kampman before the season and still does. Here's hoping that AK comes around, like Hawk is starting to, and makes plays instead of just being assignment sure. Maybe he will just be the slowest learner of the 3-4.

Ron La Canne's picture

Alfredo, me too! That play showed me a hustle that was completely absent last year. That comes for coaching.
With the cap money available I think it's time to lock up some players before the insanity of the no cap season coming up. It probably is unrealist because the agents are not likely to be magnanimous in the up coming off-season. I can dream can't I? Safety, Dline, and Corner should be priority. I don't think there is anyone on the O line FA's that couldn't be replaced easily.
The improved Dline is directly related to Coach Trgovac. As Raji's ankle improves we can expect an even more active and dominant force up front. And once the LB's start getting fully involved in the D it will only get better.
Note: Offense and ST's - it's your turn to join the march.

Dilligaff's picture

Next year off season will be interesting. With Johnny Jolly and Pickett both free agents combined with Kampman who also is free. I like Johnny Jolly but I am concerned that his play will slack off if he gets a big new contract and his legal problems are solved. He is playing for his life right now with a contract coming due and legal problems. Its just a concern, hate to bring it up, but its a concern of mine.

PackersRS's picture

Dilligaff: Def. a concern, and something to think about, but the way he's playing DESERVES a raise. Cut Poppinga and Harrel, and you got the money.
My real concern is Pickett. He doesn't show but he's vital to our defense, and he'll likely not be signed, since we have Raji. But what if Raji can't work it out, as it happened with Corey Williams and Justin Harrell? Then it's a nightmare...
BTW, is Jarius Wynn hurt, or he hasn't made much of an impact? He played very well at preseason, and was hoping he could become an important rotation player in the future, to say the least...

Ron La Canne's picture

Well looks like a little more cap money available. Brian Brohm signs with Buffalo. GB offered to move him off PS to regular roster and he said no.
Wynn was hurt but should be ok now. Thompson and Wynn just haven't been used very much.

Sparkyo, aka Yogamon on Twitter's picture

Ron, since Brohm wasn't actually on the regular roster and will be replaced on the PS by the new QB, the net effect on the salary cap is $0. Or perhaps you're talking about the idea of bringing him onto the 53, which would have been for the league minimum salary as GB chose not to match the Buffalo's bonus offer? In that case we're probably talking about $200K out of a team pool of $125M; that's essentially meaningless in terms of the cap although my figures may be off somewhat I hope you'll get my point.

ZeroTolerance's picture

The coaching staff has definately not lost the team.

nerdmann's picture

The defensive line looks F'n awesome. Nice turn around from last year.
If the offensive line can turn around as well as that, we'll be in the Superbowl next year.

DanTX's picture

Appreciate the street cred, Aaron. Always a fan of a coach that's unassuming and getting the job done when others get the recognition (one of my FF team names is Trgovac's Spellcheck). As for the O-line coaching capabilities, to quote Office Space, I'm sure that one will "just work itself out."

bucky's picture

Not to take credit away from Trgovac, who has done an excellent job, but one significant reason for the improvement in the Packers' D line this season is the return of Cullen Jenkins. He was off to an excellent start last season before his injury, and what he provided could not be replaced by his backups.

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