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What Has Happened To the Screen Game?

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What Has Happened To the Screen Game?

One thing (ok, more than one, but one for this post) has been bothering me lately about the Packers' offense. Actually, I think Corey touched on it on a podcast a few weeks ago, and it surfaced again this past Sunday against the Rams.

What the hell has happened to the Packers' screen game?

Once a joy to behold, from the masterful Holmgren days to the just plain quite-effective Sherman tenure, the Packers running a screen play has become a cause to hold your breath and pray nothing goes wrong. Both in design and call-timing, McCarthy is having serious problems getting the play to be a productive part of the offense. The biggest culprit, in my mind, is how horrible the interior line is when asked to block in space. However, the culprit on Sunday was Chad Clifton not even coming close to holding his block on Brandon Chillar, who diagnosed the screen before it had any chance to develop and smacked Grant almost directly after he received the pass from Favre. Look at the :26 mark of the highlight video from Sunday's game, and you'll see Clifton wiff badly on Chillar, a truly awful block. It's a great look at the importance of every single player needing to do his job to make each offensive play work. On their screen plays, it seems someone is always a step off, or a beat behind, and it's something Coach McCarthy needs to address.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (2) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

packerhigh's picture

Weeks ago I had asked a question during the Mike Macarthy Show (e-mail)about Ryan Grant catching passes out of the backfield. Ryan was very new to his role at that time. My point was that Ryan looks like Dorsey Levens, but the Packers don't use the screen effectively as in the past. This also speaks to the one dimensional nature of the Packer running game. In the past the Packers could and would always use running backs (HB,FB) in the passing game. I even remember Dorsey catching a pass in the endzone for a TD. Maybe the line can only protect and run block. Screening is just too much for them at this time. When the Packers are in the Superbowl they can surprise the AFC champ with a screen twist to the offense.

PackSmack's picture

Ya, we know its in the bag of tricks. Let's hope somebody pulls it out pretty soon.

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