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Smokey
  • Smokey
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
2020-05-24T22:38:32Z
At this point in time, the next starting Defensive lineup looks like this.

DE - Dean Lowry
NT - Kenny Clark
DE - Tyler Lancaster
LOLB - Preston Smith
LILB - Oren Burks
RILB - Christian Kirksey
ROLB - ZaDarius Smith
LCB - Jaire Alexander
SS - Darnell Savage
FS - Adrian Amos
RCB - Kevin King

Blake Martinez is gone, but Christian Kirksey has arrived. GB may field the best Secondary in the NFL in 2020. Stopping the run will certainly get greater attention, and with 3 months before the season begins, anything from trades to injuries to FA acquisitions to players simply being dropped is possible. Backups might step up and replace starters.

DC Mike Pettine and rest of the entire world knows how the 49ers ran the football against the Packers in the NFC Championship game. He has acknowledged the defensive failure and has said that stopping the run better will be addressed. IMO, it's never fair to place an otherwise great seasons work against a single game. SF did their homework for GB and they won as a result of it. The Packers added an ILB, a Safety, and a DE in the recent 2020 NFL Draft. Good team depth is not a media story, but does pay dividends down the road.

Playing experience too is important. Most of last seasons defensive starters are expected to return in 2020. The value of their experience working together can't be assessed. In addition, Kirksey played for Pettine in Cleveland and will already know his defensive system.

i see GB's Defense being as good or better than 2019. Perhaps more focused on stopping the run as the Secondary delivers solid play. Sacks could go up a little if Rashan Gary is utilized as an inside blitzer on plays where passing is nearly certain.

beast
2020-05-25T02:16:50Z
Starts with my normal pet peeve of how "When the NFL uses 4-3/3-4 depth charts currently, they're actually lying to us" rant... in reality every team is basically a 4-2-5 at this point. (Made it a spoiler, for those that are tired of reading it and don't want to see it explained again)



Beast's guess at how they actually play
OLB - ZaDarius Smith
DT - Kenny Clark
NT - Dean Lowry/Tyler Lancaster (Z. Smith/Gary/Keke on 3rd downs)
LOLB - Preston Smith/Rashan Gary

ILB - Christian Kirksey
ILB - Raven Greene / Oren Burks

LCB - Jaire Alexander
SS - Adrian Amos
FS - Darnell Savage
RCB - Kevin King
Nickel - Chandon Sullivan/ Josh Jackson

Packers CBs are a major huge question mark outside of Alexander... King at times was great, at other times he was absolutely horrible, but always inconsistent (both good and bad).

Last year the Packers surprised me and ran a TON of zone coverage, and I'd love to hear Pettine explain why (at least behind the senses real reason), as I'm pretty sure on average, the Packers DB would do better in man coverage than zone coverage... but there are potentially some very good reasons as to why you might do it... such as you don't trust your CBs (outside of Alexander) to hold up in zone coverage, as you can't help them out nearly as much in man. To give the pass rush extra time to get there, as with zone it can talk a bit extra time for a receiver or young QB to find the hole, and we did play against some non-veteran QBs... and zone allows the play caller to play mental games with the QBs, which Pettine usually one especially since we faced a lot of non-veteran QBs.


IF the Packers stay healthy, I expect the defense to be better.... DESPITE having much worse results.
That's right, I think they'll be better... but have a lot worse results. How is this possible? ... I expect the 2020 Packers opponents offenses will be a hell lot better than the 2019 Packers opponents offenses... where the 2020 Packers opponents will give hell to our defenses at times, but the 2019 Packers defense would have fared even worse if it was them.


Why do I think this? In theory, the 2020 opponents QB play should be a hell lot better.

2019 opposing QBs: Had 5 games against guys that started as back-ups... and that's not counting Joe Flacco (with a horrible OL in front of him) and 2 games against the struggling Mitch Trubisky, both of whom, people think will be back-ups this year... so that's 8 games against guys that started as back-ups last year, or might be back-ups this year... and the Packers almost lost a couple of those games despite the horrible QB play from the other team.

Also, the three best QBs, Rivers, Wentz, and Stafford gave us hell...



2020 opposing QBs: Oh look, we get to face the three best opposing QBs from last year in Rivers, Wentz, and Stafford again...and they might not even be in the top 4 opposing QBs this year!




My prediction is that unless the Packers can dominant an opposing teams OL, the Packers' defense is in for a very rough year, with tons of fans bitching and desire to fire Pettine, BS recalling of the 49ers playoff game for no smart reason, false BS claims that Shanahan/49ers gave the NFL the blue print for beating the Packers defense.

The reality is that the Packers had a surprisingly weak schedule last year (the 6th easiest I believe it was, and the easiest of any team outside the NFC East and the AFC East) and they absolutely did their job of making the absolute most of it, especially on defense... but this year, the Packers look like they're going to be facing a ton of talent veteran QBs and it might be tough to make the playoffs.

Honestly, the Packers defense might be relying on the Packers offense to give them long drives and control the clock, so they can get some breathers (something the Packers offense struggled with last year, hurting the defense a bit, but hopefully that could be the biggest positive change for the Packers defense, meaning they won't get worn out late in games as often... though much better opposing QB play, will probably be the key factor)
Zero2Cool
2020-05-25T03:10:19Z
I'm blindly optimistic about Kirskey (sp?). If he's healthy, it might be a helluva signing.
Smokey
  • Smokey
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
2020-05-25T05:17:17Z
The 2019 regular season showed what the Pettine "defense" could do. Weak schedules, weak QBs, stronger offensive lines, and the list has no end. Dirty or clean, a win is a win!

Pettine has and will use last seasons ups and downs to learn how to get the GB Defense to improve, but he has already moved on toward looking just at the 2020 season. He has the list of needs and will be looking forward for the most part. Division teams will get a review as well as teams they will see again in 2020.

I'm big fan of stopping runners at the line rather than requiring LB/Safety tackling. I miss Gilbert Brown and others that showed the entire league how to play the D-line. I'm encouraged that most of last years defensive starters will be returning. Their team experience will serve GB well in the new season.

I am curious as to who, with the departure of Blake Martinez, who will be the defensive signal caller. On many teams it's usually an ILB or a Safety that calls the "radioed in" defense and then must make adjustments as required. Kirksey is new to GB, but has experience playing for Pettine. Burks, for me, is an unknown with little playing experience. Is Amos the leader or is Savage a natural leader?

As it currently seems to me, many teams 3 interior offensive linemen generally do combat with the 3 opposing interior defensive linemen. The offensive tackles are left to protect the QBs flanks. In addition, a RB/FB/or TE sometimes see blocking duty picking up a blitzing LB/Safety/or CB. Yes CB blitzes are rare, but the do still happen sometimes. Pulling linemen on running plays test the quick reactions of the LB/Safeties. These outside run/screens often jam up slower linemen as the play develops to the left or the right of the line. The 4 LB and 3 down linemen, IMO, serve to deal better with the more pass orientated offenses. SF took advantage of this tendency to beat the Packers with a more run targeted attack in the NFC Championship game. GB failed to adjust to SF's strategy and paid the price. I don't look for a repeat of this in the future.

GB has a long history of having to deal with great runners. From Barry Sanders to Adrian Peterson to Walter Patton on a regular basis to Eric Dickerson and others each season, the Packers have shut down running attacks in the past and will see marked improvement in that area in 2020. I don't believe any one game is a fair test of a coach or a defense. Pettine has taken responsibility for his defense and while long runs can't be 100% eliminated, better containment/tackling will be a new priority tn 2020.
KRK
  • KRK
  • Veteran Member
2020-05-25T05:29:02Z
Beast wrote an excellent analysis on the defense and outlook for next year. I take issue with only one of the assertions
Originally Posted by: beast 

((krk words here)...fans bitching) and )BS recalling of the 49ers playoff game for no smart reason, false BS claims that Shanahan/49ers gave the NFL the blue print for beating the Packers defense.

I am not sure why recalling the 49er games, in conjunction with the ass whooping by teams with strong Offensive Lines is BS. Aren't those relevant? Pettine sure thought so in his interview.

Perhaps I misinterpreted this point. I.e., the fans bitching aspect was targeted at the larger point of the post suggesting that the defense might be better albeit with worse statistical results.
Quote:

The reality is that the Packers had a surprisingly weak schedule last year (the 6th easiest I believe it was, and the easiest of any team outside the NFC East and the AFC East) and they absolutely did their job of making the absolute most of it, especially on defense... but this year, the Packers look like they're going to be facing a ton of talent veteran QBs and it might be tough to make the playoffs.

Great point
Quote:

Honestly, the Packers defense might be relying on the Packers offense to give them long drives and control the clock, so they can get some breathers (something the Packers offense struggled with last year, hurting the defense a bit, but hopefully that could be the biggest positive change for the Packers defense, meaning they won't get worn out late in games as often... though much better opposing QB play, will probably be the key factor)

Fantastic point. Hopefully the second year in the system for all parties, as well as development of an improved running game will help keep the defense fresh.

beast
2020-05-25T06:06:50Z
Originally Posted by: KRK 

Beast wrote an excellent analysis on the defense and outlook for next year. I take issue with only one of the assertionsI am not sure why recalling the 49er games, in conjunction with the ass whooping by teams with strong Offensive Lines is BS. Aren't those relevant? Pettine sure thought so in his interview.


That sounds like it would be both relevant and a great point, as the Packers lost only three games against NFC teams, all with very good OL play, as the Packers defensive strength was their front guys, if teams could handle them, then they were much more likely to handle our defense as a whole, and that most likely will continue to be true in 2020.

My original assertion was about fans being upset with defense and bringing up false connections. The connection in which you are bringing up, of strong OL, certainly is not false.


But as soon as the defense struggles, especially if against the run, I'm expecting the 49ers game to be brought up... even if it has nothing to do with the 49ers or a strong OL.


Originally Posted by: KRK 

Fantastic point. Hopefully the second year in the system for all parties, as well as development of an improved running game will help keep the defense fresh.


Yes and while I didn't love the draft live, the pieces certainly look like they fix this offensive scheme, so LaFleur might have all the pieces he needs to run it properly... though they might not be ready to go right away, but hopefully by mid to late season we'll be hitting on all cylinders.
Smokey
  • Smokey
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
2020-05-26T02:35:30Z
I agree that a bold and successful running attack also affords the defense a proper period of rest. Additionally, it can provide the defensive coaches a better opportunity to improvise any needed adjustments before the "D" must return to the field.

Returning to the original focus of this thread, I believe that better tackling will be a high Packer priority in the 2020 Training Camp. More will be asked of Lowery/Clark/and Lancaster. Their TC will I suspect focus on shedding offensive blocks so they can better stop running plays cold at the line of scrimmage. This focus can also aid in more aggressive pass rushing too. The increased attention to better tackling should additionally, IMO, inspire better tackling from the rest of the defense and the Special Teams as well.

Oh yes, how often we overlook that Special Teams are partly defensive as well. Better tackling can't help but reduce opposition return yardage and possibly produce a few more turnovers. ST's players tend to change from season to season, but mostly they are made up a collection of RBs, TEs, LBs, Ss, CBs and WRs. Any views on the 2019 GB STs or a look ahead will make for interesting reading. Who was GB gunner last season and who might fill that position in 2020?
beast
2020-05-26T04:11:33Z
Smokey your writing is professional writers level quality, seriously I'm a bit jealous, as my writing quality sucks.

Originally Posted by: Smokey 

More will be asked of Lowery/Clark/and Lancaster.


I honestly don't think you can ask that much out of them,

Clark is an underated absolute beast (no pun intended) that plays a shockingly high percentage of snaps for a DT (83.5%+ with an injury during the season), any team simply can't get that much more out of a player ...


While Lowry and Lancaster are good but clearly physical limited. Lancaster is basically maxed out his potential, though he could improve consistence, and Lowry has a little more potential, but he hasn't grown/improved in a while, so it's doubtful he'll get much more out, but consistency could improve.

They'll need Adams and Keke to step up, (which honestly I'm doubting Adams at this point... this is a make or break year for him, and that was before his arrest... he had a lot more potential, it might of been wasted). Keke is slippery, he's an odd mixture, but heck it worked for him...he didn't do much last year, but most rookie DTs don't have much success even when drafted very high.

Plus maybe Gary so that either Gary or Z. Smith can drop in at interior rusher from time to time.

Originally Posted by: Smokey 

Their TC will I suspect focus on shedding offensive blocks so they can better stop running plays cold at the line of scrimmage. This focus can also aid in more aggressive pass rushing too.



For DL, if any and all TC aren't focused on shedding the OL the coaches need to be fired.

And this scheme is largely about aggressive pass rushing as it is.... which is partly why the run defense is so bad. Pettine prioritises stopping opposing passing attacks first, which helps in pass rushing and hurts in run stopping, so the Data can't stop the run, only limited it as they're fighting the other team and their own scheme with stopping the run.

Also Kyle Shanahan said he targeted the edge rushers in the running game, not the DTs.... so this isn't just about the DTs.


I'm very interested in seeing if Pettine has scheme changes, such as more man coverage to free up a Safety or new methods to stop the run. I promise you, fans would absolutely fall in love with Savage flying down to help the run. Absolutely LOVE!

Also note from early, Petite would use 3 DL against teams that were huge running teams, such as Cowboys and 49ers but usually it was just 2 interior guys. But going back to view some of the 49ers game lowlights, it looked like the Packers even tried a 5-1 /5-2 against the 49ers and they still ran it against our edges. Not too much you can do there, other than bench one of the Smith and see if Gary is better against the run, or put a DL on the edge (which they also did with Lowry out there some too).

Pettine knows what he's doing extremely well scheme wise, but might need better execution... and you can't guard against everything, it's pick your poison at times.
Smokey
  • Smokey
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
2020-05-26T06:17:05Z
Even seasoned veterans will tell you that they are open to getting better. From head-fakes, to footwork, to hand placement, defensive linemen are always looking for an edge and so are their coaches. I believe that,"there is always room for improvement".

As for individual players, sometimes they work as a unit rather than as separate entities. Opening wholes for blitzes, or sealing holes on running plays a practiced approach is the ticket. The challenge is what to do should one of the three d-linemen must be relived? Gutekunst has and that is why he's not so bothered with the "i'd have done it different crowd".

I'll be closely observing the ILB positions. With Martinez gone, who will be calling the radioed in defenses and make adjustments as needed?
beast
2020-05-26T06:28:24Z
Everyone is open to getting better, in fact I'm still hoping my NFL career takes off... but there is also reality that you can only expect so much based on what they got to work with.

When anyone needed relived, you out the next guys up in .... simple.

If healthy, Christian Kirksey will be on the radio head set, because why not? The ILB normally does it, while he's new to the team, he's not new to the scheme, and his former teammates have great things to say about his leadership, unless he hates it or some ILBer out plays him, then it's him.
Smokey
  • Smokey
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
2020-05-27T22:06:31Z
I understand that for some the 2019 Packers failed to reach the SB and the SF game is all they can remember. Yes SF did end the GB season, but KC ended SF's season.

Mahomes was not the only factor in that SB. The KC Defense took the field. All teams will review that game before they play the 49ers this season. GB will be no different.
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