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Packers Chat Transcript: Bulaga Allowing Major Pressure

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Packers Chat Transcript: Bulaga Allowing Major Pressure

In place of a Wednesday morning episode of Railbird Central, our regular weekly guest Nathan Jahnke of ProFootballFocus.com joined us to answer questions in a Q&A chat.

There were some great questions and equally fantastic analysis from Jahnke. Check it out, especially the surprising part about the amount of pressure right tackle Bryan Bulaga has allowed this season...

Question from Brian Carriveau

I'll kick things off by asking about James Jones, Nathan. It seems he's played some pretty good football the past couple weeks. What do you think?

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

I think he had a good but not great game this past week. He did have the 2 nice TDs as well as another first down. The problem is he did that on 48 pass routes, which in order to have a great game you need more than just 3 good plays on that many opportunities. Also he is partially to blame for the Rodgers interception. I think why Packers fans are excited about Jones is he is not dropping balls like he used to. Nelson already has 5 drops vs. 3 last year. Driver 2 drops vs. 3 catches. Finley already has 5

Question from Kevin Lamb

What is wrong with Bulaga this year? I was hoping for a Pro Bowl performance out of him this year.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

Bulaga- Not sure what is wrong with him. Last night I tweeted the Packers pressures allowed by linemen. Saturday has allowed 5, Sitton 6, Lang 7, Newhouse 8 and Bulaga 24. A lot of that was vs. the Seahawks, but we're seeing Bulaga play a lot more like he did when he was a rookie compared to his second year.

Question from John

Why does it seem that Dom tends to lose his aggressiveness after he has some calls go against him? For example against the Bears he played alot of man coverage, bump and run. Against the Colts alot of off coverage, zone and they get picked apart when that happens.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

I think in general coaches get too passive when things start to not go there way, including Dom. I think it was mostly right at the end of the game that I was most surprised about the lack of aggressiveness. A lot of times there will be that one play where a team sends a lot of players in a blitz to finish off the game, or at least mix up who brought pressure, but the Packers weren't even doing that. I don't know what his reason for that was though.

Question from Leviticus268

Is the success of Cedric Benson this year from his talents and abilities or is it from solid run blocking? Can Packer fans expect more of the same from Alex Green/James Starks?

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

Benson-I would say it's more the run blocking than Benson. He has consistently been one of the least Elusive backs in the league. He ended up with just a 3.5 rushing average which isn't all that great. I think the Packers can expect the same kind of productivity if not better with Green/Starks, as the run blocking will still be there. Green showed some sparks in this past game.

Question from fipp

What did the stats say about McMillians game? Been really excited by his start so far.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

McMillian-This past game wasn't his best, allowing 2 catches for 47 yards. On the season though he has still played very well. QBs have a rating of 46.4 when targetting McMillian this year.

Question from Leviticus268

Should Chuck Woodson be a full time safety now with the young talent at CB? I think its clear that he has a hard time covering guys. Casey Hayward and Sam Shields have been a lot of fun to watch this year.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

Woodson - I don't think he should. He has actually been better in coverage this year, allowing just 58.3% of passes thrown his way to be caught rather than the 63.1% he was allowing last year. No TDs allowed vs. 1 INT and 2 PDs. If Woodson goes to safety full time, than that means McMillian or Burnett would be off the field full time and they are both playing well.

Question from Leviticus268

Should we be worried that Morgan Burnett will always be confused? I really dont trust the kid.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

Burnett- I think you can trust Burnett over the long term. He did allow two of the Reggie Wayne catches late in the game, but he also made a number of plays earlier on in the pass game. Outside of a missed tackle, there didn't seem to be any big mistakes by Burnett last week.

Question from John

On offense when teams go into the Cover 2 coverage, why not respond with 2 WR's, 2 TE's and 1 RB. Finley is basically a 3rd WR anyways, and you can do multiple looks with that Personell. Also I think DJ Williams deserves to play more. He has great hands and really good speed. I think he could be a good mismatch for defenses. What are your thoughts about that?

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

I think the Packers spend a lot of time in that package already regardless of the defense. I think part of it is they haven't trusted any of the TEs as receivers after Finley. This past game was the first time Williams has ever been targeted more than twice, and he dropped one of the passes. Over the past three years, Crabtree has never had more than 2 targets in a game. I can't say if either player would do better with more targets because they haven't been given the opportunity yet. A lot of what we do at PFF is see that a player was successful on a play, but not as much as to how. We don't have numbers on the site for how fast players are, and the only thing we know about a players hands are about how often they drop the ball. We can only know that information if they are thrown at in the first place, which Williams hasn't so much.

Question from Guest

How do you think Raji missing Sunday's game (if he does indeed miss it) will affect Dom's play calling? Can anyone step in to add consistent pressure up the middle?

Question from Leviticus268

Any thoughts on Mike Neal had this week? I know he hasn't played much but I thought he looked good.

Answer from PFF_NateJahnke

Raji/interior pass rush: It seemed like when he went out vs. the Colts, C.J. Wilson replaced him in the run game, while Worthy/Neal had more snaps pass rushing. Mike Neal looked good with 1 sack, 1 hit and 2 pressures. The Colts interior OL isn't very good, but that is still better than what the Packers have had in the past. Raji had 0 sacks, 0 hits and 3 pressures on the year, so his pass rushing presence won't be missed.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (4) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Denver's picture

Wow, I knew Bulaga was struggling, but 24 pressures in 5 games?? He's got to be hurt or something. And now the Texans are next up.
Gird your loins, #12!

petr's picture

How was James Jones "partially to blame for Rodgers' interception"? The ball was tipped.

NoWayJose's picture

He was right there. He needs to play defense and rip that ball away.

Hell, screw that, he should shove the defender to the ground, tackle him, take offense PI. Whatever it takes to stop an INT.

Bearmeat's picture

Bulaga is hurt. Has to be. I'd bet it similar to Sitton last year. Remember when we were all asking why Sitton is not playing great at this time last year.

I'd bet in February we'll hear how Bulaga was battling knee troubles all year.

And Raji - Dude's got skills. But he's so maddeningly inconsistent. Average DL guy.

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