Run and Stop the Run; Easier Said Than Done

LaFleur hints at changes.

It’s understandable to fall into the perception that pro football has become extremely complex and sophisticated.   But while the terminology and the technical machinery have advanced, it turns out you just can’t change the game of football.  The teams that win most of their games are still the teams that do the basic things better than their opponents. 

Two of the very basics of this brutal, aggressive game are running the ball and stopping the run.  The public, and indeed the people who run the NFL, may have fallen in love with the passing game, but if you can’t run the rock, and stop the other team from doing it, chances are you’re going to lose more games than you win.  Oh, I know there are exceptions.  The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year without a dominant run game.  But they also have a generational talent throwing the ball.  Most other contenders have a good to great running back and a stout run defense.  The 49ers have Christian McCaffery.  The Eagles have D’Andre Swift.  The Cowboys have Tony Pollard.   

Take a quick look at the rushing stats on both sides of the ball for the Packers through their first four games.  Green Bay gave up 122 yards rushing to the Bears, but 59 of those were largely unscripted quarterback scrambles by Justin Fields.  So really, the Pack yielded just 63 yards to intentional rushers.  Green Bay won the game handily.  In week two, the Packers gave up 211 yards rushing to the Falcons, and lost the game.  Week three saw Green Bay hold the Saints to 77 yards on the ground.  They won the game.  In week four they yielded 211 yards rushing to the Lions, and lost. 

It doesn’t take a genius to see the pattern.  Hold down the opponents run game, and your chances of winning increase dramatically.   

On offense the Packers have yet to rush for more than 100 yards in a game, but they have exceeded 90 yards twice, against the Bears and Saints.  They won both.  They ran for less than 90 in the other two games, including a 27 yard stinker against the Lions, and lost both.  For a team that anticipated leaning heavily on its running game, it’s not good when Jordan Love is your leading rusher in terms of yards per attempt. 

So clearly, Green Bay has to run the ball better and stop the run better.  But it is easier said than done.  Against the Lions, the Packers were just physically manhandled.  The Lions looked tougher, stronger.  Is that something that can be corrected?  Or do you have to get different players who are tougher and stronger?  In his press conference on Friday morning, Matt LaFleur said he believes in the former.   

“I think a lot of it can be solved schematically.  I really do.”  he said.  “We’ve got enough players.  I thought there were some displays of really good run defense, and then there were some where you just wanted to take the tape and chuck it against the wall.”  After the game Thursday night a frustrated LaFleur, speaking of his defense, said the team can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result. 

Which is ironic considering it was his decision to retain Joe Barry as his defensive coordinator despite two seasons that failed to meet expectations.  During this mini bye before the Packers play the Raiders on Monday night, LaFleur suggested the whole approach to defense, particularly run defense, may undergo change.  “I think it’s more the philosophy of some of the things that we’re trying to get done” he told the beat writers.  “Especially when we know teams are going to run the ball.” 

On offense, interceptions, sacks and penalties have made it difficult to get into the run game.  “Quite frankly, it gets you out of your game plan before you ever get a chance to get the game plan going” the head coach lamented.  The early down miscues are putting the team in third and long situations so “it looks like you’ve abandoned the run when really you haven’t given yourself a chance to get the run game going.” 

The problems are certainly nothing new.  Running and stopping the run have often been issues during the span of the LaFleur coaching regime, now in its fifth year.  He wants to assure the faithful that the matter is getting a lot of attention.  The coaches are even examining the opponents they have played in order to perhaps pick up some ideas as to how they run the ball and try to stop their opponents from doing it.  “Trust me.  We’re looking at everything.  We’re all in it together” LaFleur explained.   

Considering it’s way too late to pull off any major personnel changes, the Packers will have to figure out how to run and stop the run with the players they have.  The head coach seems certain the talent is there.  Now they must figure out how to use it. 

 

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__________________________

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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NFL Categories: 
9 points
 

Comments (83)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PeteK's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:34 am

Instead of penetrating ,hold up the line and let the LBs do the rest.

3 points
3
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KenEllis's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:07 am

Penetrating?

When did the Packer defensive line last do that on a consistent basis? 2010 maybe, before Cullen Jenkins was sent packing?

This is a read, react, make the tackle to prevent the big play run defense that leads to a lot of tackles 5+ yards past the line of scrimmage by the likes of AJ Hawk, Blake Martinez, and now Quay Walker.

And this approach to playing defense has been for going on 13 years now under 2 different head coaches, 3 different defensive coordinators, and a completely different cast of players - many of whom were taken in round 1.

It is time to maybe accept that the problems when it comes to playing defense in Green Bay start at the very top of the organisation ... just like the consistent problems on Special Teams reflected an organisation-wide neglect of that part of the team for so long.

10 points
10
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TKWorldWide's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:36 am

Can’t argue with much of this, but don’t forget game situations and their influence. When a team trails by more than one score in the second half, they’re going to run less often.
The Peyton Manning Colts were crap against the run, but usually had the lead, so their successful offense was their best run defense.
I remember years ago watching MNF with my dad. The announcer said something like “the Cowboys are 16 and 2 when Dorsett carries 20 times or more”, so I remarked, (brilliantly) “They should just start the game with 20 carries in a row by Dorsett”. My dad was unimpressed.
Wasn’t there an article here on CHTV that said, in the Detroit game, half of the Lions’ rushes were for 2 yards or less, and the other half were for 5 yards or more? (I think it was something similar to that.)
I’m pissed that GB has sucked vs the run, but HOW do they fix it? Smarter guys than me are working on that. So we shall see.
As to rushing offense, I offer this: when 33 is carrying, GB gets more yards than when 28 does. Even if the blocking stays the same.

12 points
12
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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:44 am

What most of this tells me is what we already knew to begin with. Games are won and lost in the trenches. In the Lions game they lost badly in the trenches. In the Bears game they won easily in the trenches.

On offense without Bakhtiari, Jenkins, a hurt Runyan and a hurt Tom, they really struggled against the Lions. Looks like Bakthiari will likely be done for the year. Jenkins hopefully will be back after the bye. Walker has played well overall at LT until the Lions game. He looked like a rookie. Newman is still the weak link. Its time to replace him with Rhyan. If he is worse then put Newman back in. When Jenkins comes back, do they keep him at LG or do they move him to LT? I think that will come down to who is better Walker at LT or Rhyan/Newman at LG.

On defense, some of the biggest issues are schematically. They keep playing 2 DL no matter what the offense does personnel wise. As a coordinator you need to adjust what you are doing to what others are doing to you. And then when the ball was on the 3, the way they were lined up was bad. Allowing a big hole for an easy walk in TD. There are a lot of basic issues that they could do better schematically and use of personnel. One example is on a goal line TD, Hollins was one of the edge players. Sorry but why would they not have Smith, Van Ness and/or Gary out there? Also, can we get Clark over the C more? He is at his best right over the C. Maybe start moving Clark around more. Its going to be harder to double team him, if they don't know where he is located.

5 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:29 am

When they have Clark and Wyatt in their nickel front, they usually have Smith and Gary standing up outside them. If 91 and 52 would put their hand in the dirt, would that change a two man front into a four man front? Or would it change their responsibilities on running plays? I think the bigger problem is shedding blocks and maintaining “gap discipline”.
Or not. Hell, TBH, I don’t know! But I’m not working 90 hour weeks and getting paid millions of dollars to figure it out. All I really know is, this problem has been around for years, and we’re all FED UP!
GPG (and fix the run D)!

7 points
7
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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:39 am

I hear you about not working to solve the problem. But there is a problem and it hasn't changed year after year, no matter how many players are brought in.

It all starts with the scheme. How they attack teams, how they use the players and maximizing their talents. Packers have a ton of talent on defense. So its up to the coaches to get them in the best position to succeed. Also its up to them to mix and match things. Don't tip their hand to what they are going to do.

Its time for a change. Someone to come in with a new philosophy and ideas of how to turn things around.

4 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Same page, brutha. (Hulk Hogan voice)

2 points
2
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Tundraboy's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:14 pm

We're all on board with that! Either they are frozen by indecision or blind. Either way they can not see the obvious, what we all do each week, each year. Let's stop wasting all the talent that's been assembled waiting for them to learn how to use it. Unfortunately that means waiting for Murphy to go most likely.

1 points
1
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Minniman's picture

October 02, 2023 at 01:58 pm

After re-watching the game, and watching "the QB School" youtube channel breakdown of Jordan Love, it was clear that the Lions went with essentially a stretch defensive front to isolate the interior linemen (center and guards) and force them to make assignment choices - it worked a treat - lots of crossers and position shifts made the packers leery of trusting the A-gap opening (lest they meet a defender coming through there at speed).

It was reminiscent of the "Richard Sherman island" strategy from MM from a few years ago - where the Packers were so petrified of throwing to Sherman's side that they ignored it the whole game...... and lost - as the Seahawks cottoned on and loaded up everywhere else.

MLF should be watching the QB school series on Jordan Love - if this dude is picking up the Packers tendencies, then for sure opposing DC's are.

2 points
2
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Rebecca's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:52 am

LaFleur sounds lost. If the coaching and personnel don’t improve who, where and how are they going to come up with a successful scheme? What is “the philosophy of what we’re trying to get done”? No answers. He’s got nothing. Well at least we don’t have to deal with the Diva, right.?

12 points
13
1
dobber's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:57 am

"What is “the philosophy of what we’re trying to get done”?"

Sound-byte coaches' speak.

5 points
5
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Since'61's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:21 am

Cookie! Thanks, Since '61

3 points
4
1
LeotisHarris's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:45 am

"Sound-byte coaches' speak."

LaFleur's dropping "quite frankly" more often, too. I think this is the stage where the remaining most rudimentary phrases give way to a series of grunts and involuntary arm movements. The end is near.

11 points
11
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dobber's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:37 am

We haven't gotten to the "very successful coach" phase, yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jqQsDklQEM

4 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:42 am

truth be told, he was a VERY successful coach. still is.

3 points
5
2
Packers2020's picture

October 02, 2023 at 03:52 pm

The end is not near until Murphy retires. Then changes will be made but until then nothing will change at least in the HC area.

-1 points
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1
Tundraboy's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:17 pm

I'm afraid you are probably right. Sigh.

1 points
1
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:11 am

I really thought he sounded lost in both press conferences. When he admitted they were going to look at how other teams stopped the run, I thought "oh, boy" 4 games in and you don't even have a defensive plan. Isn't looking at what has worked for other teams an off-season activity? It made me think about when McCarthy got the HC job, he came in with a plan of how he would use the existing personnel and be successful.

We need a DC who can do that . . . look at the talent that GB has, figure out how to use their strengths and get after it. If they CAN stop the run some of the time, why can't they do it with more consistency? It's like they have coached them to be soft. Barry started out not caring about stopping the run. Remember that? You don't think that philosophy carries over?

It feels like both the HC and the DC are playing not to lose instead of playing to win. And having the defense they had when Rodgers was QB is not going to work. A young QB needs a strong defense to back him up while he learns.

I understand the team is young and will have ups and downs and I am fine with that. What I'm not fine with is coaches seeming to be lost, particularly on defense. The offensive line I am not as concerned about. You lose 2 pro-bowlers and have a couple of other guys that are hurt and you are likely going to have trouble. Their depth there is not what it has been in the past. But that group isn't stacked with first rounders like the defense is. They're starting a 7th round player at LT. I understand he's not going to play to a high level right now. But the defense? What is up with them?

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:46 pm

“When he admitted they were going to look at how other teams stopped the run.”

That echoed his statement on STs mid year before Drayton ended our season. We just had an off season of continuity:

"It's my intention to try and have everybody back," LaFleur said. "I think continuity is a big part of having success in this league. And when you feel good about the people, you've got to work to improve, and we've got to challenge each other. I think there's going to be a lot of projects that we're going to do in this offseason that maybe we haven't done as good a job of in the past couple of seasons, in studying other teams and the trends throughout the course of the league."

MLF season ending press conference, January this year quoted on the team website.

Now revisit what he just said. Exactly what he said then! Either they didn’t see the run game as an issue or learned nothing. Now they need to repeat it as his solution?

Come on folks, the man is expressly telling you if you listen that they have no clue how to improve or even why they need to. As he said, if he foresaw it it wouldn’t have happened. He’s so far out of his depth it’s painful.

4 points
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2
stockholder's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:59 pm

No clue- Fire Gute.
He drafted them.
MLF did not want to retain Petine.
He wanted to change this defense
when he came here.
He won't because of Gute.
He will stick with Barry until
he's fired.

1 points
2
1
WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

October 02, 2023 at 02:45 pm

Gute didn't hire LaFleur. Gute has drafted some good players. We've seen the talent. We just haven't seen the consistency. Gute isn't the problem. LaFleur hires the coaches; maybe as his boss Murphy has input too. But by the time they hired Barry, all the successful names were gone. I'm surprised they got and kept Biasaccia.

-1 points
1
2
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:30 pm

Pettine told the Packers he wasn’t interested in extending his contract early in his final season. As has been pointed out for the umpteenth time, Gute doesn’t have the authority to hire or fire coaches because Murphy stripped that from the job when he hired him. Facts mean nothing to you.

0 points
0
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stockholder's picture

October 03, 2023 at 07:34 am

The fact was the interviews.
It came out. You can't quote flip flops.

1 points
1
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Tundraboy's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:20 pm

Time for him to hit the motivational speaker circuit!

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:54 am

"The problems are certainly nothing new. Running and stopping the run have often been issues during the span of the LaFleur coaching regime, now in its fifth year."

It's been an issue for about 13 years running (no pun intended), going back to the SB-winning team. There's been a year here or there where they've been competent, but it's nothing sustained.

The other issue going back to Eddie Lacy's rookie year is an unwillingness to stick with offensive playmakers in the run game. It's pointed out above: most offensive playcallers can't help but want to throw the ball. LaF and MM both found themselves in that category...we can save the "common denominator is 12" arguments--they've been beaten to death. Right now, though, this is a team that has a beat up OL and even the starters didn't necessarily have the blocking chops to be a strong run unit, which compounds things even further.

I wouldn't be surprised if--given the injuries and given how the OL got beat up by the Lions--the Packers take the mini-bye and rework their OL alignment. Some have called for Walker or Nijman to play G--that's ridiculous. Neither have any game snaps there, and only minimal practice or camp time there. Why Nijman hasn't been able to get on the field is a question I'd like to see answered: he's not an elite OT, but he's competent and good in the run game, and the movement of Walker ahead of him on the depth chart reminds me of the coaches' conviction in starting Newman and Hanson on the right side last year.

The IOL in general needs a shot in the arm. My initial thought would be to move JRJ back to the left side--where he started and played well when Jenkins blew his ACL--and slide Tom into the RG spot. Yes, LH, he's got a gimpy leg, but if he can practice and play, he can move to a position he's played for the Packers in the past. I'd put Nijman back in the lineup...at this stage he and Walker are at the top of the depth chart. They'd have to figure out who goes on the right and who on the left. Things tidied up for the Packers a little in protection in the second half of the Lions game, but they had TEs chipping/helping on the shoulders on both sides with regularity.

Given what we saw on Thursday, every DC the Packers play from here on will want to challenge the Packers' OL until the Packers show it doesn't work. The Raiders don't present a daunting opponent (especially if Aidan O'Connell is still under C)...and then there's the bye and three more weaklings on the other side of it. This is an opportunity to "get well" after they "got bushwhacked" by the Lions.

11 points
11
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:49 am

IMO, this is one of your best posts since I've been reading them.

5 points
5
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dobber's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:58 am

...and I've been trying so hard to devolve into reactionary nonsense! ;)

Thanks, man.

5 points
5
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TKWorldWide's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Don’t worry, amigo, you can always devolve!

2 points
2
0
mnbadger's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:01 pm

dobber, thank you for your thoughts, spot on.
I want to challenge one thing though, maybe it was just word choice, but "bushwhacked" to me means they were in hiding and attacked from behind or in the dark.
The lions did exactly what everybody knew they would do.
They did exactly what they've done to us the past couple of seasons (since Dan Campbell arrived)
They kicked our tails using their strengths against our weaknesses. Excellent execution.
Vince Lombardiesque if that's a word.
Anybody on the staff that was surprised thus not prepared for detroit's plan should be escorted to the curb, period.
I'm sorry coach, but looking at the tape of previous opponents doesn't help if you have no idea what you're looking at or any clue how to make corrections.
GPG!

3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

October 02, 2023 at 05:21 pm

Need to run a pure 4-3/4-2 with two DTs and two DEs hands-down. For 4-2 looks use Tampa as a guide in selecting ILBs. P.Smith has never really contained the edge on running plays from day one. GAry has the speed to come from the edge and was trained as a DE for Harbaugh. Van Ness has done textbook work as an edge, so he fits as a DE. When you get ground into the turf two games out of four, you never really addressed the problem in the off-season "strategy sessions." The Fans definitely have over-rated the Packer defensive players, regardless of draft status.

-1 points
0
1
Rory P Scrotem's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:55 am

"We are going to review everything!" OK, WELL SAID!

"way too late to pull off any major personnel changes." SAYS WHO!

With regard to that statement, their are two ways you can go. Next coach up would be the Assistant Defensive Coordinator. Or, next coach up could be the Special Teams Coach/Assistant Head Coach.

A change "now" would allow a new step-in coach "from within" to take charge and finish out the year without having to bring in "his guys" as new assistants.

The off-season would allow for review. Retain the coach that stepped in (previous Special Teams coach) and if need be, look for a new Special Teams Coach (because Rich is now DC)...oops, what a give-a-way.

Rich is not a phone call away...just a tap on the shoulder distance away.

Question is...Would all the defensive guys "play for him?" Answer...HELL YES!! ;)

7 points
7
0
dobber's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:11 am

"The off-season would allow for review. Retain the coach that stepped in (previous Special Teams coach) and if need be, look for a new Special Teams Coach (because Rich is now DC)...oops, what a give-a-way."

Bisaccia isn't a defensive coach, and hasn't coached defense since he was an assistant at South Carolina (where he coached DBs), over 30 years ago.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:11 am

Sometimes a Coach who is just a leader can right a ship. However, to do that he would need people under him who can step up within that framework. Who? LaFleur has, by accident or design, essentially packed us with coaches whose record doesn’t scream under promoted.

Perhaps offer Jim Leonard a big payday to consult, give Bissacia the executive role (temporarily) and have Leonard do the thinking. Leonard’s schematic roots are close enough that might work. Best I can come up with.

To be honest, I see as strong a case for getting rid of Butkus/Stenovich—I’d demote Stenovich if he’d take it, but that’s not realistic. The OL needs the thinking we’ve seen in recent years cleansed. Same issue with who replaces them of course (and what Stenovich currently does is unclear).

2 points
2
0
LeotisHarris's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:38 am

I admire Jim Leonhard. I'm uncertain how successful he'll be as an NFL DC. Right now, I think he needs to work a case of the ol' festering resentments out of his soul before he takes on his next challenge. I also think he'd be reluctant to join the Cirque du LaFleur at this point in the tour. The Ringmaster is on a shaky ladder, and crowds are not that excited about the elephants anymore.

6 points
6
0
Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:47 am

Both Barry and Stenovich are executing MLF's vision. This is LaFleur's team, on offense, and defense. Leadership is lacking, a fish, rots from the head.

2 points
2
0
LLCHESTY's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:27 pm

If rather see him take it out on the NFC North, but to each his own.

0 points
0
0
Packers2020's picture

October 02, 2023 at 04:02 pm

So let me get this straight:

You are going to put a ST's Coordinator at D-Coordinator that has shown he can't even get the STs right and playing well? We have had 10 penalties in 4 games on STs, allowed a punt return for a TD, and we have return man that continues to bring the ball out from 8-10 yards in the end zone and lose us 8-10 yards on every kickoff return.

I think Rich has his own issues to deal with......

2 points
2
0
LLCHESTY's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:30 pm

Hey, I think he coached DBs at Bayou Lafayette U in 1993. He should be good to go!

Meanwhile nobody is noticing that the STs is less than stellar?

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:59 am

We have a DT sitting on the PS. We haven’t elevated him. He looked to be a help in the preseason versus the run, but we went into Atlanta and Detroit and played light and still over played Clark and Slaton.

We have been very bad at holding the edge too. Not only have we been porous inside particularly without one of Clark and Slaton, but outside.

Add those two facts up and one has a portrait of poorly thought out Planning and then repeated failing to correct execution.

On O, I don’t know what we’ve done to Nijman or him to Stenovich, but he’s been consistently one of the best Ts in the run game and adequate versus the pass, particularly on the left. Yet we can’t use him.

We all knew going into this season that Runyon was just ok in the run game and that Myers was probably worse. Yet Myers was never challenged. Instead we took our best young guy, drafted to be s center and replaced the one guy compared to whom he’s probably a down grade in the run game.

Walker was a first day prospect for many before his final year. then he had a last year where things seemed to fall apart technically and he got hurt. It’s clear that whatever the reason, that had corrected by the time he played (at RT) I. The last preseason game last year. However, he isn’t the technical freak that Bakh was and Tom is. He needs to increase his power, I think particularly upper body. He was never going to be an upgrade in the run game at this point.

It’s sobering to rewatch games and see the C going backwards or missing a block. Myers sometimes seems averse to contact in the second phase. However, as with the sack last week, the most frequent howler is an opponent just splitting the gap between him and either G.

PFF and Herman ( a Myers apologist) tend to blame the Gs. They tended to blame Jenkins too before he got hurt. Newman is certainly not blame free. Runyon isn’t perfect, but my eyes consistently see the problem being the absence of good blocking from the C both undermining them and also contributing to their limitations.

Rhyan looked better than Newman and Runyon in the run game in the preseason. Maybe that’s deceptive. However, Runyon was playing 95% of last week on a bad ankle that put him in a boot. It’s not obvious that a healthy Rhyan wouldn’t have held up at least as well as a hobbled Runyon.
Then again, if Myers is being pushed back into the run
lane and we aren’t even trying to run (12 carries) and are way behind, perhaps that would not have helped.

So, in the trenches on both sides of the ball we’ve been fighting the already known and repeating the same structural mistakes while stacking the odds against us. That’s continuity of acknowledged failings on D and in personnel handling on O.

When we repeatedly do the same things with similar results, while the players play a part, it’s the product of coaching. That’s an inescapable conclusion. Sometimes the obvious isn’t an illusion. The Packers lack the ability to self diagnose or the leadership and vision to take steps to change direction on both sides of the ball.

We are essentially rerunning the same flaws as before. Injuries may exacerbate and distract but they aren’t the root. These problems precede them. In addition on O, we’ve seen no improvement in technique or play from any OL in 3 years. Tom came in and we haven’t ruined him. Runyon, Myers, Newman have got less good with time.

On both sides we fight against trying available alternatives that could help generally or situationally, such as Ford, Rhyan or Tom to C and Nijman or just more 3 true DL sets . We are probably spared Hanson only due to his injury.

It’s just time to look above the minutiae and see the larger picture, the coaching is broken, ineffective, over cautious and irrational. We keep citing details as baffling. They aren’t, they are what comes from a coaching staff over matched both tactically and in terms of developmental ability.

We have a Head Coach who can’t pick or develop his coaches or face up to their failure. It’s not merely Barry: Butkus, Montgomery and Stenovich are all just no good or promoted to a level where what they are capable at is no longer relevant. Unfortunately they are little mirrors of LaFleur. Until he is gone, this is just going to repeat in a loop of empty words and a lack of ability to change it.

I know that upsets people. It’s not what any of us hoped for. We hoped that a the departure of Rodgers would’ve proved to free up coaches to do better. Well it hadn’t. In fact it’s made almost no difference. I know pundits want to dance around it, saying it without expressly staring the conclusion to attract team ire, but it’s time. This team is a mess on the field and it’s not primarily the players.

4 points
8
4
Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:50 am

While your observations are keen, it is week 4. There's no horses to change to in the middle of this stream. Let's just hope Love emerges intact at the end of the season, and that someone smarter than CTE-addled Mark Murphy makes the next coaching decision.

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:33 am

I have said many times that while Barry is a problem, I don’t see a viable replacement in house or outside. I’ve also said that I see Stenovich/Butkus as just as big a problem.

I wrote in response to Herman’s pod cast that the best hope of improvement this season would come from firing LaFleur and replacing him with Bissacia or a veteran like, for example , Dennis Green, temporarily.

I’m not a huge fan of Green and there are others out there, but he’s a person with a much more assertive concept of expectations and mindset to change the understanding of both coaches and players as to what’s expected what won’t be tolerated. That may include having the knowledge to tell them that they are going to do this or not that this week. Who knows, that may get more out of Barry and co.

The reality is I don’t think Murphy will do that. I do think he should at this point. The LaFleur coaching crew is overmatched and the idea barrel empty.

However, we consciously refused to clear out and improve and are reaping the results of that at every level, well beyond scheme. That’s the time to change things. Sometimes that can turn things just by changing expectations and consequences on and off the field.

Anything lesser probably makes things worse this year, with no upside, though it’s merited. LaFleur is not going to fix this. It’s not in his skill set, we have seen that now. He will just hire more problems.

To get better we have to first move on from LaFleur and clear out his staff. Hopefully the choice this time will not be Murphy’s. Hopefully he really is now sidelined. In reality we are stuck with the continuity we deliberately sought this year. If we are lucky, LaFleur isn’t here next year.

1 points
2
1
Packerpasty's picture

October 02, 2023 at 07:29 pm

nailed it...move on from MLF please...im sure they wont this year but after next I bet they will...I dont see this team getting much better than they are right now, this year or next...especially with this coaching staff intact.

-2 points
0
2
stockholder's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:53 pm

Goldwater didn't nail a thing.
Since 2010 We haven't had the Lbs.
Campbell is out! You got that CW.!!
Hollins is the only guy with enough Speed .
Besides Walker. And I told you guys Last
draft this would Haunt them.
Martinez could tackle but he couldn't get Outside.
Gutey remains dumb as a box of Rocks.
The DL has Wyatt. Clark, And p. smith.
Duh isn't that your 3 front?
And All of a sudden we're seeing Savage tackle.
Was that because Amos is gone?
Van Ess can play just as good as Hockenson.
Put him on the DL. With Gary.
And why have OL back-ups when they won't put them in there.
Everyone knows Newman is a problem and
Humphrey should have been the pick.
Gutey should be fired for not taking Humphrey.

1 points
1
0
mnbadger's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:06 pm

CW, regarding our center.
Missing blocks is very easy to see, if not hard to watch.
What doesn't show up on the screen is the fact that he must be horrible pre-snap getting the line on the same page.
The gaps into our backfield are so wide and plentiful its as if our plan is to create holes for defenders, not rb's IMO.
GPG

3 points
3
0
TxFred's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:06 am

I want to see more violence. Violent tackling, aggressive play. Especially in the trenches. The d & o line do NOT play smash mouth, ass kicking football.
Players need to get into game. Wrong, missed assignments won't cut it. 1st rounder or not. Fundamental tackling and blocking desperately needs to coached & insisted. 1st rounder or not.
Hell, even the teams penalties are passive, indicating lack of focus & detail.

2 points
6
4
Since'61's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:14 am

Run the ball, stop the run. It's one of the oldest mantras or cliches in football at any level. This is a sad commentary that MLF is in his 5th year as an NFL HC and he is just realizing this 4 games into his 5th season. As for Joe Barry, who has been in the league for 20+ years, this gives us some sense as to why he has failed as a DC throughout his career. This is just ridiculous and inexcusable to me that MLF is making these comments at this point about stopping the opponents run game.

Yes it is a pass happy league and yes the Packers have a strong pass rush and good DBs when they are healthy. They usually are good at defending against the pass. However, unless the Packers can stop the run it is not going to matter how well they can stop the pass because teams are going to run the ball against the Packers defense until they prove that they can stop the run.

The Packers need to stop their opponents ground game and force their opponent to play into the defense's strength which is defending the pass. 5 yards per play maybe less than 7 yards per play but any HC with a brain is going to take the 5 yards per play when they know they can get it versus risking passing for 7 yards per play when passing the ball comes with more risks than holding the ball off. When at team passes the ball they risk having the pass batted down by the DL, they risk a tipped ball being picked off by the defense, they risk a drop by the receiver, they risk a pass break up, they risk a straight up pick by the defense, they risk a poorly thrown ball either under or over thrown, they risk a sack of their QB and the lost yardage that comes with sack and they risk a holding penalty trying to protect their QB from the pass rush. All negative outcomes for a pass play.

When a team runs the ball they risk the handoff exchange and they risk a fumble. The large majority of NFL run plays do not usually end with either of those results. The run game is seen as the approach for protecting the ball when a team has a lead and as an approach for protecting their QB from unnecessary hits.
Not to mention that running the ball uses more time on the clock and keeps the other team's offense off the field for a longer period of time.

The flaw in the Packers defensive approach for years has been to stop the pass first and prevent the big play. There is nothing wrong with that approach except that if the defense cannot stop the run game they die by a thousand cuts 5 yards or plus at a time and their defense never gets off the field to get some rest.

When the opposing offense sees only 2 DLs and DBs playing 7+ yards off the LOS they are going to run the ball. Why wouldn't they? It obvious that they are going to pick up 3-5 yards before a defender can even get into position to make a tackle. If that tackle is broken or missed, as is often the case with the Packers, the run play is going to be good for 5 yards or more. Focusing on the pass at the expense of stopping the run is just a poor approach for trying to stop a professional NFL offense. Most importantly it just doesn't work and it hasn't worked for years for the Packers defense. Time to stop the madness.

Thanks, Since '61

13 points
13
0
Fabio's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:10 am

Hi, Since '61
I haven't commented for a long time and I did so to take the right time to get a clearer idea of ​​the situation. And now I have several questions to ask the management.....
1 - We have been spending our first choices in D for many years now and we are still not in the top 10? Whose fault is it? Players who perhaps aren't as good as many say?
Of the coach?
I do not know! I lean towards blaming the coach, but I believe that in the end everything should fall on the management (EVERYTHING!!!) (and in any case I also believe that several players are overrated....)
2 - We passed by AR. Ok I don't want to judge the person (even if I don't agree with some things he did) but I don't see so many players speaking badly about him and maybe this could mean something......
but the most important thing is another: We criticized him so many times for the famous "hero ball", but in the last 2 games I lost the number of times it was thrown!!!!
Now let's be clear.....I absolutely don't blame JL (of whom I'm seeing what I expected from Him and it's a good Q). MLF shouldn't have shown us that dazzling game that was prevented by AR???
Honestly it is a total failure on all aspects.
But this also ultimately falls on the Management!!!
I conclude with a brief reflection: we won against the Bears (they suck), we lost against Atlanta
making them seem like a good team (while the last few games have demonstrated their real value) and in the last two games we already lost at the end of the first half (against NO if Q doesn't get injured we can't think of winning...)
Maybe it's not because our team level is very low??
I greet you. It's always a pleasure to read your comments

3 points
3
0
Since'61's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:55 pm

Hello Fabio! It's always good to hear from you. The Packers are now a very young team. They have many players who need gain experience playing at the NFL level. It is imperative that the coaches provide the teaching and coaching necessary to help the young players learn and prepare to play in the NFL.

The players have talent but so far in 2023 I don't think that the coaches are doing a very good job of preparing the players. As for management, they have hired the coaches and selected the majority of the players.

Ultimately you are correct that management is responsible for the team. I hope to see you post more often.
Stay well. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
1
0
coolhand's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:42 am

And again MLF is "suggesting" they do things different, not demanding. And just like 2 years ago when the ST were a disaster because of his coaching hire, they will now look at what other teams are doing to both run and stop the run. Barry has been in coaching for how long and we need to see what OTHER teams are doing? Another example of a bad coaching hire.

4 points
4
0
Packer_Fan's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:20 am

Lafleur has said they can improve with scheme changes. Yes, you bet.

The play that Lafleur noted was a second and goal at the three yard line. The Packers were in a light front. What was not noticed was the Packers went with light front on first and goal at the eight yard line. After first down the Lions went hurry up and the Packers were mismatched. What went wrong was Barry going light inside the 10 yard line.

That's not scheme. It is bad coaching. Bad play calling.

And Lafleur was bad too. The Lions went single safety deep, daring the Packers to throw deep. But the Packers didn't have the protection to throw deep. And the announcers even noticed that the Packers needed to roll out Love to give him more time.

That is a knock against Lafleur that he is slow to adjust quickly in games. Heis aggressive on fourth down, but slow to adjust.

And the Lions were much more creative in their play calling.

Sure, the players played poorly. But the coaching stunk more

15 points
15
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 08:42 am

Hell, call a TO if you must in that situation. Just don’t let the obvious mismatch be forced on you even though you invited it.

6 points
6
0
Since'61's picture

October 02, 2023 at 01:01 pm

Exactly Coldworld. These continuing coaching failures are inexcusable at the professional level. Do they even know what they're doing? But it's allowed to go on and on, game after game after game after season after season. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

October 02, 2023 at 05:39 pm

"put in your earplugs, put on your eyeshades, you know where to put the cork...." and we're still taking it....

-1 points
0
1
T7Steve's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:00 am

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Can't believe MLF says, "we can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results".

We've been saying that on CHTV for years!

If you're going to play mamby pamby soft shoulder football the results won't get better. The bullies just keep on picking on the weak kids on the block.

7 points
7
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:19 am

This is so reminiscent of MM in his last year. He had the excuse of being in a bad place personally and a horribly gutted roster after 3 years of Ball as GM. Platitudes repeating the same thing that actually has no discernible meaning to start with.

We are 4 games into a season and revisiting problems well known last year in both D and the OL, though the latter we seem to have consciously made worse.

3 points
3
0
tobinrote's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:02 am

if i see that two down linemen D inside the ten, or even ever i am i think going to put my season tickets up for sale. MLF seems to stick with Barry so people will have someone to gripe about more than about him. It is easy to say clean out the coaching staff, but i think it maybe is time that it is done. but as a caveat: it is not like sean payton was an immediate fix for the joke that are the broncos.

3 points
3
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:05 am

As frustrated as we are with the flaws and the coaching approach of our team, just imagine if we were Bears fans. Since the Packers didn't play yesterday I watched what I thought was going to be the first win of the season for the "Bad News Bears" and they managed to lose yet another game that seemed essentially impossible to lose.

"Dobber" and many other guys made comments here that essentially cover everything I wanted to say. This weekend I watched two full days of football and I will say, I am glad we drafted Jordan Love; he looks like he has the tools and mental makeup to be a successful NFL quarterback. I saw a lot of marginal quarterback play from a goodly number of teams.

3 points
5
2
Curt's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:23 am

Beating the Bores is all important, but as we are now seeing, it doesn’t mean much - anybody can do that.

While I like Love’s development and his ability to show some touch on many throws, he seems tentative on those throws that need to get to the receiver quickly and in a particular spot. Is that knowing the receivers better, or lack of ability to through laser when needed, I can’t tell.

He throws better from clean pockets (no surprise), but doesn’t seem yet to find the best time to escape / step up and make a strong throw. Haven’t yet seen the naked bootleg with TE in front all season - would like to see them take advantage of those young legs to buy more time with banged up OL

1 points
3
2
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:26 am

The Bears are going to have 2 picks in the first 5 in what is the best the best QB draft in years. They just have to let go of the Fields fantasy. Denver has the worst O I think I’ve ever seen in the modern era in every facet of its game. They do have some O, and that was enough to show why they are better than the Bears.

I’m hoping that the Bears are stupid enough to hang on to Fields, but I read their off season as accepting that he needed to be given a chance to excuse them moving on and likely from the coaching staff too. I hope I’m wrong on both. Go Justin “300 yards” Fields.

4 points
4
0
Packers1985's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:09 am

I too am glad we drafted Love but again comparing him to the other rookie or one yr Qb's is not right. Usually the Qb's drafted atleast some of them will be pushed right away in to the fire into starting right away and the remaining gets to sit behind an yr and start the following year. Comparing them to Love who get to sit behind a HOF caliber Qb for three years is not fair and that wont give the fair assessment.
The fair comparison would be to compare his numbers vs Rodgers numbers his first years or compare him to the Qb's that got drafted the same yr as love and see their progress.

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

October 02, 2023 at 05:47 pm

He will be compared to the class of 2020. His selection in round one puts him up against Herbert and Tua. Burrow may be in a class of his own, but Love still has to bring his game to the upper strata; otherwise he was a miss by Gutedkunst. He's in year four.

-1 points
1
2
ricky's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:31 am

How about replacing Jerry Montgomery? He is the DL coordinator, and the running back coordinator for the offense. If both stink, it goes back to him, at least to some degree. But the other problem is the offensive coordinator. That would be Adam Stenavich, who was a great offensive line coordinator. But as OC?

Adam Stenavich
Stenavich is the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers since the 2022 season, a total of two years. Stenavich's record as the team's offensive coordinator was 10-11-0, making him the second-least successful offensive coordinator in Green Bay Packers history.

It seems that LaFleur has a problem with his position coaching staff. This is the same problem that Mike
McCarthy faced. MM made some tough choices. MLF has chosen the "nice guy" approach. And the chickens are
coming home to roost.

https://lastwordonsports.com/nfl/2023/01/20/matt-lafleur-picking-friends...

Until the head coach gets tougher, and makes some tough decisions, this team will continue to be seen as "soft".

5 points
5
0
Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:53 am

the head coach gets his eyebrows waxed. toughness is not his strong suit.

3 points
3
0
Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 02:07 pm

The head coach got hired and promptly changed his offense so his QB wouldn't sabotage him. Weakness.

Remember when he was hired and he talked all that bullshit about the "illusion of complexity", that people would be schemed open? That went right out the window. Without the greatness of Davante Adams, no one would have gotten open. When he's had opportunities to hire he's hired more weak-kneed sycophants. Bisaccia was forced on him by his bosses.

Does ANYONE see a leader when they look at that highly coiffed facial hair and those waxed eyebrows? Coach Dude-bro, who got all the dude-bros on this site moist when he was hired. Some of us saw thru him.

3 points
3
0
Tundraboy's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:44 pm

PC Principal like.

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

October 02, 2023 at 09:35 am

Coming into the year, I was not worried about the offense. I knew we'd have bumps and bruises from being a young team, but Love's poise, confidence and arm ability that he showed last year in Philly reminded me so much of a young Aaron Rodgers in Dallas in 07 and a young Brett Favre vs. Cincy in 1992, that I thought we'd have at least a competent offense by the end of the year, with the sky being the limit in 2024.

I am surprised at the inability to run the football. Dillon at this point can be labeled a bust, which makes me very sad. And Jones/Bakh/Jenkins injuries makes what was a strength into a weakness.

That said, I was VERY concerned with the defense. Either the players that personnel has drafted since 2019 suck, or the coaching sucks. Or maybe both. And there really isn't a way to fix it. MLF should have never hired Joe Barry, and he should have never kept the defensive staff under Pettine. That was a massive MLF error, and the one, to me at least, that warms his seat. (not the offense as CW points out every chance he gets).

There isn't a way to fix this mess other than "scheme better and play better." More easily said than done. And if we don't make the playoffs this year, as we SHOULD in a weak division in a weak conference, THAT will be why.

The entire defensive coaching staff must be fired at the conclusion of this year unless there is MASSIVE improvement, and I don't see any reason that will happen. And MLF needs to be on the hot seat in 2024 because of it.

5 points
6
1
T7Steve's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:17 am

Do you really think they'll make wholesale (or any) changes in Murphy's last year?

This is a very frustrating era for me.

2 points
2
0
Bearmeat's picture

October 02, 2023 at 10:27 am

I think it depends: If the team ends up 6-11, then yes. I think there will be wholesale changes. If it's 8-9 and shows promise, maybe not.

1 points
1
0
Packers1985's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:16 am

This is what scares me looking at our schedule i think this team can win 9-8 and make it to the wild card and nothing will be done in terms of changes.

1 points
1
0
Tundraboy's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:48 pm

The way they're playing, the injuries, and with MLF and Barry coaching, I wouldn't worry about it anytime soon.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 01:01 pm

Murphy seems to want to go out a hero. If true, if he sees LaFleur is being viewed as the reason in media, by fans and the directors are hearing the same at the country club or gym, he may.

If the consensus gets loud and focussed enough—fans as well as media, then yes, I think Murphy or those around him will want to cut bait and be able to have him bow out in the midst of new hope and the second year of a new regime, Love and co coming into their prime. He won’t want chatter about LaFleur’s failure dominating his draft and swan song off season.

Keep quiet, keep accepting and no. He’s going to ride it. If it’s not a PR dumpster fire by year end we are stuck.

2 points
2
0
Johnf's picture

October 02, 2023 at 11:27 am

I think they need to make changes now why throw away the whole year there won't be no massive improvements

3 points
3
0
TommyG's picture

October 02, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Right now I’m just waiting for LaF to say “pad level” to complete my bingo card.

6 points
6
0
Coldworld's picture

October 02, 2023 at 01:04 pm

He will say that we need to go and look at what other teams do with pad level around the league.

5 points
5
0
Bitternotsour's picture

October 02, 2023 at 02:24 pm

Harsh, but true.

0 points
0
0
pantz_bURp's picture

October 02, 2023 at 03:18 pm

Mother Teresa sends Coach LaF a message:

"Be the change you want to see in this team"...

*I really like Coach LaFleur as a person. As a HC, I think he may not be the best fit for the Packers moving forward. I would love to see a defensive-minded HC if one is out there while having an Asst keep working with #10 and his continued growth. I feel now is the time to make changes if possible. This is a growth season anyways with dead money still needing to be accounted for this year and some next year as well. I know talented coaches don't grow on trees, but let's start exploring.

*I really enjoyed reading everyone's opinions on this matter. Thanks for keeping and carrying the G.

Pantz

1 points
1
0
Qoojo's picture

October 02, 2023 at 03:28 pm

I blamed you for them doing so bad in first half. They were waiting for you to start watching. If only you had shown up at the kickoff.

0 points
0
0
pantz_bURp's picture

October 02, 2023 at 06:58 pm

Sorry Q, I didn't get the memo. Next time I hope to find my Chucky Cecil jersey and wear it with aplomb. Very similar to Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's. 😁

I want the D to be dominate at some point. So much so the RBs refuse to run up the middle or their piss be so cold, they start crying at the thought.

Come on D, bumbles bounce!

Hermey

*in tribute to the Pack, I am thinking about joining an online dating site. I will describe myself as having warm piss and on-point eyebrows.

0 points
0
0
Qoojo's picture

October 02, 2023 at 03:27 pm

It seems like MLF is acknowledging or noticing that there might be a systemic run defense issue for the first time.

The thing about Lions game was the heavy pass ratio to start off. I thought it was bad offensive game plan. I was calling out the play call balance in watch party, 7 passes to 2 runs at one point, and forgot to count the sacks. They only started to move the ball once they started to run and get it 3rd and short or manageable. Now I can't say if the success was the Lions letting up after the first half butt kicking.

This year was always going to be a rollercoaster. Love has to learn, and in my opinion, MLF has to learn too as I feel AR sheltered him from the mental burden of good game planning/calling. You don't jettison players and coaches at first sign of adversity citing that they should have known and done something perfect. MLF kept Barry around for "reasons". MLF is the head coach, not just the OC. It's clear that the offseason changes that he might have tried have not been as successful as MLF or we had hoped.

So MLF what are you going to do about it from here? MLF needs to show improvement as much as Love has to learn.

1 points
1
0
brenner's picture

October 02, 2023 at 05:34 pm

Stopping the run requires more than 2 DL on the field. While I like the 2 rookie DL, they are built to pass rush. Jonathan Ford is sitting on the PS.. just sayin.. I'd love to see them play some more 4 or even 5 DL on obvious rushing situations and press with the corners to take away the quick hitters...
OL is in shambles right now.. simply put best 5 available right now are walker, Tom, Myers, Runyan and Nieman left to right. Kick Tom out to LT when Jenkins is back. There are no other reinforcements coming so they gotta get it done. Maybe try Dillon at fb.

0 points
0
0
Starrbrite's picture

October 02, 2023 at 06:58 pm

“It doesn’t take a genius to see the pattern.”
Someone advise the coaching staff.
Go Packers!!!

1 points
1
0
packerfanroy's picture

October 03, 2023 at 01:50 am

"Which is ironic considering it was his decision to retain Joe Barry as his defensive coordinator despite two seasons that failed to meet expectations."

If MM wouldn't let MLF hire who he wanted as Special Teams Coach because of salary why would he hire who MLF wanted as Defensive Coach?????

MM IS IN CHARGE OF HIRING/FIRING THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF AND HIS MAIN CONCERN IS HOW CHEAP THEY ARE!!!!

0 points
0
0
Fubared's picture

October 03, 2023 at 12:04 pm

I just think that if your biggest concern is the run game then your missing the pass defense and offense pass game.
I see so many other types of plays KC uses like wide sweeps, quick hits to the edge and short passes to the TE over the middle that seem like a fantasy move to the packers, almost like, we would have to practice those.
This team just has a very basic game plan. Maybe its a lack of speed that prevents a lot of this.
Every year KC seems to find a 4.3 guy in the draft who can make plays. The Packers never find anyone like that.
Also the KC chielfs and most other teams draft guys to play now, not develop for three years down the road.
There is just this laid back scheme and attitude towards game management.

1 points
1
0