Good point from reader DaveK

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Both reader DaveK and the guys over at Packerupdate have talked about how interestingly, the Packers now may have ideal personnel for a 4-3 (or at least to shift over to a 4-3 occasionally). (Though DaveK, if I’m not mistaken, you were the first to point this out right after the draft.) While I still favor what a 3-4 line-up brings, I could see how shifting to an occasional 4-3 look could be smart. Consider this line-up: Kampman, Raji, Pickett and Jenkins on the line with Matthews, Barnett and Hawk (or Bishop or Chillar) as LBs. Raji and Pickett could function similarly to the Williams’ duo in Minnesota. We’d suddenly have a viable front 7.

One reason why I’m pleased with the draft overall though, is (as DaveK and others have pointed out) because we now have flexibility that we didn’t have before. We have several different linebackers with different strengths, and a bit more depth on our D-Line. Couple this with a coach many of us feel will be good at using multiple combinations and there may be reason for optimism for our defense. In fact, as much as I talk about the importance of an offense creating mismatches (a philosophy I know McCarthy embraces as well), I think it’s similarly important for a defense to create different looks. When an astute QB or O-coordinator can anticipate what a defense is going to bring, playing offense becomes much easier. But when a QB/offense is unsure of what may happen, the defense can control the game. With greater flexibility because of a better selection of defensive personnel, I wouldn’t be surprised if Capers is able to add more of a surprise element than we’ve had the past few years.

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4 Responses to “Good point from reader DaveK”

  1. DaveK Says:

    Thanks for the bump up to the front page! It just seems a shame not to have Raji and Pickett on the field at the same time. Maybe Pickett can play DE in a 3-4?? He doesn’t seem like the body type to do that but I think Capers alluded to that possibility in his press conference. The key for me here though is that it seems that TT gave Capers the flex to do it either way. He’ll figure out what works best and it may vary depending on who we are playing.

    This would be quite a starting lineup in my opinion:

    Kampman, Pickett, Raji, Jenkins.
    Hawk, Barnett, Matthews.
    Woodson, Harris, Collins, and Bigby.

    That could be a special unit if they all stay healthy. Our depth may be another issue if we get another 2-3 key injuries like last year but if that 11 stays healthy coupled with a intelligent coach you could have a top 5 defense.

  2. higster Says:

    What’s to stop a 3-4 defense from having their cornerbacks play bump and run? (which ours prefer and are more effective at)

  3. awhayes Says:

    Higster – that’s a good question. I know that 3-4 defenses tend to run more zone-type coverages for the secondary guys (maybe in part because zone would be easier to coordinate with LBs dropping into coverage etc). Whatever the reason, my guess is that Capers in fact will improvise here and try to have Harris and Woodson playing quite a bit of bump and run. I could be wrong, but I would agree with you that if they are forced to switch over completely to zone coverages, while that may end up working out because these guys are savvy vets, it would not be playing to their clear strengths – they are 2 of the best bump and run corners in the NFL.

  4. bucky Says:

    Maybe we need a visit from Aaron’s new friend (KnowsMoreThanAaron) who can explain this while telling us how little football we all know.

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