I just wrote an extensive post re the Packers new-look defense and it was erased somehow. No idea what happened but I’m too ticked off right now to try to reconstruct the whole thing.
The gist of it was that this defense seems especially ACTIVE compared to other Packer defenses over the years. I’ve watched for years with envy as the Eagles, Steelers, Ravens, Patriots have brought pressure from everywhere, been mostly unpredictable and have forced offenses to execute at the highest level in order to make progress against them. I have watched these defenses over the years with the kind of envy you may have had growing up when your friend comes over on Christmas having just received a “real” Packer helmet while you still have the one with virtually no padding inside (…the kind that, because of pride, you claim offers sufficient protection when you take a blow to the head – but in reality, it really hurts). Now, I feel like we finally have one of those defenses others can envy for a change. It’s exciting.
I think about all of the logistical/communication problems that Bob Sanders and his units seemed to have and it seems curious to me that with what appears to be an infinitely more complicated defense, there do not seem to be these issues. I know it’s early, but on Sunday, the substitutions, the specific packages etc, seemed to be pulled off without much of a problem – at least I don’t think there were any glaring penalties or assignment errors. I think that coaching has a lot to do with this. Sanders’ groups often had guys running on/off at the last second, opposing WRs somehow being alone along the sideline for easy TDs, and last-second timeouts when the D realized there were too many men on the field or something. While I know this happens from time to time with even the best defenses and sometimes those mistakes are on the players, for some reason, I feel considerably more comfortable with Capers directing this production than I did with Sanders.
Again, I know it’s early, but it has been a long time frankly, since we’ve been able to get excited about our defense, so allow me some gushing here. It’s just nice that the Packers’ defense is already becoming more a part of the discussion when talking about the Packers. This year, I’m guessing it will not only be a factor in helping us win some close games, but I’m guessing it will also contribute significantly in a few blow-outs.