The Jermichael Finley question


Tom Silverstein addresses the Jermichael Finley question today at jsonline – The subtitle of the article is “Focus on Finley puzzles receivers”. First of all, our WRs shouldn’t mind a bit if Finley is getting more targets because it’s indisputable that he does positive things with the ball when he is targeted – he helps our team. And my guess is that while all our WRs are eager to help/get the ball, they are the kinds of people who ultimately will be fine as long as we win.

But one thought I came away with after reading this article is this: right now, McCarthy and Philbin are doing their best to establish Jermichael Finley as the big-time threat they know he can be. In the last few games, they’ve done a very good job of doing this. When Mike McCarthy is coaching at his best (like in 2007), he can be a keen observer of mismatches. He and Philbin have clearly discovered that Finley is a nightmare match-up for opposing defenses – especially in light of the fact that defenses have to be very careful about shifting too much coverage to Finley as it may leave them thin against  Jennings, Driver and Jones/Nelson (or even thin against the run if LBs are in coverage). I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next couple weeks, defenses do start to focus more on Finley as he’s likely to continue to cause damage if they don’t. But I’m pretty sure that when they start doing this, it will open up favorable match-ups for the WRs (perhaps more single coverage situations) AND, possibly even help the running game if opposing LBs are drawn into Finley duty. Getting into a situation like this is exactly what McCarthy (and really any coach) wants: making the defense hesitate even for a moment because it’s unsure who will be getting the ball. Eventually, ideally, the defense will be stuck with a decision between rolling over more help to cover Finley and leaving the WRs/RBs less covered or allowing Finley to continue going nuts.

This is a good situation, even if it leaves our WRs “puzzled”.

8 Responses to “The Jermichael Finley question”

  1. DaveK Says:

    I really like the the two TE sets. They use Finely in so many ways out of this set that it just seems to puzzle defenses on how to play it. You can obviously run out of the two TE set. But they pass out of it so much that you can’t just flood the box on defense. They often motion him to the slot. They make him an h-back. They split him out wide with Driver/Jennings on the other side. Usually he motions at the last moment and just changes the entire outlook for the defense with little time to adjust. You can almost see the LB’s thinking instead of reacting.

  2. awhayes Says:

    DaveK – solid points re the two TE set in particular. I have seen that same hesitation by the LBs and almost the second you see that, you know it will be a positive play. It will be very interesting to see how quality LBs in Pitt deal with this. As hot as the Pack is right now, facing Dick LeBeau is scary to me.

  3. Joe Says:

    That read like a reporter trying to create a controversy out of pretty tame statements in an effort to have a story to report.

  4. Tom Says:

    I agree with you completely. I read that article as another attempt to stoke controversy where there likely is none. What a great problem to have. Too many weapons to throw to. The offense will be come as unpredictable as our defense is now. PERFECT!!!

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    I see Silverstien is taking McGinn lessons. “When you have nothing to write about – Make it up!”

  6. Cindy V Says:

    This from MSNBC’s Pro Football Talk:

    Favre suggests he’ll retire if the Vikings win it all
    Posted by Mike Florio on December 19, 2009 12:59 PM ET
    In a recent interview with Jon Saraceno of USA Today, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre seems to confirm what many league observers have assumed for the past several years.

    He wants to reprise John Elway’s walk into the sunset, Lombardi Trophy tucked under his arm.

    Asked whether Favre would finally call it quits if the Vikings win the Super Bowl, he said, “Yeah. I’d be pretty comfortable saying, ‘Hey, there ain’t nothin’ left.'”

    The interview includes some interesting memories from Favre regarding his late father, Irv.

    When Brett would have a bad game, Irv would say, “You couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle today.”

    Favre also told Saraceno that his two-month in-patient treatment for painkiller addiction in 1996 occurred at the insistence of the league office. Favre claims that he threatened to leave the Kansas facility on multiple occasions, but that league officials told him, “Fine, you won’t play.”

    Favre stayed, and so he played. And he’s still going. Whether he calls it quits if the Vikings win their first Super Bowl in franchise history (they’re 0-4) remains to be seen. Favre’s current thinking can’t be trusted by anyone, Favre himself included.

    After all, Elway’s happy ending came after winning two Super Bowls in a row.

  7. PackerBelle Says:

    I’ll believe he’s retired when a whole season goes by without him playing. As for the Vikings winning the SB, I’ll also believe that when I see it.

  8. PackerMax Says:

    Finley is a playmaker – He makes everyone around him better. If he continues to play like he has been, he should open up the deep ball (which has been missing as of late) for the Packers.

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