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.