Friday, September 14, 2012

The ABC(J)'s of the Packers Newly Dominant Defense

After a week of trash talking fueled by Jay Cutler's message to the Packers defensive backs wishing them "Good Luck, We invite press coverage. We invite man.", the Green Bay defense put on a performance reminiscent of the 2010 Super Bowl team.  Cutler, who understandably had swagger after a week 1 victory over a Colts team that went 2-14 last year, had a miserable night -- including 7 sacks and 4 interceptions, the first quarterback to achieve those marks in the same game since Patrick Ramsey ten years ago.  Ouch.

But what drove this Packer defensive resurgence?  Surely it wasn't just Cutler's bulletin board fodder.  When asked about it in the post-game press conference, defensive coordinator Dom Capers had a simple explanation.  "Well, a lot of it starts with A.J.  Of course, he needs B.J. to open things up for him at the line, and sometimes C.J. will shoot the gap for an overload."

Capers went on to explain, "In the nickel and dime, we'll usually pull A.J. and just go with D.J.  Then C.J. gets a breather and B.J. slides to nose.  Unless we want to blitz, then we'll keep A.J., drop D.J. into coverage and rely on B.J. to clog up the middle.  Or, if we need to shut down the run, we'll push B.J. and C.J. to the 5 technique and bring pressure up the middle with A.J. and D.J.  The nice thing is B.J. and C.J. are somewhat interchangeable, as are A.J. and D.J."

A.J., B.J., C.J., D.J. and some other guys whose names I can't remember because they aren't acronyms.

Asked where the Packers could still improve on their impressive defensive performance, Capers was quick to offer, "We need more guys like A.J., B.J., C.J. and D.J., of course.  Obviously, Brad Jones could really step up his game if he went with BJ2.  We've also been talking with M.D. Jennings to maybe go with just M.J. instead.  We've worked with Bush as J.B. but it just doesn't seem to stick.  We'll be looking to draft an E.J. next year, and, if we're lucky, an F.J. will pop up on the waiver wire."

Whatever the reasons, I want more of the defense we saw tonight for the rest of this year.

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