1

November

Packers Playbook (aka Hobbjective Analysis): Week 7 vs Jacksonville Jaguars

So I’m going to do something a little bit unusual from the usual Packers Playbook series; first off I’m going to breakdown a special teams play, namely Davon House’s blocked punt which turned into a special teams touchdown, but ru because I want to hear your rationale for running this play because frankly I don’t really understand it.

The Situation: The score is 7 to 3 in Green Bay’s favor and the Packers defense has just forced a 4th down.  The Jaguars have stayed in the game longer than most people had predicted but it’s probably more because the Packers seem to be off rather than any offensive firepower displayed by the Jaguars.

The Formation: To be honest I wasn’t able to find any of the position names for any of the positions, so I will be using my best approximations.  Naturally first off is KR Randall Cobb (18), who for obvious reasons is not in the picture and since this is a blocked punt play, is irrelevant to the play.  In the gunner/jammer positions are CB Davon House (31) aligning to the top of the screen and CB Jarrett Bush (24) and CB Casey Hayward (29) aligned to the bottom of the screen.  In terms of linemen (are they called linemen?), at RDE is ILB Jamari Lattimore (57) and at LDE is OLB Dezman Moses.  In the “middle” at DT is ILB Robert Francois (49) and TE Ryan Taylor (82).  In the “backfield” are SS Sean Richardson (28) and FS MD Jennings (43).

For astute readers out there will have noticed that this only adds up to 10 players, which is probably another reason why the Jaguars aren’t probably winning many games.

Pre-snap: SS Richardson approaches the line and looks to blitz while CB Hayward motions from the jammer position to the outside shoulder of LDE Moses.  After that CB House motions to the outside shoulder of RDE Lattimore.  Essentially at this point there are 8 players in the box, which is even with the 8 players the Jaguars have to block.

The Snap: CB Hayward bails out of the blitz to cover WR Kevin Elliot (87) who is the gunner that CB House was originally covering.

“OT” SS Chris Harris (43) blocks DT Francois leaving one of the upbacks, #35 to deal with RDE Moses.

This of course leaves CB House a free shot at the punter and the personal protector SS Chris Prosinski (42) doesn’t adjust.

CB House manages to get a hand on the ball as it leaves the punters foot, after that there’s a mad scramble for the ball (as Chris Berman would say “rumblin’ fumblin’ football…WHOOOP!)  At the end of the play RDE Moses somehow ends up with the ball and the Packers score their first punt blocked for a touchdown in 22 years.

Conclusion: Okay first things first, who was supposed to be the 11th man in the formation? I looked through every Jaguars punt that game and this is the most similar play when it comes to formation.

Based on this play in the 3rd quarter the odd man out is WR Jarrett Boykin (11) who is aligned outside RDE Moses.  The second thing to take notice is from the second picture (the one counting the Packers players), where you’ll notice that the Jaguars ironically have 12 men on the field.  The odd man out in this picture is OLB Kyle Bosworth (56, if that last name sounds familiar he is indeed the nephew of the infamous Brian “Boz” Bosworth and to make matters worse is apparently dating Real Housewives of Orange County star Kara Keough), who runs off before the ball is snapped.  I’m almost certain at this point that Bosworth leaving late is the catalyst for this entire play.  If the punter and personal protector aren’t making sure that Bosworth is off the field, then they probably notice that no one is covering WR Kevin Elliot (87), who ironically points to the RT when CB House motions to that side, but doesn’t make any attempt to wave his hands showing that he’s uncovered.  Either the Jaguars special teams are under very strict rules not to switch to a trick play (which would have been entirely appropriate in this situation), or they are so clueless about House and the missing 11th man that they fail to recognize they have distinct advantage in a trick play.

Questions: Okay, so here’s the questions I’d like to hear from you.

  1. Who is #35 on the Jaguars?  For some reason he’s not listed on the team’s official roster and I wasn’t able to find him on the transaction list either.
  2. What do you think the rationale for trying to block the punt is?  From a game perspective, yes the Packers haven’t exactly been tearing it up on offense, but the defense is play well, there’s a lot of time left and the Jaguars are well the Jaguars.
  3. What do you think of the coverage? Perhaps the most crazy part is that Casey Hayward is supposed to cover Kevin Elliot, but he’s on the opposite side of the field (take a look at the picture at the snap where you can see Hayward racing from the middle of the field to cover Elliot).  There’s simply no way for Hayward to defend a pass from where he starts or even block for Randall Cobb.  I’m confused why this play is even in the playbook as it seems like it wouldn’t work 9 time out of 10.
  4. What do you think of Punter Brian Anger’s last name? I think it’s awesome
——————

Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

——————

21 Responses to “Packers Playbook (aka Hobbjective Analysis): Week 7 vs Jacksonville Jaguars”

  1. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    Don’t they always (and I mean every team in the NFL on every punt always) have at least one guy try for the block?

    This wasn’t a ‘different play’ from a normal defense against a punt, this was different because the Jags didn’t block the guy assigned to block the punt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      My feeling is that this play’s emphasis is to block a punt, based on Haywards coverage, it’s planned and looks like an overload blitz. It’s sort of the same as when the Packers get a coverage sack versus when the Packers bring the full house.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Lucas says:

    It seems Slocum has really come into his own in scouting other teams. Daddy R.C. is really starting to rub off. Something must have been picked up in film study to suggest this play would work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Lucas says:

      Randall Cobb has earned a lot of trust allowing Slocum to attempt this. A fair catch here also shows faith in the offense to finally get it going and GB doesn’t exactly have much to lose by running this punt block with Cobb back there.
      I’d be interested in asking him if he had special instructions on this type of block, or if he knew one gunner was unblocked.
      Either way, we have to assume the call normally included a blocker on the gunner on Cobb’s left.
      The call must have been for a return to the Cobb’s right, knowing Hayward can get to the leading man down the field.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

        I have a hard time imagining Hayward has the speed to cover Elliot from the right end of the defensive to out wide left, especially when you consider that Elliot is running straight down the field while Hayward has to run at an angle. My feeling is that you could stick Usain Bolt in there and he wouldn’t be able to get down field in time to help Cobb

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Lucas says:

          I agree…the call can’t be to cover Elliot…the missing Packer (#11) should have been on Elliot to at least tie him up a little. Hayward’s responsibility is more likely to get the first guy from the offensive line and block for Cobb to go to his right.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

            That’s what odd too, based on where Boykin lined up in the other punt I posted, Boykin would have also lined up next to Hayward. I’m not sure how many wide receivers line up as jammers, but I seem to recall the Packers like using cornerbacks, so putting Boykin to jam Elliot is a little off too

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            • Lucas says:

              True…obviously with only 10 out there, something was wrong. I want to know the true story of this play. Oh to be a fly on the wall when they looked over this video.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I definitely agree this is a ballsy play, even if it’s based on scouting. The percentage of times punts fake it and pass is ridiculously small league round, so it’s not like not seeing the Jaguars punter attempt a pass is any indication that he will or won’t against the Packers. The only way I can think of this happening is if Slocum knows that the Jaguars will never try a trick play regardless of the situation.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. PatMc says:

    First there was a lb from Iowa named Anger and it is a great name.

    I noticed on the play that House didn’t go after the ball but got up and immediately blocked the closest guy “anger” to allow the other GB D’s to get the ball. Very impressive blocked punt for being his first ever.

    Being short handed was because a rookie (Boykin) was missing. That is player rep and will be fixed.

    The reason for doing this (2) helps keep all the future teams honest in blocking versus going early. It will help Cobb for the rest of the season.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I believe you are referring to Pat Angerer, who is a inside linebacker for the Colts; which is even more fitting for a inside linebacker

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    I read that House said Anger is a 3 step punter. that of course is a big reason they went after him. That is the big difference between college punters and NFL punters and why so many do not make the transition. NFL punters basically have to be two step punters. Anger is young and will probably develop into a two step guy but he is not there yet and slocum noticed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      That’s an interesting observation, does that change the likelihood that he’ll pass the ball? Also what’s the reason for why college punters take 3 steps while NFL punters take 2. My assumption is that taking 2 steps allows you to get the ball out quicker, but that would also seem to be an advantage for college punters as well.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Greg says:

    I think nfl teams get creative with punt pressure more often than fans realize, sending different players from different directions and slanting to different sides. we just noticed it now because the Jags didn’t block it properly. it keeps the punt team honest (they have to focus more on accounting for pressure than punt coverage), which helps productivity on punt returns in the long run. the goal is to be unpredictable, like in many other aspects of football.

    as for the missing player, I’m sure that was not part of the play design. Im not sure whether hayward was designed to cover the gunner or if the missing player might’ve had that responsibility. even so, Im sure they had confidence in the defense to stop the Jags even if they picked up the 1st on a pass to the gunner. I don’t really see much of a downside to going for the block here. if you only ever go for the block in obvious block situations, you aren’t forcing the punt team to account for multiple possibilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I agree that the missing player is not designed into the play, my main concern is two fold: 1) with a free gunner going straight for Cobb, if he doesn’t call a fair catch he’s going to get “rocked” (unless Cobb was going to call a fair catch no matter what) and 2) Elliot most definitely could have gotten a first down if Anger had passed the ball and thus continued the drive.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • David says:

        Boykin is supposed to be jamming Elliot which would eliminate most passing attempts.

        He was an active participant in the drive before so he was probably thinking “offense” rather than special teams.

        Hayward covering was just a heads up play seeing that guy go free. It’s not designed… he’s supposed to blitz and/or cover a TE that might go for a pass.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          I was thinking along those lines as well, maybe Boykin wasn’t supposed to be in that play for just that reason. Considering Boykin came into the game knowing that he was going to be on offense, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Slocum replace him with someone else, so maybe that guy messed up?

          Also I’m not sure if Hayward just saw the mistake and bailed out of the blitz, a couple moments before the snap he turns his head to Elliot, so at that point he definitely see’s Elliot free. But Hayward doesn’t start moving until after the snap, at which point there’s no chance he’ll be able to catch up with Elliot. So either, Hayward was planning on bailing out in the first place (which is possible) and isn’t responsible for Elliot (which is also possible) or the Packers knew something that lead them to believe they could ignore Elliot without fear of a pass

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. David says:

    One thing that bothered me was the Tackle Eligible pass Jax got off of the Rodgers fumble (Newhouse got pushed back and Rodgers tripped over his legs when he was going to throw. Then Bulaga got beat and #90 Andre Branch got to come in and bury Rodgers right after. They “best part” of this all is that Saturday didn’t have anyone to block and ended up leaving his spot to help Lang… which was not helping at all.). I don’t remember the Ref’s stating he was eligible for that play. I thought they blew that play.

    “The eligibility is good for only one play and must be done before every play in which the offense plans on making the player eligible.”

    He’s eligible for the 1st down. But isn’t listed for the 2nd down on the ESPN listing.

    1st and 1 at GB 1
    G.Whimper reported in as eligible. B.Gabbert up the middle to GB 1 for no gain (A.Hawk).

    2nd and 1 at GB 1
    B.Gabbert pass short middle to G.Whimper for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

    Same thing from the NFL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      One thing I will say is that sometimes Refs say things that aren’t picked up by the microphone, so that could be one explanation. The second explanation could be that the ref simply forgot, or forgot that he had to declare it every play. Either way, chances are good even that the Packers didn’t cover Whimper based on the fact that he’s a linemen, my guess is they thought he was in there as an extra blocker

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0