Packers Stock Report: Another Defensive Meltdown Edition
I’m fine with Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson not firing Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers after yet another defensive meltdown against the Eagles.
Would canning Capers and replacing him with a defensive position coach really make the defense tackle better or the safeties cover more ground and pick off a pass here or there? I don’t know. Maybe.
What I don’t get is the people who argue that firing Capers would be a “knee-jerk” reaction. The Packers defense has been average at best for the better part of three seasons now. In the last two weeks, when Capers and the defense had an opportunity to truly step up and cover for a banged-up offense, they failed. Miserably.
We’ve seen a steady pattern of issues from the Packers defense over the last three seasons:
- Poor tackling
- Confusion in the secondary
- Minimal pass rush from the defensive line
- Relying heavily on turnovers
- Playoff meltdowns
That’s plenty of reason for dismissal.
I suppose you could say firing any coach midseason is a knee-jerk reaction in an of itself. But I don’t necessarily agree with that.
When it comes to Capers, the failures are consistent and prevalent enough that his dismissal would not be considered “knee jerk.” Again, I’m not saying it would be the right decision, but it would not be knee jerk.
Anyway, hopefully Capers figures it out and we can add him to the rising category once again.
On to the stock report:
All season, Lang has been clearing a patch for Eddie Lacy on the inside. When injuries struck the offensive line Sunday and claimed C Evan Dietrich-Smith, Lang stepped up and played center for the first time in his career. He never screwed up a snap and did an adequate job blocking. Bravo, Mr. Lang.
Lost amidst all the injury chaos is the emergence of Boykin. After looking totally lost against Baltimore trying to fill in for the injured Randall Cobb and James Jones, Boykin has come to life and turned into a confident and reliable receiver for the Packers rotating stable of quarterbacks.
Clay Matthews’ club
This thing is awesome. It’s bigger than me. If the Packers defense doesn’t turn things around, though, Matthews might take his club and start swinging it at his own teammates in an effort to wake some of them up.
He’s quietly remained one of the most reliable WRs in the league, even with Aaron Rodgers out. Oh, and he caught that pass in the end zone on Sunday that would’ve made it 27-20. I don’t care what sort of discombobulated explanation Mike Carey gave saying it wasn’t.
The numbers were down for Lacy against the Eagles, but he did about as well as could be expected given how the entire stadium knew the early game-plan was to hand him the ball. Then he started losing offensive linemen and yards became even tougher to come by.
Why is he still on the team? I get that now the offensive line is also banged up, but you can find a lineman as good as Newhouse on the street. Plus, Derek Sherrod is healthy now. Let’s throw him into the deep end of the pool and see what he can do.
The safety position was supposed to be stabilized after Morgan Burnett came back, but it’s taken another turn for the worse. Nick Foles closed his eyes and tossed up a number of dying quails on Sunday and not one of them ended up in the hands of a Packers safety. Oh, how I miss the days of Nick Collins, LeRoy Butler and Darren Sharper. And why is Chris Banjo not getting more snaps than Jennings?
How many times can one man injure the same hamstring during the course of an NFL season? Hayward is going on three times and left Sunday’s game early…again. I think it’s time to shut Hayward and see if he can rebound in 2014.