Tag Archives: Defense

Absurdly Premature, Non First Round Draft Look: William Gholston

I’m a big fan of draft breakdowns and predictions, so I feel it’s never to early to take a peak at potential Packers draft picks. That being said, I won’t predict first round picks because I feel like that would be jinxing the draft order. (No need to tell me that’s ridiculous. But you never mess with the off chance that stuff is real) So I will be aggregating links that you can use to read about a potential Packers mid-late round pick. Enjoy!

William Gholston | DE | Michigan State | 6’7 | 278

National Football Post

Walter Football

NFL Draft Scout

Summary: Gholston seems to have some questions about his motor and his consistency. That being said, he is playing as a 4-3 end/7 technique in college and is being projected as a 3-4 end/5 technique in the NFL. National Football Post believes he has the raw strength and length to be a productive 3-4 end and brings great physical attributes that can be refined in the NFL. Walter Football is higher on his skills, praising his ability to anchor against the run and once again praising his physical abilities. NFL Draft Scout offers a game by game update on how he’s playing, something worth following.

All in all, he looks to be a 2nd round pick who could move up late first round with a good combine and strong finish to the season. With Ryan Pickett nearing the end of his career and former teammate Jerel Worthy already on the team, it seems like he could be a great fit with Green Bay and their Defense.

Extra Point: He is the cousin of former Buckeye and first round pick Vernon Gholston

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Beyond the Stats: AJ Hawk’s Value to Green Bay

In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Packers were coming of a 4-12 season and were looking to add a young, impact player to their roster. In picking AJ Hawk with the 5th pick, the Packers believed they had a three down linebacker who would change games and be their defensive leader going into the future.

Now in his 7th season, it would be fair to say that he hasn’t lived up to the status of a 5th overall pick. His lack of “impact” plays (INT, FF or Sack) and his troubles in coverage has led to him having a rather average looking career. But it’s his contributions beyond the stats that make him of value to the Packers Defense.

His work ethic is well documented, a trait that has marked his time in Green Bay and was apparent back at Ohio State. He complained about being locked out of the Green Bay weight room on weekends because the trainer insisted the team rest and recover. He spends most of his time studying film and working out because he says he “wasn’t born a genetic freak…and has to make himself that through training”

What that work ethic has lead to is a calm and collected demeanor on the field. Despite losing his play calling duties to DJ Smith this year, he still makes the adjustments and checks at the line of scrimmage. When the player who isn’t the main play caller is calling strengths and adjusting run fits, it shows how much the coaches trust his vision and preparedness. In this scheme, where the DBs can be making read adjustments entirely different from the front 7, keeping everything in line is no easy task.

AJ Hawk is an anchor. He is the player who you ask when you don’t know what to do. His poise and focus allow him to be that guy.

And don’t be mistaken, he has that linebacker fire. Just look at these sack celebrations!

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Dom Capers’ Defense: Can it stay Elite?

(Chart Source: pro-football-reference.com)

Dom Capers has been around the game of football for a long time, with his Attacking 3-4 defense not far behind. But as he has traveled, a commonality has occurred among the defenses he has overseen. Starting as a Head Coach in Carolina, Capers defense typically ranks near the top of the league in his first year. Capers will install as much of the playbook as he feels his players can handle in the first year so that his players can get used to the complex adjustments, hot calls and tight communication between teammates his defense requires. For one reason or another, this leads to a good to great first year for most of teams.

Then suddenly, the years go on and things take a bit of a different turn. As you can see in Carolina, his defense goes from 7th to 30th in yards allowed over 4 years. In Jacksonville, his squad goes from 4th to 12th. In Houston, 16th to 31st. The points against average follows a similar trend for those teams as well.

I don’t need to remind fellow Packer fans about the defense last year. It was bad. Historically Bad. But from years 1 to 3, the defense has followed a similar trajectory as his other teams in the past. This year the defense has gotten of to a good start, but that was with the first 3 games being against teams that aren’t offensive juggernauts and barely escaping a always dangerous Drew Brees.

Why does this occur? Could be a large variety of factors. Lack of enthusiasm from players as time goes on, other teams figuring out the schemes/Capers’ playcall tendencies, players getting comfortable with their past success in the scheme. The list could go on and on.

The point is while the Green Bay defense will hopefully buck the trend, history says that a consistently strong defense isn’t in the cards.

Any idea why this phenomenon occurs with Capers’ squads or comments on the Defense in general? Leave them below!

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