Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blitzing is Not the Answer

Nagler says that the Packers need to blitz more:

"The coach abandoned the run!"

"The play calling was too conservative!"

"The defense needs to blitz more!"

This is the type of crap you can hear every Sunday during football season coming from the mouths of slobbering drunks with Buffalo wing sauce on their shirts. And its usually wrong.

Now, that said, sometimes---sometimes---the slobbering drunk is right. Even a blind monkey will find a banana every now and then. The point being: if you are reciting one of those hoary cliches (which are usually wrong), you should support your argument with some compelling evidence.

What is Nagler's evidence? Al Harris got torched by Ochocinco or something:

Its popular to say, for instance, that the team was “forced” to play Jarrett Bush because of the domino effect of having Harris out. But there he is in Week Two getting torched by Chad Johnson for a big play. How could that be? I thought the company line was that he was only playing because Harris got hurt?

Really? As if Al Harris getting torched by a premier receiver is a rare event like Haley's Freaking Comet or something?

Its well-established that elite quarterbacks are going are going to punish you when you blitz.

Nagler makes an excellent point that Clay Mathews should rush the quarterback more and drop in pass coverage less. Capers should be playing to the strength of his team. That part is obvious. But I am unconvinced that "blitzing more" is the answer.

As an aside, Nagler cherry picks a clip where the Packers rush only three. As a point of fact, the Packers rushed only three men only around 9% of defensive snaps last season (per Football Outsiders).

ADDENDUM: Carriveau writes "I think it was primarily a personnel issue last year, a team that was forced to play backups that just weren’t up to par." Totally agree, but I'm not sure I would confine the problem solely to the back-ups.

SECOND ADDENDUM: It turns out I misread Naglers' point, his point was that Bush was torched by Johnson in week two. Is his point that in order to put the best personnel on the field Capers should have had an additional rusher as opposed to a liability in coverage? Maybe I could buy that. But the fact remains that Capers didn't really have the luxury of keeping coverage liabilities on the bench for most of the season.


  1. Yeah, try reading the post before getting all indignant.

    Good to have you back. ;)

  2. You're REALLY wrong on this, DDD.

    Nagler isn't calling for blitz. He's calling for not to do a prevent 3-man rush in obvious passing situations.

    You know, even in a 3-4, a 4 man rush still doesn't constitute a blitz. Zone blitzes a lot of times don't call for blitz, they just put a DL to cover and another LB or a DB to rush.

    That's what he's asking. Playing agressively doesn't translate to blitzing, necessarily.

  3. Quoth Nagler: "Dom Capers needs to blitz more. It’s a cliche, but only because its true."

    Seems to me that he is calling for more blitz, but maybe I am reading to much into the statement "Dom Capers needs to blitz more."

  4. Way to extrapolate from something that wasn't even PART of the post. It's a simplification - to get someone interested in the post.

  5. Mea culpa, I guess it is true that I read too much into the phrase: "Dom Capers needs to blitz more. It’s a cliche, but only because its true."

    From now on when you make statements I'll just assume that your statements are "simplications" of what you actually believe intended to peak my interest.

    Give me a break. Say what you actually mean and there is no confusion. If you don't tink Capers needs to "blitz more" why distill (or "simplify") you opinion down to "Capers needs to blitz more."

    I'm calling bullshit on this one.

    That's right: bullshit has been called.

    And, I'm not just "over-simplifying" here.