Football Outsiders on Short Yardage Situations

I asked Bill Barnwell at Football Outsiders 5 questions based on the chapter on the Green Bay Packers in their Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, which is one of the many great publications they have available for the upcoming season.

My fourth question: Looking at the stuff percentages on both the offensive line and the defensive front seven, it looks like they need to get stronger and get a better push. Statistically, have you seen teams turn their stuff percentages around quickly or will they really need some significant roster changes before it will improve?

I think switching schemes will help in the long run, especially on the offensive side. Employing an undersized line means that it's going to be difficult to get a big yard simply because your linemen are going to get bulldozed at the line; the zone blocking scheme tends to yield runners that perform well in most situations, but don't do very well in short-yardage and/or goal-line situations. Likewise, the arrival of B.J. Raji and the (theoretical?) return of Justin Harrell should give the Packers more bulk up front. It might not be something that changes overnight, but as far those stuff percentages go, they should get better. 

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