Mike Spofford's article at Packers.com reports that the Packers will use the base seven-man pass protection scheme less in 2007. There was always something discouraging about seeing TE Bubba Franks in motion, knowing he was going stutter step right after he ran past Favre, turn upfield, and stay in as an extra blocker. I didn't track last season whether the Packers were more or less successful with seven men in pass protection. I just expected the play to fail because Favre didn't have enough players running routes for him.
But this reminded me of something I wanted to post about for a while. Do you remember when Favre would hang in the pocket, occasionally making a pass rusher look ridiculous as Favre made a move to avoid the rush, sometimes rolling out and often turning a busted play into something? Over the past two seasons, those moments have been far fewer. It might be because of Favre, he is getting older and with those bone spurs in his foot that he had removed this offseason, maybe it wasn't so easy for him to move like that anymore. But I thought that maybe it is a sign that Favre hasn't trusted his offensive line since OLs Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera left in free agency. I remember watching the first game of 2006 in Detroit and seeing Favre getting ride of the ball immediately after completing his three step drop. It didn't matter if the receiver was open, it was one-two-three and throw to the spot. Favre was never the most patient QB and he has always been hard to sack, but he is getting rid of the ball quicker, mostly because he and his coaches know he can't hang back in the pocket as long as he could have done pre-2005. Another reason Favre might have a lot more success in 2007, other than he will have five or six receivers running routes at times, is that he might have a lot more faith in his offensive line since he will be working with the same guys in consecutive seasons since 2004.