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The Packers' Blitzing Ways

The Packers have been showing blitz more since the organized team activities (OTA) that were held back in May. If you read reports from the minicamp, there are a lot more references to linebackers rushing the quarterback. There is a lot of stuff that is tried early in the season and nothing comes of it, but now ESPN's Kevin Seifert has an article about what will change on defense in 2008. Expect LBs Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk to blitz more.

This might seem like a good idea, but my first reaction was no way. My problem with the Packers blitz is that they've been lousy at it for the past few seasons. It seemed like every time a linebacker came on a blitz, some receiver was left open for a huge gain, and the linebacker was always late to the quarterback. I've preferred no blitz, and more players back in coverage.

The problem is, as Seifert writes in his article, that the Packers front four wasn't always good at creating a pass rush, especially later in the season. He points out KGB's injury, but it was a team effort and it did force them into calling more blitzes. The best example was the late November game in Dallas. Dallas scored on their first five possessions and no Packer was getting anywhere near QB Tony Romo. But Dallas only scored on two of their last five possessions once they started bringing their linebackers on the blitz.

The one player really missing from this discussion is S Atari Bigby. He could be an awesome pass rusher, but apparently bringing a safety up to the line of scrimmage would mess up the pass defense scheme. I would love to see them come up with something to get him after the quarterback.