With the coaching changes that the Green Bay Packers announced on Friday, speculation started to swirl. Specifically, with Winston Moss coaching the entire linebacking corps instead of the team having separate coaches for inside and outside linebackers, many people speculated that the Packers would be switching back to a 4-3 defense.
Mike McCarthy shot down those ideas today in a press conference, indicating that the base defense will remain the same for 2014:
McCarthy says defense will feature changes. Still 3-4, but wants to be more multiple and go back to things done more in the past. #Packers— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) February 10, 2014
With Dom Capers still leading the way, it would be a major surprise if the team did indeed switch fronts to a 4-3. However, as McCarthy said, a hybrid look seems to be something the coaches will investigate. This could incorporate anything from linebackers putting their hands on the ground to rush the passer to changed responsibilities for the defensive linemen.
Defensive sets that allow the defensive linemen to hold more one-gap responsibilities instead of two-gap duties would likely lend themselves better to the skill sets of players like B.J. Raji, Mike Daniels, and Datone Jones. In fact, the Packers may well push harder to retain Raji as a free agent if they know full well that they are planning to institute more of these concepts in 2014 and beyond. That said, McCarthy did not clarify just what these "multiple" sets he referred to would consist of.
As for the addition of Ron Zook, McCarthy said that it will not impact Shawn Slocum's responsibilities heading up the special teams. He did say that he liked Zook's "personality and experience," however.
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