clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cheese Curds, 7/6: Breaking down 3-4 & 4-3 schemes and Jared Cook's impact for Packers

Bill Cowher is a decent analyst in the studio on Sundays, but when he gets to the whiteboard to discuss the Steelers' (and by extension, the Packers') defensive scheme, he is at his very best.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The current Green Bay Packers' defensive coaching staff has been heavily influenced by the Pittsburgh Steelers' 3-4 defenses in the 1990s. And why shouldn't it be? Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers had that same job in Pittsburgh for three years, and many of his current and past position coaches in Green Bay were with him there as well.

In today's Cheese Curds, we find an example of a former head coach (and Capers' former boss) diagramming how that 3-4 defense worked, and in doing so we can gain an appreciation for how the Packers' scheme operates. One of the keys to the integrity of the front seven is the ability of a team's safeties to work interchangeably and to each be capable of playing both strong and free safety. That is something that the Packers are blessed with at this point, with both starting safeties equipped to handle both roles depending on the offense's movements and alignments.

Meanwhile, we find a Packers blogger strapping on the offensive analysis helmet as well and looking at the team's past to project Jared Cook's future. Here's hoping that the foot surgery that Cook had during OTAs indeed took care of whatever issue was bothering him and will allow him to be a full participant in training camp.

Packers' secondary in good hands with Burnett, Clinton-Dix |
Morgan Burnett is tied with Sam Shields for having the longest tenure of any Packer defensive back, but Ha Ha's play has vaulted him into the discussion about the team's best secondary player.

Let former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher explain the difference between the 3-4 and 4-3 defense - Behind the Steel Curtain
Cowher's descriptions of the two schemes are applicable to all NFL defenses, but the Packers' in particulare because of the Dom Capers connection. Dom was the Chin's DC for his first three years as head coach in Pittsburgh, after all. (Bonus: Cowher mentions the Packers' current safeties coach, Darren Perry, during his analysis as well, since Perry played free safety for the Steelers.)

Jordy Nelson a favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year |
Nelson is ranked fourth on this list, behind Andrew Luck and a pair of Cowboys, Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.

Green and Bold: How, Exactly, Jared Cook Changes Packers Offense | Cheesehead TV
It's important to note that Cook can and should impact the offense even if he does not beat out Richard Rodgers for the starting job. Think back to 2014, when snaps were split nearly evenly between Rodgers and Andrew Quarless.

Can Bears regain the upper hand in rivalry with Packers? - ESPN
Green Bay had a chance to even the all-time record on Thanksgiving last year, but blew it; now they'll have another opportunity to do so if they can sweep the Bears in 2016.

Painkiller lawsuit is the latest damning player health accusation against the NFL -
The focus on the league shifts now from concussions to painkillers, as a group of 1,500 former players is accusing all 32 teams of irresponsibly distributing painkillers and lying about their side effects. Mike Holmgren is one of the coaches mentioned in particular in the suit.