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Cheese Curds, 7/20: Packers’ pass coverage needs to catch up to run defense

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Look for Mike Pettine’s focus on stopping teams from passing the ball to shine through quickly.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Jim Matthews-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Mike Pettine’s comments about his focus when the Green Bay Packers introduced him as their new defensive coordinator? They were music to the ears of many Packers fans, this writer included.

“We prioritize it,” Pettine said about defending the pass. “I think you have to be sound against the run, but you lose a heck of a lot faster when you’re giving up chunks in the pass game.”

Perfect.

Now, here’s the kicker, and it’s something that has been discussed here at APC and in the comments before: you have to be capable of stopping the run in certain situations, like the red zone or late-game situations. Keep the other team out of the end zone and get the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and company late in the game if you’re down. Hopefully, Pettine’s unit can do that — and one source of NFL analysis pegs Pettine’s group as the top run defense in the league at this point.

But Pettine’s comments speak to something that we know to be true in today’s NFL: teams win games by passing, and they seal the deal by running the ball. Here’s hoping the investments that Brian Gutekunst has made in the secondary and Pettine’s new scheme helps prevent opponents from doing the former, while the personnel available to him should be able to do a good job of keeping the latter from happening.

PFF ranks Packers as NFL’s No. 1 run defense entering 2018 | Packers Wire
As discussed above, this is ostensibly a good thing; however, it could incentivize opponents to throw the ball more often against the Packers' defense -- and we all know that even a bad passing offense is more productive per-play than a great running game.

While it’s still probably better to have a good run defense than a bad one — for example, six of the top 10 overall defenses by DVOA in 2017 had top-10 run defenses as well — it’s not imperative. The Jaguars led the league in defensive DVOA last year but still had the 27th-ranked run defense.

Randall Cobb hosts Football ProCamp in Green Bay | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Hey look, no boot! Hopefully this means Cobb will be ready to go on day one of training camp next week.

Countdown to camp: Backfield has proven options | Packers.com
As long as the season doesn't start the way it did last year -- with Ty Montgomery playing almost every snap of the first several games -- this group of running backs should be just fine.

NFL and NFLPA agree to put national anthem policy on hold - SBNation.com
Unsurprisingly, the two sides can't come to an agreement on how to handle players who conduct demonstrations during the national anthem and there will likely be no movement on this issue from an overall NFL perspective until the regular season is underway.

2018 college football season: Top 12 running backs to watch - NFL.com
JK Dobbins ahead of Jonathan Taylor? Get out of here with that, Lance Zierlein.

Chandler man says HOA is forcing him to remove bat cave - Arizona’s Family
Bats are great. They eat bugs and mosquitoes that bother people. Who is more bothered by the sight of a bat house in a neighbor’s yard than by swarms of biting insects?

Finally, Aaron Rodgers made a quick appearance in this fake movie trailer shown at the ESPYs featuring Danica Patrick (who hosted this year’s ceremony) spoofing the I, Tonya film. Come for Rodgers’ great mustache and stay for them playing Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger” during his time on screen.