A new and creative scheme might’ve been too much for a young secondary to execute, but when the game was on the line, the Packers defense rose to the occasion.
One of Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers’ regrets from Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints was a seven-defensive-backs scheme, which the Packers refer to as their “dollar” defense.
“The results of it weren’t what we had hoped. The thinking about it was sound,” Capers said.
Strategically, the intent was to flood the field with defensive backs against a quarterback adept at spraying the ball around to an arsenal of receivers. The problem for the Packers was in communicating their calls onto the field, where the communicator was in the helmet of a player unfamiliar with the process.
“Not having any linebackers on the field, Morgan Burnett was our signal caller. That was a new role for him,” Capers said.
The Saints drove 80 yards in 10 plays against that defense, as Drew Brees completed all seven of his passes, the final one for 20 yards and a touchdown.
“You’re putting a lot of young guys out there against one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league,” Capers said. “The communication was much better from that point on. If there were two things we could change, it would be the second series and the 80-yard pass.”
Packers coordinators reviewed on Monday the performance of their units in the team’s 28-27 win over the Saints on Sunday. Capers gave high marks to his defense for stopping the run and turning the Saints back on a third-quarter goal line stand that, as a result of a personal foul against nose tackle B.J. Raji, required the Packers to stop the Saints six times from inside the 11 yard line.
That goal-line stand and the three-and-out the Packers defense pitched at the Saints in the fourth quarter helped put quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the offense in position to drive 57 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
“It was a pressure drive. It had to go a fair distance. That’s how you hope your team is going to respond,” Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said.
“We were more consistent and we made plays when the opportunities were there,” he added.
After being sacked eight times in the first half of the game in Seattle, Rodgers wasn’t sacked by the Saints.
“They did a very good job,” Clements said of the Packers offensive line. “They bounced back and the whole offense bounced back.” Additional coverage - Oct. 1