Packers Offensive Line Coach James Campen didn’t want to hear about the lack of a running game being the cause of eight first-half sacks by the Seahawks on Monday night.
“I don’t care what play is called,” Campen said, his voice growing in intensity as he spoke with reporters on Thursday. “I don’t care if it’s a hundred runs or a hundred passes. Do your job. It’s not an excuse. I don’t care what is called, block your man.”
Following a nightmarish first half that left the Packers with a league-worst 16 sacks this season, Campen’s offensive linemen pitched a shutout at the Seahawks in the second half. In one of the noisiest stadiums in the league, Campen’s offensive linemen opened holes for the running game and gave quarterback Aaron Rodgers the time he needed to revive the Packers offense, especially with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 7-6, the Packers went on a 16-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that chewed up more than six minutes of the clock and produced a 12-7 lead with 8:44 to play in the game. There were no false starts or holding penalties in the drive, and Rodgers was given the protection he needed on two obvious, third-and-10 passing downs to move the sticks.
“They were maintaining their fundamental discipline,” Campen said of the reason for the dramatic improvement of the offensive line in the second half. “There have been good moments. The first 30 plays were not good. The second half was much better. We’ll build on that. They’re ready and hungry to get back on the field.
“I’m proud of the way those guys responded. That’s a difficult thing to do, the way those guys responded.”
Against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, the Packers will be facing the league’s No. 32 run defense. More running plays?
“I absolutely guarantee we’ll either run it or pass it,” Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said jokingly. He added: “Anytime you do one a lot more than the other, teams can focus on what you’re doing. You have to keep defenses off-balance.”
Campen didn’t want to hear about balance.
“You can’t use it as an excuse,” he said. “You’d be a fool not to recognize (the sacks). They’re something that can’t be tolerated. Moving forward, analyze why they happened and get them corrected.
“A lot of times, at the most challenging times, you’re asked to win your one-on-one block.” Additional coverage - Sept. 27