Hybrid Wood and the CB/Safety Scheme
Note: The Packers have 7 Safeties and 9 corners going into training camp. This article would be way too long if I covered them all.
With a coach that stood at the podium last week and said, “15-1 doesn’t cut it” and a general manager who drafted his first six picks on the defense – I think we all know where the focus lies for the Pack.
I’ve talked a lot about OLB, ILB and LBs around here, so let’s take a look at cornerback and safety.
I’m not in the camp to think Woodson needs to move to safety just yet. Do I think he needs to be able to play both positions? Absolutely. Rather than ask the question of, “Should he be safety or cornerback?” we should all remember that TT and MM are evil geniuses and are probably coming up with a unique scheme of their own.
The loss of Nick Collins stung in 2011, and it will continue to do so in 2012. You had a guy who had big-play action, so Woodson is going to have to be able to shift between cornerback and safety. The Pack won’t be able to just put Woodson on the elite receivers on the opposing team, but rather train him to judge formations. He’ll also have to gauge ball and field position better to allow Peprah and even Burnett to step it up.
A big problem for the Pack was they would put pressure at the front, making the CBs cover receivers longer. Even the best cover guys struggle with that in the backfield – it’s too much time. You can’t gauge the pocket for that long, so it gives the opposing QB time to make the play. Woodson can’t line up wide, but needs to line up on the inside at least 80 percent of the time.
He’s not quick enough as he ages – BUT – he can play almost any position in the nickel or dime. In those scenarios, Woodson will mostly likely line up against the slot receiver and be on the inside. In base defense scenarios, I see Burnett as a traditional safety and Woodson in a more hybrid role.
Of note: Capers has used base defense about 25 percent since he came to the Pack. They liked to use a three-cornerback set where you have Woodson, Burnett and then CBs of Williams and Shields.
Expect the rookie Jerron McMillian to make a play for a starting job at some point, but the Pack will be ok with Peprah for now. M.D. Jennings is also someone to watch in the nickel and dime schemes.
In 2009/2010, the Pack averaged 42 sacks. In 2011, only 29 sacks with the weird sporadic pressure at the front.
So, what do you think? Sound off on where you think Woodson will play in 2012.