Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Analyzing Packers' kickoff coverage

Nov. 6, 2013 11:21 AM
 
  • Filed Under

The Packers enjoyed success on kickoff coverage against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Mason Crosby attempted to pop up some of his kicks toward the sideline, which resulted in good hang time but sacrificed  distance. The strategy neutralized the Vikings’ dangerous return man Percy Harvin, who averaged only 17.3 yards on four returns. The Packers employed a similar approach in 2007 against the Bears’ Devin Hester, who at the time was considered the most dangerous return man in the NFL. “To me it’s about disrupting the rhythm and timing,” said Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum. So why don’t the Packers kick the ball short and high all the time? Crosby’s kicks consistently landed at about the 20-yard line but the Vikings struggled to return it beyond the 30. Wouldn’t that be an acceptable tradeoff to guard against long runbacks? Slocum explained why the Packers can’t do that. “I think what would happen is their initial drops would be shorter, so they would contact our guys,” said Slocum. “They would change their plan. They’re set up for a deep ball kick, and if we kicked them all short like that they would run and jump on us sooner, block us let’s say at about the 40-yard line and we wouldn’t have the penetration down the field. Now that guy catches the ball , takes 4 or 5 steps and he’s got it to the 40. That’s what you have to be careful with.” Slocum said any time the kickoff team tackles a returner inside the 20 it’s like a defensive tackle for loss. “I think it’s really important to tackle them inside the 30-yard line just from a statistical standpoint, and historical data says that teams score at really twice the rate when they have the ball outside the 30 as opposed to inside the 20. That range between the 20 and 30 I feel fairly comfortable when we’re tackling in there.”

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.
Insiders Blog


What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
575 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1016 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports