Morning Buzz: Joe Whitt, Mike Pettine aim to fix Packers' defense
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
We’ll start with Ryan Wood’s look at how holdover Joe Whitt Jr. will work with new Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
If it works according to McCarthy’s plan, it’s a solution to fix what has been his team’s most damaging weakness in recent seasons. The Packers finished 23rd against the pass during 2017, barely an improvement from their 31st-place finish in 2016. Indeed, they slipped from 26th in opponent passer rating during 2016 to 31st this past season, an even more accurate stat when evaluating pass defense.
With Pettine, Whitt will work under a defensive coordinator who places an appropriate importance on pass defense, given how the game is played now.
“That’s what gets you beat the fastest,” was how Pettine put it when he first spoke publicly last week as the Packers’ defensive coordinator. “I think you still have to be sound against the run, but you lose a heck of a lot faster when you’re giving up chunks in the passing game than you are necessarily in the run game.”
So there’s no ambiguity for Whitt. The tasks his job entails will be highly valued by his new defensive coordinator. What remains to be seen is how well he and Pettine will work together.
Brian Gutekunst is open to bringing in competition at backup QB:
I chatted with readers via Facebook Live yesterday afternoon:
Two former Badgers had very different rookie seasons in the NFL:
Elsewhere, the big NFL news of the day is the trade of Alex Smith to Washington:
Zach Kruse looks at what the Alex Smith deal means for Aaron Rodgers:
Andy Herman writes on the need for help at tight end:
Ty Dunne spoke with WBAY about what the Packers have to do to get back to the Super Bowl:
Jake Ryan made a little extra in 2017:
Gregg Rosenthal wrote on one thing each NFC team should do to reach next year’s Super Bowl:
Here’s what Rosenthal had to say about the Packers:
Green Bay Packers: Beef up the pass rush at outside linebacker.
Keeping Aaron Rodgers' collarbone intact is the key ingredient to getting the Packers back to the Super Bowl, but you already knew that. The team's decision to replace defensive coordinator Dom Capers with Mike Pettine was a great start for an organization in need of new thinking. Freshening up the team's outside linebacker spot, where a lot of money is being spent on Clay Matthews and Nick Perry for relatively little pass rush, could help make the rest of the defense look better. The team's overall play without Rodgers should help new general manager Brian Gutekunst see this roster with clear eyes, knowing there is a lot of work to be done.
ACME Packing Company looks at some Packers running backs:
Lombardi Ave. looks at the Packers biggest offseason needs:
Greg Jennings is at the Super Bowl talking Favre and Rodgers: