Our example comes from the Packers week eleven matchup with Washington. The Packers had dropped three games in a row and started this game by going three and out offensively the first three drives. But special teams had kept the Packers in the game by winning the field position battle and in this case, Jacob Schum had placed the ball on the six yard-line and a follow up tackle for loss had Washington on their own 2 yard line. The opportunity for the defense to get a stop and give the offense the ball with good field position was not greater at any other point in the game. They needed a stop on 3rd and 2 after a completed pass that made it still a short line to gain.
Pre-snap, the Packers defense shows a two high safety look but then sends Kentrell Brice down inside leaving Ha Ha as the single safety high as per
So the excitement for big hits, not just by Kentrell Brice but also with the recently added Josh Jones, is normal. It is rare that big hits happen any more in the league and to see a good one is a real treat. But there is a flip side to the big hit. It has to be made at the right time. Aggression can also result in a safety being out of position and giving up a gap or cutback lane that can result in a big play against the defense.
So for the Packers young defensive backfield, the key is to take the big shots when they have them but to be gap sound and better understand the goals of the defense overall. Veterans understand this and I expect the Packers to have some growing pains in this regard. I would never want to leach out the aggressiveness from players like Brice and Jones, and I think our coaching staff is the perfect one to bring them up right. By and by I expect guys like Brice and Jones to be major contributors and correct over-aggressiveness. In this case, the right approach…gets the stop. This could have been about a 73 yard swing in field position so yeah, it matters.
Looking forward to the Packers winning these third downs in the future.