Forgive us if we didn’t pay much attention to the fact that the Green Bay Packers ran some 4-3 defense in week 1. Considering their personnel — and the fact that they are supposedly finally tailoring the scheme to personnel instead of the other way around — it only makes sense that the Packers would run some 4-3.
The Packers used the 4-3 quite a bit in the first half against Seattle before switching predominantly to their traditional 3-4 in the second half.
As you no doubt noticed, neither worked. Of course, the Packers were still in the game in the first half, so you might be wondering why they didn’t play more 4-3 in the second half.
“One of the reasons that we didn’t play much in the second half was because of the substitution issues that we had in the first half,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “I just didn’t want to take a chance after that happened. I didn’t want that happening again. …We felt we could match that against whatever personnel group they put out there and we wouldn’t have to sub and match. The first half we were going from our 3-4 to our 4-3 and matching them. We got some plays, we got some plays out of it. But we weren’t as consistent as we need to be.”
Capers is referring to Marshawn Lynch’s 9-yard touchdown run there. The Packers only had 10 guys on the field for that play. You know, because of their poor communication and/or blatant stupidity.
The good thing about the 4-3 package is it gets more playmakers on the field. The Packers will bring in Mike Neal, who had five sacks in 2013, adding him to the likes of Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, rather than substituting him for one of those guys.
Of course, the negative is you have to do some substituting when you’re switching back and forth between personnel groups. And when you don’t coach these things effectively or your guys are too dumb to know where they’re supposed to be, you end up with only 10 guys on the field.
And then you figure you might as well play it safe and just utilize the same package over and over, lest the bozos you’ve got trying to execute your scheme don’t enter the game when they’re supposed to.
Seriously, the Packers might just be better off relying on the 4-3. Their personnel would seem to be better suited for it and then they don’t have to worry about crazy shit like substituting players.