The Green Bay Packers have been fueled by their offense since Mike McCarthy has been coach. That changed in 2015, when the defense often became responsible for winning games and often delivered.
That was just as reflective of how badly the offense — and Aaron Rodgers in particular — played as it was of the overall improvement of the defense.
The Packers finished 15th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense. That’s not great, but the defense did flash signs of excellence here and there.
And that’s the idea.
McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers are reportedly in year two of a plan to build a championship-caliber defense. One like the Broncos used to win a Super Bowl last season.
What exactly that plan consists of, we don’t know, but we do know it’s based around getting to the quarterback.
Thus, the impetus to move Clay Matthews back to outside linebacker.
It also suggests the Packers will go top heavy on defense during this year’s draft. With glaring needs at outside linebacker, inside linebacker and defensive line, they can’t afford not to if they’re actually going to attain this goal.
So while we’re sure you’ll hear nonsense about “best-available player,” we’ll also probably watch the Packers pick defense in the first three rounds regardless.
The bad news is, since the Packers don’t participate in free agency, Ted Thompson is going to have to hit on all of those picks. That appears to be the only legitimate way to plug all of these holes and build that championship unit.
Of course, that rarely happens.
So it’s a good thing this is a three-year plan.