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Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Prediction: Packer Defense to be much better
by Mark Quarderer
I'm going to make a prediction here: The Packer defense is going to be so much better this year that people are going to wonder why we spent so much time anguishing over it in the preseason.
That doesn't mean that nobody will ever convert a third down on us, it doesn't mean that every QB will have a guy breathing on him every time he throws, it doesn't mean we won't give up any big plays or miss any tackles.
What it does mean is that we'll have faster, better tackling safeties than we did a year ago. We'll have a scheme that emphasizes keeping them back to protect against long plays instead of putting them up on the line of scrimmage. We'll have healthier, better players at the tackle spots. Our linebackers will be free to pursue plays instead of having a gap responsibility.
All this will add up to a much improved defense, and it still won't be enough.
I'd also say that the author of an article (Bob Fox - Scout.com) highlights what I'd like to call "The Quarterback Trap", where Green Bay, Minnesota, and Indianapolis currently reside.
You have a very good QB that you spend a sizeable chunk of your salary cap on. You then feel compelled to give him weapons and protection. In an era when skill position players and offensive tackles earn $5 million/year, by the time you add up the cost of the QB , the weapons, and the protection........you have insufficient resources to spend on the defensive side of the ball.
Then, when your team comes up short you say "defense wins championships".
If you really believed that, then you'd spend the money on defenders, not tackles and QBs.
This is a star-driven league, and the QB is always the star of the team as well as the most important player. It's going to be a perpetual battle to stock a defense with enough talent unless you are very good, and very lucky in the draft, or you have a QB that doesnt' eat up a huge chunk of your salary cap (like 6th round pick Tom Brady).
I think that in this era of free agency it's a mistake to try to build around a big dollar QB.