From now until the start of camp, I’ll Fact Czech (see what I did there? Heh.) some of these narratives and presumed truths and use my unmatched Packers wisdom to see if they hold up.
Uh oh. I already noticed a statement that didn’t pass the Fact Czech test: My Packers wisdom is not unmatched. It is matched by many, and surpassed by many more. But that doesn’t stop me from appointing myself as the official Packers Fact Czecher of the Universe.
Here we go.
Statement: The Packers defense is soft.
Does it pass the Fact Czech test? No.
I get where people are coming from when they say the Packers defense is soft. I even say it myself, sometimes.
But when we say the Packers defense is soft, what we’re really saying is that the Packers defense is bad.
How many defenses in the history of football have been both good and soft? Zero, that’s how many.
When the defense goes out and lays another egg against New York or lets Colin Kapernick run all the way to Tomah, Wis. and back during a playoff game, we want an easy answer as to why that happened.
“Well, the Packers D is soft! That’s why it happened! If they were just tougher, they could stop these teams! Duh!”
What does it mean to be soft on defense? Does it mean players are scared to tackle the ballcarrier? Does it mean they run away when a lineman tries to block them? Does it mean they cry when Adrian Peterson dips his shoulder and tries to pick up a few extra yards? Does it mean they shudder in fear before running onto the field before the next defensive series?
Nobody know what makes a defense soft. It’s just a word that comes to mind when describing a bad defense.
What does it mean to be tough on defense? Typically, defenses that don’t let other teams score a lot of points — exactly what a good defense is supposed to do — are labelled as tough. Tough is another adjective for good. What makes a defense tough? Do they eat nails before the game? Do they cagefight each other for recreation? Do they wear short sleeves when temperatures dip below zero? Do they punch, kick, stomp and spit on opposing players?
Nobody knows what makes a defense tough. It’s just an easy word used to describe a good defense.
Sometimes defenses get beat because they’re not as good as the other team. The other team’s offensive line is bigger and stronger than the Packers’ defensive line. The tight ends and running backs are too much for the linebackers to handle. The quarterback is too accurate or fast to be stopped. The offensive coordinator is one or two steps ahead of the defensive coordinator.
Saying a defense is soft is akin to saying Team A got beat by Team B because Team B “wanted it more.” It’s silly. I’m sure Team A wanted it just as much as Team B, but they weren’t as good as Team B on a particular day and got beat by the better team.
Don’t say the Packers defense is soft, just say they’re bad. We don’t know what soft means. And if the Packers defense has a good season in 2013, don’t say they’re tough, just say they’re improved, or even good.
Saying the Packers defense is soft does not pass the Fact Czech.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .