Category Archives: Desmond Bishop

2

June

Xs and Os: The Double-High Safety Defense (Cover 2)

The cover 2 defense has two safeties splitting the deep half of the field.

The cover 2 pass defense has both safeties splitting the deep half of the field equally.

Now that the Green Bay Packers presumably have two capable safeties roaming the back end of the defense in Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, defensive coordinator Dom Capers will probably be playing more cover 2, which is a staple at all levels of organized football.

The cover 2 is a necessity in modern football defenses because the game has evolved into a passing aerial circus. By placing two safeties deep in the defensive backfield, the defense has more protection against deep passes.

This article breaks down the basics of the double-high safety defense, which is more commonly known as the cover 2. As you’ll see, there are different flavors of the cover 2.

Of course, this article comes with my standard disclaimer that this is an oversimplification for illustrative purposes only.

Cover 2 Defense Defined

When defending the field, the defense typically divides the area vertically into “halves.” The underneath half typically extends 7 yards from the line of scrimmage and the deep half usually extends 15-20 from the line of scrimmage.

In the double-high safety defense (cover 2), the free safety and the strong safety play zone defense and each guard half of the deep half. They must cover any receiver entering their respective half of the field and drive towards to the ball once it is in the air.

The GIF below highlights the assignments.

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Strengths of Cover 2

Football teams that face passing offenses usually must play cover 2 during some point in the game. It is an effective defense against the pass because it allows the defense to drop seven defenders into pass coverage. By having the safeties play zone in the back end, the deep half of the field has two defenders guarding against deep throws. This is a more conservative pass defense than the single-high safety (cover 1) defense.

The safeties are there to bail out cornerbacks on deep balls or to double cover more skilled receivers running deep into the formation.

Weaknesses of Cover 2

Since the cover 2 usually drops seven defenders into pass coverage, it means it is primarily a pass defense. In other words, when running the cover 2, the defense typically cannot place eight defenders in the box to guard against the run.

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23

April

Packing the Stats: How the Packers Invest

Packing the StatsOne thing that many fans have noticed over the years is that Ted Thompson does not like to draft interior offensive linemen, instead preferring to draft tackles and converting them into the interior once they reach the NFL.  This concept seems to indicate that in the NFL there is a premium placed on some positions while not others; for instance quarterback is naturally considered the premium position of premium positions, traditionally followed by some combination of pass rushers and wide receivers.  However each team is different, for instance while the Packers do not put much stock into interior offensive linemen, the Packers have shown a love for fullback/H-backs which most team’s don’t even keep a roster spot for anymore.  So the question is, what are the positions that Ted Thompson favors or is willing to spend precious draft resources for and does Thompson’s weight of draft investment differ significantly with other teams?

To measure this, I took every draft selection made by Ted Thompson during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers, assigned each player to the position they played for the majority of the time and then assigned them a draft value based on which pick they were selected using the “Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys” draft trade chart as a metric.  Some caveats of course is that the Packers did switch from a 4-3 bump and run style defense to a blitzburgh 3-4 defense in 2009, which obviously changes what type of players the Packers select and where players ultimately end up playing (for instance AJ Hawk was supposed to play OLB in the 4-3 and moved to ILB in the 3-4).  Also the trade chart has come under scrutiny as of late (myself included); it’s unlikely to be all that accurate or precise in determining trade value and it’s likely that every team has their own modified chart with different values for each draft pick.  However, since all of this information is kept tightly in war rooms (unless you happen to be ironically the Dallas Cowboys), the original trade chart will be used knowing that the rough values are likely to be similar.

Workbook1

3

October

Where Are They Now: Following Former Packers

With the 2013 season now a quarter of the way over, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all the Packers who played for the 2012 team who are now playing somewhere else.  Have the Packers really missed them?  Have they made a contribution to their new teams?  (note: snaps are only counting offense and defense, not special teams)

Alex Green (New York Jets)

  • 2012 season: 343 snaps, 135 attempts for 464 Yds, 3.4ypc, 0 TDs, 1 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 40 snaps, 28 rushing attempts for 60 Yds, 2.1ypc, 0 TDs, 0 Fum
  • Alex Green never really was able to overcome the ACL injury he suffered as a rookie and became one of the few high draft picks to be quickly dumped by the Ted Thompson regime.  Green quickly found a new home with the New York Jets, one of the teams that curiously have been linked to the Packers (numerous trades of picks, Caleb Schlauderaff and of course Brett Favre).  As of yet, Green hasn’t been able to make much of an impact even with an apparent opening at the running back position with the Jets; Chris Ivory has been hobbled with injuries, Mike Goodson just returned from suspension and KR/RB Joe McKnight was sent packing.  At the moment, Green is projected as the 3rd running back and is on pace for about 60 yards rushing with a 2.1 average.   For the Packers James Starks has played pretty well and Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin have both showed promise.  the Packers are fine at running back without Green.

Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

  • 2012 season: 416 snaps, 36 Rec for 366 Yds, 10.2 YPC, 4 TDs, 0 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 664 snaps, 56 Rec, 1,008 Yds, 18.0 ypc, 8 TD, 0 Fum
1

July

Bishop Likely Another Feather in Ted Thompson’s Cap

Desmond Bishop

Bishop’s release signals the Packers waning patience for health issues

As we are in the slower part of the 2013 NFL preseason, I thought I’d take another stab at what the Green Bay Packers’ release of linebacker Desmond Bishop is really about and what it means for the Packers in moving forward.

Bishop’s deal with the Minnesota Vikings is for one year at $750,000 with just $50,000 guaranteed.  Bishop can earn a total of $1.35 million through bonuses and incentives.  This includes $100,000 in roster bonuses, and $500,000 in incentives dependent on his playing time.

Bishop is another in an increasing line of former Packers to sign with the division-rival Vikings.  Should he defy the odds and become productive, the Packers, and specifically General Manager Ted Thompson, could face some criticism for being quick to pull the trigger on letting him go before taking a look at him in training camp.  Many fans are still riled up that another has crossed the border to the West where they could end up playing well against and sticking it to the Packers.  Still, Thompson continues to, and has marched to the beat of his own drum when it comes to doing what he sees as best for the Packers.

The deal that Bishop inked with the Vikings certainly falls into the “low risk” category.  If healthy, he would immediately upgrade Minnesota’s linebacking core and defense as a whole.  The key there is the “if healthy” part.  But if a player of Bishop’s caliber was willing to accept such a deal, why wouldn’t Thompson at least have kicked the tires a bit longer?  After all, this was one of the team’s best defensive players just two seasons ago.  Sure, he missed all of last season with the torn hamstring, but if the risk was minimal, why send Bish packing?  Some will say his ego would not allow him to take a pay cut with the Packers, but the deal he inked with the Vikings has to suggest that he would have been open to at least some discussion.

17

June

Packers News: Packers Officially Release LB Desmond Bishop

Desmond Bishop is now a former member of the Green Bay Packers

The first signs of trouble emerged last week and now the Green Bay Packers have made it official.

The Packers today announced that they have released LB Desmond Bishop roughly a week after speculation began about his future with the team.   Bishop missed all of the 2012 season with a torn hamstring and many have speculated that this is the reason behind his release.  Bishop for his part, however, has insisted that he was healthy.

With Bishop’s departure, this leaves linebackers A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones as the likely starters at inside linebacker in Green Bay’s base 3-4 defense.  A healthy Bishop was anticipated to help a Packers defense that struggled at times last year and was thought to be the best inside linebacker on the team.

Bishop was a sixth round draft pick of the Packers in the 2007 NFL Draft.  He enjoyed several successful preseason games before finally getting his chance as a full-time starter when Nick Barnett went down with injury during the 2010 season.  Bishop’s play exceeded all expectations that year and became a fan favorite over the next several seasons.

He finishes his Packers career with 310 tackles  (224 solo), nine sacks, seven forced fumbles, an interception and 13 passes deflected.

Green Bay meanwhile frees up approximately $3.46 million in cap room as a result of releasing Bishop.  Bishop is not subject to waivers since he has been in the league for more than four years and immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Will the Minnesota Vikings come calling? Don’t be surprised if they do. Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette already tweeted that according to sources the Vikings very well could be Bishop’s first visit as a free agent.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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17

June

2013 Green Bay Packers: An Early Look At The Depth Chart

Green Bay Packers huddle

Who are your 2013 Green Bay Packers?

With the off-season activities now officially over with, we now turn our attention to the upcoming training camp and preseason.  The big question is:  What will the 2013 Green Bay Packers look like?

I’m taking a look at each position and listing who I think are the likely starters, as of today.  Training camp always tends to change that list quite a bit so this is obviously as of today, as it stands, and without having really seen many of these guys play.

Quarterback

Starter:  Aaron Rodgers

Backup: BJ Coleman

Bubble: Graham Harrell, Matt Brown

Quick hits: Rodgers is the league’s highest-paid player and let’s not forget he’s pretty good at what he does.  No question there and so the biggest debate is whether Coleman can leapfrog Harrell and will the team carry three active quarterbacks?  My thought is that if Coleman wins the backup spot, they will likely cut Harrell.  Illinois State’s Matt Brown could be a good candidate to land on the practice squad, much like Coleman did last season.

Running Back/Fullback

Starter:  DuJuan Harris

Backup:  Alex Green, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin

Bubble: John Kuhn, James Starks, Angelo Pease, Jonathan Amosa

Quick hits: Harris came on and was effective late in the season for the Packers.  He didn’t participate in much of the team’s offseason due to having a cyst removed near his lung.  He is expected to be ready for training camp.  Green will get every opportunity to remain a part of the team’s plans but will face very fierce competition from rookies Lacy and Franklin.  Still, I see the team keeping all four.  James Starks is likely all but out of Green Bay after being largely ineffective during his three-season stint with the team.  And we may have seen the last of John Kuhn, which will make the team’s decisions at this position easier.

Wide Receiver

Starters: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb

Backups:  Jarrett Boykin, Charles Johnson

Bubble:  Jeremy Ross, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Terrell Sinkfield, Myles White, Tyrone Walker, Sederrick Cunningham

16

June

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Profootballtalk.com asked fans to vote on their Packers Mt. Rushmore this week and it created some interesting debate on Twitter and talk radio.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, the Packers Mt. Rushmore needs to consist of four people. It can be players, coaches, executives or whomever that you feel is one of the four most important people in Packers history.

This is a tough one. If there was an actual Packers Mt. Rushmore, it would need to go on the side of a very large mountain because four people is much too small.

As much as I love guys like Ron Wolf and Bob Harlan and acknowledge that the Packers might not be around without folks like them, I don’t know if I can put executives on a Mt. Rushmore. Isn’t putting executives on a Packers Mt. Rushmore kind of like putting Abe Lincoln’s chief of staff on the actual Mt. Rushmore instead of Abe Lincoln himself?

I’m also not sure coaches belong on a Mt. Rushmore. But that means leaving off Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau, which is just asinine.

If I knew that people wouldn’t burn down my house for leaving Lombardi and Lambeau off, I’d probably put Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Reggie White and Brett Favre on my Packers Mt. Rushmore. When the people arrived with torches and pitchforks to take care of me after leaving off Lombardi and Lambeau, I’d remove Hutson and White for the two legendary coaches.

Football will always be about the players to me. You absolutely have to have a good front office and coaching staff to make everything work, and I’ll say it again that the Packers are not the Packers without the executives and coaches I’ve already mentioned (along with many others).

But in the end, you have to wear a jersey and helmet instead of as suit and tie to make my Packers Mt. Rushmore.

Let us know who makes your Packers Mt. Rushmore in the comments section.

(And don’t yell at me too much for leaving Lombardi and Lambeau off my pre-torches and pitchforks Packers Mt. Rushmore.)

Packers News, Notes and Links