4. Revamped Defense
When Dom Capers first arrived in Green Bay, the Packers defense was instantly transformed into one of the top units in the NFL. They consistently were among the top teams in both sacks and turnovers forced. However, in 2011, the wheels slowly started to fall off, as the team never again ranked in the top-10 in points or yards allowed. The pass defense has been downright miserable the last few years and ultimately ended in his firing this offseason.
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Out with the old and in with the new in the form of Mike Pettine. Pettine was unsuccessful as a head coach with the Cleveland Browns. However, he has been an excellent coordinator in his career. His defenses generate pressure through creative blitzes, which will help alleviate the pressure on these young corners.
Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson figure to play often this year. Kevin King also needs additional seasoning after an injury-shortened rookie season. However, Pettine’s system will take advantage of their strengths by allowing them to be physical with receivers. The team’s young corners will need to develop fast. However, with their high talent levels, that shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Pettine needed more pieces to make the team more successful than Packer defenses in years past. General manager Brian Gutekunst went out and got them. This defense is brimming with optimism and fans should be too.