Where Can the Green Bay Packers Improve Most in 2013?


Proper schooling, he said, could reduce concussions. “You’ve got to start with Pop Warner League football and teach these kids how to tackle correctly,” he said. “Put the helmet on the ball, not helmet-to-helmet. Helmet on the ball. Usually the ball is carried Authentic Clay Matthews Superbowl Jersey around the waist, so helmet on the ball, your shoulder into his midsection and take the guy down.” Although he is generally disappointed by the tackling techniques of most current players, the three-time NFL champion points to a clean hit by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in 2011 to changing the tide of Super Bowl XLV. With the Pittsburgh Steelers trailing by four points and driving in the fourth quarter, Matthews forced Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to fumble in Green Bay territory. Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers then threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings to clinch the title. “He went in and his helmet was on the ball and the ball popped out and that won the game for us,” Robinson said. “If he had gone helmet to helmet, (Mendenhall) may have held onto the ball and we may have lost the game. You’ve got to tackle correctly, and that was a perfect tackle by Clay Matthews.” Because he believes something needs to be done to change players’ tackling techniques, the three-time Pro Bowler applauds Goodell’s efforts to limit helmet-to-helmet hits with fines and a rule change.


Alex Green led the team in rushing with scant totals of 135 carries for 464 yards. The scrutinized part of the offense will be the offensive line again. Last season, Rodgers was sacked a league-worst 51 times. Thats an ugly number. Things never looked worse than in the first half against Seattle when Rodgers was sacked eight times. People tend to forget that due to the games controversial ending. A 4-3 defense capable of getting pressure without blitzing, allowing maximum coverage on the receivers is the optimal way to play against this offense. Thats what the Giants do. Thats what Seattle can do. Now a big part of Green Bays sacks come back to play-calling and the quarterback.

Green Bay Packers – TeamReport


Not only did Matthews, like Rodgers, cash in with a big contract extension in the offseason, but the fearsome pass rusher (16 sacks in 2012) has some help in getting after the quarterback. Versatile defensive end Datone Jones was the team’s first-round draft pick this year, and his arrival prompted the coaches to give end Mike Neal a long look as a stand-up linebacker opposite Matthews during the offseason workouts. Weaknesses: While Datone Jones figures to give a lift to a pass rush that has been almost exclusively Matthews’ domain the last couple seasons, the powerful and quick rookie could be of greater help to the defense as a run stopper. Green Bay was exploited on the ground to virtually no end late in the season by Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson and then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who ran for a playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ season-ending game. The Packers face Kaepernick and the 49ers in Week 1. … Green Bay’s firepower on offense and ability to outscore opponents amid letdowns by the defense was mitigated far too often last season because of erratic kicker Mason Crosby. The veteran made only 21 of 33 field goals (league-worst 63.6 percent) in the regular season. Now, for the first time since he kicked aside incumbent Dave Rayner in a preseason battle his rookie season in 2007, Crosby is competing to keep his job. His adversary in training camp will be left-footed Giorgio Tavecchio, an unheralded first-year player.


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