Reactions; Fans Blames Joe Barry….

Acme Packing Company detailed why outside linebacker Preston Smith was forced to cover receiver Davante Adams on a crucial down last week during the Green Bay Packers’ Monday Night Football loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The biggest question we had was whether or not the Packers had the ability to check out of the play with two backup inside linebackers and a backup safety on the field after conceding the limits of the defensive play call against that particular look versus the Raiders.

Joe Barry, the defensive coordinator, met with the media on Monday and had a succinct response. Barry responded, “Based on the personnel we were in [base 3-4] and the personnel they were in [21 personnel], we didn’t have that mechanism.” When asked if there was anything additional the Packers could have done after the call was transmitted to the field, Barry said, “We didn’t have that mechanism.” Then he would continue, “We never thought it would come up.”

Barry repeatedly stated that Smith was not at fault for the play and accepted full responsibility for the call. That’s entirely my fault. We must have a way out in order for us to be able to place [Smith] in that predicament, said Barry. Barry said, “I wish it was that easy,” and added that you wouldn’t want Smith to play deep third coverage like a cornerback either when asked if Smith could simply switch assignments with another defender on the field, like cornerback Jaire Alexander who was covering a fullback on the play.

As we noted last week, the Packers’ “3 Up, 3 Under” coverage was ultimately complicated by the offensive formation’s width.

Barry stated two “mechanisms” that the Packers may have utilized to improve the outcome of that play later in the news conference. In order to get Adams to take an outside release, the first option would have been to instruct Smith to play hard inside leverage. Although Smith wouldn’t have had much assistance, he would have at least been able to use the sideline as an additional defender to thwart an Adams reception.

The alternative was to abandon the blitz look, which deployed inside linebacker Eric Wilson as a pass-rusher. The defensive coordinator remarked, “You hate to always check things,” even though he had already stated that the team didn’t think a check was necessary given the Raiders’ heavy manpower.

But in a copycat league, don’t be shocked if someone else soon attempts to imitate the Raiders’ particular style. After allowing Adams to complete a deep catch-and-run, the Packers cannot automatically expect that they will receive an under-center formation while the offense has their fullback and tight end on the field. Let’s hope Green Bay gets one of those handy dandy checks placed on defense by the time the team faces the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

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