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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pack of ball hawks

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Dom Capers presides over a complex defensive scheme. It’s a disservice to the Green Bay coordinator to boil his philosophy down into a few easily digested paragraphs.

But if he were to publish a “”Defense for Dummies”” guide, this would be one of the installments:

There are 60 or so plays in a game and three to four of those will have a huge influence on the outcome. Any good defense will have two to four players who are consistently capable of making plays that will change the course of the game.

“”The more people you can put out there to have a chance to make those kinds of plays, then the better your chances are,”” Capers said. “”The more guys you have with speed and explosion, the better chance you have of getting the ball turned over. It’s been one of our strengths here the last two years, taking the ball away.

“”We’ve had a number of different players that have stepped up.””

Cornerback Tramon Williams had two picks in the team’s win over Philadelphia. Cornerback Sam Shields had two picks in the win over Chicago. Williams and nose tackle B.J. Raji have returned interceptions for touchdowns.

And that’s just in the playoffs.

Linebacker Clay Matthews and cornerback Charles Woodson are the cornerstones of the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense. But four different players scored defensive touchdowns during the regular season. Eleven came up with interceptions and 15 helped compile the team’s gaudy sacks total.

The Packers are a 3-4 defense that may spend the majority of the game in their nickel and dime packages. That’s because Capers, in the words of Raji, “”is a big matchup guy.””

Green Bay’s cornerbacks are as likely to blitz as they are to backpedal into coverage. The same goes for the linebackers and linemen.

The decisive defensive play of the NFC Championship Game came when Capers called a Right Cat. Shields blitzed from the right corner position and Raji, the nose tackle, dropped back into zone coverage. Raji’s 18-yard interception return for a touchdown proved to be the winning points in the team’s victory over Chicago.

“”We’re relentless,”” safety Nick Collins said. “”We want everybody on that defensive side to get to the ball and make something happen.””

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