PDA

View Full Version : Expect teams to study, copy Packers' plan of attack vs. Steelers


mesaSteeler
02-12-2011, 11:16 PM
Expect teams to study, copy Packers' plan of attack vs. Steelers
http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story/09000d5d81e45302/printable/expect-teams-to-study-copy-packers-plan-of-attack-vs-steelers
* By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
* Senior Analyst


This year's Super Bowl could be the most revealing of all, because the two defensive coordinators knew each other so well. They had to have shared some secrets about their scheme with their offensive coordinators down the hall. The end result just might be a blueprint for attacking the famous zone blitz scheme that wreaks havoc on so many teams.

I recently spoke with an NFL offensive coordinator and we discussed how the Packers' offensive plan against the Steelers might have taught all of us about how to attack that defense. Granted, having a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers makes everything look easier than it really is, but the concepts Green Bay employed will no doubt become a major part of playing the Steelers in the future. Phil Simms, who broke down the coaches' tape, told me, "the Packers really didn't do a lot of different things in the game. They simply spread their offense out and ran about three different pass plays and it worked."

As a former NFL head coach explained, "the Spread offense is here to stay in the NFL, especially after what the Packers got done in the Super Bowl. And quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are headed to the NFL next year with 'spread' offense experience which will only perpetuate the spread in pro football."

The spread offense has a few formational variations and the Packers used them all. They employed a "3 by 2" empty principle with Rodgers in the shotgun, three receivers to one side of the field and two receivers to the other side. They used a '4 by 1' principle with four receivers to one side and a single receiver opposite. They used a single back in the backfield occasionally and they started the game out in shotgun with a running back and a tight end in the backfield for protection reasons. There were reasons for all those variations, but the philosophy was all the same and that was to isolate Steeler defenders.

Keep in mind, these teams played in 2009 with the same quarterbacks and defensive coordinators and that game had 73 points scored, 100 pass plays called and over 1,000 yards of offense. The Super Bowl saw 87 pass plays called and 56 points scored. Most of the offensive damage, especially by the Packers, was from the shotgun. Green Bay ran 29 plays from the shotgun formation, and run just once, while getting sacked once. The Steelers just couldn't get enough pressure on Rodgers.

Pittsburgh doesn't have great cornerbacks and relies on its pressure scheme to disrupt the QB before he can get after the defensive backs. Green Bay isolated all of the defensive backs and in many situations loosened up the outside linebackers just enough that the passes were away before James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley could get home. William Gay, Bryant McFadden and even Troy Polamalu were all on islands against capable receivers like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Donald Driver.

Rodgers didn't really even have to use his feet to scramble and run for first downs like he had done in the previous playoff games. I agree with Trent Dilfer, who told me, "If the Packer receivers just held on to the slant routes Aaron stuck in there, he would have easily thrown for over 400 yards."

The Packers set a record for the fewest rushing attempts by a team to win a Super Bowl and they might have locked in on the only way to move the ball against the mighty Steeler defense. Phil Simms thought the simplicity of the spread pass attack made it easy for Rodgers to get the ball out of his hand. I was impressed with the fact Rodgers targeted 10 different receivers. The spread made it tough for the Steelers to get after Rodgers and as Brad Childress, the former Vikings head coach said to me, "there was a time when teams thought of using spread empty sets four or five times a game, but that number is certainly on the rise."

Dick LeBeau knew going into this game that Aaron Rodgers had the best passer rating (89) in the regular season against pressure calls. He also knew, however, that if he sat back and played coverage, he would see the guy with the 103 rating, so he went with his plan.

The problem was that when he looked at the NFC Championship Game against the Bears, he saw a Packer offense that used a lot of two-back sets with a very conservative pass attack.

It wasn't until the 19th pass play in Chicago that the Packers went to the spread and hit Jordy Nelson down the seam. That turned out to be a quick glimpse at what Mike McCarthy had in mind for the Steelers from the beginning of the game. Now you have to wonder how many teams are going to change their approach to playing the Steelers in 2011.

GBpack2010
02-12-2011, 11:22 PM
We didnt play well in Chicago and Philly offensively but look at how we performed on turf in Atlanta and in the super bowl. We really should just play in a dome lol.

steelerohio
02-12-2011, 11:36 PM
i don't understand the point... The Steelers defense might be a tweak different next year esp. if we draft CB like some experts are saying we would... then again, there might be a new OL guy who will be an expertise at run blocking allowing Mendenhall to run lights outs...

There's a lot of scenarios that might happen to render this idea pointless...

The wisest thing to say is wait till next season and see what their best plan of attack will be...

Wallace108
02-12-2011, 11:56 PM
There's a lot of scenarios that might happen to render this idea pointless...
Exactly. ^^

It's a little too early to start game planning. :coffee:

stb_steeler
02-13-2011, 12:03 AM
I think the Steelers were exposed early this year on that subject. Other defense's been burning Gay for to long....Need i say more.

Packerstud
02-13-2011, 12:58 AM
"the Packers really didn't do a lot of different things in the game. They simply spread their offense out and ran about three different pass plays and it worked."

The article to me reads that in order to beat the 3-4 D you need to run the spread offense.

I should be a sports writer

StainlessStill
02-13-2011, 01:05 AM
This is absolutley nothing NEW. This approach and mindset has been broken down and highly successful ever since Tom Brady and the Patriots landed the blue-print on how to spread a Steelers defense out in 2002 and Rich Gannon and the Oakland Raiders followed suite the next week.

What, all of a sudden everyone will now realize that the Steelers have trouble against pass-happy teams? This philosophy doesn't always work, you have to have the right attack and personal to use it against us, like New England does. If not, we can adjust to it. We were just down way to heavily, 21-3 against Green Bay to really pull it off and gave Rodgers a short field to be successful to make their fortunes better off within the realm of our own turnovers.

SteelHaven
02-13-2011, 01:14 AM
The article to me reads that in order to beat the 3-4 D you need to run the spread offense.

I should be a sports writer

3-4 in general has nothing to do with a weak seconday. if the Steelers had better Corners then you wouldn't be able to spread them out.

steelerjim58
02-13-2011, 02:44 AM
Any defense will have trouble with this type of offense, especially when the game is played in optimum weather conditions. The rules are such that the defense is at a huge disadvantage. Unless you get just a lights out pass rush or play the wr's very physically off the los, the d will be in for a very long day.

TRH
02-13-2011, 08:03 AM
Any good QB'd team (Roges, Brady, Brees) is going to take us to the cleaners and if anything, next time we face them, they will pass even MORE. Expect 50 + times in the air every game, at minimum.
That said....playing against Flacco was a good example....word was that he was "going to spread the field" too, but he gets nervous under pressure and doesn't perform as well as the previously mentioned 3, and we were able to make a better showing.
Defensive coordinators of the day have their work cut out for them. I would expect new ideas and shemes on the D side of the ball (not just Pittsburgh).
Still......fully expect the teams even w/out the top elite QB's to throw against Pittsburgh. And throw...and throw...and throw.....and throw.

Atlanta Dan
02-13-2011, 08:33 AM
Spread out the Steelers on offense - gee I never heard that might be the way to attack the defense until Pat Kirwan brought it up except for every pre-game analysis of the Green Bay-Pittsburgh matchup

Three teams made that plan work this season - Saints, Pats, and Green Bay

So all you need is a Super Bowl MVP at QB for your team to make that plan go - plenty of those to go around

thumper
02-13-2011, 12:02 PM
Yea, this is such a new concept, we got our brains beat in by
the Pats in Raiders weeks 1 and 2 in 2002 by them throwing
all day long (but we had much worse CBs - Chad Toast and
Doooowayyyne Suckington). Thankfully, not every team has
a good enough passing attack to take advantage of throwing
the ball every down vs. this D or we'd be a losing team.

sacredgrooves
02-13-2011, 12:06 PM
Does this mean Ben will throw two picks and Mendy will fumble every game as part of the opponents game plan? That is the reason we lost that game. Sure spreading us out is effective, but we have an offense as well that usually does not make those kinds of mistakes.

The Curtain's Crusader
02-13-2011, 01:14 PM
Does this mean Ben will throw two picks and Mendy will fumble every game as part of the opponents game plan? That is the reason we lost that game. Sure spreading us out is effective, but we have an offense as well that usually does not make those kinds of mistakes.

That was my thought. I don't see how what the Packers did gives teams a gameplan to guarantee victory against us...although 3 turnovers would make it pretty automatic.

zulater
02-13-2011, 01:19 PM
First off, there's very few Tom Brady's or Aaron Rodgers in the league so I doubt the copycat aspect is going to derail our season next year. Also I would hope that the Steelers will draft a legitimate cover corner with this years first round pick, and resign Ike. Having two quality corners will aloow Troy to be Troy, and I wouldn't mind adding another good safety to the mix. Anyone know the contract status of Chris Hope? I wouldn't mind seeing him back in the black and gold.

austinfrench76
02-13-2011, 02:14 PM
They didn't burn our D as much as they did Gay and McFadden(who was hurt BTW). Troy didn't play well and Ike was beaten on a perfect throw. If we can pick up an upgrade fro McFadden, keep Gay in the Nickel, we will be set!

stb_steeler
02-13-2011, 02:14 PM
First off, there's very few Tom Brady's or Aaron Rodgers in the league so I doubt the copycat aspect is going to derail our season next year. Also I would hope that the Steelers will draft a legitimate cover corner with this years first round pick, and resign Ike. Having two quality corners will aloow Troy to be Troy, and I wouldn't mind adding another good safety to the mix. Anyone know the contract status of Chris Hope? I wouldn't mind seeing him back in the black and gold.

Bring Joey back to while were at it......Oh an faneca....:wink02:

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-14-2011, 02:33 AM
Well, most NFL teams do not have the personnel that the Packers have. Only a handful of teams possess the personnel and we play 1 or 2 of those teams per NFL season. I would anticipate our style of play will not change but we'll look to upgrade our team. I, like most Steelers fans want the secondary issues addressed in the off-season. I'm not placing all of the blame on Tomlin but wasn't Tomlin a DB Coach before he became a Def. Coordinator? I'm sorry, but I would rather not get to the Super Bowl unless we can dominate it from start to finish. Fix the O-line, clean-up the secondary, clean up the unnecessary penalties, etc.

austinfrench76
02-14-2011, 02:18 PM
Did i mention that our O beat their O 25-24?? Just sayin, again!

Atlanta Dan
02-14-2011, 05:25 PM
Ed. B of the P-G has this reponse to the Kirwan article

We could file this under old news because the Patriots actually showed everyone how to do it at mid-season. Of course, you have to have a quarterback as accurate and quick with his release as Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to pull it off.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers

TRH
02-14-2011, 05:53 PM
Spread out the Steelers on offense - gee I never heard that might be the way to attack the defense until Pat Kirwan brought it up except for every pre-game analysis of the Green Bay-Pittsburgh matchup

Three teams made that plan work this season - Saints, Pats, and Green Bay

So all you need is a Super Bowl MVP at QB for your team to make that plan go - plenty of those to go around


I hear ya, but its still a problem. You have to be able to beat those teams. We can't lose to all those teams, beat all the "weaker" teams, then expect to be crowned SB champs.

Atlanta Dan
02-14-2011, 06:04 PM
I hear ya, but its still a problem. You have to be able to beat those teams. We can't lose to all those teams, beat all the "weaker" teams, then expect to be crowned SB champs.

No question it is a problem and explains why the Steelers have never gone through Brady's New England in the playoffs to get to the Super Bowl - New England has the Steelers number, just as the Chargers always beat the Colts and the Steelers beat Baltimore when Roethlisberger plays

But there are maybe 4 QBs today who can pull that type of offense off against the Steelers (P. Manning, Brady, Brees and Rodgers) - you are never going to need to go through both Rodgers and Brees in the playoffs since they are in the NFC and have to always hope a team that matches up better with New England (Jets/Ravens) takes the Pats out before the Steelers need to play them

But although it looked like it might be a blowout, it is not as if Green Bay was an irresistible force in Dallas that the Steelers might not beat 50% of the time on a neutral field and teh Steelers were in the Saints game in New Orleans - Brady is the one QB they simply cannot beat

Farrior_roirraW
02-14-2011, 10:48 PM
But although it looked like it might be a blowout, it is not as if Green Bay was an irresistible force in Dallas that the Steelers might not beat 50% of the time on a neutral field and teh Steelers were in the Saints game in New Orleans - Brady is the one QB they simply cannot beat

Yeah, I agree. They cannot beat Brady.

I'm not worried about Manning, Brees or Rodgers although all three are dangerous they are not impossible to beat like you've already stated.

dez09231
02-14-2011, 11:29 PM
Our 3-4 has always been vulnerable with elite QB's running the spread.


Remember when Brady and Gannon came out and threw 55 times like 10 years ago? Kirwan isn't onto something new; he's rehashing what everyone else is saying, and has been saying for a decade. We've been to a Super Bowl, 5 AFC Championships, and have 2 rings in that span. I think we'll be just fine.

Kanata-Steeler
02-15-2011, 10:15 AM
I haven't really heard anything yet about how the Green Bay Packers totally demolished the Steelers in XLV. ? -thats becuase they didn't. The Pack played very safe and strong -WE DID NOT (Ben made made 2 uber-mistakes -End of game).
Ben, and the "O" did it for them, 2 Int's and a sad strip from Mendy cost us -21 points. -can't crawl outta that -but yes, this has already been discussed to death.

So I don't see the Pack as any template on how to beat Steelers. -we obviously are not that easy to beat.
The only time this last year that the Steelers were EVER soundly beaten was by Brady.-and all the teams wanna copy the Pats.-not really the Packers.