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singersp
10-21-2005, 02:13 AM
Packers could face new Vikings defensive scheme

Posted on Thu, Oct. 20, 2005
(from The News-Sentinel Fort Wayne)
COLIN FLY
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. - With a week off, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers thought they had an early jump on picking apart a previously porous Vikings defense.

That changed suddenly on Sunday.

After a rash of injuries on defense, the Vikings rolled out a 3-4 alignment, or three defensive linemen and four linebackers, instead of a 4-3, which is the more common scheme in the NFL and the one the Packers use.

Minnesota lost to Chicago 28-3, but Favre said the score was meaningless.

"They stuffed Chicago, they really did," Favre said. "The score was no indication of how their defense played."

The Vikings defense sacked Bears quarterback Kyle Orton three times and only gave up 95 yards rushing and 97 yards passing despite falling to 1-4. The 192 yards allowed were 104 yards fewer than the Vikings had allowed in any other game.

"They just completely changed their scheme," Favre said. "They went from a 4-3 to a 3-4 the whole game. I don't know if it's because of their injuries, but they went from being a zone team to a man team."

Favre also said they greatly increased their pressure on Orton and the Bears offense.

It was part of an aggressive approach the Vikings hoped to have on defense after adding linebackers Sam Cowart and Napoleon Harris, cornerback Fred Smoot, defensive tackle Pat Williams, and former Packers safety Darren Sharper.

But the unit gave up 504 yards in an embarrassing 37-8 loss in Cincinnati the second week of the season, and has surrendered 300 or more yards in the Vikings' other two losses before Sunday's defeat.

Sharper said it takes time with that many new faces to get comfortable with each other.

"I kind of predicted that we would start playing better at the middle part of the season," he said. "When you do add new faces it takes awhile for the team to jell. Right now, were getting to that point when were starting to play better as a total defensive unit."

Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates said the Vikings' off week before the Bears game helped them implement the new scheme because teams can't typically change that quickly in the middle of the season.

"That's quite a drastic change when you go from a four-man front to a three-man front, and (they) did a nice job with it," Bates said.

Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said the key to beating the Vikings remains the ability to run the football, even with a depleted unit that includes a banged-up Ahman Green (thigh tendon) along with third-down back Tony Fisher and recently signed ReShard Lee.

"Ahman Green's got to have a big game for us, as does Fish," Rossley said. "Fish has got to step up and assume Najeh's role."

The group lost Najeh Davenport for the season with a broken leg in the Packers' 52-3 win over the Saints. Fisher, primarily the team's third-down back, and Lee, signed after wide receiver Terrence Murphy went on the injured reserve list on Oct. 6, will get spot work.

Favre, who has thrown for 518 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception in his last two games, said Green Bay's run sets the Packers up to succeed, regardless of the defensive alignment the Packers will face.

"If you can't run the ball, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the passing game - obviously the quarterback," Favre said. "You have to be able to control their pressure, their pass rush by running the football well enough. Part of that is keeping yourself in manageable down and distances. If you run on first down and get negative one, now you're in second-and-11 and that's difficult."

Green needs a breakout game with just 206 yards on 61 carries and no touchdowns so far, and now the Packers must face a new defensive wrinkle in their long rivalry with Minnesota.

Favre pointed to limiting turnovers and an effective ground attack.

"In order to win over there there's a couple of things we have to do that we have done in the games we've won there before," Favre said. "It's no secret what we have to do."

VKG4LFE
10-21-2005, 02:16 AM
Hopefully our new defensive scheme throws them off and we get to Favre a lot!

TroyWilliamson
10-21-2005, 02:21 AM
The 3-4 scheme looked alright last week hopefully it will have a large impact against the packers this week.

Lotza
10-21-2005, 02:25 AM
we better get the w!!!!

Articnv
10-21-2005, 02:28 AM
godo means instead of havign 2 weeks prepare for us there back down to 1 week )

FuadFan
10-21-2005, 02:30 AM
We will see I guess I hope it was not just the unkown of it and the Bears O that made it work.

VKG4LFE
10-21-2005, 02:31 AM
Something tells me that the bears O really helped it look good!

ultravikingfan
10-21-2005, 02:33 AM
We only have one scheme...beating their sorry butts back to the stone age!

VKG4LFE
10-21-2005, 02:35 AM
That's what I'm talkin' bout!!

jimmymac
10-21-2005, 02:37 AM
This is one of the few news article concerning the Vikings/Packer game that actually talked x's and o's! Not one mention of the ...

TARKenton
10-21-2005, 02:42 AM
Im glad that teddy c realized the 4-3 wasnt working and made a change. when your 1-3 and giving up yards and points like a texas judge gives out death sentences, youve got to do something. Im not saying it is the answer. Chicagos offense is as anemic as ours, but im glad we didnt make orton look like an all pro. something our defense has been good at in the past is turning chumps into champs (chad hutchinson 2004, chris weinke 2001, kerry collins 2000 nfc champ). They will be tested by favre this week and we will know for sure if this scheme works. and just think, as bad as we have been, we win and chicago and detroit lose, we are tied for first. GO VIKES!!!!!

singersp
10-21-2005, 02:43 AM
"jimmymac" wrote:

This is one of the few news article concerning the Vikings/Packer game that actually talked x's and o's! Not one mention of the ...

I did a little editing! :cool:

singersp
10-21-2005, 02:47 AM
"TARKenton" wrote:

Im glad that teddy c realized the 4-3 wasnt working and made a change. when your 1-3 and giving up yards and points like a texas judge gives out death sentences, youve got to do something. Im not saying it is the answer. Chicagos offense is as anemic as ours, but im glad we didnt make orton look like an all pro. something our defense has been good at in the past is turning chumps into champs (chad hutchinson 2004, chris weinke 2001, kerry collins 2000 nfc champ). They will be tested by favre this week and we will know for sure if this scheme works. and just think, as bad as we have been, we win and chicago and detroit lose, we are tied for first. GO VIKES!!!!!

I thought I posted an article on that. He mainly switched to the 3-4 for depth of player reasons, but he may stick with it the rest of the year.

LosAngelis
10-21-2005, 02:51 AM
Not trying to stir anything, but did anyone notice that the Packer D is rated TENTH in the league?

No one is more surprised than me. They sure don't look it, but I won't complain...

VKG4LFE
10-21-2005, 02:53 AM
What high powered offense have they played? Oh yeah, the saints!

LosAngelis
10-21-2005, 03:04 AM
Heh, heh, heh...like I said....

We should improve our takeaways significantly after Sunday, though.... :)

singersp
10-21-2005, 03:12 AM
"VKG4LFE" wrote:

What high powered offense have they played? Oh yeah, the saints!

Plus a bye week!

singersp
10-21-2005, 03:20 AM
"LosAngelis" wrote:

Heh, heh, heh...like I said....

We should improve our takeaways significantly after Sunday, though.... :)

Minnesota has 10 takaways, Packers have 7.

Webby
10-21-2005, 03:25 AM
"LosAngelis" wrote:

Heh, heh, heh...like I said....

We should improve our takeaways significantly after Sunday, though.... :)

We'll gladly accept another 4 interceptions from Favre!!! :razz:

scott72
10-21-2005, 03:33 AM
"VKG4LFE" wrote:

What high powered offense have they played? Oh yeah, the saints!

Well they're not exactly playing a high powered offense this week either... :smile:

LosAngelis
10-21-2005, 03:47 AM
"webmaster" wrote:

"LosAngelis" wrote:

Heh, heh, heh...like I said....

We should improve our takeaways significantly after Sunday, though.... :)

We'll gladly accept another 4 interceptions from Favre!!! :razz:

Good chance there will be 10 turnovers in this game and neither of our ratios will improve.

Ltrey33
10-21-2005, 03:51 AM
If we play another good defensive game and lose again, I'm gonna go freaking nuts! I want our offense back!

singersp
10-21-2005, 03:57 AM
"scott72" wrote:

"VKG4LFE" wrote:

What high powered offense have they played? Oh yeah, the saints!

Well they're not exactly playing a high powered offense this week either... :smile:

That statement is true no matter which team you rout for!

Muggsy
10-21-2005, 04:09 AM
If we disbanded the Lions, Bears, Packers, and Vikings, could we make one really good team out of them? :???:

CynicalVike
10-21-2005, 04:11 AM
I've got a sneaky feeling that this week not only are we going to see a lot of the 3-4 used, but we will finally be seeing the full blitz package used too.

It is no secret that we have to get to Favre in order to win, and nothing besides a TD gets a Viking crowd more into the game than seeing the defense sack Favre.

ultravikingfan
10-21-2005, 05:14 AM
"VKG4LFE" wrote:

What high powered offense have they played? Oh yeah, the saints!

The Browns http://www.smilies-and-more.de/pics/smilies/tired/024.gif too!

audioghost
10-21-2005, 11:34 AM
Culpepper's gonna squirt down their thoat and those dirty cheese packers are gonna like it.....thats the sad thing....won't be able to "make" right for a month after they accept the reeming thats coming to em this weekend man!

audioghost
10-21-2005, 11:35 AM
:pukeright: Did I just say that??

NordicNed
10-21-2005, 12:28 PM
I have a vision of "Fat Pat" bowling over the center and laying the smack down on Farve this weekend.

God that would be fun to see, ole Fat Pat, laying on top of Brett...LOL

singersp
10-21-2005, 12:42 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

I have a vision of "Fat Pat" bowling over the center and laying the smack down on Farve this weekend.

God that would be fun to see, ole Fat Pat, laying on top of Brett...LOL

I've had that vision too Ned. And it's a re-occurring vision! I also see him getting the D pumped up for this one!

singersp
10-22-2005, 04:55 AM
If it ain't broke ... Vikings might stick with 3-4 defense

DAVE CAMPBELL
Duluth News Tribune

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell was wrapping up a chat with local writers earlier this week when he leaned forward and displayed a mischievously proud expression.

"So were you guys surprised?" Cottrell asked, referring to the 3-4 scheme the Vikings sprung on the Bears last Sunday in Chicago after a string of injuries on the line and stuck with for almost every snap.

When told that a few keen observers had spotted the change in practice, Cottrell let out an, "Aw, shoot," followed by his familiarly high-pitched cackle that belies his deep baritone voice.

The consolation for Cottrell? The alternative alignment actually worked well, despite the 28-3 defeat.

"Best performance of the year," said linebacker Sam Cowart.

Two of the touchdowns Minnesota gave up in the game followed turnovers, on drives of 3 yards or less. A third Bears score required a march of only 49 yards after a 49-yard punt return.

"They stuffed Chicago. They really did," Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre said. "The score was no indication of how their defense played."

Against the Bears, the Vikings allowed only 192 yards - by far their lowest total of the season. And because of the new look, the Packers weren't able to use their bye week for extra preparation.

"Surprised? Not necessarily," coach Mike Sherman said. "I think it's good coaching to take advantage of your personnel."

Starting end Kenechi Udeze is out for the year following knee surgery, and end Spencer Johnson - who can also play tackle - was also missing in Chicago because of a knee injury. That essentially forced Cottrell into the switch from the usual 4-3 scheme (four linemen, three linebackers) to the 3-4 (three linemen, four linebackers).

All-Pro tackle Kevin Williams, whose production had been substandard, moved to left end and had his best game of the season. Darrion Scott remained at right end, and big Pat Williams became the nose tackle.

Keith Newman took over for Napoleon Harris at one starting spot on the outside, and Raonall Smith earned a promotion to the first team as a starter on the other side. Cowart and E.J. Henderson played on the inside.

"It allows you to be a little bit more aggressive," Smith said. "You get to force the issue and make the offense react a little bit more to what you're doing, instead of reacting to what they're doing."

With Pat Williams dominating Bears Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz and Newman and Smith effectively playing the run to the outside, cornerbacks Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield were also able to play mostly man-to-man coverage. The 4-3 normally uses more zone.

"It's a shame we didn't win the game, because we had a lot of guys play well," Cottrell said.

Cowart, Newman, Winfield and Pat Williams all previously played for Buffalo, when Cottrell was the defensive coordinator. Back then, the Bills used the 3-4 all the time.

So the familiarity sure helps. Plus, it's easier to disguise blitzes with that scheme, generally stronger against the run - and simpler to play when the opposition uses shifts and motion before the snap.

"You just sit there and wait," Cowart said. "Are y'all done? Let's play ball."

The 3-4 defense was more common 15 years ago, when speedy, sack-hungry outside linebackers like Lawrence Taylor roamed the league. It's beginning to come back in style, now that the New England Patriots have used it on three Super Bowl-winning teams in the past four seasons.

The key to its effectiveness is strong and agile ends, a stout nose tackle, fast outside linebackers and cornerbacks capable of man-to-man coverage. Those are ingredients the Vikings appear to have right now.

With Johnson downgraded to questionable on Friday, it's all but certain they'll stick with what worked for them last week.

"I don't know that right now we have much choice," coach Mike Tice said.