Green Bay Packers’ thinned defense unit causing Dom Capers to be creative : Packers Insider

Green Bay Packers’ thinned defense unit causing Dom Capers to be creative

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 26, 2010 ~ by Gary D’Amato

~Lambeau Field — C.J. Wilson slid off a block and met Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in the hole Sunday night. The force of the collision messed up something inside Wilson’s helmet and he started running to the sideline, pointing to his face mask.

There was just one problem: The Green Bay Packers had no one to replace him at defensive end.

“It was kind of funny,” said defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. “I could see a little white strip hanging down there (in Wilson’s helmet). He was trying to come off the field and I said, ‘You can’t. We’ve only got three.’ ”

A series of injuries has forced defensive coordinator Dom Capers to come up with creative adjustments all season, but the craziness reached new heights Sunday when end Cullen Jenkins – already playing with a broken hand – strained a calf muscle during pregame warm-ups and couldn’t play.

Then, early in the game, end Ryan Pickett aggravated a sprained ankle and could go just seven snaps before heading to the sideline for good.

That left Capers with three healthy defensive lineman, one of them (Wilson) a rookie seventh-round draft pick and another (Jarius Wynn) released Sept. 4 and re-signed one week later after Justin Harrell went down.

"Well, we always tell our guys if they're sitting in that meeting room they've got to be ready to go out there and play," Capers said. "They owe it to everybody in that room. We've certainly experienced that this year. We've had some guys go out and play well. I like the way our backup players have performed. They've had to."

Though the Vikings gashed the Packers for 196 rushing yards, including 131 by Peterson, Green Bay’s defense came up with three game-changing interceptions of Brett Favre in the second half and survived a late Minnesota drive to win, 28-24.

“When you plan all week and you have your plan in place and an hour before you take the field you find out you’re going to have to readjust that plan, in a game like last night. . . ” Capers said Monday. “This is 25 years in the league; I don’t think it’s ever happened to me before.

“Those three (ends Wilson and Wynn and nose tackle B.J. Raji) played an awful lot and I’ll give credit to those young guys. They fought their tails off in there.”

It’s also a credit to Capers, whose coordinating skills have been put to the test. He’s lost two starters and two key backups to season-ending injuries. Three other starters and two key situational substitutes have missed at least one game.

That list doesn’t even count former starters Atari Bigby (safety) and Al Harris (cornerback), who began the season on the physically unable to perform list and returned to practice just last week.

Full story HERE

Help Us! Comment about this Packer Article

This is a community of fanatical Packer fans. Please tell us what you think about this post....