Mr. Jerome Bettis, Aaron Rodgers wants to make you look silly.

Jerome Bettis: Provides Green Bay Packers with bulletin board material



Former NFL running back Jerome Bettis had a good bit to say on ESPN radio about the Green Bay Packers.

He said two things that should provide the Packers with some heat as they move forward in the 2013 season, and I would like to address them both:

1. The defense has not improved from the previous two seasons.

2. The focus on improving the running game has stalled Aaron Rodgers & Co. and their dangerous air attack.

First of all, we need to get a technician out to Jerome Bettis’ house, stat! His television is in desperate need of repair.

Dear Mr. Bettis,

With all due respect, your assessment is embarrassing … for you. What games have you been watching?

In 2011, the Packers enjoyed GREAT success on offense and very LITTLE success on defense. And I do mean, little. In fact, by the end of the regular season, our defense ranked 32nd of 32 teams. That is only the third time in Packers history that we have ranked dead last. However, we ranked 18th in opponent’s PPG and had a league high 31 takeaways in the secondary. We are a defense that has been known for “bending, but not breaking.” It was a defensive embarrassment and it is what helped end a very productive (15-1) season in the divisional round of the playoffs.

In 2012, Dom Capers went back to the drawing board. Even with another rash of injuries, including star playmaker Clay Matthews, the Packers’ defense ended the regular season ranked 12th overall. That is quite a step forward from 32nd, Mr. Bettis. As opposed to letting QB’s throw at will and complete anything and everything in 2011, this 2012 team was ranked 12th in overall opponents passing YPG, and seventh in opponent’s PPG. I’m just beginning to wonder why you aren’t seeing an improvement here? Yes, Adrian Peterson had his way with this run defense. Yes, Colin Kaepernick killed us with the read-option in the playoffs. I get all that. But, you live and you learn. The Packers have learned.

Through five games in 2013, the year in question from your remarks … we’re just boasting an overall third ranking in run defense, no big deal. We’ve shut down Frank Gore, Colin Kaepernick (legs), Alfred Morris, Giovanni Bernard, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Reggie Bush and Ray Rice. No big deal. Oh, and we are holding opponents to just more than 70 yards rushing and under 300 yards passing per game. Mr. Bettis, this Packers’ run defense would have frustrated you in your prime. Maybe you are confusing the Packers with the Steelers, who have no takeaways on defense and can’t rush the passer? We have a depleted depth chart and we are still coming up with turnovers and terrorizing QBs.

To say this defense is no different from 2011 and 2012 is … just silly. Stats aren’t everything, Mr. Bettis, you should understand that.

Jerome … can I call you, Jerome? We are rebuilding an identity here. We haven’t enjoyed the success of a balanced offense since Ahman Green. We have a stud in Aaron Rodgers and (up until now) we have been wasting his talents.

Defenders just drop everyone in anticipation of the big play. Eddie Lacy is the answer to Packers prayers. To say that our focus on developing our young running game into a complement to Aaron Rodgers is stalling this offense is … again, it’s just silly. Our patience is going to pay off.

Injuries are stalling this offense, not Eddie Lacy. We are having some troubles in the red zone, but that has nothing to do with our perseverance in the running game. We still have Aaron Rodgers and we still have The Big Three, no matter how banged up they are. You watch, the running game is just going to propel this offense into the next dimension, not stall it.

Stop being silly, please. It’s not becoming.

PS: I sure do hope your words are up on a bulletin board somewhere in the Packers locker room. I do love to see an edge to this team week-in and week-out.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Jerome Bettis

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  • Peter Maiz

    No, Jamie, stop being myopic, please. I just saw stats at Bleacher that show really second rate stats for the Green Bay secondary. Defenses win games. We practically don’t have any takeaways, Mathews is out, we have young unproven rookies filling in for proven seasoned receivers. I just don’t trust Dom Capers to show any improvement for the season which will mean “wow, close but no cigar”. Capers provided poor seasons when he was head coach at two teams and was fired twice. Isn’t time for TT to put everything into perspective? Capers and his defensive coaching staff are not cutting it, being thirteenth or fourteenth isn’t being fourth or fifth. Difference? Superbowls that’s all.
    I agree with you on Lacy. Just look at the Seattle performance last night. But let’s look at Seattle’s performance on defense. That’s why they’ll probably be where we’de like to be come January.

    • Jamie

      There isn’t anything myopic about being able to see past the stats. In fact, that is where the truth usually lies. When we finished 32nd in overall defense in 2011, we had a league high 31 takeaways. Those two numbers don’t normally go hand-in-hand; except when you are talking about a Green Bay Packers defense. We haven’t been able to stop anyone from throwing the ball in the past, but we have been very good at stopping the score. That’s not “good defense,” that is … ball-hawking skills. We have always had that. However, this year is different. If you’ve been WATCHING the games and not just READING the stats, you’d see the difference firsthand. Our front seven has been lights out. No one runs on this team. Our secondary? It’s young and inexperienced. M.D Jennings, Davon House, Jerron McMillian. Yeah, these are young guys learning a defense. Morgan Burnett is back now, we are still waiting on Casey Hayward … we’re going to improve in the secondary. But the fact that this defense has been KEEPING a stalled offense in games is amazing. Especially the level of play with such a depleted roster. We don’t have the interceptions we once had, and that’s because it is all still coming together. But when it does … we’ll be sporting a new ring. And it’s soon.

      • Peter Maiz

        Jamie, I have seen the games and, true, they’ve stopped the run and kept scores amazingly low. But where are the linebackers now? Ironically, the offense has been a bit truant considering Rodgers is manning the ship. I have seen the games and have been impressed by the defense so far. Nevertheless, when I see the rookies and young and coming players? Are you kidding me? Some are still fighting adolescent acne, ha, ha.
        And I don’t suggest that the Pack won’t return to be fearsome once key players return. What I’m saying is that the stats of the current secondary stink and if, and only if our defense were ranked in the top 8 or so, we’d have rings to spare. I think it’s logical and obvious.

        • Jamie

          I can agree on a couple of things: injuries are piling up and our secondary has not been playing up to par. Those two things also go hand-in-hand. Morgan Burnett is going to make a big difference, and already is. When Casey Hayward is back and healthy, our secondary is going to tighten up. But, you have to look PAST the injuries and PAST the stats, especially this season. Without Clay Matthews, who will pressure the QB? Well, Mike Neal and Nick Perry stepped up these past two games. Now, they are both probably gone — who will step up? Let’s see what Mulumba and Palmer have to offer. A.J. Hawk has been lights out, and 3rd string ILB Jamari Lattimore definitely passed the eye test last week. We have depth to this team. It’s definitely being used … but we have it. Sam Shields has been shadowing #1′s like its his job, which it is. Where’s Tramon been? Davon House seems to be improving. I have been very impressed with the resiliency on both sides of the ball and I look forward to seeing what else we have in the tank. And youth is a good thing — as long as we don’t play young.

          • Peter Maiz

            You know the players a lot better than me, Jamie, I’m looking forward to the rookies playing, obviously a talented bunch of young players. I’m a bit in panic mode for this sunday: 1. Can the Pack pressure the quarterback? 2. Can we protect Rodgers? 3. Will the Browns shut down the run? and finally, 4. How resilient can the secondary be during the fourth quarter? I think takeaways will be key, only good thing is Cleveland’s offense is not so hot. Hopefully, we’ll win by 10 points.

          • Jamie

            I am expecting a struggle on both sides of the ball. I am not anticipating a lot of offensive points, though I do believe that some young guys will step up today. Because of the lack of firepower on the offense, the Browns will likely drop an extra defender down to stop the run. Though, they are quite good at it normally so, they shouldn’t have to. It will be interesting to see how Lacy fares today. Hopefully he can generate some offense and get some crucial 1st downs. I am also expecting a struggle with the pass rush. Two undrafted rookies will be manning the helm, Mulumba and Palmer. Watch for them today, though Hawk should see more blitz packages too. If we can protect Rodgers and protect a lead in the 4th, we can squeak by with a win today. Fingers crossed!

          • Peter Maiz

            That’s how I see it Jamie, hardly any wiggle room.