This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by William Turner. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Lack of pass rush ultimately led to Packers’ doom

They framed it in all different kinds of ways, but in dissecting the failure of the Green Bay Packers defense this season, it’s players and coaches kept coming back to the same thing.

By the way, do you like green bay packers hat I think they are awesome!

No pass rush.

They may not admit to it, but behind their words the message for general manager Ted Thompson was to find help this off-season. Departed end Cullen Jenkins’ name was brought up so many times Monday that you would have thought he was still playing for the team.

Thompson let the team’s best pass-rushing defensive lineman go last year despite his cost dropping dramatically in the free-agent market to a very affordable $5 million a year, which is what the Philadelphia Eagles paid to sign him.

Playing all 16 games for just the second time in four years, Jenkins had 51/2 sacks for the Eagles, exactly one-half sack fewer than the total of the entire Packers defensive line. From inside the locker room and out, the absence of a pass rush was on everybody’s mind when it came to analyzing the NFL’s 32nd-ranked defense.

“It’s been evident pretty much all season,” inside linebacker Desmond Bishop said a day after the Packers’ – crushing 37-20 loss to the New York Giants in a divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field. “Pressure on the quarterback is probably the biggest stat that’s not written down, but is up there with turnovers on reasons for winning and losing.

“You can tell whenever you can rush four and get to the quarterback, and drop seven, you’re going to win the game for the most part.”

The way the green bay packers 3-4 defense is set up, it’s hard to find players capable of rushing the passer the way Jenkins did because most 3-4 ends are there to stop the run. The linebackers are the designated sack men most of the time, but occasionally a player like Jenkins is found who can rush and play the run.

Thompson’s priority might be to find a defensive lineman like that in the draft, but he’ll have a hard time doing it selecting 28th in the first round. With the exception of Clay Matthews, he has used late-round picks or rookie free agency to find outside pass rushers, but this year his strategy might have to change.

There will be a number of college end / outside linebackers from whom to choose in the first two rounds, but as many know Thompson doesn’t like to force things and won’t chase a position even if it is a need.

In free agency, there are some pass rushing ends who may be available like Indianapolis’ Robert Mathis, Detroit’s Cliff Avril , Atlanta’s John Abraham and Arizona’s Calais Campbell. Only Campbell fits the mold of a 3-4 end, and the Cardinals are working hard to re-sign him.

At outside linebacker Houston’s Mario Williams is the prized catch if the Texans don’t put the franchise tag on him. Dallas’ Anthony Spencer is an option, and San Francisco’s Ahmad Brooks could be available among others.

But expecting Thompson to pursue pricey free agents is like facing the west and expecting to see the sun rise.

“Obviously our first objective is to look at what we have and find ways to get more pressure with the guys that we have,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “When the time comes in terms of adding people, we’ll certainly address that.

“But when we come back in a couple weeks we’re going to evaluate everything from top to bottom in terms of what we think it’s going to take to getting back to playing defense the way we did the first two years around here.”

However it’s done, it’s pretty clear to all involved that something has to be done because not having a pass rush affected all areas of the defense. Whether it was the linemen trying to be something they’re not, the linebackers having to hold coverage too long or the secondary playing a style it would prefer not to, the effect was pretty damaging.

Perhaps most affected was the secondary, where cornerback Tramon Williams had his worst season as a pro, safety Charlie Peprah didn’t have the athletic ability to get to places injured Nick Collins normally did and nickelback Sam Shields played too soft.

“From a different perspective, a coaches perspective, you lose a guy like Collins, obviously, Jenkins, you lose a caliber of player (like that) your defense probably will probably take a hit,” Williams said. “The way it was done the past year, the next guy stepped in and got the job done.

“But the defense just performed the way it did. (He) Capers could have been calling the game different for those reasons.”

Williams and Shields wanted to play bump-and-run coverage, which is their strength, but Capers was unsure his pass rush could get to the quarterback and was concerned about having Peprah and inexperienced safety Morgan Burnett being pressed into man coverage.

So Capers had the secondary play a lot more zone than it had in the past to try to avoid big plays. It resulted in yards allowed by the bushel during the regular season and the only saving grace was the defense’s league-leading 31 interceptions.

Check out for official team merch!

It also made Shields have to come up and tackle more, which proved to be a huge weakness, and kept Williams from shadowing the other team’s best receiver and wearing him down with constant shoves at the line of scrimmage. Without a pass rush, Capers did not feel comfortable having those corners go one-on-one with receivers when the quarterback had so much time to get rid of the ball.

“Pass defense is a marriage between rush and coverage, and we had issues with that,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said.

Up front, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac fought to get the most out of non-pass rushers like C.J. Wilson, Ryan Pickett and Howard Green. And he never got a pass rush from 2010 second-round pick Mike Neal, the heir apparent to Jenkins.

Neal tore cartilage in his knee at the end of training camp and was never the same. Trgovac thinks a full off-season of healing and working with the coaches will allow Neal to fulfill the potential they saw in him.

But counting on Neal to come back strong after an injury-filled season would be making the same mistake twice. Thompson thought Neal would step into Jenkins’ shoes after missing most of ’10 with a torn rotator cuff.

Trgovac plans to stress the transition from playing run first to rushing the passer that 3-4 linemen must do to be effective. He said younger players have a much harder time understanding how to do that.

“We have to go way beyond our maturity level,” Trgovac said of players like Wilson, Neal and Jarius Wynn. “That’s where Cullen, who has seven or eight years in the league, can do that. These guys are younger guys. That’s what we need to work on most.”

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.

More from William Turner

Similar Posts

By BaluSingh RajPurohit

By Deepanshu Bajaj

By Follicle Fix Reviews

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below