The Green Bay Packers defense was projected to be one of the best in the entire NFL. Prior to the season, many analysts predicted they would have a top-ten unit in the NFL. As we all know now, that did not happen. The Packers’ defense (and their offense) struggled to be consistent all season long. While there were flashes, especially late in the season, the overall performance by the defense was disappointing.
During the season, Packers Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown joined Wisconsin Sports Heroics writers for The Graveyard Shift with Gilbert Brown and discussed the defense at length. Now, during the offseason, Brown is doing a weekly segment, “Under the Helmet with the Gravedigger,” with talk show host Earl Ingram. In his first show, Ingram asked Brown what exactly went wrong with the Packers’ defense.
Gilbert Brown Addresses the Issues with the 2022 Green Bay Packers Defense
Throughout the course of my interviews with Gilbert Brown throughout the season, he pin-pointed the lack of help for Kenny Clark on the defensive line. To him, the Packers failed to win in the trenches on a consistent basis, which then affected both run and pass defense.
In his first show with Earl Ingram, Brown had this to say about why the Packers defense struggled: “It’s the scheme. You got to believe in the scheme in order for it to work. You got to have the players to have the scheme work.”
Ingram interjected, “They had the players!”
Brown responded: “No! No they did not! They lost guys from the jump. Or they mismanaged and they got a guy playing over there when he’s supposed to be playing somewhere else, you know what I’m saying? They had [Darnell Savage] playing safety, then they move him to corner, and they’re like ‘Oh there you go! There you go! That’s where he belongs!’ No. We need to make the right choices in the right defense.”
Gilbert Brown Praises Rookie Devonte Wyatt
One of the things that Brown specifically mentioned was the failure of the Packers coaching staff to give rookie Devonte Wyatt consistent playing time until later in the season. Instead, they started Dean Lowry on the line for most of the season.
During the segment, Brown said: “When did [Devonte Wyatt] start starting though? He didn’t start starting until late in the season because they had Lowry (I call him season salts), they had season salts playing and I ain’t seen season salts play a double team yet!”
Gilbert Brown, Of Course, Is Right
If you had listened to our show The Graveyard Shift at all throughout season, you would have heard Gilbert Brown say these same things week in and week out. One has to really wonder why Matt LaFleur, Joe Barry, and the rest of the Packers’ coaching staff is so slow to make adjustments from week to week. In the end, their failure to make those adjustments cost the team a spot in the NFC playoffs. Hopefully next season, they are quicker to place players in positions to succeed instead of riding them out for too long.
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