And he must go down hard. So said the formerly sane mentor of Ron Wolf, Al Davis. And that's the biggest problem with the Packers right now: the quarterback has not gone down often enough, and when he has, he's gone down easy, or run out of bounds or something like that. As feared, without Cullen Jenkins, the Packers' pass rush has gone from middling to totally pathetic.
And I repeat, this, the lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, is the team's biggest issue. Yes, it's worse than the stop and start offense, the halfhearted tackling, the pathetic punting, and the mediocre run defense. The Packers need to be able to disrupt opposing quarterbacks, even playing in a pathetically quarterbacked division. And it seems pretty apparent that they can't get that done rushing four linemen over and over again. It's clear that KGB has fallen off the map. He's getting off the line okay still, but he just can't make the turn around opposing tackles. And Kampman just hasn't been impressive. The "high effort, limited talent" moniker might be proven true this season. (And if you look at Kampman's sacks from past seasons, it's sad to say, but a lot of them came against marginal tackles or on hustle plays where the offensive play broke down and the quarterback was scrambling.) Furthermore, none of the other guys are stepping up. Montgomery's doing very little, Jolly seems to have regressed, Cole and Pickett are not pass rush threats, Hunter has been injured, and the rookie Jeremy Thompson apparently doesn't even deserve to be on the field. Without Jenkins, the Packers don't have anyone to put any heat on, as the Falcons demonstrated.
So that leads us to blitzing. The problem is, defensive coordinator Bob Sanders doesn't like blitzing, and hasn't shown an ability to teach blitzing, or effectively time or disguise them. An obvious linebacker blitz in the NFL gets eaten up by an opposing quarterback-- just throw to the area the player has vacated. Matt Ryan did that twice last Sunday when Hawk blitzed. We heard some talk about installing complicated blitz packages and all that in the offseason. Well, where is it? This defense desperately needs some effective, non-obvious blitzing. Time to put up or shut up, Sanders.