Since we’re down in Dallas and out of mom’s basement for the week, we occasionally run into “real reporter” problems.
One issue: We have hours of recorded interviews and seemingly no time to comb through them looking for posts. So it’s time to start combing.
I sat down with Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin Tuesday and asked about the temptation to simply ignore the run altogether against Pittsburgh.
“I think a team would play into the hands of the opposition if you throw every down,” Philbin said. “Your quarterback will be in one spot and you would be asking your offensive linemen to sit back there and block every single blitz and every defensive line game and every twice. I don’t know that you can do that.”
The Packers did it a year ago. Green Bay called 48 passes against Pittsburgh during 2009’s 37-36 loss, and that was with Ryan Grant on the roster.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga would be tested in pass protection if Green Bay floods the field with receivers, but the best way to Pittsburgh is to throw 40+ times. (Philbin said the Packers don’t go into a game with a set pass/run ratio in mind.) Tom Brady and Drew Brees averaged 44 attempts against the Steelers this year. They picked Pittsburgh apart with short precision passing for 655 yards, five scores, and one pick.
Pittsburgh’s secondary depth is the closest thing their defense has to a weakness and there’s no reason to think the Packers can have any success running the ball on early downs.
We suspect they won’t try to run as much as Philbin implies. Balance is overrated.