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Packers trying to become more efficient forcing fumbles

Dom Capers AP

A year ago, Packers defensive coaches spent the offseason talking about tackling.

This year, they have a new emphasis, and it’s changing the way practice looks.

Unhappy with the number of fumbles they’re creating, the Packers are treating every ball in OTAs as if it’s a live ball, diving on dropped passes and swarming to the ball.

You see us going to the ball with a little more intensity, you see everybody poking at the ball, trying to get the ball out,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “We’re just trying to get them conditioned mentally. You see us every time the ball is on the ground, you see someone scooping it. We’re treating it like it’s [a live ball] just to condition everybody to get to that ball, scoop the ball and to try to get the mentality of taking the ball away.

“In four years, we’re No. 1 in interceptions but we aren’t close in caused and recovered fumbles.”

Since 2006 when coach Mike McCarthy took over, the Packers have recovered 55 fumbles, tied with the Jaguars for fewest in the league over that span. The Bears (who employed the same aggressive practice habits under coach Lovie Smith) had 107, nearly double their division rivals.

Of course, forced fumbles are often a creation of pass-rush, and the unusual part is the Packers have been good there, ranking 11th or better in the league in sacks three of the last four years. But they forced just eight fumbles last year (recovering just four), and they’re determined to change it.

“You would think with our style of play – we moved back into the top five in sacks – you’d think that as many shots as we get on quarterbacks, we’d get the ball out. And we’re trying,” Capers said. “I’ll say this: Throughout my career, and even here, when we’ve put an emphasis on something, when we’ve said, ‘All right guys, this is a point of emphasis,’ we’ve improved.”

Taking Charles Woodson out of the back of the secondary won’t help that goal, but they’re hoping the extra work in practice puts it in the front of players’ minds, and it becomes a habit in the fall.

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59 Responses to “Packers trying to become more efficient forcing fumbles”
  1. alchemistcirca1979 says: May 30, 2013 10:09 AM

    Im still not going to pick the Packers D for fantasy football…

  2. twonis says: May 30, 2013 10:13 AM

    They’re also having their RB’s carry a ball around campus with them, with specific instructions to other players to do their best to get the ball away from them…even if it’s in the middle of Organic Chem.

    STARTING DEFENSE! PLACE AT THE TABLE!

  3. purpleguy says: May 30, 2013 10:15 AM

    While a goal of creating more fumbles is admirable, perhaps they should first focus on actually completing tackles.

  4. purplepride74 says: May 30, 2013 10:24 AM

    That’s because you are not at all physical. All the drills in the world aren’t going to help if you don’t have the right personnel on the field.

  5. sincitycheeze says: May 30, 2013 10:29 AM

    Just improve the tackling. The fumbles will take care of themselves.

  6. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 10:35 AM

    This is definitely an area of need for the Packers.

    If you can’t force Adrian “NFC Championship Fumbler” Peterson to cough up a few, you know you need to work on it.

    Well done, Mike M.

  7. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 10:42 AM

    purplepride74 says:
    May 30, 2013 10:24 AM
    That’s because you are not at all physical. All the drills in the world aren’t going to help if you don’t have the right personnel on the field.

    —-

    Christian Ponder would disagree.

  8. c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 11:01 AM

    @ponderdumpoffking
    No instead he just ran over Queen Bays collegiate defense for what near 600 yards in 2 games?

  9. theytukrjobs says: May 30, 2013 11:08 AM

    When I’ve watched the packers play they are constantly trying to rip at the ball and force fumbles. Constantly.

    I think the problem is that you need to hit hard and put the helmet on the ball to create fumbles. You only rip at it when it is hanging out. You need the other team to fear how hard your team hits, then they might lose a little concentration.

    Packers are obviously the least physical defense in football (in terms of tackling). Watch them play. Soft hitters that go for the ball. Now they are over emphasizing ripping at the ball.

    Just shut up and hit.

  10. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 11:16 AM

    c1md6 says:
    May 30, 2013 11:01 AM
    @ponderdumpoffking
    No instead he just ran over Queen Bays collegiate defense for what near 600 yards in 2 games?

    —-

    The Packers were 11th in yards and points allowed.

    The Yikes were 16th and 14th, respectively.

    If the Packers have a collegiate defense, does that make the Yikes defense High School, or PopWarner?

    Please clarify.

  11. GenXJay says: May 30, 2013 11:18 AM

    Wish in one hand…

  12. stevent92 says: May 30, 2013 11:30 AM

    Probably a good strategy, since they’ll be playing from behind most of the time. Forcing fumbles can’t make-up for a bad D. Junior College LB and a last-ranked secondary will only exacerbate their problem.

  13. PowerMad says: May 30, 2013 11:34 AM

    Dom Capers shouldn’t be concerned about creating turnovers. He should be concerned about creating a defense that isn’t populated with 1o Lamblow Field turnstiles and Clay Matthews. Still this new practice attitude should net a few drops by Matt “Playing Running Back Is Not My” Forte in Chicago or whatever shopping cart Detroit has in their backfield.

  14. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 30, 2013 11:34 AM

    c1md6 says:May 30, 2013 11:01 AM

    @ponderdumpoffking
    No instead he just ran over Queen Bays collegiate defense for what near 600 yards in 2 games?
    __________

    It was 409 yards in two games. 600 would be really good, considering his NFL record for yards in a game is 296. Maybe this year.

  15. contra74 says: May 30, 2013 11:40 AM

    After that legit loss in Seattle I would have assumed they focus on interceptions rather than fumbles.

  16. allday28mvpmvp says: May 30, 2013 11:50 AM

    They need to get more efficient at not letting Ponder go off for 3 TDs like in week 17.

  17. Frazier28/7 says: May 30, 2013 11:53 AM

    Might want to keep working on that whole tackling thing. 579packerdefensetime

  18. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 11:54 AM

    contra74 says:
    May 30, 2013 11:40 AM
    After that legit loss in Seattle I would have assumed they focus on interceptions rather than fumbles.

    —–

    Pretty good troll bait right there.

    I’ll follow that up with:

    Those are some nice Super Bowl rings, Minny!

  19. filthymcnasty1 says: May 30, 2013 12:09 PM

    It shouldn’t require much improvement to keep humiliating the hapless, tasteless Vikings and Bears twice per season – like they have for each of the past 3 years.

    Constantly beating up on those inferior division opponents makes football fun for everyone in the family.

  20. creasy says: May 30, 2013 12:31 PM

    They may want to bench Hawk then. He hasn’t forced a fumble since 2007.

  21. tangysizzl says: May 30, 2013 12:38 PM

    I swear if they just replace AJ Hawk on the field with Brad Jones, Robert Francois or Terrell Manning the fumbles and turnovers would increase if even just a little bit. I don’t think Hawk has had one turnover producing play in 3 or 4 years now.

    Robert Francois played in or started 3 games in 2011 and forced 2 fumbles, had 2 ints and more tackles for loss than Hawk gets in a full season.

    Please please get Hawk off the field, thats what you call an addition by subtraction.

  22. shepwp1 says: May 30, 2013 1:25 PM

    From what I understand, Hawk is on the field because of his ability to manage the defense, certainly not for his mechanical football skills.

  23. 2ruefan says: May 30, 2013 1:29 PM

    I think that something that gets overlooked in the statistics of teams that are good a forcing fumbles is the corresponding increase in missed tackles. Watch a game where a team that has EVERY defensive back and linebacker swiping at the ball FIRST before trying to wrap up and it will often result in the back getting 3 or 4 more yards. I say, go ahead and I hope that teams like the Bears and Packers keep “focusing” on it. If you protect the ball properly they won’t be successful in getting it and your team will get more yards as the result of their poor tackling.

  24. gbmickey says: May 30, 2013 1:35 PM

    The viking fans trying once again beating there chests asking everyone to look at them? When you can finally win a Super Bowl things will change. Didnt you guys get it handed to you in the playoffs by the Packers yet we should fear you? Its like little brother continually trying to beat big brother to no avail and is forced to continually talk to get noticed. Lastly you do realize the Bears are the true rivals of the Pack and always will be right?

  25. longhairdontcare66 says: May 30, 2013 1:43 PM

    Our defense is about as physical as a poodle. Play with some intensity start knocking ppl around and they think more about protecting their body than holding onto the ball. Couldn’t imagine how bad our defense would be without Clay.

    Signed,
    Owner of this pathetic defense

  26. c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 1:44 PM

    @filthy, I bet you would’ve liked to beat Minnesota twice in the regular season then you would’ve had a first round bye and a home game, instead Colin kapernick embarrassed your team on national tv in San Fran. Maybe they should go for strips because they sure can’t tackle.

  27. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 2:00 PM

    c1md6 says:
    May 30, 2013 1:44 PM
    @filthy, I bet you would’ve liked to beat Minnesota twice in the regular season then you would’ve had a first round bye and a home game, instead Colin kapernick embarrassed your team on national tv in San Fran. Maybe they should go for strips because they sure can’t tackle.

    —-

    Again…. Should you be talking?

    The Packers were better than your pathetic squad on both offense and defense. A much better football team in every way.

    Perhaps you should play madden and stay away from posting online with people who know about football.

  28. gnarlswoodson says: May 30, 2013 2:18 PM

    c1md6 says:
    May 30, 2013 1:44 PM
    @filthy, I bet you would’ve liked to beat Minnesota twice in the regular season then you would’ve had a first round bye and a home game, instead Colin kapernick embarrassed your team on national tv in San Fran. Maybe they should go for strips because they sure can’t tackle.

    ———————————————————-

    You sound like the little brother (the Vikings) who took a beating at school and then runs home to tell big bro (49ers) to go do something about it =(

  29. c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 2:24 PM

    @ponderdupmpffking,
    Who said I was a Vikings fan? Is that what you assumed or is it your insecurities due to criticism of your horrible team. I’m actually a giants fan and very a knowledgable football fan, as a matter of fact it was your fudge who we dismantled twice at lamblow field on our way to another Super Bowl run. Pretty sure you should start painting that field blue because its the the piece of paper holding fans that one it the GMEN own it. Oh and for the record if the Vikings are such a terrible franchise that you guys scoff at why bother to have a name taking shots at the team, pretty pathetic man.

  30. contra74 says: May 30, 2013 2:26 PM

    ponderthedumpoffking says:
    May 30, 2013 2:00 PM
    c1md6 says:
    May 30, 2013 1:44 PM
    @filthy, I bet you would’ve liked to beat Minnesota twice in the regular season then you would’ve had a first round bye and a home game, instead Colin kapernick embarrassed your team on national tv in San Fran. Maybe they should go for strips because they sure can’t tackle.

    —-

    Again…. Should you be talking?

    The Packers were better than your pathetic squad on both offense and defense. A much better football team in every way.
    —-
    Yet the packers lost to the Vikings at the end of the season to the tune of close to 300 yards rushing and 3 TDs from Ponder who you mock in your name. Classy.

  31. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 2:48 PM

    You mean the giants that missed the playoffs?

    Those giants?

    Yeah, stop talking.

  32. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 2:51 PM

    PS:

    The same giants that were the second worst defense (yards) in the league last year?

    THOSE GIANTS?

    Yes. You are knowledgable.

    You and my two year old could have great philosophical debates.

  33. c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 3:05 PM

    It was an off year but we usually miss the playoffs come back and just beat the packers in the playoffs on our way to another superbowl. So yeah stop talking because the Giants own the packers. Go fondle your Piece of paper that makes you feel like a “real owner”lmao what a joke that is, pretty sure the 2x Super Bowl MVP owns the packers!

  34. gnarlswoodson says: May 30, 2013 3:06 PM

    contra74 says: May 30, 2013 2:26 PM

    ponderthedumpoffking says:
    May 30, 2013 2:00 PM
    c1md6 says:
    May 30, 2013 1:44 PM
    @filthy, I bet you would’ve liked to beat Minnesota twice in the regular season then you would’ve had a first round bye and a home game, instead Colin kapernick embarrassed your team on national tv in San Fran. Maybe they should go for strips because they sure can’t tackle.

    —-

    Again…. Should you be talking?

    The Packers were better than your pathetic squad on both offense and defense. A much better football team in every way.
    —-
    Yet the packers lost to the Vikings at the end of the season to the tune of close to 300 yards rushing and 3 TDs from Ponder who you mock in your name. Classy.

    ———————————————————-
    Leave it to Vikings fans to bring up a week 17 win that meant nothing that you barely won. All that game accomplished was securing a ticket to Green Bay to get embarrassed. How many yards rushing to Peterson have in the PLAYOFF game, the game that meant the most out of the 3 times we played.

  35. filthymcnasty1 says: May 30, 2013 3:17 PM

    I’m all for aggressive play, but I am hoping that the ferocious Green Bay defense doesn’t knock that Ponder girl out for the season again, like they did last year.

    I hear she had an arm bruise.

  36. larryboodry says: May 30, 2013 3:39 PM

    “Leave it to Vikings fans to bring up a week 17 win that meant nothing…”

    Actually that choke-job cost the Packers the #2 seed in the playoffs, and forced them to play @SF two weeks later, where they got royally spanked…But other than that, yeah, that game meant nothing.

  37. deltaoracle says: May 30, 2013 4:00 PM

    Having Desmond Bishop back should help, since he actually seems to enjoy hitting the other guys. GB could use another few players on D with that mindset.
    The Packer defense was average most of the year, but that gets overwhelmed in the memory by the way they -let’s be honest – got carved up and trampled under by SF.
    It’s sort of like the way that Viking fans think that Ponder’s last “huge” 235 yard game means that they have a good QB.
    Anyway, we Packer fans have to hope that the GB D “rebounds to mediocrity.” A rather modest wish, but it could be enough. Especially if it does bring more turnovers along with it.

  38. munny10 says: May 30, 2013 4:31 PM

    As a packer fan, I think MM needs to spend another year on teaching them to get aggessive and make the tackle. This team just isn’t physical enough for the NFC. Poking at the ball is the wrong appoach – a shoulder planted into the RBs mid-section and wrapping up the legs is better.

    Also, MM, think you might have overthought the switching of the G/Ts. If they sucked on the Left side of the line, why would they get better on the right (and vice versa)? Never seen a switch of 4 offensive linemen in one fell-swoop. Added that they are all average to below average has me seriously concerned for AR and the offense.

  39. tokyosandblaster says: May 30, 2013 4:51 PM

    Whoa, whoa, whoa…

    I spend one week in a different country and come back to some idiot g-aints fan running his mouth?

    I’m sorry, but playoff teams don’t take trash talk from teams that don’t make the playoffs.

    Methinks you should worry about your own “worse than collegiate defense,” and pray to Lombardi that your team doesn’t wind up last in the division.

  40. allday28mvpmvp says: May 30, 2013 5:58 PM

    They should be worried both that O-line even more

  41. allday28mvpmvp says: May 30, 2013 6:02 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says: May 30, 2013 3:17 PM

    I’m all for aggressive play, but I am hoping that the ferocious Green Bay defense doesn’t knock that Ponder girl out for the season again, like they did last year.

    ——————-

    Ferocious D? What were u watching? I wouldn’t call letting Adrian own the whole field and letting Ponder score 3 TDs in the game that decides your playoff fate “ferocious”. More like “lame-duck”

  42. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 6:18 PM

    allday28mvpmvp says:
    May 30, 2013 6:02 PM
    filthymcnasty1 says: May 30, 2013 3:17 PM

    I’m all for aggressive play, but I am hoping that the ferocious Green Bay defense doesn’t knock that Ponder girl out for the season again, like they did last year.

    ——————-

    Ferocious D? What were u watching? I wouldn’t call letting Adrian own the whole field and letting Ponder score 3 TDs in the game that decides your playoff fate “ferocious”. More like “lame-duck”

    —-

    Lets see: your defense is worse than the packers, which is clearly documented by these things called “stats.” Your QB has one good game in 2 years and you’re already fitting him for the hall of game.

    Ease up, no-rings.

  43. allday28mvpmvp says: May 30, 2013 6:59 PM

    All Packers fans can do is talk about the past. Because their team has NO FUTURE

  44. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 8:11 PM

    Funny, you say all we do is talk about the past, yet your name has Adrian Peterson as MVP.

    That was last year.

    The Past.

  45. c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 8:34 PM

    @tokyo
    Didn’t this “non playoff team” destroy the pack 38-10 last year on national tv? Yeah of only we could play the pack every game we’d be 16-0.

  46. tokyosandblaster says: May 30, 2013 9:00 PM

    Lol. The Packers lose to a scrub team every year. Puny teams play their best games vs the Pack, because its like their Super Bowl.

    You say your team had an off year?

    They’re about to have an off decade. Won’t make the playoffs for a long time.

    The packers, however, will always be Jan the mix, as they have the best QB in the game.

    The giants have a guy who isn’t even the best manning.

  47. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 9:20 PM

    c1md6 says: May 30, 2013 8:34 PM

    @tokyo
    Didn’t this “non playoff team” destroy the pack 38-10 last year on national tv? Yeah of only we could play the pack every game we’d be 16-0.

    The Packers lose to a scrub team every year.

    The Giants were that team last year.

  48. allday28mvpmvp says: May 30, 2013 9:34 PM

    ponderthedumpoffking says: May 30, 2013 8:11 PM
    Funny, you say all we do is talk about the past, yet your name has Adrian Peterson as MVP.

    That was last year.

    The Past.

    ———————-

    Actually Adrian is the MVP until another one is voted. So yes, all year you will be hearing “MVP” next to Adrian’s name. Until the END of the upcoming season. But I expect #28 will win it again, someone will have to pry the trophy out of his hands and we all know that won’t be easy. Good luck tho, I look forward to Adrain running for another 500 yds on that sorry Packer defense. Again.

  49. larrydavid7000 says: May 30, 2013 9:47 PM

    the pack has a full plate this off season. 1 st. try to crack the code on the pistol offence and now trying to get more fumbles please. why not just focuses on your own team. cause you know week 2 is when RGIII and company are gonna give you a BEAT DOWN.

  50. packerfanfordecades says: May 30, 2013 11:13 PM

    I can remember at least a couple of plays last year when a Packer defensive player grabbed for the ball, missed, and the ball carrier moved downfield quite a ways.

    The best fumble I remember was maybe a couple of years ago when the defense had slowed down a runner to almost no movement and then Clay came in from the other side and just arm wrestled the ball away. He went in for a TD, I think. We could use another couple of those next year.
    .

  51. johnnyb216 says: May 31, 2013 12:08 AM

    LOL. Its funny listening to Vikings fans bring up their only victory against us in the last 3 years which also came down to a last second fieldgoal on their own turf but fail to remember that they were easily handled in the playoffs a week later. I guess if that’s all you got I’d cling onto it too.

  52. stellarperformance says: May 31, 2013 9:27 AM

    Tiger Woods does not win every golf match he plays. The thing that makes him better than his peers is the ability to consistently be near the top, to put himself in a position to win.

    That is what the Packers are doing. There is no such thing as a dynasty in the NFL anymore. Any team, yes, even the Vikings, can come from nowhere from one year to the next and surprise a lot of people.

    The Packers won’t surprise anybody because they are expected to already be near the top. And they are, year after year. A few tweaks here and there, as Tiger does to his game, will deliver results…..and this is the year.

  53. allday28mvpmvp says: May 31, 2013 10:43 AM

    johnnyb216 says:
    May 31, 2013 12:08 AM
    LOL. Its funny listening to Vikings fans bring up their only victory against us in the last 3 years which also came down to a last second fieldgoal on their own turf but fail to remember that they were easily handled in the playoffs a week later. I guess if that’s all you got I’d cling to

    ————–

    And all you have to cling to is beating Joe Webb in the playoffs, because yall choked against San Fran, so keep basking in that great victory against JOE WEBB. That musta been hard

  54. gnarlswoodson says: May 31, 2013 11:29 AM

    larryboodry says: May 30, 2013 3:39 PM

    “Leave it to Vikings fans to bring up a week 17 win that meant nothing…”

    Actually that choke-job cost the Packers the #2 seed in the playoffs, and forced them to play @SF two weeks later, where they got royally spanked…But other than that, yeah, that game meant nothing.

    ———————————————————-

    So you guys won that game not to try to get into the playoffs, but so that we’d be “forced to play” San Fran LOL I guess if I was a Vikings fan I’d have to resort to jumping on another teams Wagon for the playoffs every year.

  55. larryboodry says: May 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    gnarleswoodson says:

    “So you guys won that game not to try to get into the playoffs, but so that we’d be “forced to play” San Fran LOL I guess if I was a Vikings fan I’d have to resort to jumping on another teams Wagon for the playoffs every year.”

    I’m not sure what I’d have to resort to as a Vikings
    fan – anti-depressants come to mind – but I am much happier being a Bears fan, and being part of the only REAL rivalry in the NFC North.

  56. larryboodry says: May 31, 2013 1:49 PM

    PowerMad says: May 30, 2013 11:34 AM

    “Still this new practice attitude should net a few drops by Matt ‘Playing Running Back Is Not My’ Forte in Chicago…”

    Nice jab at Forte, but as any knowledgeable football fan would admit, Matt is actually very good at playing running back.

    And as great as AP is, your team is hobbled by Christian ‘My Lack Of Ability Is Something To’ Ponder.

    Can’t wait to return your one-dimensional team to third in the division this year.

  57. ponderthedumpoffking says: Jun 1, 2013 12:23 AM

    Ok. So the Packers are division champs.

    They will be again.

    See what I did there?

  58. lnfinite says: Jun 1, 2013 1:26 AM

    Keep dreaming because your best defensive weapon is the refs blind eye in defensive holding. Still funny how the replacement refs ignored that and gave the Sea chickens a win over your precious squad.. Without the refs your defense is worse than the Vikings by a country mile.

    Hate us and make us laugh more. Bring up history but it will not affect tomorrows games. Troll Viking stories and show us your fear.

    Packer fans are that weak.

  59. ponderthedumpoffking says: Jun 1, 2013 11:28 AM

    lnfinite says:
    Jun 1, 2013 1:26 AM
    Keep dreaming because your best defensive weapon is the refs blind eye in defensive holding. Still funny how the replacement refs ignored that and gave the Sea chickens a win over your precious squad.. Without the refs your defense is worse than the Vikings by a country mile.

    Hate us and make us laugh more. Bring up history but it will not affect tomorrows games. Troll Viking stories and show us your fear.

    Packer fans are that weak.

    —-

    Says the pansy who brings up one win in the last 7 games like its a trend, who hates us, and trolls our stories.

    You’ve just embodied weakness, I guess.

    The main difference is that I can actually laugh at you, your team, and your combined ineptitude. You can’t.

    #winning.

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