- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The overall Packers defense is called from the sideline by the very knowledgeable Phil Bengtson. But within the defensive pattern that Bengtson calls, Currie and Willie Davis (the defensive end on his side, with whom he works very carefully) devise their own small stratagems, just as Forester and Bill Quinlan do on the other side.
"We'll switch off now and then," Currie says. "I may take the inside and Willie the outside, or vice versa. We try to avoid setting up a pattern that the offense can read. If we can mess up the blocking assignments, it's a help."
On the most spectacular play a linebacker makes—the red dog or blitz—Currie and Forester nearly always rush the passer from the outside.
"Usually there's not a big enough crack between the offensive end and tackle," Forester said. "I take the outside route, the end goes inside. We have to go hard because on an all-out blitz the secondary has four men to cover with four men. If the passer has time—three or four seconds—it's a sure bet that one of the four receivers will work himself into the clear. We try to break up the play by making the quarterback throw too fast or by getting to him before he can throw at all."
"You have to force a team out of what it does well," Currie says. "You have to make them do what you want them to do. For instance, a quarterback's most dangerous when he is throwing the ball, and if you make him run, he's forced out of his most effective function. Sure, some quarterbacks are great runners, but you don't often get beaten by a quarterback having a fine day running. You do get beat when he has a good day passing."
Vince Lombardi, the brilliant coach of the Packers, has a rather simple but unorthodox philosophy of football. Whether on offense or defense he concentrates on whipping the opposing team where it is supposed to be strongest.
"If you can beat their best players and start their morale crumbling, team morale crumbles," Lombardi says.
So far no club has tried to turn Lombardi's philosophy against his team. Should one try, the chances are it would go after Currie and Forester on defense—and that could be a terrible mistake, for this year at least there are no two more stubborn corner linebackers in football.