I consider myself a seasoned, knowledgeable NFL fan. Although far from being an expert, I pretty much “get” offensive and defensive strategy. When it comes to Special Teams, they may as well be speaking Portuguese, because I’m clueless.
Sure, I get the basics. Great kickers and punters are important, as are returners and long-snappers and gunners on punt coverage, but the rest of it? It’s a casserole of nonsense.
Out of position
In the crushing playoff loss to San Francisco in January, a mostly forgotten play was a blocked field goal late in the first half. According to reporting at the time, Tyler Lancaster missed the key block.
Wait, what? Who missed that block? You can’t mean Tyler Lancaster, an over-sized nose tackle whose main job is to occupy offensive lineman and clog rushing lanes. That’s the guy who is supposed to stop a safety or linebacker who is much smaller and quicker than him knifing toward the kick spot. When 300-pound defensive lineman are key blockers on a point scoring play is when I admit, again, I don’t “get” special teams.
Speaking of special team’s mysteries, how come some shrewd player or coach hasn’t figured out you could create a “twofer” roster spot by having a backup offensive lineman, tight end or some other positional player who could long snap. Yet no one does it. Special team’s mysteries abound.
The new special?
So, is Rich Bisaccia a genius, or just another “guy” in a long line of forgettable Packer Special Teams coaches? Will Rudy Ford, Dallin Leavitt or Keisean Nixon make a real difference? Or, are we chasing fool’s gold again? We don’t need greatness on special teams. We need kick coverage and protection units good enough to not cost us games.
We’ll start to find out on Sunday. If you really want to know, “have we fixed our special teams?” the real answers may not be known until the tundra gets close to frozen.