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Tuesday, September 23, 2008 2:40:46 PM(UTC)
Green Bay - Derrick Frost should consider himself on notice.
Coach Mike McCarthy didn't hesitate Monday when he was asked about the punter's performance in Sunday night's 27-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
"He needs to do a better job," McCarthy said. "There is no doubt about that. You look at the net and the numbers are OK, but as far as ball placement inside the 20, we need to do a better job of that."
After finishing the game against the Detroit Lions with a fumbled snap and a line-drive kick that was returned 20 yards, Frost punted five times against the Cowboys. He finished with a 49.0 average and a net of 42.4, but none of the punts landed inside the 20-yard line as the Packers struggled with field position throughout the game. Frost also averaged a mediocre 3.66 seconds of hang time.
"I'm just not real happy," said Frost, who has landed just one of his 14 punts inside the 20. "Two of the punts I really didn't hit very well. I kind of put us in a bind. Luckily we came out of it (OK), but I just don't feel like I'm hitting the ball nearly as well as I should be.
"You're not going to hit the ball perfect or great every game. Looking at the film, I'm just driving the ball, not getting up and through it and reaching out too much for it. I need to work on that this week, get better hang time."
Special teams coach Mike Stock said the punt coverage was "outstanding" as they held Adam Jones to a 4.3-yard average on the three punts he fielded. Stock was tight-lipped about Frost.
"He needs to be more consistent and do a better job," Stock said. "Our guys did a heck of a job even though the hang time wasn't what you wanted."
After being cut by the Washington Redskins, Frost was brought in the week before the opener specifically because he was more consistent than incumbent Jon Ryan, who was released and is now with the Seattle Seahawks.
Just judging from statistics, Frost looks like an upgrade so far: He's tied for seventh in the league in average (47.4) and seventh in net (40.6). However, he is a player known for angling the ball toward the sidelines and getting a lot of hang time, but opponents have yet to fair catch one of his 14 punts.
Still, Frost said he's not worried about his job security, even with the way he was brought to Green Bay.
"I really don't care to think about it because it's not going to help me punt any better," Frost said. "Although I've played bad, we've been effective. I'm just excited for when I get out there and have a great game, to see what we can do."
Bruised and battered
[ul]Receiver James Jones wanted to get back into the game against Dallas on Sunday, but he said he wouldn't have done the team any good.
Jones got hit on the same right knee he injured Aug. 22, and the pain was so great he could never get his stride back. He ran on the sidelines trying to loosen up but knew he wasn't right.
"The pain I felt was ridiculous," Jones said. "I just had to cool it down a little bit."
In addition to the knee, Jones woke up with a swollen wrist. He said it's a sprain or a possible slight fracture, but he said it was nothing that would keep him off the field.
"It's just a little wrist injury," Jones said. "We get those all the time."[/ul]
Run to nowhere
[ul]From a pure technical standpoint, the coaches weren't displeased with the running game.
The Packers averaged 4.0 yards per carry against the Cowboys.
What was missing was a home run play, like Dallas rookie Felix Jones' 60-yard run that put the Cowboys ahead for good.
"When you watch the film from an efficiency standpoint, we thought we did pretty well," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "We had 17 runs and we thought we won the down 11 times. That's a pretty efficient day. The downside was we didn't crack any, we didn't get any split of the defense. That's a little disappointing."
Philbin said the fact there weren't any runs of zero or less was a sign the run game was coming around.[/ul]
Missing their gaps
[ul]The Jones run was pretty emblematic of the day the Packers had stopping Dallas' run.
There was a miscommunication on how the defense lined up and instead of safety Aaron Rouse being in a position where he could have made a play on Jones or at least forced him inside, he was lined up on the other side of the field.
"If you don't get lined up right, those things happen," defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said.
The rest of the night, the defensive line did not play fundamentally sound and as a result allowed the Cowboys to rush for 217 yards. Second down was one of the worst. The Cowboys converted five downs of second and 8 or more running the ball.
"We were just sloppy last night," defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn said. "They had a lot to do with it. But guys were out of their gaps at times. We played hard and sometimes guys tried to do too much. We just didn't bring our 'A' game."[/ul]
[ul]Running back Kregg Lumpkin suffered a hamstring strain, but McCarthy said early indications were it wasn't overly serious.
Safety Nick Collins had a back sprain, and linebacker Nick Barnett had an elbow strain. McCarthy did not give timetables for their return.[/ul]
Good point, we didn't have any runs for zero or a loss. Which makes me ask, why didn't we run it more?
Nice to know that it was Aaron Rouse that was out of position on Jones TD that put the Cowboys ahead for good. Still want Rouse instead of Bigby?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 2:47:18 PM(UTC)
Who wants Rouse instead of Bigby? I thought the offseason debate was Rouse vs Collins, but right now, it seems like Collins is winning.
Can't wait for Bigby to get healthy. I was predicting Pro Bowl for him, but can't do that if he's not healthy.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 3:34:44 PM(UTC)
Collins is our best safety this season.
Rouse is what he is. He's a playmaker, but he's young, just like the coaches have been saying.
It'll be nice to get some of these guys back. We were missing 75% of our defensive backfield for a lot of the Cowboys game, and the one guy who was in was playing with a broken toe.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 3:39:31 PM(UTC)
I am a HUGE fan of Aaron Rouse. But thats why im not a coach! lol I would have had him in there in place of Collins. Ive never been a collins fan, but I will admit he is haveing a VERY good season thus far. Hopefully he stayes healthy. As far as Frost goes....Things gotta change thats for sure.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:28:37 PM(UTC)
Frost looked like the second coming of Louie "Line Drive" Aguilar on Sunday.
I think Rouse still has tremendous upside. His biggest problem seems to be that he takes bad angles and winds up trying to arm tackle. That can be fixed with coaching and experience.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:32:59 PM(UTC)
I still think there were off-the-field issues with the dismissal of Jon Ryan. Maybe we'll never know.
Rouse is not a smart player, he hits and he can make plays but he fails on his assignments and takes bad angles just too often for a position that is critical in the way we play.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:49:34 PM(UTC)
Jon Ryan could punt the ball three miles, but it was in a straight line. He consistently was out punting his coverage resulting in poor NET.
He also was prone to shanking one from time to time.
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