During their Super Bowl-winning season in 2010 and through the first 6 games of the 2011 season, the Green Bay Packers have not struggled in pressuring opposing QBs. They ranked tied for 2nd in the NFL with 47 sacks last season and so far this season they have 15 sacks.
On Sunday, you can expect their ambitious, QB-chasing attitude on defense to kick up a notch. When defenses rush 5 or more defenders at the QB, it’s called bringing pressure. Defenses salivate at the opportunity to pressure inexperienced, young QBs, and that’s exactly the type of QB the Vikings will start on Sunday. Rookie Christian Ponder is making his first start, and the Vikings are certainly preparing for a pressure-happy Packers defense.
Vikings Head Coach will lean on his experience as an NFL defensive coordinator in providing input on how to prepare Ponder for his first career start.
“We always thought that we were going to see how they responded to pressure,” Frazier said when asked how he prepared for rookie QBs as a defensive coordinator. “That was the big thing, was to see how they responded with people in their face.
“I would imagine it’ll be the same way (on Sunday). He’s going to see a lot of different looks, he’ll see some pressures early, just to see how he responds. That’s the way we usually approach it, just to find out where he was mentally.”
Ponder provided a glimpse into how he might be handle pressure in last Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. On a 4th and 10, the Bears pressured with LB Lance Briggs, who rushed through the A gap. He made it into the backfield unblocked, which forced Ponder to unload the pass early. Ponder threw a pass to the outside shoulder of TE Visanthe Shiancoe, which was the perfect spot because it prevented LB Brian Urlacher from making a play on the ball.
Those could be the kinds of plays Ponder is going to have to make on Sunday if the Packers get pressure happy and continuously send 5+ rushers.
Tags: Christian Ponder, Leslie Frazier, Visanthe Shiancoe
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 149 Comments »