Packers System Shines AgainNovember 19, 2012
I don’t know how this Packers season will end. I do know this. The Packers are showing again that they are brilliant in personnel moves and coaching. Believe me, they are the envy of many NFL organizations. It’s not just that they are 7-3 with a 5-game winning streak. It’s how they got there. Overcoming adversity and injuries and displaying the depth that comes with shrewd scouting and coaching that doesn’t allow using injuries as an excuse.
To illustrate my point, let’s take the case of outside linebacker Dezman Moses. He was undrafted out of Tulane. That means that all 32 NFL teams passed on him multiple times. 245 players were selected. Moses was not, in part because of off-field baggage he picked up when he began his college career at Iowa. Ted Thompson and his scouting staff saw beyond that and thought he was worth a try as a free agent.
It didn’t take long for Moses to start standing out at minicamps. This is where coaching comes in. The Packers made sure they didn’t bury his abilities. They not only identified his potential, they gave him chances to showcase his ability in practice. That sounds easy but it’s not. Especially when you invested a first round draft pick in Nick Perry at the same position. Moses showed enough in the preseason that the Packers kept him on the roster. Again, not easy with a talented roster like the Packers. It takes discipline and vision. You have to trust your instincts.
That brings us to Sunday in Detroit. Clay Matthews was out with injury, creating an opportunity to start for Moses. There he was in the second quarter, stripping a fumble from Matthew Stafford and giving the Packers the ball. So in less than seven months, Moses went from being not good enough to draft to creating a turnover in a huge November division game on the road. Remarkable.
I grew up in an era when Packers management rarely seemed to do the right thing. I believe it’s worth pausing and appreciating the way the Packers are now because it’s special and doesn’t last forever.
Dennis can be contacted by email at Sports32@twcable.com and via Twitter @DennisKrause1