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Mike Smith has no time for Rashan Gary's critics

Maybe new Packers outside linebacker coach Mike Smith is a lurker on Twitter.

Or maybe he saw Andy Herman's lukewarm reaction

Whatever the case, it's clear Smith is aware of some of the criticism that was percolating online after the Packers selected Michigan's Rashan Gary with the 12th overall pick. 

Meeting with reporters earlier today, Smith took it upon himself to defend what he clearly thinks is some unfair criticism of Gary's game. 

That's what I'm talking about.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (73) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jannes bjornson's picture

Refreshingly, not Winston Moss @ the podium. EDGE
guy, not a down lineman, for the final time we need to emphasize.

Coldworld's picture

Wow, yes, no holding back! That is refreshing. If he is right, and he knows way more than I do, this kid is going to be popular.

I looked up 6 technique: Inside The Pylon defined it in a way that makes sense that it would impede sack opportunities given the objective:

“6 Technique is an alignment designation for a defensive lineman and/or outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage that is lined up outside the tackle and head up over the tight end, between the C Gap and D Gap. Like the wide 9 technique, the 6 technique defender on a pass rush uses outside leverage to collapse the pocket from the sides. From this head up alignment, the defender will often be tasked with jamming and/or re-routing the tight end before rushing the passer. Against the run, the 6 technique will often be the contain/force defender responsible for setting the edge and funneling the ball carrier back inside toward the teeth of the defensive front.“

Rak47's picture

Nice job as usual Coldworld. Now people may begin to understand why Gary's sack production wasn't that high. It seems no matter how many times you say it wasn't his first priority in the scheme Michigan ran they still don't seem to get it. Based on the description of the technique he played it sounds to me like it is somewhere on the defense you would put your best player up front. It also sounds like if you don't have an exceptional talent like Gary you won't be able to run it at all.

Tundraboy's picture

Supremo Coldworld!

Bure9620's picture

6 tech is just the alignment, 5 tech in a 3-4 or a 4-3 under, really is not much different, there would simply be no tight end on the offense on that side but you are still on the Tackles outside shoulder. 6 tech will get double teamed more and chipped by the TE depending on the responsibilities of that TE. Most TEs will play detached in college as most college teams do not run pro style offenses. Iowa and Wisconsin do, however I did not see Gary playing much 6 tech against Wisconsin, he was lined up at 3 tech and 1 under the guard and center and was used as an interior rusher. 2 years ago they played him at 5 a lot. I do not care about sack total, sacks are the most overrated stat in football, pressures are what matter.
However, Gary's pressure rate wasn't great either, he did wreck some games though, (Wisconsin). Interesting comments, I always saw Gary more dominant and looked more comfortable on the interior. I wonder if Gary plays as a DL rusher in that 2-4-5 nickel alignment next to Z Smith on 3rd downs, this may be what Pettine had in mind, it could give Big Kenny a breather as well. Getting 2 dynamic interior rushers together while keeping Clark and Daniels fresh.

Bert's picture

Any criticism of Gary or where he was drafted are meaningless at this point. The only thing that matters now is how he performs on the field. I too was a critic on draft night. But the more I read about Gary the more I like him as a Packer. Let's just give him a chance and see how things go. I have a hunch he will be a very good player and warrant his draft status.

TheVOR's picture

My only criticism of the pick has nothing to do with potential, athleticism, none of that. My concerns are purely about the injury, end of conversation. How that affects the player and his future is what I care about. I'm always a what if guy, and I sometimes hate myself for that as a fan, because so seldom does a Packers draft pick come in here and own it, it just baffles me. Honest to gosh, the last guy I can truly remember who walked out and DOMINATED as a rookie? Defensive Back Mike McKensie. He was an absolute wreaking machine from the time he stepped onto his first practice field! Want to impress a 55 year fan of NFL football as a rookie? Get out there and dominate it, own your stuff. My criticism of this pick is the risk involved in drafting this guy, with that injury, at 12.. Than simple! Said this a million times, if we hadn't drafted Gary at 12 - We could still have drafted Savage, another need position at 30, had 2 -2nds, a 3rd, and 2 - 4ths in this draft, simply by not selecting him at 12. Hell, he might have been there at 30? Just saying, those are my reasons for the criticism, and it's not the athlete, its the risk and injury, period, and how it toppled the entire draft by selecting him at 12.. My 2..

Jonathan Spader's picture

How many rookies come in and dominate in the NFL in general? Jaire Alexamder played well as a rookie. Eddie Lacy dominated and won rookie of the year for an offensive player.

Coldworld's picture

Very very few in year one, with the exception of running back to some extent historically.

Coach JV's picture

Hopefully all this talk about his laziness and lack of production will light a fire under his ass to prove everyone wrong about him.

I hope...

Coldworld's picture

I got exactly the opposite impression of laziness from the video. Why would we need to light a fire if that’s all it is, talk. Opening segment suggests there already is a fire. I hope that’s true, but his coach certainly seems to believe it.

jannes bjornson's picture

The fans don't watch the games or study film, they read bleacher report or follow espn draft coverage.

Cheezdik's picture

Well let's see how good Mike does at getting these linebackers motivated and getting sacks. I keep hearing this bs "Getting sacks isn't important". Tell the cornerbacks that who have to cover receivers twice as long and look bad when there is no pressure on the opposing QB. Guess we will see.

Stu M's picture

IMO it's not that getting sacks isn't important. Of course they are, they just aren't the only measure in having good pressure. You need to qbs hits make them feel ghosts, the hurries to disrupt the timing of throws leading to hopefully more turnovers for our defense. Too often in recent years I see qbs standing like statues in the pocket with hours to throw the ball.

Coldworld's picture

Sacks are nice, interceptions are better if you are a CB. Interceptions get you possession. If they have opposing QBs running or ducking out of collapsing pockets, the number of sacks and turnovers will go up and the percentage of completions down. Here is hoping the new group can consistently do that.

Love the concept of how they intend to use Daniels (reported elsewhere). I think Daniels will thrive this year.

jannes bjornson's picture

Unless it's a strip sack and you recover the fumble. Hope Smith coaches that technique given the hug nature of handling the QB during the pass rush.

TheVOR's picture

Love your response, as unpopular as that is. A team who can't get after the QB will not be playing in Super bowl.. EVER! The entire defense rests in the ability to pressure and sack the QB in todays NFL. Getting Sacks is vitally important. Getting sacks and knockdowns matters. Its huge..

croatpackfan's picture

I would prefer 5 INT and 5 incompletion because of QB pressure than 10 sacks. 10 sacks can bring you max 3 additional possesion, but 5 INT is 5 additional possesion and lets say 5 incompletion is 1 additional possesion.

I prefer constant pressure over sacks...

Nick Perry's picture

I didn't see your comment before I posted mine Croat.... Excellent comment!

Nick Perry's picture

Hmmm... I wonder then WHY they keep track of pressures and hurries? Pressure, moving the QB OFF his spot is sometimes MORE effective than the sack because the QB just may throw a pick or your Mark Sanchez a "Butt Fumble". Now, if you had your choice between a sack and an Interception which would you rather have? Even if the QB doesn't throw a pick and throws it away it's still a victory for the defense.

Coldworld's picture

Turnover every time. I love getting sacks but a turnover gets the defense off the field immediately.

Think Big's picture

Here's what I saw last year..... While we had success with sacks, we absolutely sucked at pressuring the QB, especially on 3rd down. Proof, that's why the opposing QB's had a QB rating of 100.9 and the defense ranked 28 in the league in opposing QB ranking. How many times did we watch the opposing QB's stand back and pick our defense apart in 2018?

If we can bring pressure on a consistent basis then the DB's jobs will be a lot easier.

draftnut59's picture

A sack is tackling the QB before he has the time to throw the pass. A pressure is forcing him to throw the pass before he’s ready. Either way, the corner doesn’t have to “cover receivers twice as long”. The only real difference between a sack and a pressure is the loss of yardage you get with a sack. Sacks produce more fumbles, but pressures produce more interceptions. I like our secondary’s chances to produce turnovers if our defensive front can produce pressures.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Love it!!!

GLM's picture

You know, with all of the subterfuge and misinformation that goes on during draft season, it woudn't surprise me if there was a team or teams who actively sought to drive down his stock so they could draft Gary.

kevgk's picture

Pair that with media analysts who love to share their insider "information" and run with whatever their initial impressions are, and it sure sounds plausible.

BradHTX's picture

Loved Nagler’s use of the term “Draft Industrial Complex.”

Though since CHTV sells a draft guide, technically it’s part of said complex.

Coldworld's picture

It’s a business of talking heads. Many haven’t had time to actually study in depth on all teams or every pick so generalized easy conclusions are their bread and butter. And if I say something, you’ve got to have a counterpoint or it’s really boring TV. And that is without considering the effect of the twitterverse.

wildbill's picture

Wasn’t happy when we picked him but the more I read/ hear about him I think maybe I could be wrong( it happens, just ask my wife). I watch very little college ball but did focus on his lack of great stats, as was reported as a large flaw. But watching some tape it appears he blows up plays where others can easily make a good play. That’s just good team ball. He is part of the Packer Family now so I am fully behind him as long as he works hard.

stockholder's picture

I haven't made up my mind. Let's be honest. What else could he say? The Pick is in. Done Deal. Wish him, and the packers the best.. Fear, gives way to criticism. It's not fair to Gary. So I do hope Gary; Makes us proud. Then He was the right pick.

Rak47's picture

He did say in the interview that he and Pettine love the guy and believe in him and that if they didn't he wouldn't be there plain and simple. That comment leads me to believe Smith and Pettine were on board with this pick 100% and it did not come down to Gutekunst forcing the pick on either of them. Why would Smith lie about it? He has no reason to even bring it up if it weren't true since no one asked him about it.

Coldworld's picture

It’s the way he said it, proudly took personal ownership and the passion with which he expressed his belief in Gary as a pick, player and person. Not you average “we believe” NFL podium speak. I am excited about the coach too, he has some fire.

greengold's picture

Yeah, Coldworld. I couldn't agree more. Very refreshing. Some people won't believe a thing without seeing it, which I get. I just find this super encouraging, and his enthusiasm and conviction in what he was saying was evident.

If they double Gary, someone else with a shit ton of talent will be single teamed, or left with a clear path to the QB/ball carrier. This is going to be fun to watch. Hoping for the best.

I'm liking this new staff. Breath of fresh air, from what we are hearing. I went to a bunch of practices in the MM era, and things looked incredibly stale and disjointed. DL work was done far away from eyesight more often than not, like they were sequestered away. Safeties did their own thing, CBs did their own thing.... I like what I am hearing. More cohesive focus to playing Pettine's D.

stockholder's picture

"Love the Guy" The Love can be blind. And the peas all come from the Pod. The Fear is comparison. Clay Mathews should have been kept if it was more then sacks. The problem we all saw was Need. Did the packers Need Gary? Or is it, he was such a freak Athlete? Many Had their Wants ahead of Gary. Even savage. Hock TE, Wilkins,Oliver DL, Williams OT etc. Seems many experts had us taking a WR and Guard. So doubling down doesn't fit. Picking guys because of RAS isn't going to calm the criticism. Picking guys that can make us PROUD will. Failure brings criticism. Gute will get a ton of it if his picks don't work out. Or will we blame the coach Again?

dobber's picture

What planet did Yoda come from?

stockholder's picture

A remote planet. I sold my Power of the Force figures. (Yes I had Yoda.) The coin set was worth $3600. A dealer from WI. Bought both my sets. 2000.00 a piece for plastic. The blister packages yellow. The cards I sold, averaged 150.00 a piece to a dealer in Ny. [In 1986-.] The empire strikes back figures, had the proof of purchases cut out, for freebies. I average 100.00 a piece because the cards were still in perfect condition.{ In 1990s.} Considering that most of the figures were bought for 88 cents on sale. The cost of Yoda was figured into cost averaging. There was No prospectus, Earnings guarantee, etc. They appealed to the imagination. Living in make believe is fine for some. Making money is better. It's all about investing. Gute has invested heavily into this years team. It's left are imagination equal to that of collecting something for profit. Some players have more value then others. Just like Star Wars figures. Gute saw profit in Gary. But Gary may be just a figment of his imagination. Whether it was good investment has yet to be seen.

IceBowl's picture

I would like to know what there is to criticize about Gary??

No one knows!!

But I am a little concerned he wants to be a sports business/mogul. Not that he can't do it, but more so, you don't take many hits behind a desk. That can be alluring.

jannes bjornson's picture

Its a good business and he can have a nice post-football career in sports management/Agency. People whine about Sherman controlling his own fate and negotiating his contract. He made out and kept another 3-5 % of the deal. If Gary went into a sports law program he would be miles ahead.

IceBowl's picture

jannes bjornson,

That is what scares me a little.

What does he "want to" be??

jannes bjornson's picture

They major in it during college. It's better than basket weaving. Sean Jones ran an investment business for players when he was playing and is still involved with the gig.. Football is a 9 to 5 just like any other job/business. If Gary didn't devote time to his craft he wouldn't be a One pick. The new rookie salary cap doesn't give these greenhorns beaucoup dollars right off the bat. They want the second and third contracts down the road. That's where the money is.

Nick Perry's picture

IceBowl… The only thing I can say about that comment is thank God we drafted a guy smart enough to think about his future AFTER Football. Sounds like the kid actually took his college education serious and thought about life AFTER football.

Hell, I'd give him another 30 points on that Wonderlic score for thinking about something as important as that.

Coldworld's picture

He has a pro agent he recruited to work for him. He is not doing it all himself. From all accounts, including this excerpt, he appears to love the game. He won academic honors the last two years: he is smart and hard working of the field apparently.

Does he love football, time will tell but I don’t see how doing that rather than playing video games is a tell one way or the other. His coach and the scouts really seem to believe he loves football. Seems like a very positive sign.

IceBowl's picture

Nick Perry,

I am not complaining one bit about any one that uses their brain. More power to them.

I was just positing a 2nd career that might entice him to leave early.

And all hypothetical. Just thinking out loud.

Jack Vainisi's picture

Gary fits the Pettine profile for edge/interior combo pass rushers. He was a good value pick at 1.12 whom I believe has a much higher chance of being a high quality player than average or below.

jannes bjornson's picture

He carried a #6 to # 8 pre-draft grade.

Handsback's picture

Exactly, even the draft pundits had him going in the first 10 picks. The issue was that none of the draft experts thought that Green Bay would take him after they got two edge during FA. So of course they are going to say..."bad pick". He wasn't a bad pick when he was pegged to the Giants, Jaguars, or Raiders. Just the Packers because they didn't think he should go there.
Absurd when you think how talented he is and what he can become verses hurt feelings.

jannes bjornson's picture

When Gruden took Ferrell with the # four pick it threw off a lot of mock boards in Vegas. No one saw that coming. .Gary was being pegged to Gettleman or Detroit. The Giants wanted to secure Jones before Elway had a shot with his # 10 pick or Cincy with #11. Patricia wanted his TE in Hockenson after bagging Trey Flowers as his Edge. Who knows how any of these guys will work out. Have to wait it out for a couple of years.

Freezn's picture

We as packer fans should believe that Pettine and Smith will wind this defense up and I agree its hard for a quarterback to throw accurately with a 288 lb linebacker smacking you, which in turn helps our new safety duo feast on the errand throws

Freezn's picture

I also think it will be hard to know where these linebackers will be coming from

Bryan Chisholm's picture

He's right.. there's more to playing the edge than getting sacks. If a guy is pressuring/hurrying the QB, he may throw a interception, which he can't do if he's actually being sacked. Which allows the defense to build on a intercepting tendency. More errant throws leads to more opportunities, and with actual playmakers being put into the secondary, I think we're gonna see something much more refreshing than years past.

I'm also hype about the idea of Mike Smith coming and making getting the ball out the main priority. IMO, that has always seemed like the most obvious thing to do everytime. Go straight for the ball and you get the sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery possibly, and you get your team the ball back. I love players getting sacks, no doubt, but getting the ball back can change the game in a more significant way every single time. There's just a lot to be excited about. I think Gute and the boys may have done something here.

Freezn's picture

You are right as our three freekish outside linebackers will becoming from any direction and now with a strong hungry secondary that have the capability to take away the ball. We will be better at the running game as we have thumper safetys in the secondary.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I was not happy with the Gary pick and I bitched about it like a lot of others. None of that matterrs now. Gary is a Packer and I will be pulling for him.

Lphill's picture

Constant pressure is the key , Pettine has options this coming season more so than last year because of lack of depth and then injuries , just remember Gary is very young and has a lot to learn so the Smith brothers will reap the benefits as Gary comes along it’s going to be a fun ride .

Doug Niemczynski's picture

5 words for Mike Smith and R. Gary
"Put up or shut up"

Freezn's picture

Mike Smith turned the Chiefs outside linebackers into wrecking machines

RCPackerFan's picture

I just watched Mike Smiths interview. Yup, I'm ready to run through a wall now.

Hopefully Gary will be the guy we all hope he will be. The good thing right now is that he has 2 veterans in front of him. So he can be used in certain roles to maximize his talents. Or he can be used in a rotation.

Just like Mike Smith. I'm excited for this year.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes. True excitement this year.

RCPackerFan's picture

I think part of the excitement is having players that fit the scheme that Pettine wants to run.

A lot of people didn't like the Gary pick. Which is mostly because he didn't have the stats.
But with what they are wanting to do in the front Gary is a perfect fit for that.

flackcatcher's picture

Frankly, I was surprised at the whining about Gary. Really smart football IQ who will play hard and takes a secondary role in the defense. Never complained about how he was used. The single biggest problem for the Packer defense was they did not have another player beside Perry to hold the edge last year. Pettine's entire defense depends on collapsing the edge or holding at the edge of attack on the run game. Gary did that for most his entire time at Michigan. (The Wisconsin game was different, they did not want Gary to up against Bucky's OT with the QB situation turned into a complete mess. If the stories are even half true, that the starting QB outright lied to his HC about his concussion and a true 1st year starting, I can understand why Gary was on the inside for most of that game.) Pettine's system depends upon on a deep front DL/OLB to press inside and collapse the edge to free up the ILB/Hybrids on man coverage. You need smart players on the D Line, where the major decisions on forcing pass options are set. IF, if, Gary works out and is healthy, then his draft selection will be a winner for both IAMGUTE and Pettine and for the entire Packers team for years to come.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

wait and see...we have to wait and see.

greengold's picture

RCPackerFan, It is going to be great to see Pettine be able to switch at will from a 3-4 to a 4-3 pre-snap with the same personnel on the field. That's where they will be able to maximize mismatches to create big plays.

Those pining for Matthews and Perry forget how one dimensional they both were, how ineffective they had become, and what a liability they became to be over the last couple of seasons.

Now, we have ascending players in the prime of their careers added to our front 7, along with dynamic additions this offseason that offer the versatility Pettine has been looking for in switching. I can't wait to see this in action.

Just imagine for a second how differently this D will look for all of the players we now have on board in the 2020 season and beyond. That familiarity with Pettine's scheme will allow these players to think less and react more to what they are seeing with knowledge and confidence, which will help create more big plays, game changing plays.

We've added a shit ton of speed and football smarts to this defense. When these guys start playing Pettine's D like it is 2nd nature, that is where the rubber really will hit the road.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Our linebacker coaches turned out LBs into a wreck.

Curt's picture

When they made the pick, I commented we would see more 4-3 than 3-4. Even call it 6-1 with Gary and the Smith's on the line in various places with Martinez the only one off the line on a regular basis.

Could be fun to watch.

Freezn's picture

We now have Gary learning from the Smiths with their violent ferocious pass rush. Gary is bigger and faster it should be interesting to see him learn from them.

Warhawk'70's picture

A comment that caught my attention came from Devin Bush who said Gary should have been picked before him. First, I was impressed with the lack of ego and honesty. As an ILB he knows how well he plays is largely determined by how well the guys in front of him play.

There would be no better judge of how good a DL is than the ILB'rs behind them. They know.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

oh brother

IceBowl's picture


Troll. Look at your last 3 comments. No content dude.

oh brother!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Koolaid drinkers

dobber's picture


Since '61's picture

Speculation and hype for now, reality arrives in September. Until then I just want Gary and the rest of the team to remain healthy. Thanks, Since ‘61

greengold's picture

Since ‘61, you just said a lot of good in very few words.

Packer fans looking for something to do, they’ll be fanatics, some more than others. It’s all good.

Holecrap's picture

As a long time M fan, I heard the hype of him coming to M as the guy who would turn Mich d around. I tried zeroing on him during games and like Nick Perry, he was able to go missing. He also had these small nagging injuries when the big games came up. He had no impact over osu and msg games. Not impressed. The guy has character issues.
I was hoping the pack would pass on him if available They didn't. Hey he reminds me of the other guy I thought was a terrible pick, Perry. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

2nd place is last place. We will be lucky at 8-8.
Still trying to rebuild.

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