Gray: Lack of consistency

Former Packers safety Johnnie Gray offers his thoughts on Green Bay's Monday night loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Let it snow, let snow, let it snow. With the weather outside being frightful, the Packers stuck it to the Seahawks on Monday night, forcing four turnovers by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in an amazing first-half performance by the defense. Unfortunately, when it snow stopped, so did the Packers.

The defense dominated the Seahawks offense with its aggressive play by the front seven. The secondary was flying around all over the field and it was nice to see them finally play the zone defense correctly. I was happy to see cornerback Al Harris get depth in his zone coverage and collect an interception. In the past, he would jump that running back flaring out of the backfield, but this time he kept getting depth, read Hasselbeck's eyes, and made the play. The rule is to play the deep pattern in your zone and react up to the short pattern with a force of vengeance.

As talented as this team is on paper, it lacks so much experience on the field as the Packers started breaking down in just about every position on the line of scrimmage. Poor pursuit angles, missed tackles and just plain getting worn down by the Seahawks running game were the Packers' ultimate demise. Rookie Abdul Hodge had his moments, but like everyone else, his enthusiasm got the best of him as he was caught over-playing the run and out of position at times. For one half, the Packers played their best defense of the year. The intensity, the hard hitting and the ability to come up with big plays were a sample of what this core of young football players are capable of doing.

The offense was supposed to run, run and run some more. Pretty much the same game plan against the Seahawks, but was it the lack of faith or poor execution by the offensive line? Against the Vikings (No. 1 in NFL) and the Patriots (No. 3) versus the run this would have been acceptable, but not to run and rely on the pass against a Super Bowl caliber team and coach was a disaster waiting to happen.

When you go as far as the Seahawks did last season, there's a sense of confidence, no mistakes, an extra gear to execute and most importantly, a no-quit attitude that goes with winning. In the sports world, it is called "IT" and the Seahawks had "it" on Monday night.

Young head coach Mike McCarthy is going through growing pains of trying to get "it" instilled in this young team and we as fans are going to have to suffer through it also. The offense had it, special teams had it and the defense showed on Monday that they also can have it, but it has to be consistent. It can start this Sunday as the Packers try to ram the ball down the throats of the New York Jets.

Johnnie Gray

Editor's note: Former safety Johnnie Gray played for the Packers from 1975-84. He was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1994. E-mail him at

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