Packers defense hoping to force turnovers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Packers defense hoping to force turnovers


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WAOW) -- With All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a full cast of weapons around him, the Green Bay Packers are set on the offensive side of the ball. The key is creating a defense to back it up.

Green Bay hasn't ranked in the league's top ten in points allowed since 2010. That year it ranked second, and brought home a Lombardi Trophy.

The focus for the defense this year is a familiar one: forcing turnovers. Green Bay ranked first in the league in takeaways in 2011, but least year dipped to 21st.

The Green and Gold plan to return to their thieving ways, and they hope to start it by pressuring the passer, which should open up opportunities for a deep group of defensive backs to make plays.

"I think we've gotten our hands on a few balls (so far in camp)," McCarthy said. "That's kind of how it goes... You get around to the quarterback, get him out of his spot, and it's good to see the secondary start to bring some of them in."

As far as the pass rush goes, Ted Thompson made an uncharacteristically bold move this offseason by bringing in perhaps the best available player to help in that department: eight time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Julius Peppers.

"I think we're doing a good job," Peppers said. "We're trying to get interceptions, we're trying to get strips. That's a big point of emphasis is getting turnovers, that's going to help us win games."

Peppers comes from a Bears defense that ranked in the top five in the NFL in takeaways every year from 2010-2012, and even toward the toward the twilight of his career, the Packers are confident his experience opposite All-Pro Clay Matthews help reek havoc on opposing offenses.

"It's just about attacking the ball and going for the ball," Peppers said. "It's not anything more. It's about effort."

The Packers open preseason play Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. You can catch the game on Newsline 9, coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. after Newsline 9 at 6.


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