GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators met with the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a sampling of some of their key comments:
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On FB Aaron Ripkowski:
First and foremost, it goes back to the instincts, understanding the blocking scheme helps, but the instincts of a runner and natural ability of a runner – he has a really good understanding of that. Then, you go back to what are you doing on your own? You go back to this last game against Detroit, he breaks tackles. It’s very, very difficult to take a big guy down who plays with good leverage and accelerates his feet on contact. Rip does an outstanding job of that.
On practicing outside:
It was pretty cold. It’s always good when you get an opportunity to practice in these type of elements. It helps as far as handling the football and getting acclimated.
On protecting the football:
Coach McCarthy talks about it all the time. You get what you emphasize. I think our guys understand the fundamentals. They understand that. It’s how we practice and the effort they put into it day-in and day-out speaks volumes. It certainly creates a habit.
On Giants safety Landon Collins:
Outstanding football player. He’s physical, tough, smart. He’s very good as far as tackling. Certainly, he’s a Pro Bowl safety. He shows up on tape.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On handling adversity as a head coach:
A lot of times you do your best coaching job during those times of adversity. Your message for the team, how consistent it is, you don’t waver – Mike (McCarthy) has done an outstanding job. What we’ve been able to do speaks to what Mike has done for this team. I don’t think there was anybody who questioned our ability to get things back on track. Every team is going to have bumps in the road. Our guys never wavered. We just stayed the course and kept lining up. Hopefully now that gives us a chance to do what we want to do and that’s finding a way to get a win over a good Giants team.
On whether LaDarius Gunter’s contributions have been a surprise:
It hasn’t because of his demeanor. I liked his demeanor since he came in. He doesn’t say a whole lot. He’s a quiet guy but he’s all business. He really competes on the practice field. That’s a quality at that position. You have to compete every down. The experience has really helped him and benefitted him as the season wore on.
On Giants’ improved run game:
Their offense is different now than when we played the first time. They’re running the ball more. They have Rashad Jennings back. Perkins gives them a little different style of a runner. They’re mixing the run and pass. When you have a guy like Beckham on the outside and his ability to make a big play, they spread the ball around. They’re a more versatile offense now.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On how Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy rallied team when it was 4-6:
I’ve done this for a long time. Sometimes it’s really been great and hasn’t been so good. I can’t say enough about the job Mike did. I know from my own experience, the energy the staff takes, he gave it. It was positive not only with the coaching staff, but the players as well. He didn’t flinch. He said this is what we have to do. This is what we have to get done. You keep doing what you have to do.
On returner Dwayne Harris:
Obviously, we played them a long time ago. They’re a little bit different. Our guys know how good he is as a returner. Our guys are going to have a great challenge. You have to tackle him to the ground. You can’t think you’re going to knock him down because he’s strong.
On whether Herb Waters could help on special teams:
He’s going to have to. Once again, I was watching him cover kickoffs in the Kansas City game. He’s been around. He’s a great attitude and effort. He’s a guy who wants an opportunity. He’s going to have to play.