GREEN BAY – The Packers’ defensive assistant coaches met with the media after Wednesday’s minicamp practice. Here are some highlights from their comments:
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On Damarious Randall’s potential as a “star” slot cornerback:
I think No. 1, you can see with Damarious’ baseball background he has really good ball skills and vision and instincts. He can play the ball. He has the instincts to play the slot position. You can take a guy who has the quickness he has and he’s more involved in the action. He’s worked more in there than he has outside. We like what we’ve seen.
On Josh Jones’ versatility:
I don’t think you can have too many guys like that. You’ve seen what we’ve done with Morgan. It’s been nice because he’s been able to step right in there and watch Morgan. You ask a lot of those guys. Josh has worked two or three spots. We’ll be working our way through that as we go through a preseason schedule.
Associate head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss
On Jayrone Elliott:
He’s working hard. He’s improved everything. He’s playing run better. He’s getting experience. Nothing more or less than what a guy would normally improve on.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On coaching Ricky Jean Francois:
He’s very bright and he’s good with the young guys. He’s very component in what he does. He’ll talk things through with you when he’s done things in the past. At the end of the day, we’re going to do it Dom’s way and he’s good with that.
On Dean Lowry:
He’s very bright, which is always a plus. He’s a good athlete and he’s long. He’s versatile. He came in here like you’d hope a second-year player would after having a little bit of success. I think he can handle all the mental portions of (moving around the defensive front). He’s very bright that he can handle a lot of things.
On challenge rookies face transition in the NFL:
With my rookies today, I told them you have to be precise on things in this league. Because when you play in college, every now and then you had a fish in front of you. You had a guy who was playing because he played hard. You don’t get any of those guys (at this level). You very seldom will make a guy whiff in this league. You’re going to be playing against guys who are capable players in the NFL. That’s a big difference to them.
Safeties coach Darren Perry
On Josh Jones handling offseason workout:
He’s doing a good job. He has a lot coming at him like any rookie. They’re going to have the moments when they struggle. It takes time. He’s just like all the young guys. They’re handling it.
On Kentrell Brice’s improvement:
I think just communication has picked up. I think he’s a lot more confident and a better feel for what we’re doing. You can see it in his growth. He still has a ways to go. He looks like a different player compared to where he was last year, which was expected. Physically, he’s a little bigger. We used to joke a little bit about his weight, but he was an explosive and powerful.
On how good Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could be:
It’s still early. The one thing I told Ha is I’m not going to coach you like I coached Troy or Nick. You guys all have your own style. Just be a team leader and you’ll develop your own persona. He has some unique ability. I really admire his ability to be a good teammate and his work ethic. To me, that’s how you build championship teams. Ha Ha can be as good as he wants to be.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt
On Kevin King:
He really hasn’t done much. He’s a really smart kid, but he hasn’t done much in practice. He’s polished. They did a really nice job with him at Washington. He’s played the position for years. He’s a smart kid. He can bend and get out of breaks.
On Damarious Randall’s skill set for “star” slot:
It’s a lot of what he did in college. He’s comfortable inside. He has good quickness. He has the ability to see and catch the flash of the football. He’s becoming a better communicator on the field. He has the ability to be successful inside there. He is a very explosive player. He’s a player who not only can cover from the slot, but can add something when it comes to the blitz game like Micah (Hyde) did.
On potential of the group:
If we play to our potential, we have a chance to be as good as any group we’ve had here. The ’09 and ’10 group was special. I thought our group in 2014 was really good. Outside of House, his camp has been the best out of everybody. I’ve seen good practices before and good groups. This group here has had those type of practices.
On what he sees in Herb Waters:
When I saws him in rookie camp, I asked for him then. I didn’t get him then. He has the skill set that I like to coach. He has long arms. He can bend. He can get out of his hips. One day, they said do you still think he can do it? I guess they asked the kid if he wanted to do it. He wanted to do it and I’m glad he did.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On Joe Thomas’ interception in practice:
Those are going to be the steps. If you want to show up and make an impact and stay on the field, you have to make plays at the end of the day. It’s good to see him make them in practice. It’s been his development in that role and consistently doing those things. Last year, he transitioned into more of a full-time base and nickel linebacker.
On Jordan Tripp:
I just love the veteran aspect he brings to the room. It’s been great to have him in meetings and having him being able to talk about things. I think that really helps the development of the other guys, as well. He’s a really competitive guy on the field, a really vocal guy. He’s done a really good job of communicating and bringing some leadership to the group.