GREEN BAY – The Packers’ defensive position coaches and coordinators spoke with the media Wednesday. Here’s a rundown of some of their key comments.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On the depth at the safety position:
In this day and age in training camp, you have to prepare for a lot of different scenarios. Look back at last year, we’re playing for the division title and we have five safeties on the field. The more spots you have guys playing at this time of year, the more it prepares you for different situations later on. We play an awful lot of sub defense. You’re always looking for different ways to get your best 11 guys on the field depending on whether a team is running the ball or putting more receivers on the field.
On Clay Matthews and Nick Perry leading the pass rush:
I like them both. You saw us sub(-defense) last year when we had Datone and Julius here. We think Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott have some experience rushing. With Clay and Nick, they give us two guys who can rush the passer. If they stay healthy, they’ll play a lot I think. … Jayrone has made plays when he’s been out there. Kyler made some plays last year early before getting hurt. I feel good about those four guys.
On Quinten Rollins:
I like the way he’s played inside at the star position. He’s a guy who went through the injury situation. We can play him inside or outside, but I like the way he’s played at the star. He’s shown good instincts to this point in camp. I think he’s off to a good start.
On defense’s responsibility this year:
Every year is a new different year. We go into this year with the same attitude as the first year I was here. Our job is to try to be as good as we can be. That’s our responsibility and I think we can. I like the attitude of the guys. I think they understand the things we have to do to be a top defense. We’ve been a top defense at times, but we have to put the pieces together.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On the three rookie running backs:
I’m excited about the young guys in that room and having the opportunity to soak up as much information and knowledge in the classroom and go out on the practice field and apply some of the lessons they’re taught. It’s been exciting just to see them compete.
On learning pass protection:
Starting off, as far as getting comfortable, I’d say I never got comfortable because we all know how important it is, especially here in Green Bay. That’s primary No. 1. As of right now, they’re all getting an opportunity. When they are in those 1-on-1 situations, they make it count.
Special teams coordinator Ron Zook
On rookie punter Justin Vogel:
I think he’s doing well. Everything is new. He gets a little added interest because he does handle the football. There’s more than just putting the football and I think he’s learning that. I’m excited to see him punt out here in the stadium. There’s something about that place that’s different.
On the Packers’ return game:
We’re going to start doing that a little more. Because of the running we’re doing with the installations, we try to break it down. Tomorrow, we’ll get a couple returns. Jeff Janis has been back there. He’s returned kickoffs. Trevor Davis has been back there. You want to try to get them full speed and that’s what the preseason games are for. You tell them what’s going to happen, but until they do it, it’s new.
On Trevor Davis:
Trevor sent me tapes during the break of him catching punts, which impressed me. I think he’s the first guy in the NFL who’s sent me video of him catching balls. He’s come a long way in catching anything.
Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
On Nick Perry and Clay Matthews:
I’m a competitive person. You’re going to get those players feeding off that. Nick and Clay are competitive in their own right. What we discuss in that room and what’s being said, that’s all that’s being talked about.
On Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott:
Elliott has done a really good job this training camp. He started out playing with a lot more physicality. He’s still trying to fine and hone his pass-rushing skills. Fackrell has always been a more cerebral player. Our position is about making plays, we’d like him to play with more aggression and risk-taking and look to be more disruptive in his assignments. Both of those guys have gotten off to solid starts.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On Mike Daniels’ growth in Year 6:
Mike is soaking wet at halftime. His playstyle, we get every ounce of rep that we can out of him. He’s played plenty on third down. He’ll play both. He’s important to us on third down. For him to take his game to the next level, it’s understanding what’s going on around you and a better feel for the line.
On the plan for Montravius Adams:
He’ll be part of the group, but just miss all of the practice things. We’ll get him in the meetings. We have extra meetings with the young players, so we’ll get some extra time with him. His big focus now will be how well he does in the meeting room. It’s unfortunate what happened, but it happened. He’s injured here and now he has to make the most of it in the meeting room.
Safeties coach Darren Perry
On Josh Jones:
He’s still making some mistakes, but through it all, he’s still showing it up and being active. He still has a ways to go. Josh is an extremely hard-worker. We put a lot on his plate.
On Morgan Burnett’s leadership:
Morgan isn’t a big talker but he’s going to be the first in the meetings, last to go. Mike used him as an example of how to practice. He’s a prototype for that. The guys respect him because they know what he brings to the table. He doesn’t get a lot of fanfare. He just goes out there and just works. He’s kind of like a coach on the field and he makes my job a lot easier.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr.
On rotating the cornerbacks early in camp:
I’m just trying to get a group of six guys to go against 12 (Aaron Rodgers). I roll them different ways. When I know 12 is coming in, I have two groups working. I’m trying to get them as much experience going against Aaron as possible. When the other guys show they’re deserving of being in there, they’ll get those reps against Aaron and Brett Hundley.
On Quinten Rollins:
Just pretty much outplaying everybody. During the offseason, he outplayed everybody and right now he’s doing the same thing. … He’s just playing well. I asked him yesterday – once I found out Kevin wasn’t practicing – I asked him where he wanted to play and he said he didn’t care, so I played him outside. The core issues are cleared up. He’s quick in and out of his breaks. He’s a very prideful man. He hasn’t said two words. We don’t need a lot of talk. We have to go to work and prove we can play to the standard we’re capable of.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On inside linebackers playing next to a safety:
We meet together as a group enough with Dom where it’s not an issue. DP and I really believe in the power of communication and communication brings awareness to everybody. I think we’re all working to be on the same page. It takes a little bit of time, but we’re all talking the same language.
On working against young RBs:
It’s vital for us to get together. I really like the way our practices have evolved even in season where we can get more group stuff together and combine our fundamental periods. For me to work that drill in an individual period, I can coach it. We can go through it, but there’s nothing like going live through it.