GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and defensive coaches addressed the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On Atlanta’s big-play ability:
I think that’s what they’re based off of. Obviously they’ve been productive all the way around in the run and pass game. They’ve got an excellent play-action passing game, which the run sets that up. When you have a receiver like Julio Jones. This guy can go deep. You see him every game showing up and making big plays. … He’s a rare, elite talent. You always go in with a number of things you can go to.
On Atlanta LT Jake Matthews:
There’s a reason why they took him in the first round. I coached a lot of games against his dad and his dad was the same way. He’s a talented young guy and what you look for at the left tackle position. That’s why he was a high No. 1 pick.
Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
On Nick Perry:
Everything has sort of fallen into place with Nick. If it wasn’t for injuries or rotation or something that was out of line with him to get in a flow in all phases, then you can chalk it up to whatever. This year, he definitely has been able to stay healthy. I’m very impressed. Run game and the rush, there were a couple plays in the Detroit game but outside of that he’s been very effective when we’ve asked him to cover as well. Very, very smart and observant. I’m glad everybody can see what Nick Perry is.
On getting pressure on Matt Ryan:
You can ask any defensive coach, any philosophy, but at the end of the day when the offense is throwing the ball, you want to get after the quarterback and make it uncomfortable. It’s very important to establish some type of way to make him uncomfortable. If you do not and you let Matt Ryan get into a rhythm with that offense, it’s going to be a long day.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On how Mike Pennel has played after four-game layoff:
He came back in really good shape. The first game, we had a target of 13-15 snaps. The second snaps, we were going to beef that up but we didn’t play than many reps. He’s ready to move on.
On DT Kenny Clark’s progress:
Kenny’s going to be a good player. He’s a young man who just turned 21 but he’s very focused. He doesn’t clown around a lot but he has a good personality. With the centers we have coming up – we had Frederick and Mack now – he’s growing up fast. He’s a very strong, good-leverage player. He’s not perfect, but when he makes a mistake it really bothers him and that’s a great trait to have.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt
On Julio Jones:
When I think about Julio Jones, he’s a really gifted man who came into the league with all those natural abilities, but he doesn’t just rest on the abilities that he has. That’s why he’s an elite receiver. He’s learned how to run the complete route tree, runs extremely hard and blocks, he can get out of breaks. I’m really impressed with how he’s come into the league with so much ability and worked hard to become an elite player. He’s a top-five player. … The quarterbacks going to give him 50/50 balls all game long and he should. The deeper he gets downfield, the faster he gets. He’s a 100-yard runner, not a 40 runner. He’s beaten every coverage I’ve seen on film. He’s taken advantage of it.
On Demetri Goodson’s play since returning from suspension:
It was good to see that he was in shape. When he was away, he did the things to make sure he didn’t have to catch up. He’s been thrust into a role we weren’t expecting and he’s been solid so far.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On the Atlanta running backs:
We’ll see how Tevin Coleman does and if he’s going to make it. Both of them have the ability to come out of the backfield and make plays, but they can split them out. We have to do our best to stop the run and get them down there so we can put ourselves in better situations on third down.
On Blake Martinez:
I’m really not surprised with much. He’s come along and done a lot of nice things. I’m really proud of him when he takes something we worked on in practice and take it to the field and really improve in the areas we emphasize in practice. He really can focus on that.
On Martinez’s interception:
It was a nice play. It was good to see him pick that one off the ground. He missed that one earlier. I know that was on his mind and he was able to make that one off and make a play.
Safeties coach Darren Perry
On defending Julio Jones:
It’s going to take a collective effort. Not just the guys on the backend, but the linebackers trying to get pressure and get the quarterback off rhythm. It’s still going to be tough enough. He’s still going to make his plays. We just have to try to limit him the best we can.
On if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can play 100 percent of defensive snaps
I believe so. Ha’s durable. That’s one of the things since he’s been here, I don’t think he’s missed a practice. Ha’s been a tremendous leader and our young guys see that. It’s an element of toughness that sometimes can go unnoticed. Ha has done a lot of good things and I’m glad we have him.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On Knile Davis’ progress:
I’m excited about the progress that he’s making. He continues to get more adapted to what we’re asking him to do from a playbook standpoint. … He had some really good sessions with (running backs coach) Ben Sirmans. They’ve been working over the weekend. This week we’re in right now. They’ll obviously have more additional time when everybody else heads out.
On Ty Montgomery in the backfield:
He’s a football player. You can’t really say he’s a running back or a receiver. He’s a versatile football player who’s very successful at what he does. He’s a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On Trevor Davis’ poise on punt returns:
I like his personality. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he’s a tough guy and an athletic guy. The more experience he gets as a football player whether it’s offense or special teams, he’s going to be continue to be a guy who improves as he plays.
On DB Jermaine Whitehead:
He’s an athletic guy who can run. Speed is the name of the game. He hasn’t had a whole lot of reps since camp. We have to get him up to speed quick, but he’s a football player. When we can, we use our techniques so it’s not completely foreign to him.