GREEN BAY – The Packers’ coordinators and defensive assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday. Here's a recap of their key comments:
Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
On outside linebacker’s role in seven sacks against Tampa Bay
A lot of good rushes from a lot of different guys. The interior rush was excellent along with Clay (Matthews), Nick (Perry) and the other guys involved throughout the day. I’m excited about putting it all together and moving forward with closing this season out in the same manner. … Confidence is the main thing. Momentum plays into it. There are guys in that locker room who know how to rush the passer. They just need opportunities. We hope they cash in.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On injuries at cornerback:
Like we’ve been doing all year, we’ll have our game management meeting and see who’s available. We’ve had our two youngest guys – Pipkins and Brown – in practice this week. We have to make sure they’re ready to play. … (Brown) is a hard-worker. He probably got more reps in terms of preparing for a game this week than what he has because of our injury situation. D and Josh practiced all week, we’ll have to see what the availability is of all our guys.
On the number of safeties who have played cornerback this season:
I think it’s more important now than ever when you have guys like Morgan Burnett. He has played many places for us. You’ve seen a number of our safeties play down in the linebacker position. You can’t have enough versatility out of your players back there. … I thought Morgan did a good job last week of getting up and pressing their receivers. He’s smart. He’s instinctive. He understands the defense, so he knows how to use his leverage. His length helps him there.
On Blake Martinez:
He’s just made constant improvement. Blake, he’s smart and diligent in his preparation. He wants to be coached every down because he wants to do it right. You see the results of that. He’s just gotten better and better. He’s been able to stay healthier this year. He’s given us good leadership in the calls upfront.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On the offensive line’s performance against Tampa Bay:
You look at last week’s performance and the way those guys handled that upfront, running-wise. Our receivers didn’t have a lot of opportunities from the perimeter, but they did their job from a blocking standpoint.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On handling injuries on special teams:
You play a lot of young guys and start getting into the 12th, 13th game and the light comes on a little bit. I think most everybody in this league is in that situation. The thing you try to do in camp is prepare for the season. We really do a great job with our practice-squad players of treating them like they’re playing.
On Browns P Britton Colquitt:
He’s a pro. He’s done it for a lot of years. He has a history. Those guys who can kick the ball across the body, it’s an issue. He knows all the tricks and can keep your returner from being able to field the ball.
On whether Demetri Goodson will have a spot on special teams when healthy:
Absolutely. If he was up, we’ll find a place for him. He is a heck of a player. He hasn’t done it for a year. I think what he brings to the table in terms of speed is toughness and a knack for getting around the football.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On Dean Lowry’s speed on 62-yard TD return:
Dean could always run. You look at his 40 time at the combine. That’s one of the things that impressed us about him. He could run. He had some good hurries in there. I was excited he was able to display that and a little disappointed in his Lambeau Leap. He didn’t really get the height. After running that far, he probably was gassed.
On Kenny Clark’s two-sack game:
The one thing I kept telling Kenny – because he was a little bummed he didn’t have that sack – I kept telling him it’s going to come. I kept trying to encourage him and do the right thing. Kenny has worked hard on his pass rush. I believe Kenny is going to be a good pass-rusher for a man his size and his athletic ability. I told him many times, ‘Stay with the course. Don’t get down on yourself. Don’t get discouraged. They will happen for you.’ He’s such a young kid. They want it to happen right now. I kept telling him it’s coming and you could see the improvement in his pass rush from the time he got here until now. He’s had several good rushes where the quarterback just got rid of the ball before he got there. He’s going to be a good pass-rusher. I do believe that.
On Mike Daniels bumping into him on NFL Mic’d up:
It’s not the only time. I try to tell him. That’s just him. I try to tell him. When I got here, I was in my 40s and I just got a hip replacement. He doesn’t mean it. It’s just him. I’m sure you saw it. He knocked the hell out of me. He’s strong.
Safeties coach Darren Perry
On the number of safeties playing cornerback:
It’s trying. Our guys are excited. Opportunity is an opportunity. Fortunately, we’ve been down this road before with moving guys around. We know what’s at stake. We know we have some moving parts. Hopefully, we can get a consistent group out there. … I think all of them can do it. It just comes down to guys being comfortable.
On Morgan Burnett moving around:
Morgan is great when it comes to that. You talk about being a pro’s pro and a team player. In situations like that, you call guys in and tell them. We talked about that on Monday. Knowing Morgan, you can wait to tell him Wednesday morning when he gets here. He’s like, ‘Yeah Coach, no problem.’ We have some big games ahead of us. It’s time to circle the wagons and get this thing done.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr.
On injuries at cornerback:
We have a bunch of injuries. We have guys who are new to the position with injuries. It’s a challenge. You take Kevin King. From Day 1, I’m working with him he can’t throw his left arm. He’s going to be a really good football player, but there’s a difficulty there. You have a young guy like Herb Waters who’s coming and then gets hurt. We’re in a playoff mode and you’re expecting young guys to go out there and play winning football, and they’ve never played before. They could be playing a lot of snaps in this game.
On what he learned about Kevin King this year:
I know what he can be, but him not being able to throw that arm (made it difficult to see this year). Once he can control people at the line of scrimmage with his length, once he gets that taken care of, you’re going to see a player you’ll be really excited about. … You haven’t really seen the real Kevin King yet. He’s a tough kid because he played through it. He fought.
On Demetri Goodson working his way back:
Meech works as hard as anybody in that locker room. He’s a tough young man. He’s been a solid person in that meeting room. If you asked the trainers, he’s done everything they’ve asked him to do. He’s always pushing to do more. That’s what type of kid he is. When we get an opportunity to get him back on the field, he’s going to give this defense a tough guy. He’s going to bring a lot of energy.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On Blake Martinez:
He just needs to find a way to keep doing the things he’s done to start this year. With his playstyle, he’s made a lot of plays. Missed tackles have been a little issue here, but we’ve been working to improve that fundamentally. He just needs to keep pushing ahead, keep growing and leading.
On Jake Ryan:
I like what Jake has been doing. He’s done a lot of good things. He’s gone through the illness this week, too, but we’re hoping he can get back on the field and keep doing what he’s been doing.