GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media after practice on Thursday. Here's a recap of some of their key comments.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On the new defensive additions:
I’ve had a lot of experience with two expansion teams of guys coming in late and getting them ready. If you feel you have a chance to upgrade the roster, I think you have to do it. We have a couple experienced guys who have played a number of snaps of football. When you make a change, you relate everything to what you’re doing.
On the signing of LB Ahmad Brooks:
I think what it does is it gives us another option. You watch us last year, we had a rotation and two of those guys aren’t with us any longer. Ahmad is an experienced guy who we feel can rush the passer. He gives you another guy with experience who’s had production and played at a high level in a very good defense.
On Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s growth:
He took a big step from Year 1 to Year 2 and I anticipate him taking another step this year. Experience is a big factor at that position because you relate to what you’ve seen before. He gives us good leadership and holds himself to a high standard. Those kind of guys are probably more critical of themselves more than anybody else.
On new LB Chris Odom:
Last year, we had three size guys and it brings size to the position and a physical element. Again, Chris is taking a crash course in terms of the things he’ll know and that will increase each week as we go along.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On offense finding its identity:
The starting point we put a lot of effort and energy in protecting the football and taking the ball away. On offense, it’s about protecting the football and being fundamentally sound. We have to go out and we have to execute. We have an identity in our offense and it’s about our playstyle. These are some of the things we’ve talked about over the course of last year and this training camp.
On the three rookie running backs:
From an overall preparation standpoint, we have a nice plan in place. Those guys have been doing a great job in practice and in the classroom. Those guys learning from Ben and applying what they’re learning on the practice field.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On replacing Jordan Tripp and Jayrone Elliott:
It is what it is. They were two guys who played very well for us and did a good job. That’s the nature of the NFL. I’m sure we’re not the only ones going through that. You grab guys. Like I told a lot of these young guys, that’s why we talk about how important it is for you guys to know what’s going on. We teach by technique. For example, if it’s a return, we’re going to teach the technique of how you take that guy. That allows us to mix and match guys and get matchups.
On Seattle KR/PR Tyler Lockett:
They have as good of a returner as there is on the league. He’s not a really big guy, but he’s really fast and hard to catch. He gets North in a heartbeat and they have good core guys. They play with a lot of emotion and energy. We have to play our game. We talk about playstyle all the time. It’s imperative we play at the level we need to play at.
Offensive line coach James Campen
On Lane Taylor’s extension:
They’re all the same. You’re very proud of the guys when they accomplish that. It’s a testament to where they’ve been. I’m extremely proud of him and glad he’s a Packer. That’s a testament to anybody. If you make a 53-man roster in the NFL, certainly they belong. He worked hard and is very deserving.
On Justin McCray’s development at center:
Anytime you ask players to move or try to do something new and they do it well, that’s a testament to them and their hard work. Certainly having a good player like Corey to watch and learn and Donnie, that helps players, too. Both of those kids – McCray and Lucas Patrick – are good examples and embraced the position.
Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt On whether he can fathom Rodgers about to surpass 300 TD passes with only 72 interceptions:
No. I can’t. It’s a tribute to him and his ability to take care of the football. It’s a strength of his. It always has been. It’s one of the best things he does. He knows when to pull the trigger and fit it in a tight spot. I don’t know if it’ll ever be touched.
On Brett Hundley this preseason:
I was proud of Brett. I think he still has room for growth, but he was very productive in the preseason. His feet were positive. He made strides. I’m happy with where he ended up in the preseason.
On getting Joe Callahan back, losing Taysom Hill:
I think it’s very important. We have a lot of time invested in Joe. In our system as much time as we invest in the quarterback, you hate to train a guy for three or four months and then turn him over to someone else, but I’m happy for Taysom. You spend a lot of time with these guys.
Receivers coach Luke Getsy
On Davante Adams emerging as a leader:
I’ve seen a lot. Davante, he’s a guy who now has three full years under his belt and playing a lot of snaps. Something we talked a lot about last year was his leadership role growing. He came into the offseason with that approach. He had Jordy and Randall help him. Now, he’s seeing that. It’s his responsibility to work with these young guys and show them the ropes.
On similarities between Adams and James Jones:
I think so. One, their approach is very similar in the way they handle themselves in the meetings. They’re both very confident men and silky smooth guys. They’re both big, physical guys. Hopefully, Davante can have such a healthy career like James did.
Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio
On seeing two tight-end formations in regular season:
We’re certainly excited to play and to see everybody play with the anticipation of the season and hard work of the spring. Obviously, we’re excited to see what this 2017 team is going to look like and what the contribution is going to be from the tight ends. The primary is how their play and role in the offense help the team win. That’ll be determined by game plans and matchups each week. I’m just looking forward to playing the first game.
On Martellus Bennett possibly blocking his brother:
We have a lot of things to worry about with that defense. Michael is a great player, Avril is a great player. They have a great football team. It’s about the matchup that’s presented in front of you. The way they display their defensive front and linebackers. We’re looking at the big picture.
On Bennett’s blocking ability:
Marty’s a big strong guy who’s a good athlete. He’s versatile. He’s a rare game in the sense he has the size and a guy who can move in space as well as he can.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On importance of depth at running back:
Without question. Talking to the guys now, you tell them you have to prepare even if you’re not playing as much. You have to prepare for the long haul like you’re going to play in the game. You have to prepare as a starter because it is a long season. I told them at some point, you may have to play a lot. Not just the numbers, but making sure guys are going to be ready when they’re name is called.
On what he’s looking forward to seeing from Ty Montgomery:
See what type of endurance he has. One of the things I said to him – one of the things you have to prepare for now is you’re not going to be a surprise. Everybody is going to have a good idea of what you bring to the table. They’re going to tailor their defenses at you.
On Eddie Lacy working with Montgomery:
The biggest thing Eddie did was pointing out to him the aspects of playing running back and some of the things I just mentioned. You have to dish it out as much as receiving. He talked to him about how to be more defense as a runner. That’s the biggest way he helped him. People see 88 and they see him in real life, he’s not a little guy. He’s pretty strong.