GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators plus offensive assistant coaches met with the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a sampling of some of their key comments:
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On what Aaron Rodgers getting healthier means for offense:
More flexibility. Obviously he’s going to do whatever he takes to put us in position to win the game. That’s what it comes down to. He’s probably the most competitive player in the NFL as far as who he is and how he goes about it.
Associate coach/offense Tom Clements
On high-stakes games:
It’s a playoff game, really. That’s the mentality you have to have. You’re playing for something and want to play next week. Everyone knows how important the game is.
On Rodgers’ interception-less streak:
It’s everything. It’s protection, guys running the right routes, and obviously Aaron making the correct decision. Sometimes you get an interception when you do everything right and defender makes a great play. Everyone plays a part in it. A large share of the credit goes to him.
On Geronimo Allison:
Everyone was excited about the possibilities he could bring to the offense. He’s a young guy, still learning but he works hard. His play speed is very fast. He takes two steps and he’s going full speed. The game is not too big for him. He’s been a positive for us.
Offensive line coach James Campen
On T.J. Lang getting selected to his first Pro Bowl:
I’m just very proud of him. Obviously I felt the statement of Coach McCarthy, it’s long overdue in my opinion. It’s an honor that fits the player. He plays hard. He’s dependable. He cares a lot about his team. … I think he’s gotten better every year. He’s certainly one that’ll tell you he’s never topped out and at the peak of his profession. Just his awareness and the fact he’s playing a lot. He’s been pretty darn good for a few years now.
On Jason Spriggs’ versatility this season:
He’s done a good job. Things don’t affect him. The game isn’t too big for him. He did a good job. He played guard those two weeks. He played against a quality opponent. He improved and that’s what you look for. He’s just ready to go. That’s a credit to him.
Receivers coach Luke Getsy
On Geronimo Allison’s development:
Since he got here, he’s been an impressive young man. His approach. His instincts. His natural football sense and ability to pick up on things quickly. That’s evolved since he got here. Once he was able to get a good grasp of the entire offense, it made opportunities show for him now. Every time we give him an opportunity, he seems to take advantage of it.
On Jordy Nelson playing in the slot:
Everybody in our room has the ability to play every position. The ability to move somebody around doesn’t allow the defense to dictate what they want to do to you. He’s a guy who can handle that as much as anything. He’s another coach on the field for us.
On Ty Montgomery moving to running back:
That’s special. That’s unique to do what he did and what he’s done, and what he’s doing. I think Randall has that natural ability with the ball in his hand but obviously he isn’t as big of a guy as Ty, and we’ve needed him.
Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt
On Rodgers’ recent stretch:
He has a great feel for everybody. The plays are being called, the guys are playing really well around him. I don’t know if there’s anything around him that I see differently. … I don’t feel like he’s a different guy now than he was in September. I just think that’s the way the game is.
Tight end Brian Angelichio
On Jared Cook:
I think it’s a testament to him in staying involved. It’s always hard when you’re not out there with your teammates. He’s more comfortable with what Aaron expects and getting on the same page. The more comfortable he gets, the faster he plays.
On how Cook impacts the way defenses matchup against offense:
Typically you try to create matchups. If teams are going to leave corners on a tight end, they’re typically in zone. If they’re in zone, it’s going to create matchups inside. Anytime you’re in zone coverage, you expose linebackers. If you get linebackers on receivers, that’s usually a pretty good matchup.
On Richard Rodgers’ TD catch:
Awesome. His family was here. His girlfriend was here. Aaron did a hell of a job looking off the safety. Rich did a great job stretching Harrison Smith. It was a well-executed play. … The thing about Rich is he’s consistent and steady, and he’s going to be in the right spot. You see that since he’s been here since his rookie year.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On Ty Montgomery’s transition to running back:
I think probably the biggest thing is how competitive he is and anything he’s asked to do, he wants to be perfect at it. If you put him in a challenging situation, the way he’s going to go about it and attack it is to make sure he’s the best at what he’s doing.
On where that competitiveness comes from:
Just having the opportunity to hear the stories about his upbringing and getting a chance to meet his mom. He has an internal flame that burns in him that he wants to be successful. He wants to succeed.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On high-stakes games:
I think it always helps if you have veterans who have been in these type of games before. They understand the focus that you need. Obviously, you have good teams playing this time of the year. So the margin for error goes down. You have to try to make sure you take care of business. The opponent is going to make their plays. You have to make your plays when you have the opportunities.
On getting the combination of Nick Perry and Clay Matthews back in the pass rush:
Last week it was nice to have them both back. I thought they impacted the game in their own ways. Nick will still have a club on his hands. I thought Clay made strides with what he has been able to do.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On Andre Roberts as a returner:
He runs strong with the ball. If you watch, he breaks tackles. He’s shifty. He has great vision, great acceleration. He runs away from people. Whatever speed he is, he gets there in one step. The thing we showed all week is how he break tackles.