GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and defensive assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
On Vince Biegel’s debut:
I think his run fits were very good. He needs to work on his pass rush a little bit. That’s going to improve over time. Overall, it went great. Here’s a guy who missed an entire offseason program, entire training camp, preseason, all those reps, all that banging the first half of the season. To step in 18 plays, 17 pluses, held versus the run, held his own very well, I was very impressed with him. Just his ability to stay focused and stay in the moment every single day in preparation, in the classroom – in seeing what he’s gone through and see where he was as a starting point on Sunday was very, very promising.
On getting pressure on the quarterback:
Clay and Nick has the most shots, but I know our guys, I know their heart, I know what we put into it on a weekly basis, I know what we put into stop that run so we can create opportunities to rush the passer. Even if the opportunities aren’t coming out the way we want right now, we have to somehow get these guys to slow down and get our guys from the rush and on the back end to play on the same page.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On how to handle defenses with eight guys in the box:
Understanding the blocking scheme and know there is a way to get some advantage from a leverage standpoint and angles standpoint. When it comes down to that, when you get in that type of situation, you have a hat for a hat without the exception of one defenders. Generally, you can create an explosive gain from that kind of situation.
On Justin McCray at right tackle:
He’s extremely versatile. I know I use that with Lance and Richie, but Justin is very similar. He can play almost all five spots. As far as sticking him in one area, certainly he’s shown he can be extremely productive and successful playing right side or left. He’s done a nice job throughout the entire season.
On how Davante Adams has bounced back from hit last month against Chicago:
He certainly bounced back strong. He’s one of those fierce, tough players. He brings a lot of energy every day. One of our players made the comment today – we just got out of our film review – but his approach to practice. He competes on a daily basis and he’s able to take that from the practice field to game day. He’s one of those guys who’s a super-intense competitor.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On simplifying the defense:
Our volume was cut down quite a bit. We talked all week about how important it is to start fast. We get a three-and-out and then have a foolish penalty, continue the drive and then they score. We had second-and-longs, we just weren’t able to make the plays. There’s a combination of rush and coverage. We have to do a better job on third down. We won first down, probably the highest win percentage on first down, but it caught up with us in the second-and-long situations.
On run defense:
That’s going to be a big factor on Sunday, obviously. They’re as committed to running the ball as any team in the NFL. They have two backs. They’re using Howard more now. He’s a strong guy who will stretch the play and plant his foot in the ground. It’s going to be a physical game. We’re going to have to play really good run defense. Because if they get that run going on you, they keep that down-and-distance in their favor.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On Derek Hart’s debut:
I think he settled in. The first snap wasn’t very good, but that’s what you deal with. The snap at the end of the half helped him, probably helped everybody. …Everyone practiced that. It’s getting out and getting set. It’s something you work on most every week.
On Trevor Davis on returns:
We have been so close. Even the one they tackled him at the 15 or the 17. The kickoff return is about timing and all the things. We’re close. Guys are doing a good job of blocking. Sometimes Trevor isn’t hitting it exactly right. I feel like we’re progressing there and we have to continue to progress.
On the need to break a big return:
There’s no question. The one thing you have to be a little careful of. There’s big plays out there and big plays to be made. When guys start pressing and playing outside the system, that’s when you get in trouble. Like the kickoff return, we’ve been so close. I think we’re making progress in kickoff coverage. I want to get some shots in punt return. We can’t get to pressing. But there’s no question we have to try to make some big plays and make them happen.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On Mike Daniels’ unnecessary roughness penalty:
He knows better than that. I don’t think the stuff he said before – I don’t think that had anything to do with it. But he knows better than that. That’s part of his game we have to keep working on because stuff like that does hurt you. He knows it. He’s smart enough to know it. You have to be careful about being too emotional and doing something to hurt your team.
On Montravius Adams’ late start:
The difference between Kenny Clark last year and Montravius is (participating in) training camp. We have extra meeting time to catch him back up. You look at Kenny from last year, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. (Adams) had a legit injury. Nothing we could do about it. So we’re working him. He’s working both sides of the ball.
Safety Darren Perry
On Josh Jones playing at deep safety:
He brings a lot of energy. He did some good things. We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. He did a lot of things to get you excited. … Josh is a versatile guy. When we played him against Cincinnati at the hybrid position, he did a lot of good things. I think being able to settle in and zero-in on one position, that was probably the best thing he got out of it. It slowed the game down. He didn’t have to prepare for as much. He makes things a lot simpler for us when he’s out there.
On Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s performance:
It’s still early. We need him. We’re in a situation you’re in, you need your guys to step up and make plays. You have to be careful you don’t’ take liberties and put the defense at risk. We need all of our top players to step up, help us out to pick up the slack a little bit.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt
On Kevin King’s play so far:
We’re halfway in and he’s played like a rookie, up and down. Hopefully, he’ll take off from here.
On Damarious Randall:
He has forced turnovers the last four games. He’s given tight coverage and tackled well. He has tackles for a loss. He’s using extensions. Like I told the guys today (in meetings), I don’t think we’ve had a game where the guys who have played the most have all played well at the same time. It’s time all three of the guys out there all three guys perform well at the same time. Once that happens, it’s going to give the defense the ability to play better.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On Joe Thomas nearing a return:
He’s working through the week. He’s progressing. We’ll see where he gets to by the end of the week. With Morgan not being available, he’s another guy in the mix. Obviously, we have Josh and some different ways we can mix those guys in there, but Joe will be an important piece once he’s back.
On Jake Ryan:
I was very happy with the way Jake bounced in there the last game. I think his ability to get that ball out. The strip he had was a big play in the game. He’s been in there before, I believe in him.