GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and defensive assistant coaches met with the media over the past couple of days. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On Pat O'Donnell's game in Minnesota:
We thought Pat played well. Three of the four were inside the red zone. Would have been four out of four but we missed a tackle. He stayed on course. He used different 'clubs' depending on where we were on the field. I thought he played well.
On the punt protection:
They gave us eight-man fronts and I thought we held up. We'll get better as the year goes along. We're always concerned about protection. I thought we did a good job getting the ball out of there.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On deciding not to match up Jaire Alexander against Justin Jefferson:
Jaire is definitely worthy of that. He's the type of corner you can do something like that with, and we will. I'm sure there will be weeks we want to do that. But we feel pretty dang good about Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas as well, so when you do start game planning someone, especially the first game, early int eh year, there's so many moving parts. It's not a challenge for a guy like Jaire (to match up) … but it's the other 10 people around him, because when you come out of the huddle, you don't know exactly where that wide receiver is going to align, because they do a good job moving him around. That's ultimately why we said let's go play and do our job.
There were about seven plays last Sunday I wish we could have had back. The way we're built as a defense, we address those things, we learn from them, and we move on. There were 69 snaps in that football game, and there were a lot of good things our guys did.
On Bears RB David Montgomery:
There's different types of runners in this league. There's guys that are really good ball carriers when you hand it to them. There's guys that are more valuable when they get out of the backfield catching the ball. I think when Montgomery is healthy, he's proven to be able to do both. They do a great job with him on screens. He's a big, physical back. When he catches a routine checkdown, he can turn it into big yards. When he's stayed healthy, he's proved to be a very good, very productive back.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On how the Bears' defense looked in the rain:
That was an interesting game to watch, one of those when you're a kid and you like to play in those rain games. It reminded me of that. They played hard. Good defense, really good front. They played fast. It was impressive to watch them. It's going to be a big challenge for us, being consistent and being physical.
On getting more touches for the running backs:
A lot of different factors play into that. You're not productive on first down, you're in a lot of third-and-longs. Once you got the running game going a bit, we were down 20-0. Those guys kept battling kept fighting, doing the most with the touches they had. We'll do a good job getting those guys the rock.
I felt like we ran the ball really well in the game against Minnesota. I think it was over 6 yards a carry. It's just running the ball more. The one thing I've liked all camp is coming off the rock. We've done a good job coming off the ball, so it's been fun to watch.
On devising a game plan when the offensive line is so unsettled:
It is a challenge to juggle the reps, because right now the reps are limited in the season. It's just can these guys be prepared, how much can you put on their plate as far as multiple positions. These guys are relatively young and you want them to focus in on one spot, but … It'll be interesting to see who lines up as our starting five on Sunday. It'll be a fun surprise for everyone.
On possibly getting WR Allen Lazard back:
If he's in there, he's going to do the dirty work, the blocking, the things that you might not see on the stat sheet where you know you've got a reliable guy in there that's going to be physical. But then in the pass game, good route runner, steady hands, someone for '12' to lean on. And then also, he does a great job getting the younger guys lined up while they're out there with splits and details – just things you don't see every day. He's just a guy that really, in the big picture, just helps everyone do the right thing.
Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti
On Quay Walker's debut:
It was like most rookies, he was kind of running around a little bit at the beginning and then he settled in and made some nice plays. Overall, I liked the demeanor during the game. His demeanor, his effort, the things he was good at, he stayed good at. He did some really good things as the day went on. Sitting through an entire game, the ups and downs of a game, it was encouraging to see how he handled all that.
He's been a mature kid the whole time we've had him, and he strikes you as such. He reacted as we thought he would, though sometimes you get surprised by that.
On the inside LBs' role in containing Bears QB Justin Fields:
That's a team thing. That's going to be all hands on deck on that. He's obviously a good thrower and he can run and get out of the pocket and make plays and create. That's something the whole defense is going to be in charge of, my guys included.
Outside linebackers coach Jason Rebrovich
On rushing a QB like Fields:
Obviously the biggest thing is he's a tough man to contain, and you're going to have to have pass rush lanes, accountability, and understand guys working together – four equals one. We have a good plan for it and hopefully we're going to execute it here Sunday night.
Each week, each quarterback, we evaluate, does this guy do this? Is this guy better at this? And we attack those things we can execute.
He does a great job avoiding the rush. He's an athletic guy who moves around extremely well in the backfield, and when he feels threatened, he has this aura around him and feels how to get out of it.
Each week the flow is going to be different, and hopefully we can keep those guys in a rotation. But we want those guys on the grass as much as possible.
Safeties coach Ryan Downard
On how the position group played in Minnesota:
I think all of us expect more. The standard has been set in that room. Obviously we weren't happy with it, but we're getting better.
On the depth at the position:
You're always trying to build as much depth as you can. You hope you don't have to dip into your depth too far ad your starters can stay healthy. For us right now it's about finding out which guys can take that spot, and we've added some guys recently here. Week by week, it's who performs in practice, it's who does the best when the bullets are flying.
Defensive line/running game coordinator Jerry Montgomery
On the depth of the D-line:
You'd love to always be able to play all five guys and get them plenty of reps, and what happens then is your guys that are fresh, they want to be out there more. So it's always a give and take, but it'll be good to keep guys fresher so when you get into critical situations and third downs you have fresher guys. So it's going to be a positive for sure.
On defending Bears QB Fields:
He's an unbelievable athlete. We've got to be very cautious of what we do from a rush, like we should do in any game. We had an opportunity in the Vikings' game where we were out of our rush lanes and allowed him to step up and he made a big throw. So that's on us. Coverage and front marry together. So when we're good, they're good in the back end. When we're bad, we can put those guys on some islands. So we've got to be really dialed in and we've got to rush as one. That's going to be one of the most important things we do this week.
Defensive backs/passing game coordinator Jerry Gray
On the breakdowns against the Vikings:
I don't think it was miscommunication. Just, we've got to do a better job. I've got to do a better job of getting those guys ready for game speed. And it's a little bit different when you're doing it in practice and you do it out on the football field, and I think that's the thing, just getting them to understand that, 'Hey, look, we've got it under our belt. Don't look back. Let's move forward.'
On bouncing back:
The biggest thing that you've got to do is you've got to just go out there and play. It's different. We've got a different team. We've got different guys. You've got to go out there – and I know the expectation of this group is really high, especially coming off from last year – and we've got to go back and match that because nothing is ever the same. You can't expect it to be the same unless you go out there and you're producing.