GREEN BAY -- The Packers' three coordinators met with the media on Friday ahead of the Week 16 matchup with Minnesota. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
(on going indoors two straight games now)
I'm not hurt by that. Anytime, you go indoors to change your strategy as far as your kicking game, you're not worried about the wind, and the cold weather and how the ball travels. We're not disappointed by that.
(on punting directionally indoors)
We always try to be a directional punt team. It's just easier knowing you can go either way and not worry about the wind. With any returner, regardless of who it is, the less field you give, … if you directional punt and give them one way to go, you can close the field off … the less field you give these dangerous returners the better off you are.
(on what's next for Ervin)
Anything we can do to help the team. We want to be aggressive but use good judgment. We've done that and we've blocked well for him. We don't want to put ourselves in bad positions, coming up and muffing the ball or turning the ball over because you're trying too hard to make a play. Be aggressive, but use good judgment.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
(on finding out about Boone)
A little bit. Gotta be prepared for whoever they put out there. He did get some work at the end of the game last week. He's got some skills. This is the NFL. There's nobody you can really sleep on. We expect their guys to be healthy and play, and if not, we'll go against whoever they put out there.
(on preparing for the Minnesota offense)
They're going to run their system. They don't change. They're going to try to run the football, set up their play pass, which has been real good for them of late. That's what they do. I don't see them making changes due to a potential lack of depth at the position.
(on the improvement against the run)
We had the week where we really locked back in on it and made sure we'd been communicating. We weren't noisy enough. A good defense is a noisy one. If somebody says something that's not right, they get corrected so everybody's on the same page.
(on if the last three weeks show the defense is back)
I wouldn't say we're back. I still think and we talk about and try to get our thumb on the why, it still is never just one thing. Our ability to finish and put teams away, we haven't been able to … going back to the Chicago game in the opener. That's a concern. We were not happy with how the game ended the other day. It shouldn't have dome down to that.
Those end-of-game things, we always use the phrase we want to thrive, not survive, and we survived. We have to execute it better, and we have to coach it better. We learned about it without it having to be an expensive price tag on it. We needed to play the play better, and it's a good lesson for us.
(on Gary playing his best game so far)
Yeah, that's probably a fair statement. He did some good things. He got some production as well. I just know he's been working real hard with Coach Smith, a lot of things outside of his normal drill work, his get-off, his stance, his pad level. He's trying to find the right combination for himself. It's good to see him get the production, and he's a big part of the rotation. He's getting better at the right time.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
Jake's done a great job. I think it starts right out of the gate. He's been a force in the run game, and he's shown he can make plays when he gets an opportunity. He runs great routes. There's so many more things than the actual ball being thrown to you. We always talk about 1/11th, and Jake's been a great 1/11th for our offense.
(on blocking factoring into WR playing time)
Without a doubt. Because it all fits together. When you fit the play pass into the spectrum of it, when those guys are going to attack them, they don't know if it's a run or a pass, and that's going to help them get open…and that's how we get those shots down the field. The more they can block, the more it's going to help the pass game open up.
(on Minnesota LB Kendricks)
He's awesome. He's one of my all-time favorites. I remember when we scrimmaged them last year, I went up to him when I was in Jacksonville and said hey, you're a big-time player. He understands the system, and he's so savvy. You try to trick him and he smells it real quick. I've just got so much respect for a guy who's such a natural, instinctive player. He can diagnose really quickly, because you can't fool him. He's got that athletic ability to be able to turn around and make a play.