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.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
On working with Aaron Rodgers:
His personality, my personality, everybody's gonna throw jabs and have some fun and try to spark some excitement or some questions. That's what this is, it's an entertainment business to a certain extent. I really do believe he's been great. He's helped Jordan Love a lot. He's helped Tim Boyle a lot. He's helped Matt (LaFleur) a lot. He's helped me a lot. And we've helped him. At least we feel like we have. It's just a great environment and when the quarterback's in a good spot, in a good mental mindframe, you've got a chance to be successful.
More on the personalities on offense:
I really, really enjoy this team. I mean, all the guys we have are awesome — from Davante Adams to Aaron Jones. I mean, we have a really good time. David Bakhtiari. Corey Linsley. Elgie (Elgton Jenkins). I mean, there's so many different things that make it so you have a team, and I think that's what you're always trying to accomplish. Not just one guy, not just the quarterback. Obviously that's very important, but you want to have a great relationship with all of them. Marcedes Lewis. Allen Lazard. Swerve ( Tyler Ervin). And as soon as you get somebody in, you want them to fit in and be part of the group.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
On Kenny Clark:
I had a good conversation with Kenny actually earlier this week because you could sense his frustration of, here's a guy that loves football and got the big contract and was like, he wants to make plays and feel like he's earning it and it's tough. And I told him, listen, you're a victim of your own success at times that you're not sneaking up on anybody anymore after you get a new contract and the playoff run we made last year. You weren't a well-kept secret anymore. When they watched the film, they understand like, 'Hey listen. Especially in the run game, we got to get two hats on him or he's going to create some issues.' So no, it's tough, he's just got to keep doing his job and just understand that offenses are smart and they're going to try to take away what we do best and negate our best player and he's one of them.
On replacing Jaire Alexander:
If it is in fact a case that he can't go, you know, we have backups that are going to have to step up and play. Josh Jackson's been playing quality reps for us. Ka'dar Hollman. We've played Sully (Chandon Sullivan) outside some before. Essentially taking the committee approach when we've had to replace the corner before. You can't live the whole game like 'Hey listen. We have to protect this player.' You just can't live like that. You've got to play your defense.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
On whether he expects Mason Crosby to handle kickoffs again at some point:
Yeah. Obviously the more JK Scott can do to help us as a young leg, it adds to what we can do, but I think yes, eventually Mason will eventually take that back over. Then we'll have both guys available.
On what John Lovett has brought to special teams:
I think he's done an awesome job. He's definitely a sparkplug for us and has developed into a good leader and plays hard, extremely hard, in every phase and has the right mentality that we're looking for (on) special teams. It didn't really surprise me. We noticed him obviously during camp and even though he as a former quarterback he definitely doesn't play like that. He's definitely got a defensive mentality and is physical in everything that he does and does everything the right way all the time. He's been a great shot in the arm for us and love coaching him.
Outside linebackers coach Mike Smith
On the pass rush:
You're starting to get guys back healthy, you're starting to get the group back together with Kenny (Clark) getting back, and things are going to start getting into a rhythm. And it's good being up on an opponent. When you're a winning team, you've got winning games, you have more opportunities to pass, and the offense has done a great job of that. We can see it starting to click, and you see those guys flying around and having fun.
On rookie linebacker Jonathan Garvin:
He's getting better too. He doesn't get as much reps as the rest of those guys, but he's picking it up, being a 4-3 end, always having his hand in the dirt, and now adjusting to outside linebacker. So it's always that learning curve, but he's one of the smartest kids in the room and does pick up things quick, and he's got just a great skillset of being a guy who knows who he is with his power and how strong he is and how heavy-handed he is, and just starting to figure out how to get these linemen to sit, and often his power is in and out. I think this kid has a really bright future.
Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti
On Ty Summers stepping up last week:
I thought Ty did a really good job. It's one of those things that it's a short week and you have to get yourself ready to play in a different way. And then Ty didn't get as many reps, (Krys Barnes) took most of the reps that we did take. Ty, that's kind of his process, anyway, so he did a really good job of getting himself ready to play. It's kind of old hat for him. He understands he's going to end up in the game one way or the other.
On how Christian Kirksey has looked in practice:
It's been a ramp-up process. … This week, he's out there moving around even more. When you take four to five weeks off, you need some time to get your eyes, your hands, your feet, to get all that stuff back in sync. That's been the process that we're going through right now. He's doing a really good job with it.
The Green Bay Packers practiced on Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.
Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray
On Josh Jackson:
The big thing is that he's been in meeting rooms more, he's asking more questions, he's being more vocal, he understands that I can't just sit back and be a backup because you never know what's going to happen in this league. You've got to have three or four good corners, and that's the mindset you want the guys to be in. And you always want them to think, you know you're not a backup, you're a starter, it's just that you have wait your time when you're not starting the game.
On Adrian Amos:
You see a stable guy who understands what he's supposed to do. He doesn't really play outside himself. He knows what he can do, what he can't do and to me, a lot of times, guys try to do something that's outside of himself and you screw up. And Adrian's not one of those guys. He's going to do just what he can do. And that's what I ask guys to do in the NFL is, I don't need you to put a Superman cape on in order to play on Sunday. All I need you to do is be who you are. And if you consistently do that, you'll be a good football player because we'll put you in a position to do what you can do best.
Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery
On Kingsley Keke:
He's obviously running with the ones. Proud of what he has become, and he's still improving each week. He learns more and more each week, the more reps he gets the more he grows. He's becoming a more physical player, he does affect the quarterback at times, and the word for him is consistency. Put it on tape once, hey, now we know you can do it, let's continue to do those things. The standard and expectations in our room is high and at times he plays to it all the time and there's times where we have to keep him there.
On Montravius Adams:
He has taken it upon himself to be ready to play whenever he's called on. He's playing more, he deserves to play more. He's holding point. The expectation for the room is no dropoff when we put guys in the game. He's held up his end of the bargain this year. At times last year, it was feast or famine. Just proud of what he's doing right now.