GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators met with the media Tuesday ahead of the Thanksgiving trip to Detroit. Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On Dallin Leavitt's release:
Obviously we've been together a long time and these are things that happen in the National Football League. I'm missing him already, but he brought a certain swag with him when he came here, brought a certain play style with him when he came here, and I'd like to think and we think in the building that it was contagious. We have to be able to move forward just like he does, and hopefully the attitude that he brought and the swag that he played with and the temperament and the play style will continue to carry through here.
On K Anders Carlson's recent misses:
It's a combination of some things I think. We felt like way back in the beginning we were going to go through this somewhere during the course of the year. He has to be able to have a good ball contact on it, I'd like to get the snaps a little bit better, get those a little bit cleaner at times, but … We miss tackles, we miss blocks, you're going to miss kicks. I think early he made a bunch in a row and everybody thought he was going to be the next perfect kicker that's never been. He's worked really hard. It's disappointing because he had a tremendous week of practice last week. So, I think we're moving ourselves in the right direction; we'll see what turns out this week.
On Detroit's special teams:
I think the challenge for us to be perfectly blunt is they've kind of gotten after us in the last three games we've played Detroit. They've been more physical than us, they've made more plays than us and I think they're really well coached by (Dave) Fipp. I've gone against him. I was in Dallas, he was in Philadelphia the whole time. They play extremely fast, they're physical, they have some really good players on their team. I think we've had one big field goal and we've had one big return that didn't have a penalty. Other than that we've had penalties against them, I think they tackled us three times inside the 20 the last time we played them here and so I think the challenge is, can we step and compete physically with this group? And run with this group? So we'll see what happens in the game but I feel like they've gotten the best of us kicking-game wise the last three times we've played.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On the Lions' run game and their O-line:
I don't even think it's arguably, I think these guys are the best line in football and I think their scheme is good. I think the players that they have up front are good. The two backs that they hand the ball off to are very good. We obviously know Montgomery very well from his time in Chicago, but yeah, they're a good, physical group that kind of makes no bones about it. They wanna run the ball and that's where everything begins with them. I think just my time with Jared (Goff) in L.A., very good play-action passing quarterback, but to be good in play-action pass, it starts with the run, so it's gonna be a great challenge for us. We know these guys. We obviously play them twice a year, but it's a great challenge and we're excited for it.
On how much motivation comes from the first meeting with Detroit:
I'm a firm believer, hopefully you don't need that much motivating when you're playing against a division opponent, especially a division opponent that's obviously ranked very high in the NFC, but it's definitely a game that it wasn't too long ago. We usually have five games in our breakdown that we study week in and week out and that was one of the games that was in our study obviously.
On the Lions' play-action game with QB Jared Goff:
I refer to it as sister plays. I think they do as good a job as anybody in the league having plays that are in the same family that look exactly the same and initially, the first two seconds of when the ball's snapped, it could be a run, it could be a play-action pass or they even build in screens off of it. I think they do a really good job of that and Jared's very good at the mechanics of those play-action passes, making it all look the same.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On improving on first matchup with Detroit:
One thing that we didn't do a good job of on the first game is we got off schedule a lot. We had a lot of long-yardage situations. We weren't productive on first and second down, so we couldn't be in those third-and-manageable situations. So we definitely just need to stay on track and just make sure our offense is efficient. It's going to be a tough task running the ball. These guys are pretty stout against the run, so we've just got to stick with it and make sure that we stay on schedule and put ourselves in good third-and-manageable positions, and when we get opportunities to make plays down the field, we take advantage of that so we can get in the red zone.
It was awesome seeing him do that. He looked super explosive on the sidelines. Made a really good play. Would have been awesome if he could've kept his foot in bounds right there. Every week, he's just been getting better and better and better as he's gotten more playing time with more opportunities. It's going to be really cool to see him just take the reins and be the guy.
On Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson:
He plays with great effort. He's obviously got all the tools that good defensive ends have, where he's got the length, he has the explosiveness. But the guys that are really good, play really hard all the time. We've played a few of those guys this year, like the T.J. Watts, the Maxx Crosbys, the Hutchinsons where their effort is relentless every single play, and that's how he plays. No matter what, you're going to get his best, so we better come ready to go.