GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media over the past two days. Here's a summary of their key comments:
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
On the efficiency and explosive plays:
I think that's just everybody being smart football player and understanding what we're trying to accomplish. Obviously winning. That's the big thing. Just every play, winning, doing your job and getting your job done. I think that's a testament to all the guys for learning the system, understanding the why and them going out there and executing it.
On Corey Linsley:
It's amazing, there are so many guys on the team who sometimes go unnoticed. He's one, he's been incredible. His leadership role, the ability to run the entire offensive line, from all the calls that he makes, just his athleticism. That Detroit game, he had a linebacker blitzing right into him every single play, over and over and over, just running right through him. He took it and he did his job. It's one of the reasons why we had a good day rushing. It's huge. I can't say enough about Corey.
On the bunch formations with the WRs:
Everything is choreographed. It's really just a big dance out on that field, from the quarterback's footwork to the wide receivers being in sync, and timing up with everybody. When you get in those kinds of formations, there's different release patterns all based upon different reads. it might be the same play but there's a lot of different things going on and it could potentially be a little different each time.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
On preparing for the uncertainty with Saints WR Michael Thomas
There's plenty of film out there with Michael Thomas in there and without. Their system has proven over time there's way more than just one person. There's a lot to defend there. He makes it real difficult when he's in there and obviously we'll be prepared to go either way.
On defending the Saints' quick tempo and Brees' quick release:
They get up on the ball and they go. They want you back on your heels and kind of reacting. It's a credit to them. It's a system that has worked for a long time, and especially early in the game, there's stuff that's scripted out. They get you going all different directions, get your eyes going bad places and get you back on your heels. It's something we have to avoid.
On the overall assessment through two games:
The bottom line for us is (we played) well enough to win, but it has not been to our standards. Obviously it's great when we can make big plays and score points, but we have to raise our level of consistency. Our offense is not going to be able to control the ball for 38 minutes a game all year. We need to be better, and it's a lot of little things, early-season stuff that needs to get cleaned up, and hopefully some of the mistakes that we're making, they're not going to repeat.
On Kenny Clark's potential return:
He's a guy that just fills the grade sheet with plusses and he makes big plays. He's super consistent. I mean, it's rare that he has a game where you say, wow, that was a bad game. He obviously would be very welcome back and can't wait to get them out there. And we're hopeful that it's going to be this weekend.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
On Saints returner Deonte Harris:
He's the Pro Bowl returner, an All-Pro last year as a rookie. He's dangerous and electric. Every time he gets the ball, he's a threat to go the distance in both punt returns and kick returns. He's got really good vision and really good balance and he was able to make those full-speed cuts that not a lot of guys can make and extremely elusive. Yeah, he's as good as they are right now. There's several really good returners and he's right up there with them. If not at the top.
On keeping penalties down like last year:
I hope so. You're only as good as the week you're playing. We talk about each week, what has happened in the past is in the past and really can't help you. I mean, it helps you build some confidence and things, but we definitely talk about hand placement and just making good decisions on blocks. Hopefully that carries through each week and you can continue to build off of that.
Passing-game coordinator/QB coach Luke Getsy
On Aaron Rodgers making quick deliveries:
He's the best in the business in terms at getting the ball out of his hands. Whenever he wants to, I don't think anybody gets it out faster. I think it's an accumulation of all that stuff … it's Year 2 of him knowing where everybody is at all times and what everyone is supposed to be doing. And then the guys he's throwing the ball to, they've been around him enough now. They know their responsibilities a little bit better, as well.
On Rodgers' hard count:
It's definitely an art. It's having the foresight to set something up and take advantage of what you've done in the past. And sometimes lull people to sleep or just constantly changing things and being aware of what you see the opponent doing during a game. His awareness level and the things he sees, they're not common. That's what's cool about him. When he plays the game, the game is so slow for him. He can pick up on so many different things.
Wide receivers coach Jason Vrable
On Aaron Jones' receiving skills:
Aaron's an unbelievable receiver and it's kind of funny, walking off the practice field yesterday I said to Ben (Sirmans), 'Man, I like working with that guy.' He's fun to be around. I was talking about a route and he answers me, 'Yes sir.' It's those polite mannerisms and it's also because he truly loves playing ball. Any knowledge he can take, he's going to want to take everything in. He soaks it all in and he tries to put it out on the field. He's not only a great player but he's a great teammate.
On the receivers executing free plays:
Our whole mindset is being in attack mode. That's one thing that Davante Adams has preached is being a leader of our room, which he's done a tremendous job of. Everything we do, we're in attack mode. When we cross that white line for practice, it's the same mentality to get in a dominating attack mode and win our one-on-ones. And just have confidence. You can just feel it from our guys. They think the guy across from them is never gonna stop them.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On Jamaal Williams:
We don't miss a beat when he's in there. It gives us a chance to spell Aaron and keep him fresh, and plus he's got a skillset that's capable of producing and generating big plays. You see that the way he developed throughout the offseason, he's put himself in position to make more explosive-type plays just with his quickness and suddenness. So you're not really surprised, and he still has the same tenacity to go along with how he improved his overall skillset.
On Jones' great catch vs. Detroit:
He's got tremendous hands and he's got such range in terms of when that ball is near him and around his body. He does a great job of tracking it. I think that's why Aaron Rodgers has such great faith in him. If you put the ball around him, you know that he's got a legitimate chance to come down with the ball.
Tight ends coach Justin Outten
On Jace Sternberger coming back from the drops:
it's just how you rebound. You're going to have opportunities to kind of fix itself, and he's got another opportunity this week to prove himself. He had another good day today, so it's just getting over that hump and using it as a learning lesson and moving on.
On the pride Marcedes Lewis takes in the running game:
If you watch closely, Marcedes will celebrate a good block, Marcedes will celebrate other people's successes, Marcedes is going to celebrate a really good pass protection. It doesn't matter what he does, he takes pride in his work, and that's what makes him special. He understands how much he means to this offense, no matter what he's doing. He loves the game so much. We as coaches celebrate it. We'll point it out on video. It is so important for our offense and what he does for us. It's just exciting to see an old man still get excited about putting hands on people.
On evaluating the group:
I think that's what makes this room special is they're selfless. They're gonna do whatever it takes for us to be successful. They're not in there counting their catches, they're not counting their playing time, well, at least not in front of me. But they're doing a great job of being selfless and supporting each other and other positions, which is a cool thing to see.
The Green Bay Packers practiced at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.
Offensive line coach Adam Stenavich
On Billy Turner possibly moving back to guard:
That wouldn't be a big deal at all. Billy played probably about half his reps this camp at guard, so that's not a big adjustment for him. We're just trying to get our best five out there and unfortunately we've had some injuries so far – nothing we can't handle – and we're just going to keep finding the best combination of guys however it unfolds.
On how well the unit has played:
We can get a lot better. That's the encouraging thing about this whole situation, is the statistical success we've had really doesn't mean anything. We can get so much better as an offensive line. I think we saw that when we watched ourselves play on Monday. We watched the Lions game. There's still so much more room for improvement. I'm really excited about that.
On Elgton Jenkins moving out to tackle when asked:
He said he played it some in college, but we hadn't repped him at all last year or anything like that at tackle. So it was very impressive. He came in, and you could just see he's a natural. He's a natural football player. He went out there on the edge and it looked like he'd been basically playing there his whole life.