(Can you describe what happened on that winning touchdown pass?)
Well, we were in a short-yardage situation that they actually played cover-two coverage. But we felt it was an opportunity to get some protection off the full fake. It was an excellent route by Greg and Aaron did a great job with the throw. So, it was a big play opportunity that we felt was the time to take the shot and they did a great job executing it.
(This was the kind of win last year you just couldn't get. What was the difference between this year and last year?)
Well, frankly, we've talked about it time and time again. I think it starts with the identity of our football team. And our identity starts with our defense. To be plus-four in the turnover ratio versus the Chicago Bears, that speaks volumes. That was our number one emphasis coming into the game and number two was special teams. And I thought our special teams played big tonight. I definitely felt that we won the battle on special teams and defense. Offensively, we definitely struggled and we need to get that cleaned up.
(Without obviously looking at the tape, what did they do so well to stymie your offense?)
I thought they did a very good job disrupting our front. That's something that we felt was going to be part of the plan. I thought Lovie called an aggressive game, which is really what he did in preseason. They went a little different coverage than he's done in the past on third downs, but I mean there was nothing we haven't seen. Actually we see it every day versus our defense. We just didn't handle our protection very well. We were not in rhythm offensively, the long down-and-distances time and time again, unable to get into a balanced run-pass attack, was definitely... for our offense we were playing uphill. So I thought they did a good job disrupting us up front.
(What does this do for Aaron Rodgers? Does it boost his confidence to get that monkey off his back to win a big game down the stretch?)
Winning boosts confidence for every member of our football team. No different for a quarterback. To have a two-minute win under his belt definitely just gives you gratification for the extra time that we put in, in the two-minute drill. Actually we scored on a short-yardage play situation but we were in two-minute offense so it definitely boosts his confidence.
(Was this the kind of win that you talked about in camp where Aaron doesn't chase the game, letting it come to him?)
I don't think he had a chance to even start running after this game or jogging. He had a rough night, he was hit a bunch. Our pass protection was not what we were looking for. We really never got into a really good rhythm for a full couple series. We were able to get the running game going there in the third quarter. But you're going to have nights like this. This is what good teams do. You find ways to win games. We talk about it as a team that our defense is the thermostat of our football team. They do a great job of keeping our good games closer to our not-so-good games and that was evident tonight.
(He's usually very accurate on deep balls and he missed a couple tonight. Do you think that was due to the pressure or just because he was off?)
Well, I saw it live, but without seeing the film, if I recall, the two, the one he threw to Greg and the one with Donald, both times he took hits on it. When you can't really follow through, and it has a tendency, it could affect your...I'm not making excuses for him, but I think our failures in the pass game clearly started with protection tonight.
(Four interceptions by Cutler tonight, do you attribute that as coverage or the pressure of the front four, or excuse me, the front three?)
Well, three, four, five, or whatever it takes. I think it's just the way we're playing as a defense. We're playing with a lot more vision. Dom does an excellent job of calling the game, keeping the pace and the tempo up for our players. I think it's tailored for our players. They've done a great job of totally buying into this scheme. They were the key to the victory tonight.
The injuries tonight, Atari had a knee, I think it will be a knee sprain. He got caught up there on that one pass. Johnny Jolly had the wind knocked out of him, I think he'll be fine. And Nick Collins returned, he had cramps.
(Kind of an unlikely call on that punt fake, and for your guys to stay home to stop that thing, that was a pretty big play.)
Excellent play all the way through with the special teams. I haven't seen the field position, but that will definitely factor in the outcome of that. That could have been a big play either way. That's a gutsy call, an adjustment of however they lined it up from a game plan situation. But you talk about technique, and fundamentals, and trusting your eyes, unscouted looks in the first couple weeks of the season and that's a great example of it right there.
(Can you almost expect a rough start for someone new starting at right tackle for the first time in eight years?)
Well, I need to look at the film. I don't want to be here critical, but Allen Barbre had some tough moments. We had, I think it was three sacks off seven-man protection and that's not going to cut it. That's what we'll look at the film tomorrow and we'll correct it as an offense.