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Packers ‘have no reservations’ about Justin McCray

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GREEN BAY – The Packers’ three coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday.

Here are some of the highlights from their comments:

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook

On Bradley winning the long-snapper job:

“I think obviously it was close. He’s improving and doing what he needs to do. We just have to go out there and perform. There will be more pressure in terms of protection, but he just has to continue to improve and he’ll be fine.”

On Crawford in the final preseason game in KC:

“He was all over the place. I think he’s got a great football future in front of him. His high school coach and I go back a long, long way. I like his attitude, like his excitement.”

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

On cross-training players:

“It’s a big part, you just have to make sure you don’t start the process too early and then they end up not good at any job. Once you feel a player has mastered his primary position, if they’re capable of it, you can expand their role. They’ve done a lot of the same jobs. For some of them, it’s not that big of a stretch. It’s important, because it gives you the ability to be multiple and move guys around. You can shuffle the deck a little bit and get your best 11 out there.”

On new LB Morrison:

“He loves football, he’s into it. He asks all the right questions. There’s an intensity, a passion for the game, and picking up the system, I don’t see that being a problem at all.”

On what he thinks he has for a unit, and on facing young vs. veteran QBs:

“Since we have played any quote-unquote real snaps, I think we’ll find out. What we do will evolve over time and tailor to our players’ strengths. We try to affect all quarterbacks. It’s a big part of being successful in this league. We need to affect the quarterback.”

On Martinez:

“Blake’s been outstanding from the beginning. He’s soaked it in. That position really is the nerve center of the defense. It ties the linebackers to the front and to what’s going on behind them in the coverage part. His communication skills are top-shelf. He’s become much more interactive now, suggesting what we want to do.”

On blitz philosophy:

“I want to be calculated about it. I don’t want to be reckless, and just blitz for the sake of blitzing. The easy answer is however much it takes to win. Pressure is certainly part of what we do.”

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin

On Mack with the Bears:

“It’s going to be interesting to see how he’s utilized. One of the fun things about coaching in the opening game of the season, there’s a lot of adjusting going on. You have to be flexible.”

On Rodgers:

“His command of the game is certainly higher than the last time I was around him, and the guy can throw a football. I think he’s in a good place. I think he feels good about where we are right now.”

On Bulaga playing a full game after limited preseason snaps:

“Bryan came in the league in 2010, so he’s been in the league for eight, going on nine, seasons. He’s got some snaps in the vault. He’s doing what he can do from a conditioning standpoint. He looks to be in very good physical condition, but there’s no substitute for going out and playing 70-plus snaps in a game. At some point, you just have to go out there and do it.”

On McCray:

“There’s nothing flashy or fancy about him, but he’s very sound in what he does. He’s extremely coachable, knows schemes well, studies the game hard. He’s tough as nails, he’s physical. You know exactly what you’re getting when he steps on that field. You have no reservations. He’s a competitive guy and he’s earned this opportunity.”

Offensive line coach/run-game coordinator James Campen

On the continuity of the starting unit:

“The facts are we haven’t played together in the games as much as we’d like to in normal years, but we’ve had good quality reps, and I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.”

On preparing for top pass rushers vs. other defenders:

“It doesn’t change. At times when you think you’re playing someone that’s elite, from my perspective and hopefully what we’re teaching them is everyone’s in the National Football League for a reason. You shouldn’t take anyone lightly, nor should you put too much into the elite. You treat them all the same. Your approach has to be consistent.”

On the game against Mack in Oakland in 2015:

“He’s a better football player now than he was then.”

Pass-game coordinator Jim Hostler

On where young receivers might struggle reading coverages:

“Third down, red zone, the situational stuff, two-minute, things they haven’t had a lot of work in the preseason. Normal down and distance, base defense kind of stuff, it’s pretty standard coverage. But those (others) will be where they’ll have some growing, some learning moments, the situational.”

On Tonyan:

“Robert’s got some potential. He’s got route ability, inside and out. He’s got speed, and he’s got a body that’s still developing and growing. He’s got ball skills. All those things make for a tight end, especially a move tight end, moving him around to different spots. We’re excited about him.”

Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti

On his first impression of Boyle:

“That goes back to rookie camp. I was impressed with him. You could see in the classroom he picked up the offense quickly, and on the field you could see he had good arm strength. Live body. He’s smart, he’s tough.”

On how Kizer’s game improved in the preseason:

“Decision-making in the passing game and fundamentals with the footwork.”

Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio

On Tonyan:

“He’s a competitor. Done a good job immersing himself in the system. He’s a selfless player, and when his opportunity was there, he took advantage of it. Robert’s always had ball skills, obviously from his receiving background. Then it was just a matter of when the pads came on, lining up right across from someone. That’s a different element of the game to him. He embraced it and showed he was willing to put his face in the fan, if you will.”

Wide receivers coach David Raih

On whether the rookie receivers can help this season:

“I think they can. This is the highest level, so some guys are ahead of others, but the thing we’re focused on, Coach Philbin talks about it all the time, is just consistent improvement. The philosophy in our room overall is we’re going to have a positive attitude, constantly work at our craft, and this thing is going to be an everyday process. For each guy in the room, there’s a little different path.”

On Allison:

“His whole story is very inspiring to me. G-mo, just where he came from and all the tough steps he’s had to go through to earn his stripes. If there’s one guy that’s earned the right through hard work, he shows up. Love G-mo. I’m proud of him. I want him to go out there and do his thing, because he’s earned the right to.”

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

On having just two running backs:

“We’ve gone into games with two running backs before, but we brought Jackson up to make sure we have a third. When you look at most games throughout the season, most teams play only two running backs. You just hold your breath in some of those situations, but you always have to have a plan should disaster strike.”

On how Jones finished the preseason:

“I was pretty pleased with what he did. Obviously it’s going to make you miss him more because you see what he’s capable of. For us I feel more than confident with the two guys we have that’ll be shouldering most of the load for us, but when he comes back he’ll add another dimension to what we’ll be able to do.”

On Williams and Montgomery:

“I think they can give us a great pairing. Two guys with two different styles. Both guys have had 100-yard games in this league. It doesn’t matter to me which guy is in. It’ll be a rhythm thing. Certain plays each guy will run a little bit better.”

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