Packers must 'come out of the gates stronger'

Slow starts an issue on both sides of the ball


GREEN BAY – The Packers' three coordinators met with the media late Thursday afternoon.

Here's a summary of their key comments:

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook

On Bradley's snaps at Washington:

"He's a rookie, and he's fine. Those things are going to happen with rookies. You have to keep getting better, put it out of your mind, and go. I don't know that it was a horrible day for him. The snap on the long field goal was not a good one, but we have to get past that and keep going."

On Buffalo's kickoff returns:

"I think they will bring it out. It depends how deep it is. They've done a good job. They don't do a lot of different returns, but they're really good at what they do. If you look at their core special teams guys, they have seven years, eight years, five years, they have a lot of experienced guys. They will bring it out. He's got a 30-yard average."

On Valdes-Scantling at gunner:

"He did a nice job. I don't know if he's Jeff Janis, but I was proud of him. You like to see a guy have success like that. That's going to help him as a receiver as well. It gives him confidence, and he made some nice plays."

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin

On Rodgers returning to practice:

"Obviously it was big to have him. He threw the ball, not surprisingly, exceptionally well. He has a good grasp of the game plan, as he always does. The guy obviously is an outstanding competitor. Whether it's a competitive period, per se, or just him being him. The detail he puts into his preparation, he's very hands-on, a really good communicator, and he loves to compete against the defensive guys. It brings additional energy to the practice field, and we all felt that today."

On Buffalo's defense vs. Minnesota, their pass rushers:

"They got off to a great start. Their play speed was excellent, they put pressure on Minnesota, sometimes it was because of an extra defender or a combination of defenders they didn't know were coming. They made plays and fed off of one another as the game unfolded. They played fast, and they're very sound.

"They roll through guys. You look at the third series of the game and they've got a whole new group on the line. They're talented up front. The strength of their defense is the front four. We have to come out of the gates stronger than we have."

On starting faster, executing early:

"There were opportunities for us to get off to a much, much better start (at Washington) than we did. We're playing at home. We have to cut down on the penalties. That's been too much of a pattern after three games, and that's got to start this week.

"You can't live with five offensive penalties and four sacks every week. I don't care how good a scheme you have."

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

On teams continuing to test the defense deep:

"Absolutely. That's part of the league. If there's an issue you're having, teams are going to make sure you have it fixed. It's disappointing. It's something we emphasize from Day 1, deep-ball security. We're not going to panic. We're going to rely on our technique and get it cleaned up. Whether it's a technique or recognition thing, when we have plays happen against us, we always evaluate the why. You come up with a reason and log that over time and you'll know your trends and what needs to be fixed."

On generating more turnovers:

"You can never have enough. Where are we, one a game? That's not good enough. We need to be a team that does that. We want to force the ball out. We talk about taking the ball away. We've left a lot of opportunities out there. It's something that's been a point of discussion almost daily in our room.

"It's a variety of things. We have to do a better job of affecting the quarterback. If we're not sacking the quarterback, we have to at least at a minimum get him off the spot. It makes it hard on the back end."

On rookie QB Allen:

"He jumps off the tape. This is a big athlete with good vision. You give him an open lane and he's going to take it. He'll make you pay for it. He is a rookie, and he can be a little reckless at times. He hurdled the defender in Minnesota at midfield. That's something you don't see too often. He's a big athlete who can make plays on his feet, and we're certainly aware of it. We have to be disciplined in what we do."

On playing more physical:

"We don't sugarcoat the grades if we don't think the guy got the job done. Overall, as an entire defense, our level of physicality needs to go up. I can't just point to one player. That first half, we can't play like that. As we settled in, that script was flipped. But we have to be ready coming out of the tunnel, not wait until we've been punched a couple times."

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