GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and defensive assistant coaches met with the media Monday following the team's bye week. Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On Denver's return game:
Obviously Mims is playing really well. He's had a big kickoff return for a touch. He's had five returns I believe and obviously one was for a touch and he's averaging like 20 yards a return on punt returns with the big one of like 45. So, he's dangerous back there. He's making good decisions and he's a weapon for them. So we'll have to do our best to try and contain him.
On what was reviewed over the bye:
We took a look at some of the protection punt problems we had maybe a little bit earlier when we were getting a little bit of leakage or getting on the edge a little bit. And then we gave up the big return against New Orleans, so we took a look at our lane coverage and lane discipline and where we're supposed to be, and I think we have the last few weeks gotten ourselves into a little bit better position that way. But it was more of a personnel thing, putting the right guys in the right spots.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On the biggest plusses and minuses from the self-scout:
I think our play style, if I look at what I'm most proud of, how hard the guys have played. The negative obviously, the two games being the biggest where we gave up a ton of rushing yards. Those were probably the two biggest things, pro and negative. It's early. Hopefully we'll continue to get some guys back that have been out, and we've got a ton of football left. I'm excited about that.
On where the defense is at:
Consistency's a word that I use a lot. I think consistency is the truest measure of performance. You play solid one week, play poor the next week, play solid the following week … you can only play one game at a time, you can only play one week at a time. I think for us entirely, not only on the defense but as an entire team, I think we're searching for consistency, just being able to stack a few really good weeks on top of one another. I know that's our focus and that's what we want this week.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On the offensive line improving:
The one area I think we do need to improve on in our downhill run game is creating more movement with our combos and things like that. That's one area of emphasis we're going to work on going forward. Just being better with our technique. Just getting under, getting our pads down.
On Rasheed Walker's plat at LF:
(It's about) fundamentally just being consistent. When you play 70, 80 snaps it's how can you eliminate some of those really bad plays? And a lot of that has to do with fundamentals and focus and things like that. But again, good effort and when he's on, he looks pretty good. So I just think we just need to keep focusing on the details and his improved play will come from that.
On Jordan Love's low completion percentage:
We've just got to help him with what we're doing, making sure we're staying efficient as an offense to allow him to get a better completion percentage. Because anytime you're in these second-and-long situations, it's not a high percentage of completions. Third-and-long, we've had way too many third-and-longs, and again you're not going to have a very high completion percentage. So we definitely do need to do a better job on first and second down, keeping those manageable situations so we can be more efficient as an offense. I think that completion percentage kind of tells the tale of just our offense isn't very efficient now for sure.
Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti
You always need everybody to be ready, and to Eric and Isaiah's credit, they've been ready and they've been prepared. They have a hard job because they don't get as many reps and all of a sudden they're asked to play. It's always nice when you have your full allotment of players, but I was pretty proud of the way Isaiah and Eric stepped up in the last game, and just overall how they are as guys around the building no matter the circumstances. They're the same every day, they're going to come to work every day and really try to put their best foot forward and get themselves prepared the same all the way, which makes everybody's life easier because now De'Vondre can just concentrate on getting himself healthy.
I'm very happy that Eric is part of our football team. He is a true professional. I think he supplies leadership for not only our group but our team, maybe on the back end of the roster … to teach guys how to be a pro day in and day out, because you never know.
More on Walker:
His progression, it's an ongoing thing. He plays extremely hard. There's a level of understanding I think he would tell you he's starting to have. He's aggressive, he's making better decision and he's playing with better angles to the football. That's something he works on and something he focuses on all the time. The progression of him moving forward, we like where he's at and where he's headed. He's a worker. He really is. We've been saying that all along. He's a worker that likes football and he plays the game the right way.
It speeds up and slows down, but the more you see, the more you're like, OK, I've seen this before, and that always helps, and trusting everything and anticipating what's about to happen to you. There's a progression of, OK, I know my job. Wait, what are they about to do to me? That's the progression you're seeing right now, understanding that.
Defensive passing game coordinator Greg Williams
On Eric Stokes coming back soon:
I've seen Eric since the beginning of his career, just evaluating him coming out of Georgia, and he's still the same guy, He's fast, he's a good cover guy, he's doing a good job. What you like about Eric is he's his own worst critic, so he works really hard on his craft and what he's doing, so I'm excited. I can't wait 'til he's back fully. We'll figure out what to do and how to integrate him, but right now, I don't mind having that problem.
On Keisean Nixon playing nickel:
He's done a good job because we've been multiple. We've been man, we've been zone, he's been asked to be in run fits, but it's what we saw when we evaluated him as he was a free agent this offseason, just looking at his skill set. And he does, he has a special skillset. He's a guy that can cover. He's a guy that can be physical and tackle in the box. He's got ball skills, so he does have what you like, with his short-area quickness as well, he has what you like as far as a nickel goes.
On facing Russell Wilson:
I've seen enough Russell Wilson, where if he gets loose, he still does a good job of doing off-schedule plays when he does get out of the pocket. He's not a Lamar Jackson type of player, but he is elusive. He understands where the rush is coming from. He always has his eyes down the field, so you've got to be aware and you've got to cover for longer than normal when you deal with Russell Wilson, so he's still Russell Wilson and there's a reason why he's had so much success in this league. So I still see that in him and I still know he has that in him, so I'm not gonna put my guard down at all.
Defensive backs coach Ryan Downard
On Rudy Ford's play from last year to this year:
He came in so late last year. He did a good job for us plugging him there … but now he's had a chance to really detail out all the jobs, all the assignments. I talk about that up here all the time – how detailed these jobs are. It's not just hey, go cover that guy. There's eye progressions. There's thought progressions. There's coverage mechanisms. There's checks. He's got the opportunity to now finally embrace all of that. I think he's piecing it together.
He's very intentional. He's very detailed. He wants to know the ins and outs of everything. I identify with that because that's kind of the player that I was.
Defensive line/running game coordinator Jerry Montgomery
On what led to improved run defense vs. Las Vegas:
Just consistency. At the end of the day, it takes all 11. Everybody's got to do their job, and when everybody's done their job, we've played good defense. We put some of that on film, and so now we've just got to be consistent, week in and week out. That's what we strive to do every single day is get these guys to be locked in, do their job, play at a high level and make the plays that come to you. Don't make somebody else's play, because that's when you start getting leaks in your defense.
On why that's such a challenge:
Guys make mistakes. Guys strain to make a play that's probably not theirs, and all of a sudden a guy's out of a gap, and it's a domino effect. When guys are playing fast, physical and doing their job at a high level, we play really good defense. Just do your job and only your job and trust the man next to you, and when we do that, we play at a high level.
Pass rush specialist Jason Rebrovich
On Rashan Gary's fast start and strong recovery from injury:
Why he's so gifted is he resets himself after every single play. Every play, boom, new reset. And that reset is that list of things that needs to get him generated into making an impact play. Some guys have different response systems, but his mindset and how it works continues to make him that impact player on a daily basis, on a rep basis.
On Lukas Van Ness' progression:
He's stout as (heck) at the point of attack in the run game. Transition, play-action rush, we're going to continue to work on that, dissecting what that is. It's a feel. In college, he played all over there. Transitioning to playing that exterior position on a constant basis, there's some viewing, some eyes, some hands, some footwork mechanics he has to continue to progress with. He's an unbelievable kid. He works his rear end off every day. He comes in with a smile on his face, a notebook in his hand, ready to learn and eager to learn.