GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media over the past couple of days. Here's a sampling of their key comments:
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
On facing the Ravens' defense:
This is a very, very good defense. They have always been known for bringing a lot of pressure and doing a lot of unique things, so I think with all the different personnel (groups) that they do, all the different fronts that they can show, you just have to prepare for so many different things. And it's a very, very aggressive defense, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It's kind of a feast or famine at times, so there's plays to be had, but if you miss that play, bad things can happen.
On Baltimore DL Calais Campbell:
He's a special player. I was with him down at Jacksonville and he might be one of the biggest people I've ever seen in my entire life. A great man, a real great man, but he is a violent, very disruptive player up front, so seeing him when he's out there, we definitely want to have a plan on where he's going to be.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On T.J. Slaton's progress:
When Kenny (Clark) got hurt early in that Kansas City game, and T.J. went from maybe the plan of playing 15 to 18 snaps, he played 40-something snaps and played really well. He made a heck of a play the other night against Chicago on a quarterback designed run where he fell back and made a great tackle for us. So T.J.'s done a great job. Again, I'll never say he's where he needs to be, because he's still climbing and I love the job that Jerry Montgomery's done with him and I appreciate the veterans in that room that have taken them under their wing to get him to where he's at.
Special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton
On playing some more veteran players on the units:
That's the goal to do that, and under the confines that we're allowed to do, we will utilize those guys when we get the opportunity. It's not as easy as, hey, run down the field and hold your lane. There's indicators, there's things you need to see, there's techniques and tools that you have to utilize. But definitely an older guy, it makes that (learning) curve much smaller, if he has not been in the room for a while because he's playing from the line of scrimmage. But at the same time, he does bring an added oomph to the unit.
On facing the Ravens' special teams:
When you talk about the Baltimore Ravens, to me they're the standard of special teams. It starts at the top with their head coach, who was a special teams guy turned head coach. I think the returner there (Duvernay), he's No. 1 in punt return, averaging 14.3. He's like eighth on kickoff return, averaging right around 25 or so, so it's a big, big task. We're up for the challenge.
On a potential change at punt returner:
We have some guys in the bullpen now that are showing some promise in practice. No, I'm not going to say who they are. We'll see when the time comes, but we're working some guys and we feel really good about them.
Quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Luke Getsy
On Aaron Rodgers playing so well without practicing:
The biggest thing is he's just dialed in. The things we get from him on a daily basis just help our football team in a lot of different ways, and our preparation, whether it's before the guys even get in here on Wednesday, or whether it's his presence in the room, even today, on third down day, in the meeting, him making pointers with the guys, letting them know how he wants things done and what he sees and his vision of certain things. He's been really sharp and detailed.
On putting anything new into the game plan when Rodgers can't practice:
We talk through it with him and make sure we're all on the same page. He gets the mental reps. He watches the film with Jordan and he's out there today seeing it and going through it as if he was doing it, he's just not physically throwing it. So I feel pretty good by the time we get to the end of the week about where his mind is if there would happen to be something that was new.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On running the ball vs. the Ravens:
It's going to be a huge challenge because obviously they load the box up pretty good. I think their front seven is probably one of the stronger fronts that we've seen, just how physical that they are, so that'll present some issues, and then obviously you top that with the fact that they have safeties that come downhill, and they're probably one of the better tackling secondaries that we've seen.
On getting the extra yard or two:
That's part of being a good running back. If you're going to be a talented back, you have to be able to get more than what's presented to you. Every time you run with great pad level and finish well and put yourself in great positions for the play to be productive, that's what we're going to need as an offense, and definitely going to need that against a defense like the Ravens.
Wide receivers coach Jason Vrable
On Allen Lazard's strong game vs. Bears:
Yeah, that was fun. The shoulder injury (earlier this season) set him back a little bit. I could tell he wasn't acting himself, kind of came back from that earlier than probably most. I feel like he's in a good place right now. You could tell it wasn't really bothering him (last week) and he did an awesome job. It really helped our offense. You could see moving the chains, third downs, blocking. Grading him out, he had his best grade of the whole season. I thought he did an excellent job.
On Juwann Winfree playing previously vs. Cardinals, had a dropped pass, and being activated again:
He was very confident and played fast. The one thing I'm really proud of him, he has been a true pro and gotten better and better. His notetaking and everything he's done, he's earned it to be activated. It was only a matter of time, I think, in his career path how much better he's gotten since he's been here. He had that play (in Arizona), we kind of joked about it the other day in the meeting room, he was like, 'I would've had a touchdown. I would've made the guy miss.' That's the difference.
Offensive line coach Adam Stenavich
On David Bakhtiari returning to practice:
I'm going to hold off on saying anything right now, just because it's a day-by-day thing. That really is what's going on with him. Hopefully, we can just keep stacking some good days together and get him out here as soon as possible. But yeah, it fluctuates.
On Royce Newman playing his best game, according to LaFleur:
He just played with better fundamentals. He has great athleticism, he has all the physical tools that we're looking for. It's just a matter of him understanding his body and putting himself in the best position to be successful. This last game vs. the Bears was his most complete game from that aspect of playing with a good base, playing with good hands, moving, coming off the ball, just all the things that we're looking for in a guard. So yeah, he did a nice job there.
Tight ends coach Justin Outten
On Josiah Deguara:
He's clicking on all cylinders. He's playing fast, he's come alive in every facet, he's Josiah. He's just going to grind through everything that gets thrown at him. He's kept a positive attitude throughout this whole time and I think that's why he's in the spot that he's in right now, because you could really go in the tank with injuries and knicks (if) you don't have the right mindset. You're not going to learn, you're not going to grow.
On Robert Tonyan attending practice:
It's the energy that he brings and it's not just the play. It's the person himself and he's a leader in that room and anytime he's around, he's helping those guys out. He's giving them tips and he's staying around this facility because he cares so much about this organization and what it's given to him, and this game and what it's given to him. It's opened doors for him that he didn't think were imaginable and he loves being around.