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 the Bears lining up their two best pass rushers, Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack, next to each other:
It primarily shows up on passing situations, when they want to get a real good rush and they want to do some twists and stunts. Let's face it, this is probably one of the best defenses in the NFL, if not the best with their talent. So when you take two guys like Quinn and Khalil and you put them right next to each other, it could be devastating. So, you have to be sure you know where those guys are at all times because they're special players.
On the red-zone struggles:
Without a doubt. We did set the standard. It was a very high standard last year and it's not even close to where we want to be or we know we can be in that region. We look at everything, from doing more creative things to being more aggressive to who's out there when they're out there. We just have to continue to grind, continue to adapt and find new ways because we know that we set the standard last year and a lot of people looked at us.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On Adrian Amos:
Smash is a stud. There's a reason he was voted a captain. He's a joy to work with, not only him as a football player but it's more than that. I think he's so good with the young guys. He's just so mature and so squared away. A young player even like a T.J. Slaton, that if he ever came into me and asked, I'd say, watch Adrian Amos. If you want to know how to be a pro, everything he does, the way he conducts himself on the practice field, in the meeting room, walk-throughs, obviously the way he plays. Plus he's an unbelievable family man. He's an A-plus in every category.
On Bears QB Justin Fields:
The talent just pops off the screen that the kid has. He has unbelievable arm strength. He has the athleticism and the mobility and speed.
Special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton
On Amari Rodgers' development as a returner:
Amari is doing a better job of attacking the ball, attacking the returns. From game one, Amari would catch the ball, in process, hook and then run. Now he's getting more comfortable as he's catching the ball, putting it in the catch pocket and moving in the direction of a return. Yes, he is getting better.
On the one bad punt at Cincinnati:
It was a crazy wind. The wind actually affected his drop. It wasn't him dropping it in the wrong place. When he dropped the ball, the wind actually moved it.
Tight ends coach Justin Outten
On Robert Tonyan:
If you look at Bobby right now, you could say he's having a slow start statistically. The other aspects of his game have really improved, and that's what fires me up about his situation because in those aspects, when he is improving in those worlds, he's helping us with the most important stat, which is a win. He is a major piston in our engine, and he brings everything to light. The responsibility he has on his plate, whether it's a chip or a run block or he's going out in a route, he takes pride in it. I'm just proud of his process and sticking with everything that's asked of him. I'm just excited to see the whole picture coming into play here. One-trick ponies in this league – if you're a pass-catcher and that's all you do – it doesn't really survive in this system. You gotta have the grit and the grit and the smarts and toughness and resilience and you gotta also have the right mindset.
Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Adam Stenavich
On Lucas Patrick:
He's stepped in over the last couple of years at center in different capacities and he's done a really good job. He's a very reliable guy that you can plug in at any spot on the interior. There was a bad snap that definitely scared me at the time. Just a couple communication things that we've got to fix but, other than that, I thought he did a great job. He plays with great effort, gets everyone targeted and he's a reliable guy.
On Jon Runyan:
A lot's been on him. He may have been disappointed in how he played in camp and knew that, 'If I get another opportunity, I'm not going to let it slip away.' He's just playing more fundamentally sound than he was in camp. Every game you play as a young guy, you can always see it: They just get a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better until they become a more polished player, and I think Jon's doing that. He always plays with great effort and he's got good athleticism. So, once you put yourself and your body in the right position, you definitely have a chance to block anybody.
Quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Luke Getsy
On whether or not Davante Adams is being targeted too much:
I would say 'forcing' it to somebody is something that you don't want to do. But what's happened so far is, I think, the execution of both of them and the other guys around them has been really good. We've moved Tae around a lot so that hopefully discourages defenses from maybe being able to do a lot of different things. I don't think targeting somebody 'too much' is an issue. But I do think forcing the ball to somebody (is).
On Randall Cobb:
The day he got here I think he had a purpose. I mean, he worked his tail off. He was around the clock, making sure that he was ready to roll when the time came. You could see just as each week has developed, his comfort level with his assignments, where to line up, the reason why we're calling a play, all that stuff. And then that relationship with Aaron, I don't think you can replace all those years that they have together.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On AJ Dillon's smoothness catching passes:
He's pretty athletic for a guy his size. It was something that we knew when we drafted him and that's one of the reasons why we drafted him so high, is because he was more than just a big back. He's a big back that has some athleticism to him. Look at the other check down that he had, made a guy miss in the open field. Sometimes you don't see a lot of big backs that can put a subtle move on somebody in the open field like that.
On Dillon's football IQ:
When they're able to ask you certain questions about the game, not just their position, they start understanding the full realm of what they're seeing on defense. We call it football IQ. And for sure, once a guy's football IQ can match his physical talents, now the game slows down even more for him. AJ's headed in that direction. He definitely has not reached the peak of what his football IQ is going to be as time persists.
Wide receivers coach Jason Vrable
On how the other receivers feel about Davante Adams getting so many targets:
I think Matt (LaFleur) has done a good job with the culture since we've been here being team first. We preach it all the time. I truly believe in our room, because I've been on the other side where there has been that jealousy and that animosity where you can feel the tension. I just have been blessed. I mean, we've got good guys. I'm sure you guys interviewed Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard and Cobb, they're like true pros, and they know they're going to keep competing and balling and hopefully the ball comes their way.