GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media Monday. Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On the penalties:
They're different and there are different circumstances when you get those penalties, but to have 10 penalties in the last four games right now I think is a little uncharacteristic for us. I think some of them have been some frustration type penalties. Some of them have been fundamental and technique type penalties, and we'll see what we can do going forward. No penalties are good. You don't like to have any of them so you just have to correct them and try to move forward.
On the units in general:
I think we're moving forward. The holding penalties have set us back a little bit and some personnel issues have set us back a little bit, guys having to play positions they hadn't played before and getting new guys on the unit. I don't think we've played with the same punt team yet in four games, so we're still kind of figuring out who we are and what positions we need to put them at and how we can do a better job of not only preventing penalties but coverage-wise as well. We've given up a touchdown in punt team, so I just think we're still a work in progress and it's going to be like that throughout the entire year.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On the run defense struggles:
That's something I've definitely have gone back the last 72 hours and looked at. We had some time. I went back and looked at all four games and it's not one thing that you can pinpoint. I just went back again this morning and watched all 42 runs from Thursday night and it's not one thing. It's one thing on this play, it's another thing on this play. You have 30 runs that you play really well. It's a number of things but we've got to correct it, we will correct it. We're exploring everything right now. When we're in one of those games, we have to put our foot down and stop it. It wasn't obviously good enough Thursday night.
When you're in the type of game like that you do have to be able to do something structurally just from a system standpoint. And we can and we will. When we're in those situations, we have to do it. Those are all things we're working through right now because every game's different. You're not going to defend 40 runs in every game but when you're in a game like that, you've got to be able to have an answer. It's my job to give our players an answer, and we will moving forward.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On effectiveness in the red zone:
We've had some pretty good plans, been able to attack defenses, and then our guys just having the right mentality. You get the ball, you get vertical and you go score. That's the biggest thing. There have been some things we've got to clean up down there, but that's been a pretty good spot for us so far.
On how to get started faster:
Great question. We need to be more efficient. You look at the last two games, the Saints and Lions here, there's just been too many second-and-longs and too many negative plays. That's the biggest issue with our offense right now, whether that was penalties with the New Orleans game, or just negative plays, taking losses on first down. It's really hard to bounce back from those consistently. That's our biggest issue is just making sure we're better on those early downs.
Offensive line coach Luke Butkus
On all the injuries the unit has been dealing with:
You're going to coach them hard regardless, regardless of the situation. The other team doesn't care. Nobody feels good after that first day of training camp. The position that we play, the position that I coach, you're going to be banged up. I respect the hell out of those guys for battling through and fighting. With the left tackle and left guard, that's part of the game, part of the business. It's the next man up. We've got to have the five best out there on any given week, no matter how good or bad we feel.
The next one up is the most healthy, right, out of the other ones. Like I said, it's part of the game. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the right guys in that room, from top to bottom, they all bust their butts. They all work and they all fight. That's all we can ask for. Do we need to get better? Yes. Every one of those guys has shown that they can do it. We just need to consistently execute, and that's where I think our struggles are right now.
Tight ends coach John Dunn
On Luke Musgrave:
Just being able to play as much as he's played, we ask a lot of these guys in terms of what they've got to do, wear a lot of hats, so he's trending in the right direction. The season's young so I look forward to continuing to see his development.
On Ben Sims:
Obviously got here a week before the season and just watching him try to acclimate and learn in the system and get up to par, for what's been I guess about a month now, has been awesome. Great addition to the room. I think he's got a high upside, a lot of ability.
Passing game coordinator/receivers coach Jason Vrable
On Romeo Doubs:
I think the biggest thing with him is the way he's attacking the football, catching it. Coming out (in the draft), I definitely believe he had good hands but right now, he's just running through the catch, strong aggressive hands, getting the hands in front and just really good body control. It's equated to success when the ball has gone his way.
On progress with the youth:
Sometimes everything's clean and they grade out well. Other times, whether it's the coverage changing or maybe a look we didn't see in practice that shows up, everybody being on the same page. We're playing fast, but then there's the ability to play fast and also be exactly clean and be on the same vision as the QB at times. Those are just details we've got to clean up as a unit in the pass game so we don't have those lulls in the offense that have shown up throughout certain quarters.
Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements
On Jordan Love's start:
Jordan is pretty even-keeled. He's pretty much the same way he's been the last year at least when I've been with him. He works at it, he's intelligent. You always anticipate based on how he's practiced and done in the preseason and years past, you have an idea of how he might do when he becomes the full-time starter, and he's confirmed our thoughts. He's a good player.
He only has five games of experience. As he plays more, he's going to recognize things that he's seen previously in games and if he reacted correctly, that'll trigger in his mind. If previously he didn't react the way he would've liked to, that triggers in your mind, too. And then as you see more defenses and what they're trying to do you're going to recognize it and hopefully adjust a little quicker because you've seen it before.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On AJ Dillon:
The biggest thing is just making sure he's not overthinking when he's out there. Looking at different games he's had last year, he's looked like his old self. There's been runs this year where he's looked that way. I think for him it's just a matter of not trying to press to try to be something and be great. Just let the game do more of coming to him, and when he relaxes and does that, he'll be fine. If you're out there thinking too much about I need to do this or I need to be this type of guy, then that's going to take away from you playing natural football.
On what is liked best about Emanuel Wilson:
How quick he is with his feet. He has some explosive ability, he's got some niftiness where he's light on his feet in terms of making cuts, especially in short quarters. That's the biggest thing that I like. He's actually stronger than sometimes I think he realizes. It's a matter of him continuing to learn all the different details of the offense, which he's made a lot of progress. I like where he's headed with everything. He's building up on that part of it.