GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators met with the media Thursday. Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On Minnesota's special teams:
They've been good for a while. They do a good job schematically and their return guy (Nwangwu) has been a good player. He was a good player against us the first time we played (this year), he was a good player against us last year. I think they're playing well. They can all run. Their whole unit is really good. We've kind of gone back and forth with them. They've hit us on some plays, we've hit them on some plays.
On Lukas Van Ness' roughing the punter penalty in Carolina:
He has to have the right to put his foot back on the ground. Actually, Luke hit the back foot, and he really should've blocked it. He came free. He came free one other time and held up because he felt he messed up on the first one. I told him that'll be on me, don't pull up when you come free. Those things happen. You'd rather they not happen. They had a few missed assignments in their protection as the day went on, and he's tough to block. He's inside, (Karl) Brooks is inside, and I feel like our guys have been doing a pretty good job with their opportunities in the rush game.
On leading the league in penalties and how they're viewed:
The penalties go in categories. The first one would be concentration penalties, false starts, offsides, they catch us on a head bob on punt return. They go in those focus, concentration categories. The next category is fundamentals and technique. You block a guy in the back or hold a guy with your hands on the outside of the framework of your body. Those are things we can coach and correct. The third one would be selfish penalties, where you throw a punch or hit a guy late or tackle a guy out of bounds, or you're just not doing it correctly. I think some were maybe misaligned call-wise, some were definitely penalties and our problem with poor fundamentals, poor technique. I think we've only had one selfish penalty where we wanted to talk back to an official and it cost us 15 yards. I think the penalties we've had are correctable, and I'd like to think we're moving in the right direction. The good part for us in that (Carolina) game is there were two called against them on their kickoff return team, and forcing two penalties is a good thing too.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On facing Justin Jefferson without Jaire Alexander:
He's arguably the best receiver in the game. He demands a lot of attention. I think you've got to mix up things with him. You can't just give him one consistent thing. He's an elite player. You have to know where he is and what he's doing on every snap. When you do that, obviously based on what you call, there's some things where you're going to be a little bit limited in other areas. He's the type of player that can absolutely ruin a game so you have to have attention on him all the time.
On dealing with Jaren Hall's running ability:
That's something that you have to be conscious of. That's kind of standard in today's football. Now, there's some guys that you just simply don't worry about the running but these young, athletic quarterbacks that are kind of coming into our league right now, that's something you've got to be worried about all the time. This kid definitely falls into that category that you do have to be conscious of it. When you do have a quarterback that can run – I'm talking about both when it's a designed, called run but then also when things break down and you have the perfect coverage but then a guy can take off and create and run and make plays on his own that's a weapon that offenses have – definitely something we have to be conscious of with this guy.
On setting the tone vs. a rookie QB:
No matter if we're playing against Patrick Mahomes or Jared Goff, you want to have that type of mindset and that type of attitude every week. I think it's always very, very important to start fast. No doubt about it. Set the tone early. No doubt about it. Which again, back to what I said earlier, I thought we did that for the most part in this past game, but that's the thing in the National Football League. You've got to play for 60 minutes and you can't play for 50 or 53. You've got to play a complete game and when you get into the fourth quarter, you've got to slam the door and close the door. Yeah, that's our mindset is that we always want to start fast, but we want to finish strong as well.
On what it would mean to play well:
Well, I mean not only for me. You guys got to understand, that's my goal every week. We have a ton of people working their butt off, both in that coaching hallway and in our locker room, so yeah, I just want to win for the Green Bay Packers. I don't care about individual, anything like that. But that's my mindset and that's my want every week, so guys work their butt off. They prepare, go out and practice every day, every week with the mindset to go win a football game, so that's our goal every single week and that would make me happy if that happened.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On the first meeting with the Vikings:
That was a pretty ugly game for us. It was probably our lowest point to be honest with you, and in the long run it was a good game for us as a gut check, like, these young guys seeing we have to step up, we have to make plays for Jordan, we have to do better, and Jordan too. He wasn't perfect by any means. That was a good thing for us in the long run, just looking back at how the season's unfolded. From where we were to where we are now it's just the experience, the trust that we have, all these reps we've gained where we're just playing within the scheme or playing these plays out, the situations, end of game situations, all this stuff. It's just so valuable, so you can see as the season's gone on how we've handled these situations better and better. I think the future's pretty bright and we've just got to keep getting better, because there's so much more we have left in the tank, so I'm pretty excited about what we've got going.
On Luke Musgrave's comeback:
You definitely see the flashes. He's got his speed, catches the ball great. We haven't had pads on so we haven't been able to see him run block or anything like that yet. But yeah, he's looked good, he's got a smile on his face. I think he's really happy to be out there running around with the guys. So hopefully we can get him back here pretty soon.
On receivers stepping up due to injuries:
I think our wideout room is extremely deep. It's deeper than it's been in a really long time. It's a testament to our personnel guys, getting the right guys in here. It's a testament to Coach Vrable and Quinshon (Odom), the guys coaching them in that room, and their mindset, the way they practice. One thing we preach a lot is, even if you're on the practice squad, you still prepare every week like you're going to play, that way when your time comes you'll be ready. And that's a testament right there to Bo (Melton). He came, he got his opportunity, he showed up and he did a great job. Yeah, it's just the whole mindset of that room I couldn't be happier with.
On Romeo Doubs:
Romeo's a guy that's just come up clutch in so many situations for us this year. Not only down in the red zone but third downs, some big catches, some contested catches. He's such a safety net for Jordan in those situations where he can go to a guy like that and (count on) his consistency being out there and playing hard. He's developing into one of those guys where he can be an every-down wide out. It's fun to watch him develop.
On the future potential:
It's a fun thing when you look ahead and see all right, we have all these pieces. We have all these guys. Now they have some experience and all the wideouts and tight ends. Yeah, it's going to be really interesting moving forward to just see how it shakes out, but I'm very fired up for all that, for sure.