GREEN BAY – The Packers' three coordinators met with the media on Thursday in advance of the season opener in Chicago.
Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On dealing with growing pains with young specialists:
I think the way to minimize them to some degree is you try to get as many situational reps in practice as we can. I think Matt does a really good job with that, creating situations for those guys, whether we're backed up in punt or red zone in punt or creating time situations for Anders (Carlson), and we had some situations in the preseason games. We hit a big one. He missed some PATs, which you're going to have growing pains from that. So I think it's a combination of some of the things we do in practice and then they just have to play, you know?
On new P Daniel Whelan:
He's got a big leg, he's athletic, he can kick off, which is a bonus. You saw him do that in the preseason game. He's got a little better control over the direction, he's got a little better control over his drop, being such a long-levered young man. Again, he's just got to play. He'll play in a windy situation in Chicago, it's always windy there, and then if you look at the first game last year it was a deluge down there in Chicago right, crazy weather. So you never know what you're going to get. We'll just have to see how he plays in some critical situations as the games transpire.
On Keisean Nixon and the new fair-catch rule on kickoffs:
We talked about it earlier, the situation. Where are we in the game? How much time is on the clock? Is it before the half? Is it towards the end of the game? Are we ahead? Are we behind? Are they kicking it in the corner? Is it short? I think a lot of those things will be factors. The advantage of the rule is if you're in a position where you want the clock to be in your favor, you can fair catch the ball, get the ball on the 25 and now your offense can play without time coming off the clock.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On Bears WR DJ Moore:
You know what he was in Carolina, you know him by reputation, but how exactly are they going to use him? There's always uncharted and unscripted looks that you have to defend. Really, really good player. It's a guy that we're going to have our antennas up to know where he's at. Because he's a guy that can change a game.
On the run defense being better:
It's gotta be. It was a huge point of emphasis obviously all offseason, all through the OTAs and training camp. What a challenge this first game in defending the best rushing offense in the National Football League last year. And then it's a whole other dynamic when you talk about what Justin (Fields) brings to them because not only are they a good running team when they simply turn and hand the ball off, he brings a whole other element. It's going to be a great challenge for us, no doubt.
On possibly spying Fields:
I think it's just all 11 people on the field have to be aware of it. You can't just have it be on the four-man rush, oh, and we've got a spy. When you're playing against a quarterback like Justin, especially whether it's a designed run or it's just simply a pass that goes off schedule and he takes off, it's all 11 people. All 11 have to be aware of him.
On whether the defense will look different this year:
I think you have to do that every single year or offenses are just too good now and they change and they evolve and they sign players and they do different schemes. Defensively, you definitely have to keep up with that. I'm a firm believer, my philosophy is what it is, but I definitely think there's going to be tweaks and there's going to be subtleties that you change and do things different every single year.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On WR Romeo Doubs' return to practice:
He was good. It was good to see him out there running around, catching the ball pretty well. Anytime you can get that veteran experience, that's priceless. That's going to be important. But we're just going to get the guys that are out there ready to go.
On Zach Tom winning the RT job:
Zach, right from the start, was pretty determined to grab hold of that position. Right from the start of camp, he did a great job. It's a testament to him and his mindset of how he came into it, how he prepared. I'm excited about Zach this year. I think he's going to have a great year. He's a more athletic guy that's going to have to use his athleticism in different ways that a traditional, bigger guy probably can't. He does a good job and he's a lot more physical than people realize, especially in the run game.
On coaching so much youth on offense:
That's going to be with all these young guys is trying to put them in a position to be successful, just make sure you slow the game down for them, keep it simple and allow them to play fast. Are there going to be mistakes? Absolutely. The biggest thing is we have to learn from those mistakes and then just keep improving every single week. That's going to be our biggest focus with all those guys is making sure we're seeing that improvement, we're keeping our confidence up, because we know these guys are good players and they're going to be very good players. That's why I'm so excited about this offense is the talent that we have. We'll see what happens.
It's fun and stressful and a lot of other adjectives you could use to describe it. But it's great because the guys that we have, you can just tell are so hungry and so excited. Yeah, it's just a good group of dudes, so we'll kinda see how it goes, but I'm really excited about this group.
On Jayden Reed not looking like a rookie:
You can just see the way he carries himself and his maturity level, and you can have more complex conversations about running routes or coverages or whatever it is with him, and he can handle that kind of stuff and then adjust.