GREEN BAY -- The Packers' three coordinators met with the media on Thursday prior to the Week 5 contest at Dallas. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
(on the challenges Dallas presents)
They’ve got three different punt returners. Tavon has three career touchdowns and Randall’s got two. They’ve got a lot of experience back there and are dangerous.
(on teams attacking on kickoff returns)
Sure. We tell the guys, when something bad happens, you’re going to continue to get tested until you show you can get it fixed. Teams are going to expose what they see on film. We’re trying to put guys in different spots where we feel they can see it better. I have to do a better job coaching is the bottom line.
(on Crosby’s difficult summer)
I think it was a lot for him, but he was great. He remained a leader in the locker room. He’s one of the most respected players on our team. He handled it like a true professional. I didn’t see any ill effects from it. I know he was dealing with a lot. Extremely mentally tough. The reason he’s played so long at such a high level is he’s mentally strong. It says a lot about him.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
(on the Dallas offense)
They’re pretty balanced. That’s obvious on film. One of the best rushing attacks in football, they have been, and the quarterback is playing well. I think it’s all tied together. His numbers on play-action are extremely good. When you run the ball well, you see on those play-action passes the guys get wide open. This is a talented group that’s well-balanced.
(on fixing the run defense)
It’s always critical. It’s not something we ignore. There are times schematically we’ll lean one way or the other way at times. But our issues were fundamental. When we went back and looked at the tape there were a lot of plays our guys would want to have back, just from a technique standpoint. We weren’t good enough. Stopping the run, there’s no secret about it, it’s the basics. I have to win my one-on-one. I have to knock the guy back across from me. You’re going to get blocked, the key is don’t stay blocked. The internal clock of when to separate needs to get sped up a little bit.
(on Burks getting back up to speed)
It takes time. On a case by case basis, some guys would be able to jump back in a little bit quicker. Usually the start is on special teams. We know he’s close. Times he’s been out there in practice, he looks like he’s getting back. The guys call him fresh legs because he’s moving a little quicker than some other guys who are leg-weary. We’re looking forward to getting him back.
(on the Philly game)
It was tough and our guys handled it well. There’s a resolve there that we let one get away. We didn’t take the ball away, didn’t sack the quarterback, and let down in the red zone. They saw the film and saw the reasons why. We could have played better and our guys know that. We feel like it’s a lost opportunity. This is a group that isn’t going to wallow in it. They’re looking forward to the challenge. Our group likes that us-against-the-world mentality on the road. We’ll see how they respond.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
(on game-planning with injury uncertainty)
You don’t want to try to change everything for one person typically. You want to try to get the best plan to attack the team you’re going against, and the guys who are up have to be ready to go.
Davante is a competitor. Whether he’s out there or not, it’s one of those things, he changes the game. That’s who he is. You saw that last game, he pretty much took it over. Whoever’s up there, whoever’s got an opportunity, you want them to step it up if they can.
(on the Dallas defense)
This defense is basic to a certain extent and they’re very, very sound. They play fast and furious. They are upfield. They know exactly their weaknesses, and they know their strengths. They know how to fit and match all the routes. Across the board, they’re just a good all-around sound defense.
(on being able to win with the run game struggling)
You always want to have an idea of balance. You want the defense to have to cover everybody. We just have to keep on running the ball and keep on pushing, keep on getting better. That’s the key, more reps at that. At the same time, you don’t want to force-feed something. If someone gets hot, you ride the hot hand. This last game, Aaron got hot. Davante got hot. But we have to keep stressing, we have to be able to run the ball to go where we want to go.