Pettine: Dominance inside has a 'ripple effect'

Highlights from the defensive and special teams coaches


GREEN BAY - The Packers' defensive and special teams assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday.

Here are some of their key comments.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

(on how the installation of the defense is going)

"You definitely feel the buy-in. That's something we've had right from the beginning. This is a veteran group. It's a mature group. They knew the slate was wiped clean with everybody, and they bought in right from the beginning."

(on your initial message to the players)

"It's really important for us that it's mindset over scheme. We want to make sure we have a cutting-edge playbook and gear some things toward the opponent, but at the same time, it's more important how we play, not what we play."

(on the defensive line)

"That's where it starts. It starts up front. People talk about the exterior pass rush, I think the interior pass rush is as important if not more important. If you can be dominant inside, I think that has a ripple effect throughout your defense. It's much easier to negate an edge pass rusher than it is an inside dominant guy. Offenses have gotten very good at negating edge rushers."

(on the playbook and game plans)

"In this CBA, you have to prioritize what defenses you're going to play. You have to be confident as a coach that you can play a game with 25, 30 defenses. We used to come into a game with 55 calls. You have to be able to streamline it."

Associate head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss

(on how valuable this time is for the young OLBs with Matthews and Perry sitting out)

"The young guys are getting the work that they need. I take a one-day-at-a-time approach. We try to maximize every day."

Defensive pass-game coordinator Joe Whitt

(on King)

"He's been in Tramon Williams' back pocket the whole time, not just learning the defense but how to be a pro. He hasn't been able to be on the field, but he wants to know what every call is. You'll see the real Kevin King in training camp."

(on the rookie cornerbacks)

"They're coming. They're learning the system, learning how to tighten up the coverage. We're tweaking some of the things they did in college to how we're playing in this system. They're understanding how to play inside and out and leverage routes the right way."

(on teaching Pettine's system)

"We're trying to make sure everything is as simple as possible, so when they run out of that tunnel, we've removed as much doubt as possible. If you take that doubt out of the equation, now they'll play fast, they'll play with an edge, and that's what we're trying to do."

Secondary coach Jason Simmons

(on Jones)

"He has the ability to play deep and play down (in the box) with his size, and of course his speed to be able to cover ground. We need to be able to utilize his whole skill set."

(on Alexander's INT vs. Rodgers in practice)

"All those guys look up to Aaron. They have a great deal of respect for Aaron, and we have a lot of respect for him in our room with how he can manipulate a defense. Is it a confidence booster for him? Yes, but it's also practice. We understand that. We have to make those plays under the lights."

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery

(on Adams in second season compared to rookie year)

"He's in a lot better shape now than he was then, just being more active on the field, flying around, attacking blocks a little better. One thing we don't get a bunch of now is run work. We have to get more of that, but he's been active, playing with a higher motor all the time."

(on the interior pass rush)

"When we get one-on-ones, we expect those guys to win inside. If we can push the pocket, it makes life easier for those edge rushers to get pressure, because (the QB) can't step up. If he can step up, he can get away from the pressure."

Defensive run-game coordinator/inside linebackers coach Patrick Graham

(on his vocal coaching style)

"I hope the guys feel my enthusiasm because that's how I want them to play. To me, I'm just being myself. I am a loud person. I'm hard on the guys. You have to be. It's a tough job. They have to make split-second decisions. I don't think they'd have it any other way. You have to be tough on them. To be successful, you have to feel that pressure on a daily basis."

(on Burks)

"He's a smart guy that's learning the system, learning to be a professional. It takes a lot of reps to be able to be successful, making the right decisions. I think he's learning a lot right now. He's working diligently to get better. I'm looking forward to see all the mental and physical come together."

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook

(on young prospects in the return game and how Davis did last year)

"Trevor will be fine. He was second in the NFL last year on punt return. He's shown he can do it and do a good job. But (with new guys) you have to kind of wait until you get into camp. When you tell whether a guy can return or not is when you see him in live action, if he can make people miss. Coach wants competition, and I think we'll have some competition back there."

(on the impact of kickoff rule changes)

"Remains to be seen. Everybody is going to figure out the trick kicks and putting the ball in certain areas, so you'll have to be prepared for that. All three guys in the back will have to be guys who can handle the ball."

(on whether the league is trying to eliminate the kickoff)

"I really don't (think so). I think they realize it's an exciting play. It's always going to start the game and be the first play of the second half. The rule that's got the most yardage attached to it, other than pass interference, the biggest penalty was put in effect to enhance kickoff returns, when you kick it out of bounds and they put it on the 40-yard line."

(on finding new punt gunners)

"It's one of the key reasons I feel like we've been able to be successful in our net punt the last three years. We have to replace them. We have to find guys. That's the way it is. Those young guys see this is a chance for them to make a big play. We didn't realize Jeff Janis was going to be that good until we got into the games."

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