GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media over the past couple of days. Here's a summary of their key comments:
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
On using all three running backs:
Yeah, it's a great room right now. They really root for each other. They support each other. They help each other. It's just a good mix-up to have all three of them out there. You have the slasher in '33' (Aaron Jones). We have the all-around guy in Jamaal Williams and then you got that pounder in AJ Dillon. It's really good mesh and they all can catch the ball from the backfield. It's a good room. Want to be sure that we get those guys some touches.
On figuring out how opposing defenses are playing:
Having Aaron Rodgers back there, people want to give him different looks. You just have to be ready for everything and anything. I feel like we do a great job on preparation leading up to the game to try to be prepared for anything that we might see, whether it's a pressure, whether we might have gotten beat the week prior on something and potentially getting that. We just try to put the guys through so many things so that when it does get to game day, we're always looking for that. We're looking for something that might be open.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
On the Bears' offense of late:
Well they look very confident. That's one thing. They're playing well. They're moving up and down the field. They're scoring points. You can see they have a good sense of who they are. They're running the ball very effectively Their quarterback, when we played him, essentially he had not played for whatever it was, seven weeks or so. We certainly caught him at the right time where he's just coming right back in. He's got a whole month-plus of games under his belt and he's more confident as well. We're expecting their best.
On the defensive performance vs. the Titans:
You could just tell during the week they had a great energy about them, they were focused, and I think they were a little tired of hearing about issues stopping the run. That hey, Tennessee is going to come in here and bully us and (Henry's) gonna rush for 200 yards. Some guys spoke to it, that it bothered them, and guys were certainly motivated. But as we told our guys afterwards, when we put that on tape, that's the norm, that's the expectation. That's something we've been chasing this year. Every game needs to have that same type of effort, energy, focus that went into it. But, just as we've put some of the bad ones, some of the clunkers, we've buried them, this one too we've got to put away. Success is a very sneaky form of adversity that sometimes guys celebrate for a little too long or they start buying into what they're hearing, and they get a rude awakening the next weekend.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
On Malik Taylor returning kickoffs:
He's done a good job. He's been back there catching balls since he's been here on the practice squad. He's going to hit that return and he's going to hit it full speed and be downhill and run as hard as he can. He's still working on finding those creases. Obviously always working in ball security. But he's definitely going to go 100 miles an hour and get what's there.
On facing Chicago's Cordarrelle Patterson again:
Obviously, he's one of the best ever to do it. I mean, he's got the eight career touchdowns and you know he's got that rare combination. He's so big he looks like he's an outside linebacker who can run as fast as any wide receiver or DB on the field. He's one of the fastest guys out there. He's got the vision and he's able to run through contact and hit the return downhill or he can cut it back on you. He's had a great career and continues to be a threat, one of the bigger threats in the NFL.
Passing-game coordinator/QB coach Luke Getsy
On Aaron Rodgers knowing what went wrong on last week's interception:
I think that's maturity, it's the purpose behind his game. He knows what he's supposed to and what he's trying to achieve on every single play. The guys that get to this type of level are able to evaluate themselves quicker and more effectively than even anybody else that's probably watching him in the moment. So I think that's another part of his game that makes him so valuable and so good. He's sees the game so slow to him and all the reps that he's gotten over his career that those types of things get pounded in your head, that's one of those QB mortal sins. He kind of broke two of them in that moment, and he knew it right away.
Wide receivers coach Jason Vrable
On Davante Adams' burst of speed:
The one thing that he has that's been gifted to him is his ability to truly accelerate. We call it the vertical express of how fast can you get on a guy's hip and get him to open up the door. When he does a move inside or outside or right through the guy, he's usually by him by the time that guy's opening up his hips.
On some guys' production being up and down:
Obviously they want the ball. The receivers, running backs, they want to get the ball in their hands. They're confident playmakers. They don't complain to me about it, but I know that maybe in their heart or in their head, after the game's over, they wish they might have had more opps, but that's how you should be, and they play the game that way, but they've been great team players and supported each other whoever was our hot hand.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On balancing three running backs:
Obviously, Aaron Jones, he's our starter. That's the starting point with that all, and then it's a matter of we're going to work guys in. It could be one guy's getting hot. It could be a situation where these are the plays we want this specific guy to have. Now that you're in playoff mode, it's about playing the guys who are your best players and playing the guys who can get in there and contribute and produce. … I don't know how it's going to go with the distribution of carries; just know that Aaron is our starter.
Offensive line coach Adam Stenavich
On getting Corey Linsley back:
I think having Corey back last week was a good thing for everybody. He's pretty special when it comes to getting everyone on the same page, and I think with '12,' he feels the most comfortable with him. But everyone's got to stay ready because Rick Wagner went down, so it's a good job by Lucas Patrick popping in there and then Billy Turner going over to tackle, so we're just kind of glad he's back and we'll see who the starting five are this week depending on how things go.
On Elgton Jenkins making the Pro Bowl:
It just speaks to what a talented player he is and you know it's cool that people have taken notice. But as he knows, he's still got his best football ahead of him. He's still got a long ways to go to be the most complete player that he can be. So I'm excited for his future because he can still improve lot.
Tight ends coach Justin Outten
On Robert Tonyan not making the Pro Bowl:
I'm always going to stick up for my guys. I thought he was well deserving of it. But guys on this team are also well deserving and it's not the first time something like this has happened and it won't be the last time. It's just one of those things that's out of your hands. Talking to Bobby, this wasn't one of his goals coming into the season. That was just an added bonus, but to show him how close he was without even putting that in his mind and just putting his nose down and working his tail off, that things like that could occur, it's just fuel on the fire for a guy like that that's come a long way and made a name for himself. It was good to be in the conversation.
On Jace Sternberger returning to practice:
It wasn't much of an opportunity (Wednesday) just because it was a walkthrough mentality. He got a few reps, but it's good to have him back out there. It's going to be a daily thing just to catch him back up to speed. Anytime you miss a practice here you feel like you're behind. He's been out for a while now, so we've just to get his legs back under him and get him back into a routine and see where it goes.
The Green Bay Packers practiced on Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020.