GREEN BAY -- The Packers' three coordinators met with the media on Friday in advance of Monday night's game vs. Detroit. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
(on Detroit’s Agnew)
Great, dynamic dual returner that also covers kicks. He’s a rare breed. He’s dangerous as a punt returner and kickoff returner. He’s got great balance, great speed, finds creases. He’s one of the more dynamic returners in the league. He’s a shorter, squattier guy. He’s able to run through tackles and he’s also able to run by people.
(on the weather for Monday night)
Luckily I think the winds are supposed to be 2-4 miles per hour, so we’ll take that. Anytime it gets colder the ball doesn’t travel as far. It’s going to be a nice, crisp night. It’s not supposed to be that (bad). The biggest thing for us is the wind.
(on the kickoff coverage at Dallas)
We finally covered better. That first one we missed a couple tackles. We fit it better, just had a guy fly by it. A young player, the first time he saw that, he took it on with the wrong shoulder. If he had taken it differently, would have turned him back in to make the tackle. There was a penalty that brought it back. After that we rallied. We tackled them inside the 20 a couple of times and after that they quit bringing it out. We rectified it and I thought the guys did a good job.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
(on Oren Burks’ first action)
Guys were calling him fresh legs. We liked his energy. His role primarily was going to be on special teams, and then I think on the one kickoff, B.J. Goodson and Ty Summers both got nicked up and we had to throw OB in there and he made a tackle on his first play. It’s good to have him back. The depth at that position, with him being out, was something we had to work around.
(on Will Redmond)
Will did some really good things. He’s a guy that had some plays, wanted one back against Philly, and he really responded well. He’s been dialed in. Dallas had hurt a lot of people on the option play, it’s something we invested a lot of time in, and he couldn’t have played it any better. It was good to see him make a play. You saw him make a play on the punt, and you see a guy’s confidence grow. Whatever his role is going to be, he’ll be ready.
(on the pass rush)
It’s a pretty good group, as evidenced by the results. You ask those guys or Coach Montgomery or Coach Smith and we’re leaving some out there. As far as groups that I’ve coached before, this has to be up there. One group in Buffalo, we had pretty high pressures and sack numbers.
(on adding new talent)
It’s a players’ league, and that’s what I learned a long time ago. Scheme is important, coaching is important, but it’s about players making plays, especially in crunch time. Teams are going to try to get the ball to their best player. That’s the NFL. As a coach you want your best talent available. We’re in the business of playing the hand that’s dealt to us, and it’s our job to maximize on the output of who we have out there. If you have injuries, you move on, and that’s the league. I think we’ve hit a home run with the free-agent additions. They’ve all exceeded our expectations, and they all bring different types of leadership.
(on the Dallas comeback)
It’s a good lesson for our guys, because you can’t relax in this league. The two-play drive, the quick one that hurt. We needed to make them earn those and make sure we were staying on top. It’s something we have to learn from.
(on Jaire Alexander’s game vs. Cowboys)
Anytime you get beat on a double move, it’s just all about your eyes. One thing Coach Simmons and Coach Downard preach is eye discipline. It’s not just Jaire. He’s so into it and wants to do so much and wants to win so badly, he wants to peek elsewhere. We try to bring those guys back. Do your job, good things will happen. That’s what those guys have to learn sometimes.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
(on how the game plan comes together)
Every week you have different challenges, different people you’re going against. Dallas does a good job taking away the guys on the outside. We were able to attack in some different spots which got some other guys the ball. Each week it’s a little bit different. We just want to do what’s best for the team, where we think we can attack a team. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.
(on looking for more big plays in the passing game)
We had a couple explosive runs that really helped us last week. For us, it’s going to be about balance first and foremost. If the passes are there, we want to take those. If they’re not there, we have to do what’s right.
(on not having to help the offensive tackles)
Those two guys have played really well. They had a really, really good game last week. They’ve been playing well up to this point. That’s a nice security blanket, but at the same time you don’t want to get overconfident.
(on Detroit’s defense being like New England’s with Patricia)
There’s definitely a lot of similarities. Whoever we want to give the ball to, they’re going to try to take that away. They’re going to do their best to take away anyone. That’s what this defense does. They’re going to try to create as many one-on-one battles as possible … which, if you win, you’re going to have some opportunities for explosive plays.
That’s not normal. That’s one of those things you have to take a breath and remember to call a play after that. That was incredible. Even the one he flicked to Tra Carson. Being able to avoid a sack and get a completion, you can’t really drill that. We say, oh, just how we planned it.