GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and offensive assistants met with the media on Wednesday and Thursday. Here's a sampling of their key comments.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
On punter Pat O'Donnell winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week:
It was good for the whole group. Obviously certainly Pat was the facilitator in all of that, but we have to snap it, you have to protect it and you have to cover it. I think it's certainly a team award. I think Pat would say the same thing. That game is long gone. It's only going to depend on what we do moving forward.
On winning the field-position battle on special teams:
We're playing the ultimate field position coach in this week's game. He does everything possible to gain field position throughout the game and we're really trying to do the same thing. Our job on punt is it's the last play on offense, we've got to protect the ball, and then we transition to the first play on defense, try to set your defense. We haven't had that many shots in the kickoff return game to set the offense. We've done it from a punt return perspective a little bit. Penalty cost us in the game last week or else we'd have really advantageous field position.
On studying Bill Belichick as a special teams coach:
It goes back to when I was a kid and he was coaching with the Giants. They had Lawrence Taylor playing gunner out there. They used to practice at Pace (University) and I'd go watch them there. Like I said, when I got to be in college, I got a chance to go visit and when he got to New England, Brad Seely was the special teams coach, and he's been a huge factor in my learning and in special teams. I studied him for a long time. Certainly these guys that have become head coaches that have special teams in their background, you always follow their tape to see how their teams play special teams. Joe Judge became a head coach and now he's back with him. There's a lot of guys involved in special teams with New England. They've been a top-five for a long, long time. Talk about (Matthew) Slater. 22 (Cody Davis) for them is a tremendous player coverage-wise. He's been in the league around 10 years. Slater about 14 (15, I think). I have a lot of respect for the way they play.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry
On Rashan Gary seeing more double teams:
I think (Jason Rebrovich) has done a great job making sure that he understands that, 'Hey, you'll get some one-on-ones, but a lot of times, they're not going to allow you to have a one-on-one rush with just an offensive tackle.' So, you're going to have to deal with those chips with a tight end and/or a back. And there's all just different ways, there's different tricks we can use, there's different tactics we can use to help him on that, and he's done a great job with it.
On balancing Quay Walker's workload:
That's something that, from a coach, you have to be careful doing because he's so talented, he's so gifted, he can do so many things but at the same time, you have to be careful, and you've got to pump the brakes because he's a great chess piece. We can move him around and do a lot of things but you have to be careful drawing the line. And I talk to (Kirk Olivadotti) about that all the time, saying, 'KO, you've got to tell me at times, say dude, enough is enough, we can't do that.' But Quay is, and he's the type of guy, I don't know how well you guys have gotten to know him, but he's the type of kid you could give him 1,000 things and he'd just be, 'Yes sir, OK, Coach.'
On Keisean Nixon stepping up when Jaire Alexander left in Tampa Bay:
You never know when you're gonna have to go in and play, like a guy like Keisean Nixon. If you look at his defensive snaps and special teams snaps, he played 70-something plays, so you just never know and that's why you gotta prepare like you're a starter. You're not a backup. You're a starter-in-waiting and you never know when that moment's gonna happen.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich
On if the Packers will continue rotating David Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman at left tackle:
I mean we're going to basically go out there and find the best plan to put David out there as much as possible. So the trainers are involved in that decision and obviously David is, so we're just going to play it by ear and get him out there.
On how Bakhtiari handled it:
Yeah, it was great. I thought he did a really good job. He hadn't really been able to consistently go out there and practice and stuff, so it was great to get him out there. I thought he did a really good job just going out there and playing hard and putting good stuff on film.
On Romeo Doubs getting more opportunities:
We knew obviously when Sammy (Watkins) went down that he was going to have a bigger part in the game plan. It's just a matter of how the game flowed. He has his opportunities, he made some big plays which we know he's capable of, and we're very excited about him moving forward. He has great hands and he can do some good things once he catches the ball. Yeah, it was really encouraging to see that and hopefully there's a lot more of that to come.
Wide receivers/passing game coordinator Jason Vrable
On Doubs' eight-catch day against Tampa Bay:
He graded out really well. He starts at X (receiver). I didn't think the stage was too big for him on any of the plays. He wasn't nervous. You guys have gotten to know him – he's cool, calm and collected. That's how he plays out there. He loves ball. Since I've met the kid when he came on his visit, that's the one thing I knew from him. This kid truly loves football above everything else. He prepared. He had a great offseason. I know you guys would always talk about he was making some plays in practice and it was the truth. You could see it. You could feel it from him. I told him it was only a matter of time before you start climbing and go out in the game. He lost a couple press releases. He had maybe one mental mistake. But other than that, he graded out extremely well for his first start. He played a lot. He was in great shape. It was hot down there and he did a good job. I think he only needed to sub one time. He did an awesome job, man. It was just the first start for him. I know he got that (Rookie of the Week) honor. It was a great honor. I told him that. He said, 'I didn't even know what you're talking about.' Because he's all ball. He kind of puts his blinders on when he comes in the building. He's not a big social media kid or a big TV guy. He literally studies football and loves ball. It was cool. He's earned it and I'm really proud of him.
On where Christian Watson is in his development:
He's working on creating his craft and feeling comfortable in your own skin. So, when you're out there, you're not thinking, "How am I going to get across this DB's face?" You already have a plan. I'm going to rage off the ball, I'm going to move this guy and I'm going to cross his face. The timing and window is going to be there. Mentally, he's there. Then, it's about creating your brain process into your feet and the right rhythm and timing. Christian is a worker. You watch him out there at practice – there's a speed that I've maybe never even felt before on a field and he's been pushing himself. He started Week 1 and had some opps. Him and Romeo, along with Samori (Toure), have done a really good job. All three of those rookies have been a blessing to our room and really good fits.
Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements
On Jordan Love's development:
I thought Jordan, since the spring, he's been working hard. I thought he had a very good training camp; did some very nice things in the games. He got to play a lot. I think he's done very well. He runs the scout teams now during the season and a lot of the plays are similar to plays that we have. So, he's getting work doing that. We still do a lot of drills when we have the time during special-teams periods. He's working hard. I think his accuracy has been good, his footwork has been good. I think everyone is pleased with him.
On Clements' relationship with Aaron Rodgers over the years:
I always said when I was here with Aaron in his younger days and Brett (Favre) was in his 14th or 15th year that it was more of a collaboration. Because guys who've played that long, they've seen things. They know what they can do. They know what they like to do. You can't just say, 'Hey, you gotta do this.' You talk about it, 'Here's what I see, what did you see it?' Consider it, and if it makes sense, then maybe try to implement it. That's what it's like with Aaron now. It's more of a collaboration because he's very intelligent. He has a lot of experience. It's always good, though, to have another person just look at it and say, 'Here's what I see.' Then, he considers it and if it makes sense, he'll try to do it. If it doesn't, he's going to lean on what has gotten him to this point.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On how using Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon on the field together threatens a defense:
I think it's because of how we use them and how many touches that they get in a game. Obviously, they're both capable in their own ways of making plays. So I think that's the biggest thing is just because of the different ways we'll use them in the pass game, run game. Heck, even AJ is out lead blocking sometimes now.
On the fun drawing up plays for two backs:
Without question. I think anytime you look at guys who are some of your best players and some of the guys who that'll help produce, you try to find ways for them to get the ball, if they can handle it. I think fortunately we got two guys who can handle a lot of the things that we're asking them to do. … It's good if they can do different things but I think the fact they can do the same thing kind of helps us, too. You saw us run both routes and then hand the ball off to AJ. And you saw us do routes with AJ and then hand the ball from Aaron. From that standpoint, we try to keep them both interchangeable in the things we ask them to do. If one guy can do something, we want that other guy to be able to do it also so that way defenses can't say, 'Well, when this guy is in the game, this is what he's going to do or if they're both in the game except this guy to do this and that one to do that.' We mix that part of it up. You can't do that unless you got guys you can rely on.
Offensive line coach Luke Butkus
On Bakhtiari's return:
David's a pro. He's a perfectionist. Just ask him, he'll tell you. There's a reason why he's one of the best left tackles in this league. Of course, he wants to be perfect every play. Is he going to be? No. There are things that he wants to clean up that we want him to clean up but it's a great start to get better and be out there and play full speed. So, very encouraging and very excited.
On how he and Yosh Nijman reacted to the rotation:
Oh, these guys are team players. They understand the team is bigger than anybody. So, that first and foremost, both those guys are going to do whatever it takes to help this team. They might be opinionated and say what they want but going in that locker room, I know that each and every one of these guys can count on them to do his best.
Tight ends coach John Dunn
On Robert Tonyan's progress:
Every time he's out there he just keeps getting more and more and more confidence in his play, in his body. So for him, I think he's starting to settle in in terms of just getting back, because it takes reps, right? It takes reps to get back in the flow, get on the same page, get your stamina back to being in football shape. So, every day he's out there, he keeps getting more and more comfortable.
On where Josiah Deguara fits best:
For all these guys, they play a ton of different roles. That's the best part of tight end. I tell 'em all the time we can line up in 1,000 different spots. We get to do everything under the sun. Now that's the challenge, too. They have to be good in a lot of areas, they have to perform a lot of different techniques, obviously they have to be sharp mentally to be able to line up in all these different spots and he's no different. He's a guy that you line up all over the place a