Valdes-Scantling 'catching the ball more naturally'

Packers’ coordinators preview the Patriots game


GREEN BAY – The Packers' three coordinators met with the media on Thursday afternoon in advance of the Sunday night game in New England.

Here's a summary of their key comments:

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook

(On the Patriots' special teams)

"I don't think there's any question this group has a lot of experience, they're very talented, very very well-coached, one of the better groups in the National Football League, and they play hard. It's a great challenge. I told our guys this is a great challenge for us. They've got weapons, and we have to be on our game. (Patterson) is just like he's always been. Every time you kick off, you have to cover. He's a threat every single time."

(On the Montgomery kickoff return)

"I don't know what was going through his mind. What he told me is he made a split-second decision and didn't know where he was. That's why we talk all the time about where you line up and where you need to be. Sometimes things happen."

(On revealing who's going to return kicks now)

"I could, but I'm not gonna. I don't want to give out information. I'm not sure, to be honest with you. That'll depend on what direction Coach (McCarthy) wants to go."

(On Scott's poor punt)

"His drop was a little off. He might have gotten a little anxious. He might have overswung, too."

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin

(On preparing to play the Patriots when with the Dolphins)

"It's a team that doesn't beat themselves. I don't know that there's a magic formula going into those games that I can recall, but in some respects you have to beat them at their own game. You have to play tough, sound, smart football. We have to keep possession of the football. One of the best things they've done is hold onto the ball themselves over the course of time."

(On how the Patriots make you adjust)

"They have multiple concepts in the back end they utilize and incorporate. They're a good man-to-man coverage team and they're not afraid to double cover a player. When they do that, the other guys have to win. We have to be creative in ways we can keep guys open. That's part of the fun and challenge of coaching against a New England Patriots defense."

(On Valdes-Scantling)

"It's been a gradual development more than anything else. He's got good size and length. He's not the biggest receiver in the league, but he's a pretty smooth athlete for a big guy. That caught our attention early on. Not surprisingly, there were bumps in the road and we're certainly not through all those yet, but it took a while to get comfortable and get his play speed to match what he can do. I still think there's a lot left on the chart for him to grow and develop. He's made some big plays, and he's catching the ball better recently. He's catching the ball more naturally in stride. I like the trajectory he's on and he's going to be a big part of what we do."

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

(On defending Brady)

"Getting him off the spot is always an emphasis, but I think you have to do it a variety of ways. They adapt so well in game, probably the best in the league, if you're giving them the same look over time. You have to have some change-ups throughout the game. I don't think it can be any one plan of attack because they'll react to it and get after you."

(On how his Jets defenses fared well vs. Patriots)

"Whether it was up there or home in New York, it was the right mentality. We were fortunate to have some good cover guys and eliminate some of their guys. They adjust each year. They're difficult to prepare for because they can go from giving you three tight ends and one wideout to five wide receivers. You have to have your bases covered in all the groupings. There's not a lot schematically there. It's players making plays."

(On Williams playing safety)

"He's going to play some. I don't know if I'd term it a full-time move at this point. He's done it some in his history. This is a rangy player that can run and has a high football IQ. He plays with good vision, has a good sense when to break, and just that good understanding of football. He's played in the slot, he's played outside, so there's no reason to think he can't help us at safety."

(On the pass rush vs. the Rams)

"I thought our guys played with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, and it's going to have to be the same thing on Sunday night. I think that was more important than the scheme. I don't recall many free runners going at Goff, but our guys beat blocks. We did a good job on the back end, making him hold the ball. When we covered the first read, we were able to get after him."

(On Alexander)

"For a rookie to do that, that was a special day for him. All you have to do is watch him for a couple minutes, he loves football. He's passionate. He's one of our more vocal guys in the meeting room and on the practice field. He came in here very confident. Corners have to have that ability. They can't let one play affect them. They have to be able to hit the flush button. He had that ability when he came in here."


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