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Washington's passing game 'is going to test us down the field'

Packers' coordinators and defensive assistants discuss first two weeks, upcoming matchup


GREEN BAY – The Packers' coordinators and defensive assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday. Here's a summary of their key comments.

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook

On not being able to use the same scheme to block a punt again:

"I don't know if it's the last time. That's what happens with a punt, you have to be so concerned. It's just a little mistake here or there. It's nothing magical. You're always trying to find matchups or a person here or there. That's the nature of the game a little bit."

On the timeout before Crosby's kick, making him try it twice:

"I don't think that bothers Mason. He's a pro. I don't know that had anything to do with it. I don't think it did."

On taking a risk with an offensive lineman like Patrick deep on kickoffs:

"I'm not saying he's going to be an All-Pro returner, but he's a big guy that can block, a big guy that catches the ball extremely well. If you've got a kicker that can find him, they're going to kick to him. You can't hide him out there. But I feel pretty comfortable with him back there."

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin

On the pass protection vs. Minnesota:

"There were snaps it was really, really good, and we had a bunch of time, and there were snaps it has to get better. We don't want to be a team that gives an average of four sacks a game. It's not all on the offensive line, but we have eight sacks through two games and it doesn't project to a number that's very satisfying."

On Graham getting more involved:

"Maybe there was a little less attention on him early in the game. Overall offensively we had a little bit better rhythm in that game. The (Bears) game, it was a struggle. It really was, even though ultimately the outcome was good. (Against the Vikings) there were some coverage things that were favorable to him, and to us, and he got on track a little better."

On Washington's defense:

"It's a good, solid defense. Two good guys on the edge, 94 and 91 are both really good players. 24 is a really good player, very instinctive. He can play a lot of different ways. He can press, he can bail. They have active safeties. These guys are a little more multiple, play both in centerfield, not afraid to blitz both guys."

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

On Adrian Peterson:

"He looks good. Still has it. The ability to jump cut, the lateral movement. If the crease is there downhill, he takes it. But he certainly has the ability to get outside the defense. We don't have to say much to our guys. It's on film."

On having any clarity on QB hits:

"We thought we did, and I think there's a lot of emotion attached to what happened last Sunday. My biggest issue with the whole thing is how we responded to it. We gave up 12-13 completions over 100 yards and a touchdown after that. We didn't handle the adversity well. There are things that are going to happen that you don't have any control over. We went from thinking this game is over to have to keep playing, and we didn't handle that well."

On using so many different personnel groupings:

"You want to get your best 11 out there in a given situation. There are games (in the past) where we've rolled with very few personnel groupings and had multiple calls up, and gone to the other extreme and had five, six, seven groups up in a given game. It's all game-plan driven and can change week to week."

Pass-game coordinator Joe Whitt

On whether coverage has improved from last year:

"Too early to say. We gave up a lot of yards this last game. Wasn't too pleased with that."

On the Thielen TD and what Brice should have done:

"In today's NFL, if KB had tried to separate the receiver from the ball, what do you think is going to happen? A flag, and probably a fine. He's already been fined once. That's flashing through a lot of DBs' minds. It's difficult. That touchdown didn't bother me as much as the other ones, to be honest with you."

On Washington throwing a lot of checkdowns:

"I told the guys when you give up a big ball over the top, like the one to 14, you're going to get tested for the next four weeks. It's on everybody's tape for the next four weeks. Even though they've checked it down, they're going to test us down the field. We're going to get tested. They should test us. We put a negative play on film, and that's part of it."

Secondary coach Jason Simmons

On what Josh Jones can do coming back from injury:

"We know Josh Jones is a really talented player. What we have going on right on, everything we do is matchup-based. It's week-to-week. If he fits what we want to do, I'm sure Coach Pettine won't hesitate to put him in there."

On importance of communication on different packages:

"It's just repetition. That's our job. Whatever is called upon, we need to be ready. If Pettine wants a different group, he calls it and I echo it. The main thing for us is making sure I get that."

On Jermaine Whitehead playing in the box:

"His versatility is great for us. It's something that's going to keep him around in this league. His skill set is multiple. That's something we definitely value. You have seen him in the box early. He may be used deep later."

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery

On Mike Daniels' workload:

"He had no preseason action, so we wanted to make sure he didn't get out on the field and run him into the dirt. We're going to rotate them a little more than we have in the past."

On what he said to Daniels after letting go of Kirk Cousins on the pump fake:

"What do you tell him? He thought the quarterback threw it. He didn't want to get fined. These guys are playing with the thought of losing paychecks. It's not an excuse. He has to finish the play. The quarterback pumped. He had him wrapped. He said on the sideline, 'I thought he threw it and I didn't want to get flagged.' We have to make plays when they come to us. Obviously that should have been a sack. We just have to keep it moving."

On Kenny Clark picking up where he left off last season:

"He's doing some good things. He's using his hands. He's being disruptive. That's why you have training camp and preseason games. He's picked up where he left off (but) each game, you're only as good as your last one. So keep working."

Defensive run-game coordinator/inside linebacker Patrick Graham

On Oren Burks:

"We'll find out Sunday who's available, but I'm looking forward to Oren playing football. He's a rookie. When he gets his shot out there, it's going to be interesting. I don't know who it's going to happen, but when he gets his chance, he's eager and ready to play some football."

On working with Korey Toomer and Antonio Morrison after arriving late:

"This is my 10th year in the league, this happens every year. I think it's one of the more fun things. You have the guys you've been with all spring and then you get thrown a curve ball with new guys and getting them ready to play. They have to be willing to put in the work. Obviously, I'm going to put in the work. I love it. I love the energy they bring to the room."

On Blake Martinez working with new inside linebackers:

"From my view, you have to have a good understanding of who's working around you. Everybody in the league is going through the same transition. I don't think it's unique to Blake and the Packers. If you're between the line and the defensive backs, you have to have a good understanding of who's behind you."

-Wes Hodkiewicz contributed