GREEN BAY – The Packers’ coordinators and offensive assistant coaches met with the media on Thursday. Here's a summary of their key comments.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On Devante Mays’ mindset going into Sunday’s game:
His overall preparation will help in that area. I think he’s done a good job of preparing for this week, this game. That’s what you rely on. It helps with his confidence. He’s making good strides in the classroom. He’s moving in the right direction.
On Michael Clark possibly lining up against Darius Slay:
Obviously he’s one of the best in the business. He’s been all over the tape making plays for them. We have to make sure we’re fundamentally sound in how we approach it and how we attack him. … (Clark) made some plays (against Minnesota). There were some 50/50 balls, we’d like to see him come down with that ball. When it’s a contested catch, we want to see him use is size and ball skills. There’s not many defenders who equal is body type.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
*On Reggie Gilbert’s debut: *
He got off to a really fine start. He played a really good game for us Saturday night. Reggie is one of those guys – it’s his second year being here. He’s a pro. He gives you a good day’s work. He runs all the service teams on the practice field. When he’s had his opportunities, he played well.
On how defense played against Minnesota:
I thought the effort and playstyle Saturday night was exactly what you want. … It exemplifies the character of your team. In this business, if you’re not playing with the kind of effort and intensity, it jumps out at you. Every time you step on that field, you have a standard to uphold.
On what Vince Biegel and Montravius Adams can learn from the jump Kenny Clark made in his second season:
With a lot of young guys, you see a good jump from Year 1 to Year 2. They understand, they’ve been in meetings and on the practice field. Normally, if they take a professional approach, you see improvement. Kenny is a great example of that. Obviously he has great ability, but he’s all business when he’s been here. Guys like that get better. You’re seeing Kenny play some of his best football right now.
Special teams coordinator Ron Zook
*On playing young players: *
I’ve been playing young guys all year. (This week), they might just have to play offense and defense, too. As I tell the young guys, you’re not rookies anymore. At this point of the season, you’re veterans. Just play the way you’ve been playing since April.
On adding another long-snapper (Zach Triner):
That’s just the nature of the game, the way it goes. You like to have consistency, but special teams you don’t always have consistency. You have to coach them and demand the same out of them.
Offensive line coach James Campen
On Jason Spriggs’ outlook:
I don’t know all the particulars, but thank goodness it’s not one of those surgical things. He was progressing with every game. It was a positive thing for him. … I think sometimes you deal with an injury the first time, you take some time away, sometimes you refocus and see things a little differently. I think he matured a lot during those weeks. I think he’s going to be a fine football player.
On Justin McCray’s next step:
The offseason program and the weight room, he’s never had that luxury to be in one place. I think from a physical standpoint, he’s going to benefit greatly from that. Going into a second year with the same system, that really helps a lot. I expect him to learn a lot.
On offensive linemen who make it as undrafted free agents:
I think it’s the comradery you build on the line. You feel like something is missing, especially when you’re young. You’re 20 years old. You exhaust every avenue to play. You have to be a little lucky. My story was simple – I took a cab to a workout with the Saints, the coach wasn’t there, but the general manager was there. I waited five hours and got a workout. For a lineman, you miss that comfort level. You always had guys around you. Maybe that’s why. Maybe we’re just big dreamers and just keep going along. There was never a time I didn’t feel like I didn’t belong because I was released. Most of the time, we use it as motivation.
On what Jahri Evans added to the offensive line:
I think he’s added such a tremendous amount of knowledge, comfort. The young guys, tutoring them. They are very fortunate to have a guy like that, especially with the moving parts we’ve had. He is a very selfless person. He gives time to young people. His professionalism has been terrific. His professionalism is off the charts. He comes to work and does his stuff. For the accolades he’s received, he’s a very humble person. He’s been a huge asset to our o-line room.
Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt
On what Aaron Rodgers showed against Carolina:
What a competitor he is. He wants to be there for his guys. I know his bummed out he went back on IR. Health is more important for him. I was proud of the way he played and battled and scrap and fight and run and take hits shows you the type of competitor he is.
On what he wants to see from Brett Hundley in last game:
The same thing I’ve said the whole time he’s been a starter – just the consistency. Good spurts here and there. Good decision-making and speeding up his feet, always working on the feet. It’s been a good experience for him to get the reps he’s gotten. I look forward to seeing him continue to grow. … He’s been hot on the road. We’ll see if that carries over.
Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio
On new TE Emauel Byrd:
I’m excited for Emauel and watch him have the opportunity this week, and how he responds. He’s had a good week of preparation. … He works hard and shown ability to catch the ball. I’m looking forward to seeing him play.
On Lance Kendricks:
Obviously, after the season, we’ll go through and do the evaluations to be more thorough. But Lance is a player who has consistency, shows up to work every day with the right mindset. He gives effort, as all the guys do. Obviously, the more he’s around in the system, the more comfortable he gets, those are positive things that should help us going forward.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans
On Devante Mays staying ready:
It was more about making sure he was ready. He didn’t get as many reps during the week (before Minnesota). It’s being ready to use him in emergency situations. … Bringing him up because the kid was down about it. In practice, he’s a lot more conscious about securing the football. More about just giving him the confidence.
On future at running back:
You have a blend of different guys who bring different things to the table. I think that’s a pretty good thing. Now going into the offseason, you don’t have one guy who thinks, ‘I am the man.’ I think it’s going to be spelled out to them when we come back, you better make sure you’re geared up because there are guys you’re competing against who can play.
*On returning so many running backs: *
It’s going to be refreshing from the standpoint those guys are going to take care of business when they leave this place. I’m going to be keeping in contact with them. They’re still young. I have to make sure I keep my finger on them while they’re gone and helping them through this process coming back in OTAs.
On goals for Aaron Jones this offseason:
He has to get stronger, especially in the lower body. When I talk about all three of these guys – and Ty (Montgomery) – is they all have different things to work on to improve their game from this year. Getting physically stronger is something that’s going to help him.