Packers hoping Damarious Randall ‘ready to play his best game’

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 12, 2017 – 4:55 pm

170112-randall-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ three coordinators met with the media following practice on Thursday. Here’s a rundown of their key comments:

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook
(on Jeff Janis’ quad injury)

“It happened early in the game, and he played the whole game. I was proud of him for that fact. They said it was a legitimate thigh bruise, but he practiced today and did well.”

(on Dallas returner Lucky Whitehead)

“He’s not a real big guy, but if you watch, people miss him. He’s unbelievably quick, strong with the ball. I’ve been showing clips all week of people missing him.”

(on Mason Crosby indoors)

“Last time he was down there he had a 58-yarder. He’s an experienced pro.”

(on punt returns)

“Micah’s got his legs back under him and he’s returning like he did a couple years ago.”

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
(on the first meeting with the Cowboys)

“We had some errors and the Cowboys had some big plays that really had a big impact on the game. They were fundamental errors. Guys just have to take care of their job and not try to do too much. I think we’ve gained a lot of experience since then. A lot of the young guys that were playing then, they’re not young guys anymore.”

(on Dak Prescott in the first meeting)

“He didn’t have a lot of games under his belt, but he played like a veteran. He does a good job of his reads, going where he should with the ball and really doesn’t make a lot of critical errors. It’s not like a lot of young quarterbacks where you can force him into making errors.”

(on Dallas’ play-action game)

“That’s what their offense is built on. If you don’t take care of business, all of a sudden they come up with big plays, because they have big-play people. Their play-action pass game has been good. They do a nice job of mixing things up and trying to keep you off-balance. They use a lot of different personnel groups on first and second down.”

(on Peppers and holding him back earlier in the season)

“I think he’s played his best here over the last 3-4 weeks. You’re always looking for those guys who can make the play that can impact the game. Julius isn’t any different than most great players. They’d like to play every down if they could, but he’s also a smart guy. He’s taken full advantage of it. He knows we want him to be at his best right now.”

(on Randall)

“I think he’s physically better, and that’s helping him get on the practice field and take his practice reps. We went through a period of time where he really didn’t have any (reps in practice). That’s hard to do at that position. He’s working his way back to being more healthy. He’s an excellent athlete and can make plays on the ball. What I’m hoping is that he’s ready to go play his best game on Sunday.”

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
(on the offense adjusting without Nelson)

“Each and every guy, they’re prepared to step in and play. That’s really how you have to go about looking at it. We feel we have playmakers at a number of different positions, and we’ll create opportunities. It’s all about matchups.”

(on Montgomery)

“I really don’t think we have any finished products just yet. It’s about improving on a day-to-day basis, and that’s his mindset.”

(on Michael)

“Here’s what you love about him. Tremendous work ethic, brings a ton of energy, love the way he practices. As far as slowing down, we always talk as a runner about pace, tempo, as far as your course and understanding your blocking scheme. Getting the ball north and south, that’s one of his strengths.”

 


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Packers’ offense must keep converting in red zone

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 12, 2017 – 11:13 am

170112-cobb-950GREEN BAY — Last week, the Packers were facing the Giants’ top-rated red-zone defense in the league, and Green Bay converted 3-of-4 red-zone possessions into touchdowns.

That continued a strong recent trend for the Packers, who are now 20-for-28 in the red zone during their current seven-game winning streak, an impressive pace they’d love to keep going in the NFC Divisional playoff against the Cowboys.

“You look at the way we’ve been playing of late in the red zone, we need to play that way Sunday in Dallas,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said prior to Thursday’s practice. “And we need to hold them to field goals on defense.”

Forcing the Giants to kick two field goals early kept the margin manageable last week while the Packers’ offense worked its way out of a slow start.

An added question against the Cowboys, though, is how many cracks the Packers will get, because Dallas ranks second in the league in time of possession, just ahead of the Packers in fourth. Ball control will be a priority for both teams because it’s been such a big part of their success, even though they do it differently — Dallas with the league’s leading rusher in Ezekiel Elliott, and Green Bay with the league’s hottest QB in Aaron Rodgers.

“They’re not on the field as long as other defenses,” McCarthy said. “They do a really good job stopping the run, they do a really good job making you one-dimensional, and when you do that on your home turf, you have a great chance of playing downhill.”

On the injury front, the Packers are hoping that WR Jeff Janis, a key member of the special-teams units, can return at least on a limited basis on Thursday from a quad injury. He sat out Wednesday’s practice. The status of WR Jordy Nelson has not changed.

“He’s making progress,” McCarthy said. “He has a three-day plan and we’ll evaluate him Friday.”

For the Cowboys, the biggest difference from the first game against the Packers this season will be the presence of WR Dez Bryant, who was injured back in October.

“He’s their No. 1 receiver when you look at what he’s done historically,” McCarthy said. “He can do it all. He can get behind you, he’s a red-zone threat, he can high-point the ball. He’s an excellent threat in their offense.”

Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

 


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Jordy Nelson, Quinten Rollins will work with rehab group

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on January 11, 2017 – 2:03 pm

170111-nelson-950GREEN BAY — Receiver Jordy Nelson will work with the rehab group during Wednesday’s practice, according to Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

Nelson (rib) exited Sunday’s 38-13 win over the New York Giants and didn’t return. McCarthy said on Monday that the earliest Nelson could practice would be Saturday.

McCarthy said he hadn’t spoken to Nelson much, but added the veteran receiver has been in good spirits around the building.

“Jordy is the same guy every day,” McCarthy said. “He’s here. He’s been here all day. He’s making progress.”

Although Nelson’s status for Sunday’s NFC Divisional playoff game in Dallas remains uncertain, McCarthy said he feels good about the the Packers’ other receiving options. Veteran Randall Cobb returned against New York after a two-game absence, catching five passes for 116 yards and three TDs.

When asked about how this year’s offense differs from the one that had to play without Nelson in 2015, McCarthy said the team definitely is better equipped to handle the Pro Bowl receiver’s absence due to depth and development of young playmakers.

Second-year cornerback Quinten Rollins also will be a participant in the Packers’ rehab program Wednesday. He sat out of Sunday’s game with the Giants after being carted off the field with a neck injury during the Packers’ Week 17 game in Detroit. He later was diagnosed with a concussion.

McCarthy added that running back James Starks remains in the concussion protocol after being involved in a car accident last month. Starks has missed the last four games.


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Matthews moves up to fifth-most sacks in NFL playoff history

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 8, 2017 – 10:30 pm

QB Aaron RodgersPACKERS TOP GIANTS IN NFC WILD CARD GAME
– Green Bay beat the Giants, 38-13, on Sunday in an NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field. It marks the third straight season that the Packers have won their opening playoff game, the longest streak by Green Bay since a five-season stretch from 1993-97.

– It marks the sixth time in the last seven seasons (2010-12, 2014-16) that the Packers have advanced to the Divisional round of the playoffs, tied with Seattle for the most in the NFC over that span.

– Sunday’s victory was Green Bay’s 33rd all-time win in the postseason, third most in league history behind Pittsburgh (35) and Dallas (34). It was the Packers’ 10th Wild Card win, the most in league annals.

– The 38 points scored by the Packers were the most in a postseason game since Jan. 15, 2011, at Atlanta (48-21). It ranks No. 5 in team history for most points in a playoff contest, with four of the top five scoring games coming under the direction of Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

– With the victory, McCarthy has led the Packers to nine wins in the postseason, tying Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren for the most in team history.

– Green Bay will go on the road next Sunday to face the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC Divisional Playoff contest at 3:40 p.m. (CST). It will be the second postseason meeting between the teams in the last three years (2014 NFC Divisional) and the eighth meeting all-time in the playoffs.

 

OTHER POSTGAME NOTES:
– QB Aaron Rodgers completed 25 of 40 passes for 362 yards and four TDs for a 125.2 rating. He has now posted a 110-plus rating in six of his 14 career playoff starts, tied for the most in NFL postseason history (Joe Montana, six in 23 starts; Tom Brady, six in 30 starts).

– Rodgers became just the fourth QB in NFL history to throw for 350-plus yards, four-plus TDs and no INTs in a playoff game (Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Alex Smith).

– Rodgers tied the single-game franchise playoff record with the four TD passes, and became the first QB in team history to have two four-TD passing games in the postseason (at Arizona, Jan. 10, 2010).

– Rodgers posted his sixth career playoff game with three-plus TD passes, the most in franchise history (Brett Favre, five). He also became the first NFL QB to throw four TD passes against the Giants in a postseason game.

– Rodgers registered his fifth career 300-yard game in the postseason as he further extended his franchise record.

– Rodgers’ 42-yard TD pass to WR Randall Cobb as time expired in the first half was the second-longest TD pass of Rodgers’ career in the postseason, trailing only his 46-yard TD to WR Davante Adams vs. Dallas (Jan. 11, 2015).

– In his last eight games (regular season and playoffs), Rodgers has completed 193 of 281 passes (68.7 percent) for 2,380 yards and 22 TDs with no INTs for a 120.7 rating.

– WR Randall Cobb tied the single-game NFL postseason record with three TD catches. The only other Packer with three TD catches in a playoff game was Sterling Sharpe (at Detroit, Jan. 8, 1994).

– Cobb became the first player in franchise history to register two TD catches of 30-plus yards (42, 30) in a playoff game.

– Cobb finished with 116 yards on five receptions, his second career 100-yard receiving game in the postseason. That ties him for No. 4 in team history behind three players with three (Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Greg Jennings).

– WR Davante Adams led the Packers with eight catches for 125 yards (15.6 avg.) and a TD, the second 100-yard receiving game of his postseason career to move him into a tie for No. 4 in franchise annals.

– Adams’ eight receptions are tied for the fourth most in a game by a Packer in the playoffs (three players with nine).

– LB Clay Matthews registered a sack, giving him 11.0 for his career in the playoffs (No. 1 in team history). He moved into a tie with Charles Haley and LaMarr Woodley for the fifth-most sacks in NFL postseason history.

– LB Julius Peppers posted a sack in the second quarter, giving him at least one sack in each of his three postseasons with the Packers.

– CB Damarious Randall’s 78-yard INT return in the fourth quarter was the second longest in team playoff history, trailing only George Teague’s 101-yard return at Detroit on Jan. 8, 1994.

– K Mason Crosby made his lone FG attempt of the day, a 32-yarder in the third quarter, extending his NFL-record streak of consecutive FGs made in the postseason to 21.

– G T.J. Lang became the first player in franchise history to play in a postseason game in each of his first eight seasons in the league.


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McCarthy: ‘When Julius Peppers speaks, everybody listens’

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on January 6, 2017 – 10:03 am

170106-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — As has been the tradition under Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the team selected its playoff captains prior to Sunday’s Wild Card playoff matchup with the New York Giants.

For the third consecutive year, 15-year veteran Julius Peppers was among the six who were selected in addition to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right guard T.J. Lang, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, kicker Mason Crosby and defensive back Micah Hyde.

Peppers is the only player who isn’t a homegrown Packers prospect out of the six who were chosen. However, the nine-time Pro Bowler has grown into a respected member of the locker room during his three seasons in Green Bay.

“I think it shows the impact he has in our locker room,” McCarthy said. “To get a veteran player that late in his career, a Hall of Fame player in my opinion, his approach to the game is so professional. This is the first year we’ve held him out of practice, but he has a great work ethic in practice. When he speaks, everybody listens. He’s done a phenomenal job with our young players. He’s done a tremendous job during his time here in Green Bay.”

The Packers take a different approach with how they select their captains compared to most of the NFL. Each season, they rotate three different captains – offense, defense and special teams – during the regular season before having the team vote who will represent the Packers in the playoffs.

The honor comes added responsibility to the team.

“You put a little more on their plate than you do throughout the season,” McCarthy said. “We have a format where we select three captains weekly. When we go to six playoff captains, there’s more responsibility because the stakes are higher and as far as who speaks to the team.”

McCarthy said Thursday’s padded practice was one of the coldest the team has had during his time in Green Bay with wind chills hovering around minus-20 degrees.

However, he believes the frigid conditions should have the team prepared for whatever weather greets the Packers on Sunday.

On the injury front, McCarthy said both receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) and cornerback Damarious Randall (knee) are continuing to make progress leading into Saturday’s final practice.


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Aaron Ripkowski has shown ‘instincts of a runner’

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on January 5, 2017 – 4:57 pm

170105-coordinators-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators met with the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a sampling of some of their key comments:

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett     

On FB Aaron Ripkowski:

First and foremost, it goes back to the instincts, understanding the blocking scheme helps, but the instincts of a runner and natural ability of a runner – he has a really good understanding of that. Then, you go back to what are you doing on your own? You go back to this last game against Detroit, he breaks tackles. It’s very, very difficult to take a big guy down who plays with good leverage and accelerates his feet on contact. Rip does an outstanding job of that.

On practicing outside:

It was pretty cold. It’s always good when you get an opportunity to practice in these type of elements. It helps as far as handling the football and getting acclimated.

On protecting the football:

Coach McCarthy talks about it all the time. You get what you emphasize. I think our guys understand the fundamentals. They understand that. It’s how we practice and the effort they put into it day-in and day-out speaks volumes. It certainly creates a habit.

On Giants safety Landon Collins:

Outstanding football player. He’s physical, tough, smart. He’s very good as far as tackling. Certainly, he’s a Pro Bowl safety. He shows up on tape.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

On handling adversity as a head coach:

A lot of times you do your best coaching job during those times of adversity. Your message for the team, how consistent it is, you don’t waver – Mike (McCarthy) has done an outstanding job. What we’ve been able to do speaks to what Mike has done for this team. I don’t think there was anybody who questioned our ability to get things back on track. Every team is going to have bumps in the road. Our guys never wavered. We just stayed the course and kept lining up. Hopefully now that gives us a chance to do what we want to do and that’s finding a way to get a win over a good Giants team.

On whether LaDarius Gunter’s contributions have been a surprise:

It hasn’t because of his demeanor. I liked his demeanor since he came in. He doesn’t say a whole lot. He’s a quiet guy but he’s all business. He really competes on the practice field. That’s a quality at that position. You have to compete every down. The experience has really helped him and benefitted him as the season wore on.

On Giants’ improved run game:

Their offense is different now than when we played the first time. They’re running the ball more. They have Rashad Jennings back. Perkins gives them a little different style of a runner. They’re mixing the run and pass. When you have a guy like Beckham on the outside and his ability to make a big play, they spread the ball around. They’re a more versatile offense now.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On how Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy rallied team when it was 4-6:

I’ve done this for a long time. Sometimes it’s really been great and hasn’t been so good. I can’t say enough about the job Mike did. I know from my own experience, the energy the staff takes, he gave it. It was positive not only with the coaching staff, but the players as well. He didn’t flinch. He said this is what we have to do. This is what we have to get done. You keep doing what you have to do.

On returner Dwayne Harris:

Obviously, we played them a long time ago. They’re a little bit different. Our guys know how good he is as a returner. Our guys are going to have a great challenge. You have to tackle him to the ground. You can’t think you’re going to knock him down because he’s strong.

On whether Herb Waters could help on special teams:

He’s going to have to. Once again, I was watching him cover kickoffs in the Kansas City game. He’s been around. He’s a great attitude and effort. He’s a guy who wants an opportunity. He’s going to have to play.


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Packers to practice outside in the cold on Thursday

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 5, 2017 – 11:07 am

170105-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — As usual when the Packers are preparing for a cold-weather game, they’ll do the 11-on-11 segments and some other portions of practice outside on Thursday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Temperatures are in the single digits in Green Bay on Thursday. Sunday’s high for the wild-card game against the Giants is expected to be in the teens, but the forecast has been dropping that number during the week.

“We’ll go outside. It’s a normal Thursday winter practice for us,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.  “We’ll do all the work indoor that we need to (first). We need the field space (in the Don Hutson Center) to do all individual drills and fundamentals and special teams work. We’ll go outside for the team, field goal, field goal block, and ball drills.”

The Packers have protected the football extremely well given the winter conditions they’ve played in during most of their six-game winning streak. Their only turnover was a fumbled snap early in the Houston game on Dec. 4.

WR Randall Cobb (ankle) and CB Damarious Randall (shoulder, knee) both returned to practice on Wednesday on a limited basis and are expected to practice again on Thursday. McCarthy said they both had “a good day” and their evaluations will continue.

The coaches are also taking a close look at DT Mike Pennel, who is coming off a four-game suspension and is practicing but has not yet been re-activated to the 53-man roster.

“We’re going to take the full week,” McCarthy said. “He’s working, and we’ll see where Mike is.”

One of the most-talked-about matchups for Sunday’s game involves Green Bay’s receivers and New York’s cornerbacks, led by Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple. The latter two were trying to play through injuries when the Packers and Giants met back in Week 5.

“They’ve got three corners that you’d classify as starting corners,” McCarthy said. “They match you coverage-wise, they match your routes and they’re aggressive with it. This is an excellent defense.”

McCarthy added the Packers would have options built into the game plan if the Giants decide to match up their top corner, Jenkins, on the Packers’ top receiver, Jordy Nelson. That’s a normal phase of preparation for any matchup.

“You have adjustments you may make in run game at the line of scrimmage, adjustments you may make in protection, and also with the routes,” McCarthy said. “That’s all part of the game.”

Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.


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McCarthy: Packers will promote CB Herb Waters from practice squad

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on January 4, 2017 – 2:05 pm

170104-waters-950GREEN BAY — The Packers are promoting converted cornerback Herb Waters from the practice squad, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said at his Wednesday news conference.

Waters (6-0, 188) initially went to training camp with the Packers as an undrafted receiver out of Miami (Fla.), but converted to cornerback after signing onto the team’s practice squad at the beginning of the regular season.

A college teammate of Packers’ second-year cornerback LaDarius Gunter, Waters started 20 of 47 games played for the Hurricanes, totaling 99 receptions for 1,534 yards (15.5 avg.) and nine TDs.

The Packers will place cornerback Makinton Dorleant (knee) on injured reserve to make room for Waters on the 53-man roster.

“It’s a great credit to Herb and a credit to (cornerbacks coach) Joe Whitt,” McCarthy said. “He’s a young man with a lot in front of him. I’m excited for him personally. I know what he’s put into it. He’s worked his tail off. You talk about practice squad players and what they have to do in practice. It’s about opportunities and Herb has done a great job of making the switch and doing the extra stuff.”

McCarthy said cornerback Quinten Rollins has entered the concussion protocol after being carted off the field during last Sunday’s 31-24 win over Detroit.

Receiver Randall Cobb and cornerback Damarious Randall will try to practice during Wednesday’s practice, according to McCarthy. Cobb has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, while Randall exited against the Lions with a knee injury.


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Two battle-tested teams facing off on Sunday night

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on December 30, 2016 – 9:55 am

161230-stafford-950GREEN BAY — The Lions have been conditioned for comebacks with eight of their nine wins this season coming after they’ve trailed in the fourth quarter.

It takes a lot composure to endure those close calls, which is why Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy is preparing his team for a 60-minute battle during Sunday night’s NFC North showdown in Detroit.

“They do a heck of a job staying the course,” McCarthy said. “You have success winning a certain way. You do it once and do it twice. You stack success. It’s not how you get there. It’s that’s you get there. That’s been their process. It’s benefited them winning those close games.”

The Packers might not have the litany of fourth-quarter comebacks that the Lions do, but they’ve been battle-tested after having to shake off a 4-6 start to put themselves in position to capture their fifth division title in six years.

McCarthy is pleased with his team’s mindset based on what he’s seen in the team’s two practices this week.

“I thought the two days of practice, the energy was excellent,” McCarthy said. “The padded practice we were able to do a lot of fundamental work, especially with the younger players. The team periods were pretty good.”

The Packers held receiver Randall Cobb out to help rest the ankle injury that sidelined him in Saturday’s 38-25 win over Minnesota. McCarthy said he’s hopeful Cobb might be able to take some reps during the team’s final practice on Saturday.

McCarthy also confirmed it was his decision to hold out linebacker Julius Peppers from Thursday’s practice, a continuation of the team’s plan to taper the 36-year-old pass-rusher.

Peppers is second on the team with 7½ sacks this season.

“I know he doesn’t like to miss practice. I felt it was the best thing for him,” McCarthy said.


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Ty Montgomery has ‘an internal flame’ to his game

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on December 29, 2016 – 5:27 pm

161229-montgomery-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators plus offensive assistant coaches met with the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a sampling of some of their key comments:

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett

On what Aaron Rodgers getting healthier means for offense:

More flexibility. Obviously he’s going to do whatever he takes to put us in position to win the game. That’s what it comes down to. He’s probably the most competitive player in the NFL as far as who he is and how he goes about it.

Associate coach/offense Tom Clements

On high-stakes games:

It’s a playoff game, really. That’s the mentality you have to have. You’re playing for something and want to play next week. Everyone knows how important the game is.

On Rodgers’ interception-less streak:

It’s everything. It’s protection, guys running the right routes, and obviously Aaron making the correct decision. Sometimes you get an interception when you do everything right and defender makes a great play. Everyone plays a part in it. A large share of the credit goes to him.

On Geronimo Allison:

Everyone was excited about the possibilities he could bring to the offense. He’s a young guy, still learning but he works hard. His play speed is very fast. He takes two steps and he’s going full speed. The game is not too big for him. He’s been a positive for us.

Offensive line coach James Campen

On T.J. Lang getting selected to his first Pro Bowl:

I’m just very proud of him. Obviously I felt the statement of Coach McCarthy, it’s long overdue in my opinion. It’s an honor that fits the player. He plays hard. He’s dependable. He cares a lot about his team. … I think he’s gotten better every year. He’s certainly one that’ll tell you he’s never topped out and at the peak of his profession. Just his awareness and the fact he’s playing a lot. He’s been pretty darn good for a few years now.

On Jason Spriggs’ versatility this season:

He’s done a good job. Things don’t affect him. The game isn’t too big for him. He did a good job. He played guard those two weeks. He played against a quality opponent. He improved and that’s what you look for. He’s just ready to go. That’s a credit to him.

Receivers coach Luke Getsy

On Geronimo Allison’s development:

Since he got here, he’s been an impressive young man. His approach. His instincts. His natural football sense and ability to pick up on things quickly. That’s evolved since he got here. Once he was able to get a good grasp of the entire offense, it made opportunities show for him now. Every time we give him an opportunity, he seems to take advantage of it.

On Jordy Nelson playing in the slot:

Everybody in our room has the ability to play every position. The ability to move somebody around doesn’t allow the defense to dictate what they want to do to you. He’s a guy who can handle that as much as anything. He’s another coach on the field for us.

On Ty Montgomery moving to running back:

That’s special. That’s unique to do what he did and what he’s done, and what he’s doing. I think Randall has that natural ability with the ball in his hand but obviously he isn’t as big of a guy as Ty, and we’ve needed him.

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt

On Rodgers’ recent stretch:

He has a great feel for everybody. The plays are being called, the guys are playing really well around him. I don’t know if there’s anything around him that I see differently. … I don’t feel like he’s a different guy now than he was in September. I just think that’s the way the game is.

Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio

On Jared Cook:

I think it’s a testament to him in staying involved. It’s always hard when you’re not out there with your teammates. He’s more comfortable with what Aaron expects and getting on the same page. The more comfortable he gets, the faster he plays.

On how Cook impacts the way defenses matchup against offense:

Typically you try to create matchups. If teams are going to leave corners on a tight end, they’re typically in zone. If they’re in zone, it’s going to create matchups inside. Anytime you’re in zone coverage, you expose linebackers. If you get linebackers on receivers, that’s usually a pretty good matchup.

On Richard Rodgers’ TD catch:

Awesome. His family was here. His girlfriend was here. Aaron did a hell of a job looking off the safety. Rich did a great job stretching Harrison Smith. It was a well-executed play. … The thing about Rich is he’s consistent and steady, and he’s going to be in the right spot. You see that since he’s been here since his rookie year.

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

On Ty Montgomery’s transition to running back:

I think probably the biggest thing is how competitive he is and anything he’s asked to do, he wants to be perfect at it. If you put him in a challenging situation, the way he’s going to go about it and attack it is to make sure he’s the best at what he’s doing.

On where that competitiveness comes from:

Just having the opportunity to hear the stories about his upbringing and getting a chance to meet his mom. He has an internal flame that burns in him that he wants to be successful. He wants to succeed.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

On high-stakes games:

I think it always helps if you have veterans who have been in these type of games before. They understand the focus that you need. Obviously, you have good teams playing this time of the year. So the margin for error goes down. You have to try to make sure you take care of business. The opponent is going to make their plays. You have to make your plays when you have the opportunities.

On getting the combination of Nick Perry and Clay Matthews back in the pass rush:

Last week it was nice to have them both back. I thought they impacted the game in their own ways. Nick will still have a club on his hands. I thought Clay made strides with what he has been able to do.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On Andre Roberts as a returner:

He runs strong with the ball. If you watch, he breaks tackles. He’s shifty. He has great vision, great acceleration. He runs away from people. Whatever speed he is, he gets there in one step. The thing we showed all week is how he break tackles.


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