Wednesday press conference notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 26, 2011 – 2:23 pm

Here’s a summary of the live tweets from the Wednesday press conferences from the Packers’ official Twitter account:

Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum

Competition fueled growth for punter Masthay. Learned his job was to keep returner under control. Performances v. Bears proved it.

Punting in colder weather late in season was adjustment for Masthay from college, where season over sooner. K-balls different too.

Slocum not surprised at Kapinos’ improvement with the Steelers. Was always a diligent worker here.

Doesn’t think big scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium will affect Masthay in SB, because most punts are angled toward sideline anyway.

Will approach SB with more than one kickoff returner prepared to play.

Slocum was on the field at the Combine when Masthay had his workout a couple of years ago. Has put a lot together to get where he is now.

Shields still a part of return game, Slocum says. Still improving. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Desmond Howard redux in SB from Shields.

Masthay’s mechanics “in a straight line,” which is a good starting point. Compacting some things has led to more consistency in process.

Bush impactful on coverage units. Plays inside on kickoffs, outside on punts. Can beat a double-team at times.

Slocum did have conversation with Bush about cutting down penalties. He’s “like a piano wire,” ready to jump and go at any moment.

Guys take chances on coverage units, and big things will happen, for or against. There’s a fine line between reckless and aggressive.

Slocum hasn’t forgotten Pittsburgh’s onside kick in last year’s game at Heinz. Will be prepared for it at all times.

Slocum grew up Cowboys fan. Being able to play Super Bowl in Dallas means a lot.

Recognizes it’s a calculated risk to have Williams on punt returns. Has used Woodson in past. Slocum trusts Williams.

Views onside kick to start second half in last year’s Super Bowl as an “all-in” move. Clearly influenced outcome.

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin

Polamalu didn’t play in last year’s GB-Pitt game. Plays all different assignments. Versatile, dynamic player. Be alert to where he is.

Checkdown catch by Jackson, with move on Urlacher, stood out on film in review of Chicago game. Great play, Philbin says.

Pittsburgh had 48 sacks during regular season. Use different blitzes to get to QB. Whole protection unit must be on notice.

Philbin’s reasons for getting into coaching have never changed. Loves hearing from former players at smaller colleges.

Big memory for Philbin was winning Div. 3 national title with second-half comeback. Other coaches on that staff have gone on to head jobs.

Philbin says he’s not ticket source for SB. Has six kids, comes from family of six, wife from family of eight. Lots of tickets spoken for.

Philbin says Rodgers’ physical toughness has never been in question. Needs protection to thrive in SB, dome or not.

Coaches still in film-watching stage. Haven’t put together specific game plan yet.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

“They’ve got a big strong QB that’s hard to get on the ground,” Capers says, first thought of Pittsburgh offense.

Steelers can play power running game or spread you out and use their speed. Big Ben makes it all go. At his best when timing breaks down.

In last year’s game, Capers counted five sacks, and a legit chance at five more. Gave up more big plays than any other game last season.

Capers says have to try to hit Ben between knees and chest to get him down. Like a lineman or fullback back there.

“I like Clay against anybody,” Capers says. Good defenses have more playmakers, like this one. More options for those 1, 2 big plays helps.

Capers considers LeBeau a good friend. Roomed with him in early days in Pittsburgh. Lots of respect. That defense a standard-bearer.

Gets together for dinner at Combine with LeBeau annually. Not much time to talk during season.

This defensive scheme constantly changing and evolving as others adjust. Zone blitz was new at the time in Pittsburgh.

Steelers running this defense since ’92. Always have a player trained to come along and replace spots.

Raji great example of strides from Year 1 to Year 2. Understands little things more, stays on the field, gets better.

Shields always made plays on practice field, in preseason games. Knew he would just get better the more he played.

Capers will be coaching scout QB to extend plays like Ben. Can’t really simulate him, but create best look you can.

Adversity defense has been biggest improvement on defense from last year to this. Comes down to confidence in pressure situations on D.

CB Charles Woodson

Woodson voted for Obama, wants him to root for the Packers as well.

Woodson’s last trip to Super Bowl was rushed, following compacted schedule after 9/11. This time it’s different.

Is fine with speaking to team as captain. Just kind of happened, but is comfortable with role. Gives some thought to what he says.

Woodson doesn’t want to talk and just “cliche guys to death.” Makes his words mean something as a captain.

Rushing Ben, can’t go full speed and reckless. Have to come with controlled aggression. Have to get him down if get hands on him.

Woodson says this is an opportunity that’s “all or nothing.”

Having position coach like Joe Whitt younger than Woodson can be tough on both. But Whitt is great Xs and Os coach, knows, teaches game.

Woodson could tell Whitt knew the game when he was in quality control role in ’08. Credits him for a lot of this secondary’s success.

Every week it’s somebody else on this defense, and somebody young, Woodson says. Everybody expected to play well, no excuses.

Woodson thinks about winning Super Bowl “around the clock.” Got more anxious with each playoff win. Still got The Game.

Woodson knows how hard the process is to get here.

DE Ryan Pickett

Pickett is still sick to this day he got to a Super Bowl and lost. Telling teammates to enjoy it, but stay focused on the game.

“This is why we play,” Pickett says. Being this close, winning the game is all he can think about. Four quarters left.

Pickett says Woodson has been a leader, his messages on point. Both are vocal because they’ve been there and fallen short.

Have a lot to deal with when playing Steelers. Not just Ben, but Mendenhall. Hard runner who breaks tackles, like Ben in pocket.

“We wish we could play this week,” Pickett says. Guys excited, watching film. Want to bring Lombardi Trophy back to GB.

Pickett is preaching to young players it’s a business trip. They’ve bought into it, whole team has bought into it.

Pickett thinks team is built for long-term success, but you never know what can happen. Have to capitalize on this opportunity.

Pittsburgh game last year was “embarrassing,” Pickett says. Tape wasn’t easy to watch. They did everything they wanted.

QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers says he had no concussion from Peppers hit. Says the new helmet did help.

Rodgers was disappointed in way Cutler was treated. Thought it was disrespectful what some said. Appreciates the way Bears supported him.

Rodgers has reached out to Kurt Warner for SB advice. Has talked to other friends who have played in SB before.

Rodgers has a lot of appreciation for way Ben plays, getting out of sacks, making big plays out of it.

Rodgers anticipates varied blitz package from Pittsburgh. Knows Steelers will come in with a good scheme.

Ryan Grant has gotten more recognition being injured than on the field. Offense has really missed him this season.

Rodgers says anytime Woodson speaks, he has a lot of respect in the locker room and guys listen to what he says.

Talks weekly or every other with college coach Jeff Tedford. Rodgers credits him with teaching about leadership, honing fundamentals.

Brandon Jackson an unselfish player, Rodgers says. Makes plays that don’t show up on stat sheet, that get overlooked.

Rodgers will try to approach this as normal week, but realizes might be once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Hopes it’s not, but will enjoy it.

Leader needs to first lead by example, Rodgers says. Must care about teammates, know looked to for energy.

WR Greg Jennings

When QB scrambles, it’s mostly ad-libbed by WRs. Can’t really draw that up in practice.

Polamalu is chief of Pitt secondary, defense as a whole, Jennings says. Can prepare only so much, bc his game is instinctive and savvy.

Jennings says Rodgers prepares better than anybody. Handles spotlight better than most, controls situation. Will prepare that this is it.

Jennings says he’ll prepare like he’s never prepared before, but keeping things in perspective.

What Driver brings to the table is unmatched, Jennings says. Can’t supplement it. Game smarts, football IQ, hard to duplicate.

Jennings talked to Larry Fitzgerald about SB. Said he took it so serious he didn’t enjoy it. Jennings looking for right balance.

Game in a dome? “All I can do is smile,” Jennings says. Surface perfect, atmosphere unmatched. Guys will bring their A game.

“We’re going to try to get this done, period,” Jennings says.

G Josh Sitton

Pitt game last year was like all losses this year. A game you have to finish, Sitton says. Down stretch this year, learned how to finish.

Capers’ defense and all the blitzes helps to prepare for exotic defense like Pittsburgh’s, Sitton says.

I’ll do pretty much anything for a free T-shirt, Sitton says. Teammates will do anything for free T-shirt, too.

Luncheon stunt with Cowboy outfits by O-line and Rodgers was just meant to be funny. Cool thing now, Sitton says.

Sitton says Rodgers has always dealt with everything with great character. That’s the kind of guy, kind of leader he is.

LB Desmond Bishop

Bishop says Woodson’s messages are emotional, go to the heart. Not really rah-rah, but he gets the point across.

It’s been crazy year for Bishop, means that in good way. Gone from the lows to the highs. Hard to put it all in perspective. Feels surreal.

Takes some confidence from last year’s Pitt game. No moral victories, but know team can play with them, Bishop says.

Steelers’ playoff run shows their character, Bishop says. They’ve come through their own trials and tribulations.

Bishop says Bush didn’t let negative attention in the past affect him. Saw the fire, worked hard and produced.

“When you do get a chance to hit him, bring everything you have,” Bishop says of tackling Ben. Don’t go for the pump fakes.

CB Jarrett Bush

Masthay’s hang time and direction have been big for punt coverage against top returners, Bush says.

Has seen how he can make difference in a game on special teams, Bush says. Once grasped that concept, took it and ran with it. Do his part.

Was unfortunate what some fans thought of him in past, Bush says. Never changed his thoughts toward fans, greatest in the league.

Says Slocum told him to be more conscious of penalties, but stay aggressive. Always reminded, stay on p’s and q’s, details.

 


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