GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and defensive coaches addressed the media Friday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
On how LB Jake Ryan was playing before ankle injury:
I really liked our combination in there with Blake and Jake. What we’re asking them to do, they were doing a good job. You’ve got a first year guy and a rookie. I think Jake is your typical from Year 1 to Year 2, he’s made some pretty good strides and we’re excited to see him back out there.
On CB Damarious Randall’s playmaking ability:
One thing has been missing this season has been the turnovers. A big part of that is the more guys you put on the field who have those kind of abilities, the better your chances are because you never know when it’s going to happen. We’ve seen him through the preseason and regular season to be able to go take the ball away.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
On Philadelphia’s defense:
They’re playing really well at home. You look at what they’re doing on tape. They fly around and make plays. What stands out is their discipline. We have to continue to be disciplined and execute in certain situations to make sure we take full advantage of every opportunity we have.
On having two traditional RBs:
It certainly helps. Obviously you want some balance. At the same time, you want to do what’s necessary to win the football game. It opens up the opportunity for play-action pass. The key is to just execute and take full advantage of the situation.
Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook
On whether the Eagles use returners Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner at the same time on kickoffs:
They have. They did last week. I think that’s what they’ll probably do so you can’t kick away from them. They’re both very good. They do a good job. … (Smallwood) can run, he’s fast, he’s strong. They feel that and those guys do a good job of blocking as well. They’re very well-coached.
On Jake Schum’s production recently:
Placement. We’re not where we were in punt coverage last year at this point in time. You get a return here or there, a missed tackle, there’s so many little things that can go wrong, but the big thing is ball placement. I think Jake is getting into a little bit of rhythm. He has to place the ball where we need to place it and we have to go down and cover.
Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
On Clay Matthews getting acclimated after injury:
The mind and the will might have been willing and wanted to in so many ways, but this is pro football against a very good team. To get back into the flow, it might not always be as easy as you think. We’re looking forward to him to him getting back to his old play-making self.
On not having Matthews for three games:
When you have a player of Clay’s ability and he’s not in there, the defense doesn’t benefit. When he’s in there, he’s shown he can be a game-changer. When you don’t’ have that type of player in there, you do the best you can with the next set of available players. Datone Jones is so close to breaking through and making plays. He’s very complimentary in the pass rush. The last time we won a game, he hits the quarterback, ball flies out and Nick Perry gets the interception. You look at Perry, he’s been very solid. We’re trying to find the blend with Julius to make sure he plays enough. All he does is make big plays at crucial times.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt
On Damarious Randall working his way back:
That’s what we get paid for. Nobody really cares about the rust or what have you. The only thing that matters is how you perform on game day. Hopefully when he does come back, he gives us the plays we need for a winning performance.
On mounting injuries at cornerback:
It’s not necessarily hard on me. I’m not doing a very good job of getting guys to produce on game day. That’s what it all comes down to. What they do in practice – they’ve had some really nice practices, but at the end of the day, we get paid to win football games and it’s my job to make sure no matter who goes out there, they’re executing and playing at a level that we can win games, and making splash plays. That’s what we’re typically known for. I tell my guys as long as the quarterback plays well and the cornerback plays well, we’re winning here at the Green Bay Packers and I firmly believe that. We have to play better. I don’t care who goes out there and I have to coach better. I’m not going to any excuses. It’s time to make plays. It’s time to get it done and we can do it. If we want to have the success that we’re going to have, then we better do it. It’s as simple as that.
On Sam Shields’ season being over:
He and William Gay are two of the guys I’m closest to that I’ve coached. I just want to make sure that when we comes back (to Green Bay), he’s Sam Shields, the person, that’s all I care about. That’s what he’s taking care of. He’s with his family. He’s with his little girls. I know their bringing him plenty of joy at this moment. That’s the best place for him. The football part of it is going to take care of itself. He’s meant a lot to me over the past couple years and I’m just looking forward to having him back around and being around because he’s a fun guy, he’s a good guy to be with and he bring so much to this team.
Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
On using Mike Daniels in third-down situations:
We have a little rotation going there. We kind of judge it a little bit on the down-and-distance, too. He was in there during the Indianapolis game where we got the pick off the good rush. We’re trying to mix it up a little bit and keep those guys fresh. If he’s in a game situation where it’s a middle-of-the-road down, we’ll try to keep him in.
On Kenny Clark’s development:
I think Kenny is coming along well. He had some really good plays in the game, fighting through pass rush. That’s a little bit of that job, particularly when you’re only rushing four. I thought he did a really nice job. They try to run a duo-play on him and he did a nice job of holding his ground there. I think he’s going to be a fine player.
Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
On how Jake Ryan looked at Thursday’s practice:
It’s exciting to get him back out there. At the same of practice, I was a little concerned with being outside on the slick conditions. Moving around today was a blessing. I think he’s feeling better and better. We know he does a great job and can help us out.
On difference Ryan makes inside:
Jake’s a big part of it. He’s made a big stride from Year 1 to Year 2. It’s unfortunate he’s not out there. As an inside linebacker group, we have to step up and pick up the slack. It can’t be two good plays and then one breaks out on you. You have do your job and pick up the slack for the guys who aren’t out there. There’s no excuse. We have to go out there and get the job done.
Safeties coach Darren Perry
On all the moving parts on defense:
I don’t think trying to do too much. We have some moving parts, but the guys who are out there know what they’re doing. We just have to do it better. We’ve had some guys in positions and we just haven’t made the plays whether it’s third down or first-and-10.
On limiting tight-end production:
When you think back – I hate to go back to Tennessee, but that was the one game where we probably weren’t at our best. It was pad level. We corrected that. Our guys have the ability. We have to make sure our technique is on point. Ability-wise, it’s there. We just have to make sure we’re dialed in and focused.
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