GREEN BAY – The Packers’ coordinators spoke to the media on Thursday. Here are highlights from their news conferences:
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
On Washington’s defense:
During this time, you have the whole season. You want to pick and choose the ones you think resemble what we do, but you look at every situation. Every guy has a responsibility and you want to dive into it as much as possible. Whatever we can do to try to get a beat.
Do you review game first or cutups?
Always games. That’s one of the things I learned from my dad back in the day. You try to develop the plan as the game flow goes. Sometimes when you jump into the cutups, it doesn’t tell the whole situation of why they did something.
On offensive identity:
When you have to hang your hat on something, what do you want to do? What do guys believe in? To be able to do as much as possible effectively is always helpful. Late in the year, sometimes you don’t know who you’re going to have. You always have to be able to adjust. An identity is the foundation concepts you have and you have to do them in different ways. For us, we have a couple guys who can do a lot of different things. Whatever it takes.
On 50/50 balls:
Anytime you try to call a legitimate shot down the field, I’ve always looked at it as a 40 percent completion percentage. When you have a guy like Aaron Rodgers that can go up with his vision and ability to throw the ball downfield. That can make you want to do it more, especially when you can check it down to Aaron Jones.
On touchdown efficiency in the red zone:
We like to call it the ‘gold zone.’ We’ve been able to run the ball. If you focus on the pass, that hurts you or the run. The other thing is how many people have scored down there. The more people who score in the red zone, they have to cover every ounce of it.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
On Adrian Peterson:
He’s one of the rare ones in the left who can defy his age. We have one here with Tramon Williams. Those guys are rare, especially at running back, to see him with his longevity is nothing short of amazing.
On seeing improvement from the run game:
It starts with the communication being on the same page, I think that’s important. Having an understanding if we have a stunt on, making sure guys know how that affects them. We’ve preached it and we’ve had some games where we’ve defended the run well and then we get hit with a big one. We’re continuing to grow with it and have a much better understanding of what we’re doing in the run game. This week will be one of our bigger mentalities defending the run. I’ve known Bill Callahan for a long time. He wants to run the football. It’ll certainly be a challenge for us given what they’ve put on tape the last few weeks.
On Washington’s run-heavy offense:
They play with a sixth offensive lineman more than anybody we’ve played this year. It’s like over 60 plays and that’s not including the goal line. If they put offensive linemen out there, we’re going to want to match big with big.
On bend-but-don’t-break defense:
You want to be dominant. But if that’s off the table, you want to make sure where you’re going to be good, it’s going to be keeping teams out of the end zone. That’s one area we have done a good job. You don’t like it too when you have No. 12 on the other side of the ball … you want him back out there. We have to get off the field. When we have opportunities to do it, we have to take advantage of it.
On Rashan Gary:
He’s graded out well when he’s been in there. He’s had some good rushes and gotten some pressures. Like Kyler Fackrell, he’s a victim of two other guys in that room playing extremely well and getting production. He’s on a progression, he’s on a path that we feel he’s made improvement from Day 1 and we’re certainly confident that’s going to continue. … He has the ability to play (inside or outside). That’s what I see in his ability, a guy who can rush outside early or bump inside.
Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga
On new KR/PR Tyler Ervin:
Extremely quick. He has really good short area quickness. Good feet and can make guys miss. He’s a veteran guy who has some experience back there. He has a good, calm demeanor.
On Ervin’s NFL experience:
I think your best experience is in game situations. The more you’ve done it, the more comfort for you are with it. Having game experience always adds to what you can do with your comfort level. … He has a lot of experience running what we run. He understands that and we talked to him about that. He’s been in the meetings. He’ll be ready to go. When you come in as a returner, you show them where it’s designed to go and they have a good feel for that.
On Mason Crosby:
I have the utmost faith in him. I think he’s been awesome for this organization and great for me. He’s really helpful with JK Scott and Hunter Bradley. Just being in the locker room, he’s a great leader. I can’t say enough about him.
On JK Scott’s performance in New York:
I thought he performed well. He hit the ball well. We had two inside the 20. I thought he punted well and keep building on that. The weather doesn’t really affect him. We’re just fine-tuning a few things. We’re trying to get him ready as best we can.