The Packers are making incremental progress, due to players like Casey Hayward stepping up.
By PAUL IMIG FS Wisconsin
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- One day after the
Packers' 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum and offensive coordinator Tom Clements talked about the victory that extended Green Bay's winning streak to five in a row.
Here are three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator:
1. How did you think the combination of Dezman Moses and Frank Zombo did replacing the injured Clay Matthews?
CAPERS: I liked it. I thought Dezman Moses gave us some impact plays. I thought he pressured the passer well. You saw him strip (Matthew) Stafford of the ball, really it was after I think we'd thrown the interceptions. We went out and got the ball back with Dezman stripping the ball and
Mike Daniels coming up with it. And I thought Zombo, for the first time, was good to see him back in there. Zombo did what we've been used to seeing him do. He was in the right place, played his run fits very well. It was a good start for him.
2. Is this the best group of cornerbacks you've had since joining the Packers' coaching staff in 2009?
CAPERS: I think we have young guys who are going to continue to get better. You've seen
Sam (Shields) progress. I think Sam, until he got injured here, was off to his best year. He's playing with a lot more confidence. We obviously liked (Davon) House a lot. When he got hurt in that (preseason) San Diego game, he was in line to potentially be a starter.
Casey (Hayward) has just made progress. We put him in there in sub and then started him in our Okie. Since (Charles) Woodson's been out, (Hayward) has played both nickel and dime inside. He's played some outside. He's got a knack for coming up with the ball. There's certain guys who have the instincts and are going to be around the ball. He had the one interception yesterday and had his hands on a number of other balls, so I thought he played a really good game.
3. Is A.J. Hawk's role this season the best fit he's ever been in?
CAPERS: I felt good about A.J. since I've been here with his roles. We've had him in different roles. But I think we've got him in the best role we've had him in since I've been here. In a game like yesterday, you saw M.D. (Jennings) with the interception, you saw Casey Hayward with hands on a lot of balls, he had an interception, but sometimes the unsung heroes are guys like (Ryan) Pickett up front, which he just goes in and does his job consistently every week. And A.J. is the same way. I thought A.J. played the run really well. Those guys are veteran guys that have really stepped up and given us good leadership in the absence of some other guys being on the field. We just felt that we needed to reward those guys for the kind of team leaders they've been under our circumstances.
1. Do you have to play the role of psychologist with Mason Crosby right now?
SLOCUM: I think it's important for a kicker to have someone to communicate with, that understands what he's going through, good and bad. It can be lonely, being a kicker or punter or snapper. It's very important for them to have that communication line.
2. How is Crosby's psyche right now?
SLOCUM: I think he's strong mentally. I think he's at a challenge right now because he hasn't made some kicks that he felt like he should have. This is a time that's really going to show what he's made out of. I fully expect him to respond in a positive way.
3. Do you typically treat all kickers the same, or does it depend on their personality?
SLOCUM: I think as a coach it's your job to teach and demand and hold players accountable. I think each player's different in their personality. I think personal relationships are a factor. They can be good or bad, how you respond as a coach. It's over the course of time in a relationship you build and me, by design, reacting the way that I think is going to be the best for the player to respond positively.
1. Did James Starks leave some yards out on the field in the run game vs. Detroit?
CLEMENTS: He ran hard. He pushed the pile a couple times and kept driving his legs and got some extra yardage. But we did leave some yards out there on the field. The line blocked, for the run game, had blocked pretty well. We missed some holes at times, and had we hit those holes we would've been more productive.
2. How did Jordy Nelson look to you after he missed basically two full games due to separate injuries?
CLEMENTS: He was fine. Physically he was fine, made some good plays. Because of the type of coverage they played, they had rolled the coverage on both sides a number of times, so it was difficult at times to get the ball to the wide receivers. But physically he was fine and he's back in his standard form.
3. With Bryan Bulaga out, how did the re-shaped offensive line look now that T.J. Lang played a full game at right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith stepped into left guard?
CLEMENTS: I think that the line blocked well for the run. Pass protection was, we had some moments where it wasn't as solid as it needed to be. But again, that's going to happen against a team that has a good front four, especially on turf where they can get a jump on you because of the noise level. You try to combat it and you try to be as solid as you can, but you have to understand they're going to make some plays and hopefully at the end of the day, we've made more plays than them.