GREEN BAY, Wis. — A 1-2 record wasn’t what the Green Bay Packers had in mind. But after the Packers’ coordinators had reviewed and analyzed the tape of the 34-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the three of them discussed a few of the game’s important topics.
Here are three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator:
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOM CAPERS
1. Were there any silver linings you can take from this loss?
CAPERS: “I think there’s tremendous value because guys, you’re going to face adversity in every game, and to me it tells you a lot about the character of your football team how you handle that. You’ve got to put whatever happened behind you and focus on the next play, and that’s overused, but it’s so true. You can’t let the negative emotions or the positive emotions affect you. You think about the swings during that game yesterday in terms negative-positive-negative. That game there was as many swings as probably any game I’ve been around, and yet that’s why it’s frustrating not to come away with the win. But I think our guys know this; a year ago we were sitting here after one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever been involved with at 1-2, and we turn around and won 10 out of the next 12. A lot of those guys sitting in that room were involved in that. Obviously the young guys haven’t, but what I’m hoping is some of these guys that have gained experience over the first three games now coming off this bye week that that experience is going to pay dividends as we start to get into the meat of our schedule.”
2. Why did you move Tramon Williams into the nickel role throughout most of this game?
CAPERS: “Well, we’ve worked him there. You know, he had been playing dime the week before, but you saw we ended up blitzing him and he had a sack. He blitzed a couple of times and did a nice job on the run. We put (Davon) House on the field, so we had House and Sam (Shields) outside and Tramon inside. That gives us a pretty good coverage unit in terms of matching up on people, and that can vary week to week based off what receivers you’re going against, but this group (the Bengals) had a really good receiving corp. You saw when a couple of times we doubled (A.J.) Green that (Mohamed) Sanu, they’d take the ball to him and their tight ends are good receivers. That young running back, (Giovani) Bernard, he’s quick and made some plays for them. A couple of times we had him bottled up and next thing you know he comes out of there. I thought really our front guys did a pretty good job because, at times when we weren’t in eight-man fronts, they were audibling and were running the football. They really only broke one of those runs out of there when we were in split safety coverage. Other than that, I thought we did a nice job on the running game.”
3. How difficult is it to accept a loss in a game when your defense forced four turnovers?
CAPERS: “Well, hey, that’s the way these games go. Nothing surprises in this game nowadays. You saw the swings in that game (Sunday) to where you were sitting there after 11 plays, our offense hadn’t been on the field and they’re up 14-0. And then we turn it around and we go up, we had 30 unanswered points, and then unfortunately, like I say, the second half those two drives that they had we helped them out.”
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR SHAWN SLOCUM
1. Do you think Jeremy Ross (who was released Monday afternoon) was rattled by his mistakes against San Francisco? And did that potentially carry over in a negative way?
SLOCUM: “I don’t know. I don’t think he got off to a very good start on kickoff return with what happened in San Francisco this year. He was doing fine on punt returns. (On Sunday), that was a bad play.”
2. Do you have Ross’ replacement in-house, or will the team have to sign someone?
SLOCUM: “I don’t know that. We’ll have more discussions on that as we go through today and this next week. Fortunately, we’ve got a bye week and then we’ll get into our game plan for Detroit.”
3. Could Randall Cobb once again be the full-time returner? Or is Cobb too valuable to the offense to be in that role?
SLOCUM: “We haven’t discussed that. Our game plan will dictate that.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TOM CLEMENTS
1. Was this game a big step back for your pass protection?
CLEMENTS: “Well, we knew (the Bengals) were a tough front and we had our moments where it was, the protection wasn’t quite how we wanted. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted. They get paid well. They’re a good front. It was a challenge. We knew that going in. Sometimes they got us, sometimes we got them.”
2. What was it like to see Aaron Rodgers have a rare bad game?
CLEMENTS: “I think first thing you have to credit (Cincinnati’s) defense. They’re good. They played us well and we started slowly and Aaron is human. You’re used to seeing him near perfect a lot of the time, but he still made some plays, I’m sure especially after watching the film he’d like to have back. That’s why you play the game; see what happens.”
3. If Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin are all healthy, could there be a running back rotation now?
CLEMENTS: “It’s too early to tell. Obviously, I think James played well before he got hurt. Johnathan played well. Eddie, he’s played well. He hasn’t had as extended playing time as the other guys because of injury or what happened in San Francisco initially, but we hope all three of them are healthy with whichever way we decide to go.”