Coordinators: Packers adept at dealing with injuries
Green Bay was able to put pressure on Joe Flacco despite injuries to its offensive lines.
By PAUL IMIG FS Wisconsin
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Gathered outside the
Packers' locker room while the players were enjoying a day off, Green Bay's coordinators were still analyzing the Week 6 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Here are three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator:
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOM CAPERS
1. Clay Matthews has been injured twice this season on sacks, and now Nick Perry was injured on a sack. Is there any way to explain what's going on?
CAPERS: "Well, it's part of the game. You don't want to have to deal with it, but it's something that's come up. And if we don't get any sacks next week I'm going to tell you it's because we told those guys not to sack the quarterback because we might injure somebody. But yeah, I thought Nick has stepped up and had two of his better games. That play at the end of the half there was big because we got three points out of it. He had a classic sack, strip and
Datone (Jones) picked it up and ran it down and we kicked a field goal to go in at halftime. So it gave us real momentum heading into the locker room at halftime. I don't know what Nick's status is, where he's going to be, that type of thing. It's just like with Clay.
Mike Neal and Nick had to step up.
Andy Mulumba played 30-some plays (Sunday). So now Andy will get his shot to go out there. And we've got to continue to develop
2, A. Jerron McMillian tripping on the 4th-and-21 completion ... that just can't happen, right?
CAPERS: "It's just, hey, it's an unfortunate thing that happened. We're sitting in there and we had them. We had gotten the sack. They had the penalty. We hit them third-and-long. They checked the ball down for six yards, which is exactly what you want. I was hoping they'd check it down for something less than 21 yards, but when you end up voiding an area, it was an unfortunate play because you'd like for the game to be over right there."
2, B. McMillian said he didn't get the defensive play call in on the next play -- the touchdown pass to Dallas Clark. Is that accurate?
CAPERS: "In two-minute, we signal. (Defensive line coach) Mike Trgovac signals our two-minute calls, so we have hand signals. Obviously with the hurry-up and get down and that type of thing, the signal was sent in, but some guys were probably scurrying to get back and get lined up. You don't ever want confusion in those situations, but in the heat of the battle it happens sometimes."
2, C. But the players need to find Trgovac in that situation for the call?
CAPERS: "They have to see the signal because you can't count on somebody telling you what the signal is. There's not any one guy, but all 11 guys when we work in two-minute, we work and we have hand signals and they have to look and see what the hand signal is."
2, D. That's a mistake by McMillian then to not know the call on the next play?
CAPERS: "Well, again, you hope that in the heat of the battle, they're running back down, they have to find Trgo on the sideline to get the signal. You try to echo it but you can never count on the communication in that situation. Each guy has to be responsible for seeing that signal."
3. Davon House didn't get back in the game after having three pass breakups in the first 15 snaps. Did House remain sidelined because Micah Hyde came in and was playing very well? Or what happened with House?
CAPERS: "Well, House had a really good start now, as good as he's had. He had a third-down breakup there and then they tried over the top and he broke that ball up, and so I thought he got off to a really good start. You know, he kind of got worn out a little bit there, but you get these corners that are running up the field with the routes and covering guys 1-on-1 all the time, and he was involved with a number of special teams plays, so we just felt the timing there to get Micah in there, and then Micah started playing well. We put Micah inside, blitzed him a few times. He was doing a nice job on his blitzes, and then he had those three good plays on the goal line, so (Hyde) stepped up and delivered. House, it wasn't like he wasn't out there because we put him down. It was just, hey, we've got a number of different combinations of guys that we play and if a guy's out there playing good, we normally are going to keep him out there."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR SHAWN SLOCUM
1. What did you think of Hyde as a punt returner?
SLOCUM: "Early in the game, I thought he was a little indecisive on the first two punt returns. On the last three, he was outstanding and had three explosive returns. I thought he finished well."
2, A. What's supposed to happen on the play in which John Kuhn tried -- and failed -- to pick up the ball after a blocked punt?
SLOCUM: "Don't grab it. The ball crossed the line of scrimmage, and after a blocked kick crosses the line of scrimmage, then it's going to be our ball if we stay away from it. That was a mistake."
2, B. What did you say to Kuhn after that?
SLOCUM: "I said, 'you made a mistake' and it's something that we actually cover quite often. He knew it and he was trying to make a play and he made a poor decision."
2, C. How often do you go over that rule?
SLOCUM: "Often. Quite often, because it's a very important rule."
3. How important was it for Mason Crosby to get another field-goal attempt so soon after missing from 44 yards late in the second quarter?
SLOCUM: "I thought it was great timing because he got to hit a good, solid field goal and walk off the field with a make. I thought he did a good job. I thought the ball that he hit, he hit well; it just didn't go through."
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TOM CLEMENTS
1. Were there communication issues on a couple of the incomplete passes from Aaron Rodgers to Jarrett Boykin?
CLEMENTS: "There wasn't any communication issue; I don't know if it was so much a timing issue, either. I think a couple plays Jarrett should have made and I'm sure he knows that. I don't think you can attribute that to the timing. He's worked a lot with Aaron in the spring and throughout last week and throughout the season. It's just after he was in there awhile he did much better and he did a lot of good things later in the game, so it was good for him."
2. Was Eddie Lacy sliding after picking up the game-clinching first down something that's practiced, or something that he wisely just knew to do?
CLEMENTS: "We talk about it in those situations when they come up. I'm not sure if Aaron said anything to him in the huddle beforehand, but if he didn't, that was a heads-up play. That's what you like to see in that situation. They had no more timeouts left, and you want to stay inbounds to keep the clock moving, so that was heads up play on his part."
3. How would you assess the way Rodgers is playing right now?
CLEMENTS: "I think he's playing well. I don't know how many adjustments he made in the game, run or pass, probably 14 or 15 or so and maybe only question one or two of them. He's keeping us in clean plays. He's getting the run game, he's getting it to the right side. He was under some pressure (Sunday), but he made some big plays, especially later in the game. I think our entire offense did. We had been saying for weeks that we need to be at our best in the fourth quarter and from the mid-third quarter on, our last four drives, we were outstanding. I think we had a field goal, touchdown and a field goal, then ran out the clock in a 4-minute situation. I think we converted 4 out of 5 first downs, got some big plays, got a long touchdown pass. It was a close game against an outstanding opponent, so it was good to see that happen late in the game."