GREEN BAY, Wis. — A day after the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum and offensive coordinator Tom Clements addressed several topics from the 24-10 win.
Here are three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator:
Dom Capers, defensive coordinator
1. Could the experience of facing Vikings quarterback Joe Webb, who ran some read-option plays and scrambled well, help prepare you for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick?
CAPERS: Well, I think there is some value because I think there are some similarities. (Frank) Gore is a very physical back. He’s a got a real unique running style and he can turn those 3-, 4-yard gains into 5- or 6-yard gains. Really Kaepernick, when we played them here in the opener, they put him in in the 2-minute situation there for just a designed quarterback run right before they kicked the long field goal and it worked pretty well for them. We know a little bit more about him now than we did then.
2. What have you seen from Kaepernick since he became San Francisco’s starter?
CAPERS: Well, I think he’s a talented guy and think he not only has good athletic ability in terms of running but he has a very strong arm. You’ve seen that in the games that he’s started. He can throw the ball downfield. They’ve got some talented receivers. (Michael) Crabtree has really come along since we played in the opener and obviously (Vernon) Davis is one of the real rare tight ends because I think he’s probably the fastest guy on the team. So that’s always something, from a matchup standpoint, you’re always concerned about.
3. How much better is your 2012 defense than it was in 2011?
CAPERS: We’re just a more consistent, more multiple defense this year. Last year we were able to get all the takeaways, but in terms of our consistency, I think we’re a more consistent defense this year. I think we can attack you in different ways. I think we’ve got more athletic ability on our defense this year than we had. I think these young guys have given us more athletic ability, more speed, more pass rush ability. You look at our sack numbers in terms of from last year to this year, there’s a big difference. I’m not sure where we finished, but I think it was in the top five. And our style of play, we need to do that. We want to be disruptive on the quarterback. A lot of that comes down to having guys that can win their one-on-one matchups.
Shawn Slocum, special teams coordinator
1. Will Jeremy Ross and Randall Cobb both continue to be a part of the return game?
SLOCUM: Everything has a potential to change. We’ve got two returners. As we go through the week, we’ll see how it best fits and we’ll make a decision prior to the game on what direction we’re going to go.
2. Was Tim Masthay not as good as usual in Saturday’s game?
SLOCUM: I thought he was inconsistent. I thought he’s had better nights punting, although he had three inside the 20, which I thought was good, and I thought the way we handled the ball at the end of the game (was good), but he had three that I thought he could have hit better.
3. Will questions begin to stop now about Mason Crosby?
SLOCUM: No. I thought Mason hit the ball well last night. I really wish he would have had more field-goal opportunities. I thought he was ready to go and he hit it well. I thought he kicked off well.
Tom Clements, offensive coordinator
1. Were you disappointed with your offense in the second half?
CLEMENTS: We didn’t play well. They played well. They were playing with more intensity than we were in that point of time. That was not a good end to the game.
2. What do you tell players after a second half performance like that?
CLEMENTS: Not happy about it. Can’t happen in a playoff game. We were fortunate that they weren’t able to score more points. We’re playing against opponents that are in the playoffs that are obviously very good teams. You can’t let your foot off the gas. You have to keep playing the whole game.
3. Has winning Saturday’s game affected your plans to interview for the head coaching job with the Chicago Bears?