GREEN BAY, Wis. — With the Packers falling to 2-3 after their loss Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts, there are plenty of areas that the team needs to correct. On Monday, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum and offensive coordinator Tom Clements met with the media to discuss some of those issues.
Three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator:
1. After five games this season, which area of the defense has proven that it can perform consistently well?
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CAPERS: I think this: I see the potential there. As I look at the last three games, the takeaway opportunities are there. I think we’re getting more consistent pressure on the quarterback than what we did last year. We probably pressured more yesterday than we have this year but I like where our percentage of pressure is this year better than I did last year, where you thought you had to pressure to get pressure on the quarterback. I don’t think that’s the case this year. We’re playing a lot of combinations of people, a lot of young guys, and in a game like yesterday, you just have to be consistent and disciplined in your assignments. I would take the first half from yesterday, giving up three points. The second half, we need to improve in the second half.
2. How has the defensive communication been in recent games?
CAPERS: It’s not exactly where we want it because there’s a few glitches. When you’ve got new guys out there that are doing it for the first time, they’re going to have some of those. Again, I like the way our guys are competing in coverage. A couple times, we had a couple of combination coverages that we lost our leverage on that we thought would be good for those situations.
3. What happened defensively that allowed Colts receiver Reggie Wayne to finish with 13 receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown?
CAPERS: Well, he’s a good receiver and he had a good day. There were times where we had him doubled and he caught the ball. Any time that you have two guys committed to one guy, you don’t want him to come up with the ball. The percentages should be in your favor. He had a good day and (Andrew) Luck, as we talked about last week, is a talented young man. You saw he’s a big, strong guy. He’s got good movement. There were a couple times where we had him wrapped up and he kind of shook us off and pulled the ball down in a couple of critical situations. A couple other times, he scrambled outside – and that was after taking some pretty good hits. … Again, I think the theory behind doubling Reggie Wayne, the problem was we didn’t execute it real well a few times, whether you’re playing an inside-outside double or you’re playing an underneath-over the top double. So those are things we just have to continue to become a little bit more efficient at doing.
1. What happened on both of Mason Crosby’s missed field goals?
SLOCUM: He’s been very consistent. I thought his rhythm was off on both kicks. On the first one, he pushed it and the second one he pulled. It’s not like him to miss two in a row. He needs to make those kicks.
2. Did Crosby overreact and make too much of a change after missing his first attempt?
SLOCUM: Possibly. He was very confident going into the last kick and probably went into it with too much energy and tried to adjust during the routine and it created a bad kick.
3. Is there still trust in Crosby to make those long field goals?
SLOCUM: I would say this: I would expect him to step up and make that kick. He needs to help our team in that situation, where that game was at that time and obviously to go to overtime, he needs to make that kick.
1. With Cedric Benson out at least one game, how does that change your offense?
CLEMENTS: Well, it’s unfortunate because Cedric was playing well and was getting comfortable with the offense. But injuries are a fact of life in the NFL and we have other players there and they’re going to have to step up and perform in his absence.
2. Why have dropped passes been such an issue for many of your receivers this season?
CLEMENTS: Well, I don’t have an answer for that. We stress it, we drill it every day, every day that we practice, and it’s been an emphasis. We just have to keep on doing it and hopefully the tide will turn. I don’t have an answer as to why.
3. Does Aaron Rodgers need to throw the ball away more instead of taking so many sacks?
CLEMENTS: We talk about that. We also talk about it being a fine line between throwing the ball away and trying to scramble and make plays. He was able to scramble and make some very good plays with his feet yesterday. There were times he tried and got sacked. Obviously when you get sacked, you can say, ‘Geez, why didn’t you throw it away?’ and try to avoid the hit, but you don’t want to take away his ability in the scrambling phase of the game. He just has to make a good decision when that happens.