3 Coordinators, 3 Questions: Quickly turning attention to Seattle
GREEN BAY, Wis. — After reviewing the game film of the Packers’ divisional-round win over Dallas, the attention of Green Bay’s coordinators immediately turned to next week’s NFC Championship Game.
Looking back on the Cowboys game and ahead to the Seahawks game, here are three question-and-answer highlights with each Packers coordinator:
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOM CAPERS
1. How different is your defense from Week 1 in the first meeting with Seattle?
CAPERS: "Oh, I think we’re a lot different team. Anybody that watches just the first half of the season, and compare the second half of the season, you know we’ve made a number of changes. Those have been discussed a lot the second half of the season. I think we’re a more confident team. I think when you have success, it breeds confidence. You certainly want to be playing your best at this time of the year. The competition gets stiffer and stiffer, and so, the good thing is we’ve been out there (in Seattle). We understand the type of environment we’re going into, and so we’ve got to have our best week of preparation. And I think our guys look forward to the challenge."
2. How do you stop Marshawn Lynch?
CAPERS: "Well, you have to wrap up when you tackle him. This guy’s strong and he runs a very aggressive nature. He attacks tacklers. So there’s times, based off where he is, you have to go low on him. You have to get the second and third guy there and you have to try to get the ball out. We felt it was important (Sunday) to try to go for the strips and get the ball out. You saw we had the ball out on (Tony) Romo, and Julius (Peppers’) play was as big a play as there was in the game in terms of his ability to strip the ball. Going into the game, the Cowboys were in the bottom third of the league in terms of fumbles. And so we felt like if we continued to emphasize that through the course of the week, in the 50-60 plays in the game, we would find a way to get the ball on the ground at some point."
3. What’s the key to containing a mobile quarterback who likes to take off and run like Russell Wilson?
CAPERS: "Well, you know, obviously their offense is built around Lynch’s downhill power-running ability and Russell’s ability to create, from the standpoint of — now, he has a strong arm and he can make all the throws, but where he’s double-tough is when he starts moving around and gives those receivers time to uncover. So you’ve got to be disciplined in your rush lines. You’ve got to try to keep him from being outside on the perimeter, and you know that’s the challenge when you have a mobile quarterback. He’s going to keep the ball some in running, they’re going to make you have to account for the quarterback keeping the ball. But their play-action pass game, with his ability to fake to Lynch and take the ball out, try to throw the play-action, the deep balls off of that, are a challenge."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR SHAWN SLOCUM
1A. What did you think of Kam Chancellor twice jumping over the line on field-goal attempts in Seattle’s divisional-round win?
SLOCUM: "Impressive athleticism."
1B. How many times have you seen that before?
SLOCUM: "It’s been done before. St. Louis did it earlier this season. You have to have some awareness in blocking."
1C. Do you recall Chancellor or any Seahawks player doing that?
SLOCUM: "No. Yes, I take that back. Two years ago, Bruce Irvin did it to us. It’s not uncommon. It doesn’t happen often, but you have to be aware of it."
1D. What can prevent him from having success doing that?
SLOCUM: "There are things strategically you can do. You can change the tempo of the play, and you can block it. I don’t want to get into the schematics, but you can actually block it."
2A. The alignment on field-goal protection with Josh Sitton at left wing and Bryan Bulaga at right wing, was that the plan all along? What did it add to your group?
SLOCUM: "It added experience, it added size, it added communication. It made us better."
2B. Was it an adjustment to use bigger players at those spots?
SLOCUM: "We’ve used Bryan over there on the right side for a while. We usually use a tight end on the left side, but I wanted Josh in there. It puts our best guys on the field and is a position where he has good vision and can communicate with guys. He can let ’em know that Kam Chancellor is about to jump over, and things like that."
3. Percy Harvin was with Seattle in Week 1. How does his absence now impact their special teams?
SLOCUM: "I’m glad he’s in New York. He’s a good player. They’re a good football team. They make plays all over the field."
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TOM CLEMENTS
1. Will Aaron Rodgers’ left calf injury be a target for Seattle to go after by pressuring early?
CLEMENTS: "Well, the protection’s been great all year and we anticipate it will hold up. I don’t know if Aaron’s more of a target. The quarterback’s always a target. The defense is always going to try to slow a quarterback down somehow. They’re going to try to sack him, try to get after him, so I wouldn’t say he’s more of a target."
2. How much did your plan change early in Sunday’s game when Eddie Lacy was dealing with asthma?
CLEMENTS: "Well, you always like to have him in there, but James (Starks) is a capable player and we just went right along with our plan."
3. What was the degree of difficulty on Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers?
CLEMENTS: "I can’t quantify it. It was a hell of a throw and a great catch."
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