3 Coordinators, 3 Questions: Scrapping the ‘Quad’ defense

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said of scrapping the 4-3 "Quad" defense a few games into the season: "If something looks good, it's going to get called. If it works, it gets called more. If it doesn't work, we're going to try to search to find something that's going to work better."

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — NFC championship week brings about several changes. The coordinators for the Green Bay Packers realized one of those changes Thursday as they had to stand at the Mike McCarthy / Aaron Rodgers podium while meeting with reporters.

With the game in Seattle nearing, here are three question-and-answer highlights with each Packers coordinator:


1. What made you scrap the 4-3 "Quad" defense just a few games into the season?

CAPERS: "It doesn’t take you long to figure out if something is a good idea or not a very good idea, based on how it works. I think if you talk to any player in that locker room on defense, they know that when we put the game plan up there and we go out and practice the game plan, if something’s not looking real good then I have a hard time calling it because you don’t want to be experimenting when you have 60, 65 plays on Sunday. If something looks good, it’s going to get called. If it works, it gets called more. If it doesn’t work, we’re going to try to search to find something that’s going to work better. That’s just the way things work. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense. There’s a reason why you do everything, but if it’s nothing then you’ve got to try to move on to something else. You can’t so locked into one thing that you become stubborn, or else you’re not going to get any better."

2. How many of the Week 1 missed tackles were because it was Marshawn Lynch, and how much of that was the defensive players not being in good enough position?

CAPERS: "I think it was a little bit of both. Number one, every tape you watch with Lynch, I think he might be the toughest guy in the league to get down with one guy because he’s so strong, and he runs with a very aggressive style in his lower body. He’s very strong. He’s got good size. But there’s no question in my mind we can tackle much better than we did. We missed too many tackles in the first game and that’s going to be very important to us. He’s one of those guys that very seldom do you see one guy make a hit and get him down. You’ve got to get the second and third guy there. He’s bouncing off tackles and falling forward, so those 2-, 3-yard gains turn into 5-, 6-yard gains and that really influences the down and distance aspect of the game."

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3. Do you have to treat Russell Wilson like a running back?

CAPERS: "You do, you have to account for him. If you don’t account for him — you see when people don’t account for him, he keeps the ball, and that’s why he’s got 849 yards or whatever it is running with the ball. That and he’s very good, and he’s been very efficient in terms of his decision-making, not throwing a lot of interceptions. So if you’ve got good coverage, you better be ready to have people track him down, because he’ll pull the ball and run for positive gains."


1. What gave you the confidence before the season to go with the platoon at punt return with Randall Cobb and Micah Hyde?

SLOCUM: "Both of them are very comfortable catching the ball. And I have to look forward to what we’re going to get into when the weather changes around here in terms of fielding the ball. That’s something that plays a part in it. Both of them have scored touchdowns doing it. We have two guys with the ability to make plays, therefore we use them."

2. Is there more emphasis on your special teams group in a game like this in which points might be at a premium?

SLOCUM: "I think field position is going to play a big part in this ballgame. It all begins with special teams because of the exchange of the football. It will be very important. The team that has an advantage there will have a very good opportunity."

3. What have you thought of Mason Crosby’s season so far?

SLOCUM: "Very solid year. He’s been very consistent in his technique and that has allowed him to make kicks. I thought he’s done well."


Packers Mailbag

1. Seattle doesn’t change a lot defensively, sticking to the basics of what they do well. How are they able to get away with that?

CLEMENTS: "Each team has their philosophy of how they want to play defense. Other teams throughout the league have a similar philosophy. They do a certain number of things and they try to do them well. They try to study the opponent and make sure what they think the opponent is going to do, they’ll have answers to stop it. So they have good players and they’re coached well and don’t make many mistakes and they make it difficult on you."

2. How hard is it in that environment for offensive tackles to get off on the snap and make sure defensive ends don’t get a jump on them?

CLEMENTS: "I don’t know how to quantify it. The noise can be a factor, but we do certain things to try and combat it. And we played there obviously this year once already, played in other noisy places, so I don’t think that’ll be a big issue."

3. What is Seattle’s identity on defense?

CLEMENTS: "I think they’re a fast team. They swarm to the ball, play hard, play very hard, and they’re a very good team."

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