Head Coach Ben McAdoo
January 4, 2017
Have a great challenge ahead of us this week. Playing a red-hot team on the road. Winners of six in a row. They’re scoring the football at a good clip, 31 points a game during the streak. Taking care of the football and Aaron is playing MVP-type football. Defensively, they get after the quarterback and are forcing turnovers. They have 11 turnovers in the last three weeks. They’re holding opponents to 18 points during their winning streak. Special teams, they’re creative and multiple. We have to be on our toes there. They have a variety of returns at their disposal when they have them all up. With that, let’s open it up.
Q: How’s Janoris Jenkins?
A: He was limited today but he worked.
Q: Was he moving well?
Q: Any doubt he’ll play?
A: He was limited today. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow.
Q: What do you feel about the team you’re taking into battle?
A: I like this team. I said it all along, we have talented men of integrity. They work hard, like football, are growing closer together. We had a good day today, we’ll have a great day tomorrow and we’re excited for the opportunity.
Q: How important for you is it for the investment of playing time for the young guys early in the season to start to pay off now?
A: That’s big for us. We talked about it early in the season. We had some young guys get opportunities on special teams early and then on offense and defense as the season went on. We have to cash in this time of year with those opportunities early in the season.
Q: What’s the one thing you’re going to work on this week that you didn’t necessarily do well when you played the Packers earlier this season?
A: We just need to play better football all around. The game is simple this time of year. It’s about fundamentals. You are who you are schematically. You need to fit together tight like nuts and bolts. The fundamentals, the blocking, the tackling, taking care of the ball, handling the ball. The Duke is like a bar of gold this time of year. We need to take care of the football.
Q: Any advantage going against a secondary that is a little banged up?
A: They have some guys that are in and out of the lineup. We’ll play who’s out there. They’ll have a good plan in place and we need to make sure we’re sound fundamentally and schematically.
Q: How much have they changed their defensive schemes up since you’ve last seen them?
A: Dom (Capers), I think he has everything there is in the book. He does a nice job tailoring what they do defensively to their players. Their front is still getting after the quarterback. That’s the key to their game. Their secondary, they do have some young guys that are playing. They’re playing a multitude of guys. They have talented players back there that can make plays and they fit well off of the front.
Q: That was early. How different do you see your team now?
A: I think we’re two different football teams. I think we’ve learned how to win since then. We’ve grown together and we’ve learned a lot about each other. We just have to prepare for the game and let the game play out.
Q: What kind of challenges does Ty Montgomery present?
A: He was a big receiver coming out. A good special teams player. He’s grown nicely and developed nicely into a back for them. He’s not really a jack of all trades for them because he’s a talented player with a nice skillset from the backfield. He’s improving with protections. He’s a good player.
Q: Has Odell and the attention he gets off the field diminished what he has done on the field this year?
A: I think each and every week it’s a challenge for Odell. Teams go in and they have a good plan. Not only do they have one plan for him, but they have multiple plans throughout the course of the game. They try to disguise what they’re doing. There are a couple of different things that they like to do during the course of the game, not just one, to try and take him away.
Q: Can you talk about the impact that Mike McCarthy has had on your career?
A: We’re excited for the opportunity. To be able to play a 17th game in the league is not a given. We’re excited for the opportunity. We earned the opportunity and now we have to go out there and prepare for a big ballgame. Mike has been a tremendous influence on me, but this isn’t the time or place for that.
Q: Are you surprised at all that Aaron Rodgers was able to run the table?
A: No. As a football team, I’ve been there. They do a good job of staying steady and not reacting to what’s going on outside of the building, like a lot of good organizations. Aaron is playing at a high level and the team feeds off of him.
Q: What are your thoughts on how DRC has played for you this season?
A: I think DRC is playing tremendous football for us. I think he’s developed into a leader in the locker room. He’s playing fast and he’s playing aggressive. His ball skills showed up last week again.
Q: How important was it for him to take a reduced role but still step up and make big plays?
A: We have three starting corners, we’ve talked about that before. No one has a reduced role.
Q: What do you see since the last time you played Green Bay?
A: We went through some hard times early in the season. We stayed focused, stayed together, fought through the hard times and learned how to win.
Q: There was a report that drugs were being handed out like candy on the boat the receivers were on. Does that change your view?
A: The players were off. I’m not going to talk about players and their off time.
Q: Were you surprised by the reaction?
A: I’m not aware of it.
Q: How have they been since they’ve been back here?
A: They showed up yesterday ready to work. Had a good practice today.
Q: What do you think of the way this team has come together chemistry wise?
A: We had a lot of players and a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. You have to give the personnel department, Jerry (Reese), a ton of credit for that. What we did, we hit the lottery in character and integrity. The guys fit together well and they enjoy seeing each other be successful. That’s a big reason why we’re playing great defense with them.
Q: What is it about Eli’s personality that helps him succeed in these types of playoff situations as he did in ’07 and ’11?
A: Eli Apple, you go back to Ohio State, he had some success in the playoff there. No, Eli Manning is a guy that is very consistent in his preparation and the way he approaches each and every week. It’s important to him. He’s steady. The rest of the team feeds off of him in that way. That’s really all you can ask for from a quarterback. Week in and week out, there is a lot on his plate and a lot he has to handle. Game plans change a lot week in and week out and defenses change. He stays consistent.
Q: Is there a timetable on JPP or is he just out here at practice for support?
A: He enjoys being around the guys. He’s a big part of this football team, whether he can dress out or not. As soon as he’s ready to come back physically, medically, we’ll take him.
Q: Robbie Gould’s experience?
A: Robbie, he’s kicked in some grey conditions. He’s handled all the elements well in his career. It’s hard to make it where he made it for all those years without being able to handle the elements. It’s good to have Robbie.
Q: Did you feel like it was necessary to talk to the receivers or was it not an issue?
A: The players were off. They showed up Tuesday and were ready to work. They had a good practice today.
Q: You’ve been on both sides of big games at Lambeau. What makes it so hard to play there as a visiting team?
A: It’s a tough place to play. It’s loud. The end zone is closed now. It makes it a little tougher to communicate. It’s a place that has a ton of tradition and a ton of history. It’s a tough place to go win. They have good players and good coaches. We have to be at our best.
Q: What are your memories of being in Green Bay?
A: It’s a great place to live.
Q: What makes it so great?
A: Green Bay is not like a lot of other organizations. It’s a great place, great family type place. A lot of similarities to the Giants and the way that they are run. Different ownership structures, obviously, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the ballgame.
Q: You said your team learned to win. How did they do that?
A: You have to go through tough times together, stick together, get hardened by some controversy at times, and you have to play through it. I think we’re a battle-tested football team.
Q: Is there a point where you realized that happened?
A: I think it happens over time. It doesn’t happen with one instance.
Q: Was there one game that was essential for that?
Q: You said this was a cold weather team. If it is single digits, do you feel that it’s an advantage for you?
A: I think we’re battle-tested and we’re ready to go handle the elements.
Q: What has Leon Hall brought at safety?
A: Leon has been great since he’s been here. Very versatile and smart player. He’s played a lot of football and he’s seen a lot of things schematically in the back end. He’s doing a nice job for us back there.
Q: What’s your message to guys that are playing in their first playoff game?
A: We’re not playing a wild card this week or the playoffs this week. We need to get ready to go play the Green Bay Packers this week. We need to focus on the preparation. It’s not about any of this other stuff. It’s about football.
Q: How important do you believe playoff experience is going into a playoff game?
A: None. Zero. We have to prepare to play a football game. That’s what we have to do. We have a game to get ready for. All this energy and other stuff doesn’t matter. We need to focus on playing the game and preparing to win the game.