Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern
October 7, 2016
Q: What do you think of the linebackers so far?
A: We're a work in progress. We're working at things each and every day. We've had our moments but there's still always something that we need to work on to get better.
Q: How much is the base defense a secondary thing now?
A: The game has become a little bit more situational defenses and stuff. When big people are in, you match in personnel. Again, as the games go right now, a lot more of it spreading people out and trying to play in space so it's required more of the DB packages to be involved.
Q: What has Keenan Robinson brought to the table?
A: I think you see that he comes into the room, has great intelligence. He's got, obviously, athletic ability to play in space and really has done a nice job of learning the defense and fitting in nicely.
Q: Where does Devon Kennard fit into that? He hasn't gotten a ton of snaps.
A: I think in a situation where we're starting to use him more and more in things that really suit him best. In terms of rushing the passer or helping us in the run game. I think DK really has a skill set that we could use and try to take advantage of.
Q: Why do you think it didn't happen to start the season? Were the snaps just lower than you thought they would be?
A: Yeah. I would guess so. You don't know what the numbers are going to be but after seeing it for the first four games, you're obviously seeing that teams are trying to spread us out, maybe a little bit because of some of the guys we have upfront, trying to get away from them.
Q: How do you think you've done in coverage as a group?
A: We've been solid. There's always room for improvement.
Q: Coverage has been a big problem here the last few years. Covering running backs and tight ends. How big of a challenge has that been for you with what you have?
A: I think there's different ways to go about it. But, like we mentioned before, it's situational defenses. Everybody's looking for matchups. Everybody has that skill, the running back out of the backfield, might have the first or second down running back but then you have a skill guy coming out of the backfield. You have a blocking tight end, you have a receiving tight end and you're trying to find guys on your side of the ball who can matchup with them in all situations, run and pass.
Q: With BJ Goodson, with all the veterans you have at that position, is he making enough progress where he could get more defensive snaps?
A: You see BJ getting better each week. He's gaining confidence. Obviously, like any rookie coming in, when you get out on the field and you start playing with these guys, at first it could be a little bit intimidating but, which he never backed away from and has always been good with. But, also now getting out on the field in actual game time where he's been playing on special teams and everything else, I think it's only helping his confidence that he is getting better with practice, with time.
Q: Can you judge how far he's come?
A: I think you've seen him getting better but you can't say until you put him out on the field. That's the hard part.
Q: And at that point, I would imagine you have veterans that are out there performing, it's hard to take a veteran off and put an unknown out on the field.
A: A little, when you have an unknown. But, it's one of those things; we're not afraid to put guys out there who've proven themselves. They're getting challenged in the practices and everything else and when we feel it's the right time, we'll get them in there.
Q: What's it like having a guy like Damon Harrison in front to help your guys?
A: Him and Johnathan Hankins are both great. The two guys, I know the inside backers appreciate them a great deal. It really takes a lot of pressure off of you and they just eat up space and it gives you a chance to get it gives you a chance to get to the ball.
Q: What is it about Jonathan Casillas? He's the only really three down kind of guy?
A: I think he finds a way of getting to the ball. There's guys that kind of can move around a lot, but, he gets to the football a lot of times. He shows up right where the balls at. He has a good understanding of Steve Spagnuolo's scheme on our side of the ball, he understands what we want to get done and how we want to do it. He continues to get better, he works everyday so it's a positive to have him in the room.
Q: How rare is that for a guy that's not a rookie that he's playing such a bigger role than he has in the past?
A: I couldn't say how rare is it. He's a guy who, everybody comes into their own at different times. A lot of the times when you need it, and he's needed right now in our situation.
Q: When you're going against a guy like Aaron Rodgers, what does that do for your position group? What do you guys have to look for with Rodgers?
A: I think not only with Aaron, but with their whole unit. A guy like Aaron makes their whole unit better on offense. A guy like Aaron makes us, as a defensive unit, have to be good in all areas too; against the run and the pass. You have Eddie Lacy, you have James Starks, obviously both two solid running backs, guys that are going to be tough to bring down but we need to bring them down. You have weapons on the outside like Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers at tight end, there's a lot of weapons for those guys. Makes us as a defensive unit have to better each and every day.
Q: Does it help practicing against an offense that is similar to that offense?
Q: How much do you see that?
A: You don't. They have their own things that coach McCarthy obviously feels strong about, certain plays, certain things that they do. There are some similarities, but again, the personnel are different so we have to get comfortable with those guys.
Q: Where do you think the biggest benefit is when you play an offense similar to yours? In the run game or pass game?
A: I wouldn't say either. You see the same basic type of runs from everybody. Nobody is really re-inventing the wheel in the run game. They kind of hide it a couple of different ways. But they all line up and come at you basically with your zone plays and gap schemes. So you just figure out how they like to dress them up before the snap. In the pass game, then again, there are certain receivers, they run certain routes better than other routes. So, that's where they mix and match in terms of the pass game, so, it's a little bit harder in the pass game.