Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale
Martindale: Everybody going to London? I think that anytime that you hold a professional football team to no touchdowns in a game, you walk away really proud of how the guys played. That's how it was last Sunday. Our fans did a tremendous job again of making it tough on the offense. I really think that defensively that we're getting full use out of the home field advantage and that's great to see. This is a tough challenge. We're going to go over to London and represent this great game. We're excited about that. Going against one of the best quarterbacks of all time is a great challenge for us to see where we're at. With that, I'll open it up to questions.
Q: You are known for blitzing; he's known for kind of picking apart blitzes. How much do you have to weigh that when you're making your game plan?
A: I think there's definitely some weighing to it. We've played him different about every time we've played him. The way to attack him changes from year-to-year of who he has with him. The thing that separates him is everybody knows that he's a Hall of Fame quarterback, I think we'd all agree on that, and that's from him throwing as many touchdowns as he has. So, everybody knows that, but what they don't really appreciate, which I do, is just the great football mind that he has. He gets them in the right run game, he gets protections right, he knows the pressures are coming. He's a great student of the game and I really admire how he goes about playing this game. It's always fun, it's a fun matchup.
Q: What did you see from (Safety) Landon Collins when he worked out? What do you think he has left? In Washington he was hesitant vocally about playing that hybrid linebacker role, which I assume is what he would do for you guys, so did you guys talk about that?
A: I thought his workout went well. You've heard me say before we're a position-less defense, so we'll find some place he likes when we get him here and we'll go from there. Right now, we're all focused on Green Bay.
Q: You're second in the league in red zone, you're second in third down defense. Can you talk about why you've been so successful so far at the early part of the season?
A: I think the guys, the players themselves, have really studied the game, especially situational football, different things like third down and redzone. They've really done a nice job of studying not only what we're doing as a defense but what the offense does. It's going to be a great challenge this week.
Q: The Aaron Rodgers we're seeing this year is a little bit different than in years past. A little bit more of those short yardage passes and such. What are you seeing in how he is playing a little differently than in recent years?
A: It's like owning a python and saying, 'don't worry about it, he won't bite'. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. To me, there's no difference. I think that he's just as effective today as he was five years ago, six years ago. That would be like saying (Shooting Guard) Michael Jordan can't hit any three-pointers, you're going to guard him outside and then he'll five or six three pointers on you. He's playing at top level.
Q: (Defensive Lineman) Dexter (Lawrence) is playing at the nose a lot more this year than in the past. What is it about that you think suits him playing there?
A: The biggest thing is you need to have a center piece of your defense and he wears that badge with pride. We move him around more than what people really realize, and he's done a really nice job. The biggest thing about Dex is he's so selfless. He's just as excited for someone else to have success as he is himself. When guys start playing that way, when they start playing for each other like he has, you'll see good things come from him.
Q: With Dexter, what have you unleashed in him? How have you reached him to get to the level that he's playing like he is now? We've seen him for years here. This year is different.
A: That's good to hear. I just think he's being himself. I think that he understands that we're counting on him to make a difference and he's done a great job standing up to it. Just attacking each week, getting more and more confidence, and playing faster. Like I said when you asked me last time, I just love being around the guy. I think that has something to do with it, too, I really do. I think he feels comfortable with the staff, (Defensive Line Coach Andre) Dre (Patterson) and (Assistant Defensive Line Coach Bryan) B-Cox (Cox) have done a great job with him. I think that he knows he's the leader of this defense, one of the leaders of this defense, and he takes pride in that as well.
Q: One of Aaron Rodgers unique skills is the hard count, getting free plays. Has that been a big emphasis with your guys this week?
A: No doubt. I mean he's a pain in the butt. I wish there was something easy to say, but like I, said it's a great challenge. If you have you respect for the game, which we all do, you really are excited about this challenge, going against him. It will be something that you talk about the rest of your life. When I'm retired on a golf cart some place down in Florida hitting a golf ball, I hope he's in the foursome in front of me and I'll hit a golf ball into him. (laughs)
Q: We asked you about red zone defense and third down defense. When you look at the box score, besides points, what stats do you look at to tell you, 'we had a good game because we did well in this area'? Those are two of them, I assume?
A: Oh yeah, there's no doubt. You look at third down, you look at redzone and obviously the scoring defense because that's the bottom line you get judged by, how you keep them out of the endzone. So far, we've done a nice job of that.
Q: Why have you been able to survive defensively given you've been without your two edge rushers; you had a bunch of guys go down in the middle of the game last game. Julian Love went out. Why do you think you've been able to keep going and keep trudging along?
A: I think it's the culture that (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll), that we're building here, number one. Number two is the group of guys in that room that have that 'next man up' mentality of just being ready to go. The other part is I think the assistants do a great job of preparing all those guys to be ready to go into the game. That's not as easy as it's said. It's not as easy to do as how I just said it there, but you can see when you put them in there, they're knowing what to do. On the backend, (Defensive Backs Coach Jerome) Rome's (Henderson) done a great job with the secondary. I thought that our inside backers played a lot better against the Bears than what they did the Cowboys. (Inside Linebacker) Jaylon (Smith) had a big part to do with that and (Inside Linebacker) Tae's (Crowder) tackling had a big part to do with that. You know how this thing goes, every week you're going to look to improve on something. If you're not, you're falling behind. I just love the mentality our guys have right now.