Here’s what Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin had to say on a conference call with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
On getting ready for the Falcons: “We met as a football team, then made the corrections from the Arizona game and got a brief introduction to the Falcons. Tuesday is the players’ day off. Today is really, in about 45 minutes or an hour, we’re going to go out and practice. We’ve had some good meetings. The guys seem good and ready to go. We know we have to play very well. This is a real talented football team coming to Lambeau Field.”
On replacing fired linebackers coach Winston Moss: “We have Scott McCurley, who’s been on our staff for a long time. He was here actually when I was here years ago. He will be assuming those responsibilities.”
On the underlying problems with the Packers’ offense and how does it match up with the Falcons defense: “We haven’t done a great job. One of the things of recently that has hurt our production has been third downs. We’ve got to do a better job against not only Atlanta this week. They do a great job. They have good pass rushers. They have different combinations of both pressures, zone coverages and man coverages that we have to really be on top of to execute and move the chains. We just haven’t had that production. In the last two weeks, we just haven’t had the big plays that we’ve been having either. Again, when you are not getting big plays and you’re not converting on third downs it’s hard to get into the scoring zone. It’s hard to put up 17 point a game.”
On the Falcons with Deion Jones back on defense: “He’s an outstanding player. The play speed when you look at the defense as a whole, you have to be impressed with the way they fly around. This guy is a fine athlete. He’s an instinctive football player. He’s one of those guys who can show up all over the tape. He’s not just going to show up in the box, but he certainly can make plays in the box. He has the ability to blitz. He has the ability to play sideline to sideline and get ball carriers on the ground. He’s impressive to watch on tape.”
On the play of Davante Adams season: “I’m really impressed with him. Obviously, coming back here in January we watched a lot of tape from the previous couple of years and certainly saw some things. He’s even better in real life I guess than he is on tape. The guy is statistically if you look on paper, he’s having a very, very good year number one. Number two, this is a high-character, smart football player, locker room guy. A guy that is really starting to exude a lot of confidence. Brings a lot of positive leadership to the locker room. I’m very impressed with him.”
On the play of rookie Jaire Alexander and defensive lineman Kenny Clark: “Jaire, you love him. The guy is a football player. The guy is very, very competitive. A lot of confidence. Plays the game with a lot of energy. Young player, obviously, so it’s not perfect yet, but the guy really, really battles. I love the way he plays the game. Kenny Clark probably has been maybe our most consistent defensive player week-in and week-out. The guy is hard to block. He’s athletic. He got quickness. He gets off of blocks well. He’s got some pass-rush ability. He’s got it. He’s a complete defensive lineman.”
On the rapid fall of the Packers and the Falcons since the NFC title game in Jan. of 2017: “Each season is different. That is absolutely true. What happens, for whatever reason, teams get on a run, one way or another. As you know, recently, we haven’t been on a good one and we’ve got to reverse that trend. Sunday provides us an opportunity to do that. We know it’s not going to be easy because this is a talented football team and a well-coached football team. Coach (Dan) Quinn does a great job.”