Packer Coordinator Notes and Takeaways from Press Conferences
The Green Bay Packers coaching staff has gone through a number of changes this offseason, including Nathaniel Hackett leaving to be Denver’s head coach, Luke Getsy taking over as offensive coordinator in Chicago, Mike Smith heading to Minnesota, Tom Clements being hired as QB the coach and special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton were fired.
We also saw Green Bay promote Adam Stenavich to offensive coordinator and the team hire Rich Bisaccia as special teams coordinator. There have also been several other hires or promotions to position coach level.
Now, for the first time this offseason, we will be hearing from many of these coaches as they will be available to the Packers media to answer questions. Below is who will be speaking and you can also find my important notes and takeaways from what each coach had to say.
Note: this article will be updated as interviews progress.
Jerry Montgomery – Green Bay Packers IDL Coach
– On TJ Slaton: “I expect him to take a big leap from year 1 to year 2.” He also adds that he can be a “dominant” running defender.
– Quick thought: If Slaton can become that dominant defender of the run, the entire defensive front will benefit. Obviously, this defense could be better against the run, but with Slaton taking up space and occupying double teams, it will free up linebackers and rushers while allowing Clark to move around more.
– On Jarran Reed: “He’s been a dominant player in this league, been really, really productive in Seattle and thinks he had a good year last year.”
– Quick thought: Jarran Reed will be an immediate member of the rotation and should be an upgrade from Kingsley Keke, who started the 2021 season in the rotation.
– On add to IDL in the draft via Zach Kruse: “You’d like to add a top third setter… a bit more nervous of a guy who can add to the rush from an inside perspective.”
Ryan Downard – Safety Coach
– On Darnell Savage playing in the insert“He has the ability to do that; he has the tools. … I think Darnell has the ability to be an elite player in this league.
– Quick thought: Savage had his coverage issues, especially one-on-one, which is probably the main reason he didn’t see as much action in the slot. The Packers must decide whether or not to pick his fifth-year option for 2023 by early May.
Jason Rebrovich – OLB coach
– Rebrovich fills two big needs the Green Bay Packers need from their role players in 2022, and not just against the pass, but against the run. It’s a big reason why tackling upside early in the draft is likely on the Packers’ radar.
– Rebrovich notes that the mental side is key for Rashan Gary as he takes this next big step as a top rusher.
– Rebrovich wants to have four “legitimate” rushers that he can rotate in a match. Rebovich adds that he thinks they have these players on the roster, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be looking for upgrades.
Adam Stenavich – offensive coordinator
– Stenavich acknowledges that there may be some limitations with what the Packers can run initially with young receivers compared to having Davante Adams, but they are going to find the players that are the best fit for what this offense wants to do.
– Stenavich says Yosh Nijman will have an opportunity at both right and left tackle. He also adds that this offseason will be important for Nijman to step up so they can rely on him as a reliable starter.
– On OL depth: Stenavich love depth to positions, but mentions they need to add a “guy or two”.
– As for where Elgton Jenkins plays, it will depend on what the rest of the offensive line looks like since Jenkins can be plugged in just about anywhere.
Jason Vrable – WR Coach
– “Confidence” is going to be important for Amari Rodgers in Year 2. He also adds that Rodgers will have to play faster. “I think he’s going to take a big step” mentioned True.
– What are Packers looking at WR without Adams? “What we are always looking for – there is a standard of tenacity, intelligence and courage.”
– Before learning the nuances that come with playing with Aaron Rodgers, the first step for any rookie receiver is to learn the playbook.
Tom Clements – QB Coach
– Aaron Rodgers contacted Clements after the season to see if he had an interest in returning: “He had spoken to Matt, he wanted to assess my interest in returning”, mentioned Clement. He met LaFleur at the NFL Honors Ceremony.
– Quick thought: Clements coached QB Rodgers for several years in Green Bay – and briefly the offensive coordinator. Rodgers has often credited Tom with helping out as a rookie and early development.
– A tweet from Ryan Wood from the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Tom Clements says the Packers offense is a ‘hybrid’ of Aaron Rodgers’ ‘old Green Bay’ concepts with new elements brought in by Matt LaFleur. Don’t expect schematically to a great transition because there is already a lot of familiarity.
Luke Butkus – OL coach
– As we’ve often heard from LaFleur, Butkus says they plan to put the top five in the field. They have several versatile and good players and note that they will likely add more.
– Butkus echoes what Stenavich said, saying Nijman will get an opportunity at right tackle. But nothing is set in stone, far from it.
– “No doubt in my mind” that Bakhtiari will return to where he was before his injury.
– Butkus mentions that “consistency” will be key for Royce Newman in his second year.
– Quick thought: Once fully healthy, this should once again be a pretty solid offensive line unit, however, the overall depth doesn’t seem as strong as it has over the past two seasons.
John Dunn – TE Coach
– “Practice becomes experience” for young players like Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis, as well as time spent in the movie theater. “Mastery of technique” will be important for all tight ends in the next stage.
– Tonyan is working hard to come back, but as expected, no deadline has been given.
– Quick thought: Having Tonyan’s presence again will be crucial for this attack to fire at full throttle. There’s no other true tight-end pass-catching threat on this list, and the offense missed Tonyan’s impact between the numbers, in the red zone and in the seam.
Rich Bisaccia – Special Teams Coordinator
– The fixing of special teams is “bound to the personnel and bound to the scheme”. He also mentions that it’s not one thing in particular and that they will try to improve every day. “We don’t get three tries, we get one for doing it right,” Bisaccia mentioned.
– Have 3 kickers: Bisaccia will evaluate kickers in OTAs but doesn’t think they’ll go to training camp with three, probably just two.
– The construction of the special teams unit begins with discovery the “six basic guys” of the punt coverage team.
– Quick thought: Pat O’Donnell and Keisean Nixon are already two additions inspired by Rich Bisaccia. As we discussed, in addition to bringing a change to the Special Teams Coordinator, the Unity Enhancement was going to bring about an organizational change in how they approach Unity. This is another step in that direction.