2020 Bye Week - That’s What Cheese Said

Read key comments from the head coach and coordinators during the bye week. 

Up next for the Packers is a trip to Tampa Bay to take on the 3-2 Buccaneers. The normally-dreaded Week 5 Bye came at a good time for Green Bay this season, as it gave the players time to get healthy for the team’s only two-game road stretch of the season. 

Both Davante Adams and Kenny Clark were at practice yesterday, which is another good sign that both might be available against the Buccaneers on Sunday. 

“They’re as good as any team, I feel, in the league,” Head Coach Matt LaFleur said of Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers’ two losses of the season came at the hands of potential playoff contenders in the 3-2 New Orleans Saints and 4-1 Chicago Bears. 

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine echoed similar thoughts, calling Tampa his defense’s “toughest test to date.”

The Buccaneers boast a high-powered offense putting up an average of 27.8 points per game. Even with explosive receiver Chris Godwin out, there are still a number of weapons for veteran quarterback and first-ballot Hall of Famer Tom Brady to utilize, whether that’s Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans, All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, or former first-round running back Leonard Fournette. 

Both Fournette and Ronald Jones have looked good for the Buccaneers early, with a running game averaging around five yards per carry on the ground. This will be another test for the Packers who’ve struggled against the run to start the season. Against the Falcons, though, Green Bay had its best performance of the year to date, giving up only 78 rushing yards on the night. 

Pettine credits a lot of that to traditional nose tackle Tyler Lancaster, who Pettine said has been “dialed in” these last few weeks and plays a thankless role on the defensive line taking on double teams and eating blocks. 

“We just feel the d-line especially, led by Tyler Lancaster, they’ve really stepped up with Kenny being out and took the challenge,” Pettine said, giving credit to defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery for the way he’s gotten his room prepared. 

Two other players that have stepped up for the Packers defense are hybrid safety Raven Greene and inside linebacker Krys Barnes; both received high praise from their defensive coordinator. 

“He’s a versatile guy,” Pettine said of Greene. “He can play deep. He can play down in the box. He can play dime.”

With injuries causing shuffling in the secondary, Greene was tasked with playing dime and nickel against the Falcons, and he even tallied a sack rushing from the slot on a delayed blitz. 

In the middle of the defense, Barnes split communication duties with Ty Summers, something Pettine knows Barnes is comfortable doing. 

“He doesn’t get rattled,” Pettine said, adding that he “knows the defense and knows it well,” something that’s been evident since the team’s virtual meetings. 

With so many traditional special teams players being elevated to play larger roles on offense and defense, special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga has had to get creative.

“Ty Summers has been a four-phase guy for us,” said Mennenga before mentioning that both safety Vernon Scott and wide receiver Malik Taylor are also three-phase players on special teams. 

There’s a group of about 15-18 players in each meeting that Mennenga says are ready to be called upon if someone starts taking extra reps on offense or defense, which has been the case for most of the season already. 

One problem Mennenga doesn’t mind, though, is the lack of punting from JK Scott. 

“Those are good problems for us to have,” Mennenga joked. “That’s a problem we want to keep having during the season.”

And while he wouldn’t go into detail or name anyone specifically, he did say a few players practice drops each week in case something happens to both Scott and Crosby and the Packers need an emergency punter. 

The “next man up” mentality has been true for much of the young season already, with shuffling taking place at just about every position on the roster. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was asked about losing Josiah Deguara for the season with an ACL injury and if fullback John Lovett or tight end Jace Sternberger would be called upon to replicate some of his role on offense. 

“I think it’s both of them,” Hackett said, adding that every player is different and it’s about playing to the strengths of the guys you have available. 

That can be easy to do when you have a future Hall of Fame quarterback on the roster. 

“He just makes everybody around him better,” said Hackett of Aaron Rodgers. 

“When it comes to Aaron...it’s about being efficient but still being aggressive. I think that he’s probably the best to ever play the game in that, is being able to continually throw the ball down the field but at the same time, be efficient with the ball.”

Heading into Week 6, Rodgers is the lone quarterback in the NFL who’s yet to throw an interception. What’s more, the offense as a whole through four games has yet to turn the ball over.

Naturally, much of the narrative going into Sunday will be the matchup between Rodgers and Brady, despite the two not actually playing against one another directly. While it’s rare for Rodgers and Brady to face off, Hackett feels both quarterbacks will treat it like any other game as professionals. 

“I think it’s just for us as coaches, as players, as fans, as reporters, I think it’s just great entertainment and just a fun thing to be a part of,” he said. 

This will also be an opportunity for the Packers to play in front of some fans, as Raymond James Stadium is allowing a limited number of fans to attend Sunday’s game in person. 

“I think the guys are looking forward to playing in front of some people,” said LaFleur. “Even though it’s going to be a limited number of people, I think just the opportunity to kind of get a little bit of feel of what is normal to them. I think it’ll be good for us.”

It’s another big NFC test for the Packers this week as Green Bay looks to maintain sole possession of the NFC North. 

 

----------------------------

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

7 points

Comments (12)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Getting Clark and Adams back tilts it to the Pack. Two dynamic difference makers on both sides of the ball makes a good team better. If Martin and ESB are back on the 53, even more important depth on both sides of the ball.

On thing I noticed about Brady is his reliance on short to mid range passes now. I just hope Pettine does not play all two deep, keep it in front of us, play it safe zone like he did against Brees who had a smorgasbord passing into the soft, wide open middle. Brady would feast too.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
Archie's picture

October 13, 2020 at 12:56 pm

All good points.

I'm thinking Adams/Clark show up this week but Martin/EQ are held back until the following week.

Really looking forward to Martin/Barnes being on the field at the same time. When is the last time we had two good ILB on the field at the same time. Heck, most of the time we haven't had one. Of course that means less snaps for Greene who seems to be a difference maker for this defense.

Once again, Maggie delivers the goods!

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
egbertsouse's picture

October 13, 2020 at 01:05 pm

How do we know that Martin is a good ILB, the guy hasn’t played one snap of NFL football? Not even a preseason game. He apparently looked good running around in shorts at training camp but let’s not put him in the Pro Bowl quite yet.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Bure9620's picture

October 13, 2020 at 10:50 pm

They had pads also...

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
jannes bjornson's picture

October 13, 2020 at 08:44 pm

Greene can go heavy nickel and be the dime guy.Redmond is back to the bench.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
andrewpk's picture

October 13, 2020 at 01:29 pm

amazing game

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
andrewpk's picture

October 13, 2020 at 01:29 pm

I love to play outdoor games as they maintain our body fit. I have participated in many events and won. I use to buy sports equipment from an online store that is <a href='https://www.gosaveshop.com/'>Go save shop</a>. You need to login and select the product you want to buy

+ REPLY
-9 points
0
9
Lphill's picture

October 13, 2020 at 04:27 pm

The key to beating Brady is pressure this is a big game for the Smiths and I hope Gary is good to go !

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
jannes bjornson's picture

October 13, 2020 at 08:46 pm

Relentless pressure. Keke has to show up a Clark should hold ground with Lancaster.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
SrederMogul's picture

October 13, 2020 at 04:37 pm

great game!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mnbadger's picture

October 13, 2020 at 08:51 pm

This game will be decided by our offense vs their defense. We have to get ahead by 2 or more scores, then unleash a pass rush against immobile brady. I'm pretty sure tb12 will cry if we knock him down hard enough and often enough. Packers 37-27. GPG

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
astinzz's picture

October 20, 2020 at 03:29 am

There are 3 areas that seem to be problems year after year:
Speed
Quickness
Intensity
The game has most certainly changed in the last half dozen years.
We have implemented a new offense which has developed nicely and looks like it is moving forward.
Regardless, our talent level is nowhere near the upper echelon teams. Defensively, we are slow off the ball, drag in pursuit and tackle poorly.
These issues have been a problem for years.
The culture, in my opinion, is a successful season is winning the division.
When will this organization adopt the attitude of winning now and
place much less emphasis on the “Titletown Experience”?
https://gta5cheats.co

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.