Notes and Takeaways from Packers Coordinator Press Conferences

Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Green Bay Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Green Bay Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers coaching staff has undergone a number of changes this offseason—most notably Nathaniel Hackett leaving to be the head coach of Denver, Luke Getsy taking over as offensive coordinator in Chicago, Mike Smith heading to Minnesota, Tom Clements being hired as QB coach, and special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton being let go.

We’ve also seen Green Bay promote Adam Stenavich to offensive coordinator and the team hire Rich Bisaccia as special teams coordinator. There have also been several other hirings or promotions at the position coach level.

Now for the first time this offseason, we will hear from several 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 the interviews take place

Jerry Montgomery – Green Bay Packers IDL coach

– On TJ Slaton: “I’m expecting him to make a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2.” He also adds that he can be a “dominant” run defender.

Quick Thought: If Slaton can develop into that dominant run defender, 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 the linebackers and edge rushers while allowing Clark to move around more.

– On Jarran Reed: “He’s been a dominant player in this league, was really, really productive in Seattle, and think he had an OK year last year.”

Quick Thought: Jarran Reed will be an immediate member of the rotation and should be an upgrade over Kingsley Keke, who began the 2021 season in the rotation.

– On adding to the IDL in the draft via Zach Kruse: “You’d love to add a high-level third-down pass rusher…a little bit more twitchy of a guy that can add to the rush from the inside standpoint.”

Ryan Downard – Safeties coach

– On Darnell Savage playing in the slot: “He’s got 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 has had his issues in coverage, specifically one-one-one, which is probably the big reason why he hasn’t seen as much action in the slot. The Packers have to decide whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option for 2023 by early May.

Jason Rebrovich – OLB coach

– Rebrovich hits on two big needs that the Green Bay Packers must have from their role players in 2022, and not just against the pass, but against the run. This is a big reason why addressing edge early in the draft is likely on the Packers radar.

– Rebrovich notes that the mental side is key for Rashan Gary taking that next big step as an edge rusher.

– Rebrovich wants to have four “legit” edge rushers that he can rotate over the course of a game. Rebovich adds that he does feel they have those players on the roster but that doesn’t mean they won’t look 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’re going to find the players that best fit what this offense wants to do.

– Stenavich says that Yosh Nijman will get an opportunity at both right and left tackle. He also adds that this offseason will be important for Nijman taking a step forward so they can count on him as a reliable starter.

– On OL depth: Stenavich likes the depth at the positions, but mentions they need to add a “guy or two.”

– As far as where Elgton Jenkins will play, it’s going to 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 need to play faster. “I think he’s going to take a big step,” said Vrable.

– What are Packers looking for at WR without Adams? “What we always look for – there’s a standard of toughness, smarts and grit.”

– Before learning the nuances that come with playing with Aaron Rodgers, step one for any rookie receiver is learning the playbook.

Tom Clements – QB coach

– Aaron Rodgers contacted Clements following the season to see if he had any interest in returning: “He’d talked to Matt, wanted to gauge my interest in coming back,” said Clements. He the met with LaFleur at the NFL Honors ceremony.

Quick Thought: Clements was Rodgers QB coach for a number of years in Green Bay—and briefly the offensive coordinator. Rodgers has often credited Tom with helping him as a rookie and with his early development.

– A tweet from Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Tom Clements says Packers offense is a “hybrid” of “old Green Bay” concepts from Aaron Rodgers with new elements Matt LaFleur brought. Doesn’t expect a big transition schematically because there’s already lots of familiarity.”

Luke Butkus – OL coach

– As we’ve often heard from LaFleur, Butkus says that they plan to put the best five on the field. They have several versatile and good players and notes that they’ll probably add some more.

– Butkus echoes what Stenavich said, saying that Nijman will have an opportunity at right tackle. But nothing is set in stone, by any means.

– “No doubt in my mind” that Bakhtiari will get back to where he was prior to his injury.

– Butkus mentions that “consistency” will be key for Royce Newman in his second year.

Quick Thought: When fully healthy, this should be a fairly stout offensive line unit once again, however, the overall depth doesn’t feel as strong as it was 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 film room. “Mastering technique” will be important for all the tight ends in taking that next step.

– Tonyan is working hard to get back, but as expected, no timeline was given.

Quick Thought: Having Tonyan’s presence once again will be crucial for this offense to fire on all cylinders. There isn’t another true pass-catching threat at tight end on this roster, and the offense missed Tonyan’s impact between the numbers, in the red zone, and up the seam.

Rich Bisaccia – Special Teams Coordinator

– Fixing special teams is “personnel related and scheme related.” He also mentions that it’s not one specific thing, and they will try to improve every day. “We don’t get three downs, we get one down to get it right,” Bisaccia said.

– On having 3 kickers: Bisaccia will evaluate the kickers in OTAs but doesn’t think they will go into training camp with three—likely just two.

– Building the special teams unit starts with finding the “six core guys” on the punt coverage team.

– Quick Thought: Pat O’Donnell and Keisean Nixon are already two Rich Bisaccia inspired additions. As we’ve discussed, in addition to making a change at special teams coordinator, improving the unit was going to take an organizational shift in how they approach the unit. This is another step in that direction.