Few Minutes With ... Jerry Fontenot

New Packers running backs coach Jerry Fontenot talks about fumbles, pass protection and more with Packer Report after Tuesday night's practice.

Packer Report caught up with new running backs coach Jerry Fontenot for a few minutes after Tuesday night's practice.

How's the new gig treating you?

So far, so good. It's been a good experience for me because I have such a good group of guys to work with. I've had the benefit of having Edgar Bennett around to lean on him during the offseason, so whenever I needed questions answered, he's the guy that I'd go to. For me, it's been as seamless a transition as any other position because we're still involved in the run game, still involved in the protections. Getting checkdowns and routes, different techniques, Edgar's been extremely helpful in that area.

Brandon Jackson was so good on third down. Where are you in figuring out who plays that role?

I think it would be unfair of me to rule anyone out at this point. We need to go through some game-type situations to kind of feel it out and see who's going to fit that role. But we certainly have the guys that are capable, the guys that are willing to do it. It's going to be a competition. We'll see who rises to the top.

You guys put the ball on the ground a few times on Monday night, which is uncharacteristic of your group. What did you say to them, or did you not have to say anything?

We talked about it today in the meetings. You turn a bad situation into a good situation by learning from your mistakes. Fortunately, it happened here on the practice field. I think that tonight, we definitely turned it around. Hey, you're going to make mistakes. With the amount of time that we've spent in camp, I'm actually pretty pleased that it took that long for us to put the ball on the ground. But, multiple times in the same practice tends to put a black eye on that issue. The guys understand how serious an issue it is. Our No. 1 job is ball security, period. Pass protection is second. I learned that from Coach Bennett. You can quote him on that. All kidding aside, that's something that we take very, very seriously. Those guys understand that and they were very hard on themselves. It's not something that I have to get up and jump and hoot and holler about. They understand the importance of it. The benefit is, they're willing to work on it.

Tonight was a rough night for the offense in general, and maybe your guys in particular. Pretty tough facing Dom's defense? At a few points, they didn't even have a guy who was down — all 11 guys bouncing around the line of scrimmage.

Our defense shows as good a looks as anyone does. We have that benefit because we feel like if we can pick up the pressures from our defense and understand what's going on, then we can pretty much digest anything that anyone's going to throw at us. Our guys are just getting into camp, and as we've gone through all of our installs, the defense has been installing things on a daily basis, as well. So, they're seeing new looks that the defense has been drawing up this offseason. It's not all the same stuff we did last season. Our guys are challenged with that. It's good for us because it's going to pay dividends come regular season.

What are you looking forward to on Saturday against Cleveland?

No. 1, ball security. We've been very fundamental in our approach to pressing our course, hips at our aiming point and planting our foot and going north and south. We're all about falling forward, protect the quarterback and let's go get a win.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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