Coachspeak: Assistants Discuss Hot Topics

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac on the increased competition at his position group, Dom Capers and Winston Moss on the loss of Desmond Bishop, Alex Van Pelt on Cedric Benson's fumbling problems, and much, much more in our must-read weekly feature.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, on the increased competition in his group: "It was kind of a funny game (against San Diego). We played the 1's a certain amount of reps and then we played the 2's. When the 2's were in there, they did some good things. Then I was shifting back and forth to make sure everybody got reps and we went three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out (in the second half). Then (to start the game), we went two plays and they scored. Then we turned the ball over but went two plays and had an interception. Then we had one play and a fumble. So, our numbers were down in that time. I was scrambling to get guys reps in that game. How many plays did we play in that game? Fiftysome (58)? I had a schedule of who was going to play in the fourth quarter but I had to extend it because we kept going three-and-out on defense. Then our offense went on a drive and the third quarter was over like that and we had played like (12) plays. I was like, ‘(Crap).' I was thinking — not really — but I was hoping, ‘Dang, don't get a first down.' I'm not worried about the game; I'm worried about making sure everyone gets an opportunity. There's definitely good competition out there. Nothing's settled. We've got three more preseason games to check it out."

Offensive line coach James Campen, on left guard T.J. Lang, who earned a new contract this week: "I've seen him mature as a person. He's developing into an outstanding person and I think that's transitioned to his play on the field. He went through a growth period where football wasn't as serious to him. Now, he's got a little son and he's turned the corner and he's grown up. He's become a very solid person and a guy that's in a leadership role, and I think he embraces that. He works every day to things right."

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers, on replacing Desmond Bishop: "Yeah, I don't know that you ever replace a guy like Desmond. Desmond, I consider him an impact player. You're always looking on your defense to find ... I think all the good defenses have two or three of what I call difference-makers — guys who can make impact plays. If you have 60 plays, there's going to be two or three plays that they might pop the ball out or intercept the ball, sack the quarterback, that type of thing. He was an awful good player for us. Now, we've got a number of guys that are competing and they're going to have to step up and take up the slack, starting with D.J. Smith."

Inside linebackers coach Winston Moss, on whether A.J. Hawk will be asked to do more in Bishop's absence: "As of right now, we're not looking at it the way you guys are looking at it. All we're doing is getting guys lined up, calling out defenses. We haven't matched up anyone right now. To answer your question, we haven't even gotten to that point on how we're going to match guys up. I think that's premature. That's something we'll get into in the regular season."

Running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, on Cedric Benson's fumbling problems in Cincinnati: "Ball security's an emphasis for the whole team. We work it daily. Obviously, with the drill work we do, that pressure should run off on him. We don't put the ball on the ground. We've been good in the past on that and we'll continue that theme this year."

Offensive coordinator Tom Clements, on the importance of Aaron Rodgers playing in the preseason: "Because everyone who is a starter, you try to regulate it, but they need to get back in game shape, and you can't do that in practice. And by game shape, I don't mean just physically. I mean mentally, too. How to react. He's going to react a certain way in practice, react quickly, but you've got to do it even more quickly in the game. It's a different animal, practice vs. game. You need it."

Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, on the affects of the renovated Lambeau Field: "The structure itself is larger, it blocks the wind. It used to creep over the south end, get int here and stir around and create unique winds. I think it's actually going to help. That's my forecast. Just help the kicker, whoever's kicking the ball. I think it'll be less significant. Now, I can be proven wrong. We'll see."

Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, on whether any of his young players have stepped up: "There's a collective group of good players, I'll throw Ross right there in the equation. He's done as much or more than Casey. He doesn't make mistakes. He's physical. I like the kid. He just has to sit there and it's rotational thing right now. he'll get his opportunity to show what he can do here, too. He's going to get a lot of snaps."

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

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