Winston Moss Q&A

Linebackers coach, McCarthy worked together in New Orleans

Winston Moss was recently named linebackers coach by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.

Moss, 40, joins the Packers from the New Orleans Saints, where he spent five full seasons (2001-05) as linebackers coach. Near the end of the 2000 season, McCarthy's first with the Saints, the club promoted Moss from defensive assistant/quality control to replace linebackers coach John Bunting, who left to become head coach at North Carolina.

Moss played 11 seasons in the NFL with three different teams from 1987 though 1997 and now has seven years experience as a coach in the league. He began coaching in 1998 as a defensive quality control assistant in Seattle, where he had played his final season.

Moss played collegiately at the University of Miami (Fla.), where he and current Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith helped the Hurricanes to the national championship to close the 1983 season.

"I think it's a great opportunity, and I'm glad that Mike is giving me this chance," Moss said. "We look forward to doing some good things in the future."

Moss took time to answer other questions from the media upon his arrival in Green Bay:

Q: Did you ever think about staying in New Orleans and hooking on with the new coach?
WM: "I think that my time in New Orleans was great. I learned a lot with the coaches there and Jim Haslett. This is an opportunity to branch out and get on with a different staff and create my own identity. I think it will serve itself well."

Q: What do you know about the linebackers in Green Bay?
WM: "I know that Nick Barnett is the most productive player right now. I remember him coming out of the draft a few years ago. I like him. I think he's a pretty productive player. In the future, we'd like to upgrade that position and get a few more players that can make plays. We talked about how the play-making ability has been missing the last few years. Hopefully that's something we will address and hopefully we'll get some guys that can make things happen."

Q: Was the scheme in New Orleans a lot different than Jim Bates' scheme in Green Bay last year?
WM: "From a coverage standpoint, there were some similarities. We would match guys up. We would play fronts that were very similar. Our blitz patterns and how we try to execute that were very similar. There's going to be a lot of carryover."

Q: Do you prefer smaller, quicker linebackers, or bigger, more powerful types?
WM: "Some of that has to do with the scheme. There are size issues based upon the scheme that you are playing. … In general, I like active, fast, quick play-making linebackers that compete every single down and give great effort. Those are important characteristics that I look for in linebackers."

Q: Have you had time to form an opinion of the Packers defense?
WM: "From a stats standpoint, they are in the top 10. From a stats standpoint, that's pretty good. I actually played with Lionel Washington. I know with that being said, hopefully we can get some guys in here that can improve upon that."

Q: Have you ever had an interview for a coordinator job in the NFL?
WM: "I haven't, but that is something I aspire to be. I think this is a process and I understand that you've got to pay some dues. There are some great coaches in this league, and there are some other guys who are just as qualified, or more qualified than I am. I know that if we produce as a defense and win as a team, I think that deal will take care of itself specifically. I'll get to where I need to be later on down the road if I can help this team win championships. That will take care of itself in the future."

Q: Did you discuss with Mike McCarthy the defensive coordinator position while interviewing?
WM: "When I came up to Green Bay, he was still in the process of interviewing guys. Yes, I asked him about it. He felt as though he wanted to go in another direction. I was fine with that. All of that will take care of that stuff in time."

Q: What is your relationship with Mike McCarthy like, and how much of an adjustment will it be for you after getting hired before the defensive coordinator was named?
WM: "I think that Mike and I share some of the same characteristics that he not only wants in his staff members but what we want as a team. When you look at his mission statement, he talks about getting this team back to a championship level, and he talks about having guys with character that will get along well in that locker room, be committed to excellence. We understand those things. ... I've played in quite a few systems in this league and I look forward to working with the guy he brings in."

Q: How would you describe yourself as a coach in practice?
WM: I want my linebackers to have a lot of energy and play with emotion. I want them to play with passion. I want them to enjoy playing this game. I think this is one of the greatest games you can have the opportunity to play. I try and coach how I want these guys to play. A lot of passion. Great effort. Leadership. I want those guys to be able to take the defense over and lead them in the right direction.


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