Coach's Corner with Kurt Schottenheimer

Secondary coach offers thoughts on Packers' young secondary after practice earlier this week

Q: How has Marviel Underwood responded this training camp after his knee injury last year?
Kurt Schottenheimer:
"The good thing about him is he doesn't have any concerns about it. He doesn't favor it. He's sticking his face in there and doing the things you've got to do. He's not playing cautiously at all. In that regard, that's very positive."

Q: Is it difficult for you to listen to the fans after there is breakdown in the secondary, like on Saturday against Pittsburgh?
"I don't listen to the fans. It doesn't matter. We've got a job to do here and we've got to fix any problems we might have. On certain defenses, it's one person is responsible to be deep and one guy short. In other defenses it may be the other way around.
"We're much better than this time a year ago. We're way farther along. We had the crossing route the other day that was deep. Atari (Bigby) was in perfect position. Again, we had another guy (Will Blackmon) that wasn't in position. We'll get that worked out.
"All you've got to do is look at these guys in the secondary. You've got (Charles) Woodson and (Al) Harris and a bunch of young kids. We are very, very pleased with the progress they're making and think they'll be ready to go when September comes around."

Q: What happened on the deep pass to Santonio Holmes for a 49-yard gain?
"Underwood had a great read off the quarterback. His responsibility was in front of him. The problem we had was between the cornerback and safety. That's not Underwood's play."

Q: What does Marquand Manuel need to do to make sure he secures the starting position?
He played three plays the other day. As I've said all along, he looks better now physically than he has at any other time. I failed to recognize that his injury in the Super Bowl (2006) and his attempt to come back a little too soon hurt his calf and made it hard for him to come back the way he is right now. He's a great communicator and understands everything we're doing. He's very, very bright cerebral player. The fact that he's moving so well right now will help him."

Q: Do you plan to play Manuel more on Saturday?
"Oh, yeah. He only played three plays the other day, and Woodson and Harris didn't play. We've got to look at the Rouses and the Underwoods and the Peprahs and the Culvers, and the Bigbys. We've got to see those guys play and sort that out. We're not keeping six or seven safeties on this team. It gave us a lot of opportunity to do that."

Q: What is the ideal number of safeties and cornerbacks to keep on the roster for this secondary?
"Probably four (safeties) and five (cornerbacks). If we have a thousand plays this year, we'll play 500 snaps of at least three corners in the ball game, so you've got to have at least four corners. Special teams plays a big role in that."

Q: If the season started today, who would be the third cornerback in a nickel defense?
"Woodson is the nickel, and we'll find the next best corner and he'll be a part of that package."
Q: Is that between Jarrett Bush and Patrick Dendy?
"Dendy is certainly in it, but Bush and all of these ... what's happened is Frank Walker played extremely well the other night. Will Blackmon is making a lot of progress. Dendy, of course, and then Bush."

Q: What do you like best about Aaron Rouse?
"He's got good toughness. He's going to be a physical player. He's played. He understands what he's doing. He just needs playing experience in National Football League games. Everytime we've stepped on the football field 'live' he's had a blowup tackle and a very good hit. He had a couple the other day (Saturday), one on the run play and one on the pass. He's making good progress.
"You just wish you could take all of these young kids and put them on the field in the preseason and play them all the time, but you've got to get the other guys ready, too."

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