Coordinator Q&A: Joe Phiblin

We were there as the offensive coordinator discussed some of the issues early in training camp. One of the issues thus far is how the offense has handled the wide array of blitzes thrown at it by counterpart Dom Capers.

Here are some of the highlights from offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's chat with reporters after Tuesday morning's practice:

How does the offense look so far?

OK, there's a couple things we need to work on obviously at this stage of camp. The one thing that's been bothersome to us offensively is we've had a lot of penalties. That's a major concern. We didn't start off camp well in that area but we've been doing a little bit better. Our giveaways is something we chart every practice. We make a huge deal about it and we're not where we need to be there yet. Those are two areas that we really, really got to do a better job at. The penalties just don't fit what we've done offensively. That's something we've got to get corrected.

It seems like the passing game has struggled ...

We've seen a lot of good things and we've seen a lot of inconsistency. We see our quarterback still has an outstanding arm, he's got very, very good accuracy and we've got some guys that can get downfield and compete for the ball. Are we as sharp as we want to be? No. You've got to give credit to the defense, too. I do all the scripting and I write down a bunch of plays and we're kind of checking plays off and I feel like we've got it covered and our players know this. Not that Dom's game-planning us, but sometimes we catch them in a bad look and they catch us in a bad look. Sometimes the plays don't look real good. That's kind of part of training camp.

It looks like the blitzes are causing some trouble, realizing that it's only Day 3 ...

I've talked to some people and different players on different teams and there's always ways to handle it. You don't sit around and go over what Dom's going to run. I don't even ask him. We have a set of rules, we have adjustments that are built into our system and we want our players to be able to respond to them. Whereas I've talked to other players and sometimes they cover every little blitz and they know what the defense is going to do. We don't do that in training camp. I was kidding Dom the other day: I can't tell the difference between the regular team periods and the team blitz periods. It's hard to distinguish.

That's got to be great training, and part of why you guys have been so good over the years.

It's great training. We historically have been (good against the blitz). It's outstanding. It's good for us as coaches, too. It forces you to think out there. We find, ‘Hey, geez, we should probably practice that. We haven't practices that in a year-and-a-half. We haven't seen that blitz in a long time.' It's good for everybody.

Your early thoughts on Bryan Bulaga?

I like him. I think sometimes with O-linemen, if your name doesn't come up a whole lot, that's probably a good thing. I think he's been solid, he's been competitive. I like his effort and his energy in the running game. He shows the skills that we thought we saw on tape. One of the things you're always concerned about is when you catch film and you draft somebody, sometimes you get surprised. That's natural; nobody's perfect. It looks like he's got the skills we thought we saw on tape. We think he'll develop into a good player.

What bothered you about the offense last year?

"Yeah, we did some good things. We kind of talked to our guys early in camp about we've been a good offense, and we've got to take the next step to become great. And that's a hard step to take, and one of the things that we haven't mastered in the last couple years, we've been penalized way too much and it's hurt us. It's cost us yards, not only the yards that you lose from the penalty itself but the yards you lose on the play. So, one of our big objectives is to really nip that in the bud, because if look at our point totals, our offense totals, our giveaways, that's kind of where you want it to be. We're not perfect, but we're pretty solid. But if you look at our penalties and you think that can't be the same offense. So we've got to address that. That's one of the biggest issues we've been talking about."

How's the battle at right tackle with T.J. Lang and Breno Giacomini?

"Good, very competitive. I mean, again, T.J. missing all the spring, I thought they've been competitive so far. I thought they've done a pretty good job in pass protection. There's fundamental things, I think their playing speed in the game as young players, that's something that's always you're a little bit concerned about, and hopefully that's got to kind of pick up. Again, we've thrown out a lot of information, it's early in camp, and hopefully that will start coming here in the next couple of days."

Do you know a little more about Breno now?

"Yeah, a little bit, yeah. Again, I can't sit here and tell you the exact, because he was kind of the opposite of T.J., he had the spring issue the year before, his second year, and I don't even remember, there were some setbacks there. So it's kind of similar. So I think, yeah, he's in a competitive situation and those two guys are in a battle, really."

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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 and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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