Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Interviews

Head coach Mike Smith
Injury report:

"Robert Alford is still a DNP. Roddy White was a DNP. Harry Douglas was a DNP. Stansly Maponga was a limited participant, and so was Justin Blalock. That will be the guys that will be on our injury report."

On Justin Blalock's injury:

"Back."

On Coach Koetter speaking on the problems the offense will face with identifying Clay Matthews:

"It'll be very important. In years past he's played the outside linebacker, or lined up as a defensive end in their sub-package. Now he's got the ability to line up and move around in different spots. Where he's been lined up on the left or the right, now he can line up in the middle and move to the left, or move to the right. It's going to be important for us to be able to make sure that we're accounting for him as one of the identified rushers. He's probably going to rush more than he's going to drop, but he still has the ability to drop when they have him lined off of the football."

On the play of Julius Peppers:

"We know him very well. He's still having lots of production. He's big; he's long, and he can push the pocket from outside in. The other thing that he's still doing very well is he's a force to be reckon with when you're attempting field goals. He has 13 blocked field goals in his career. He's a guy that we've got to be concerned about when we're on offense, but he's also a guy that we got to be concerned about when we're on special teams and kicking extra points and field goals."

On stopping Eddie Lacy:

"Well, you can't let him get going. He's a downhill runner, north and south runner, and you've got to get multiple pads on him. If he gets into the secondary he is a load to bring down. One guy's going to have a hard time bringing him down, so it's going to be imperative that we have very good leverage. What I mean by leverage is that you have more than one guy closing on the ball, and you want to make sure that you pin him in between two players because if you don't he's going to run over some people. He's big; he's strong, and really runs behind his pads extremely well."

On what he's seen from Jake Matthews these past few weeks:

"His technique, in terms of his sets are much better. He's having a better understanding of how to study the guys that he's going to be blocking, and understand what their strengths are, and what their weaknesses are. His sets have been so much better. I think he's gotten much better with his hands. The rushers that you face in the NFL are so good with their hands, you not only have to have your feet in the right position, but you have to have your hands in the right position as well. Those are the two areas that stand out over the last month of the season."

Quarterback Matt RyanOn whether he's excited to play on Monday night:

"Yeah. Always fun to play on Monday night football, and always fun to go up to Lambeau. It's a great historical spot and a fun place to play, so we're all looking forward to it."

On the best part about playing on Monday night:

"I think it's something that you grew up watching, and you kind of have always dreamed about playing in those kind of games. It's just a different environment to be able to go outside and play under the lights. You really don't' get to do that all that often in the NFL, so we've got that national platform. The only game that night, it's fun. It's different and it's fun to be a part of it."

On the Packers defense:

"Obviously, Clay (Matthews) is a really good player, and kind of the last four or five weeks they've kind of moved him inside a little bit, but they still get him onto the outside and pass rush, and use him in a bunch of different ways because he's such a versatile player. He's got a skill set that can pretty much line up anywhere, and so we've got to identify where he's at. They do a great job of combining him and Julius Pepper in their pass rush and trying to single those guys up and create pressure that way. As a whole, I think the defense is playing very well. They're opportunistic. I think they're fourth in the League in turnovers, and maybe first in interceptions, something like that. It's a solid defense and a defense that's playing with a lot of confidence."

On whether he's ever considered playing with a glove:

"No. I've played in plenty of cold weather games in my life growing up where I did, and playing in Boston in college. It just hasn't really worked for me."

On whether the momentum of beating the Cardinals will carry over to this game:

"I think it gives everybody confidence that you can go out there and play with anybody in this League, but I think even before last week we had that. Really what we did last week is going to have no bearing on what we do Monday night. We've got to focus on our preparation this week, make sure that we're dialed in. Make sure that we know our plan, make sure that we're fresh and ready to play 7:30 central time, Monday night, and I think that's where everybody's mindset is at right now."

On how it feels to be in the playoff race after the bad season last year:

"This is what it's all about, and obviously this year has shaken out differently than any other I've been a part of, but it doesn't matter. Its set up the way it is, and where we are, so this is what it's all about. You want to be in December, you want to be in the mix, and you want to start playing your best football right now. "

On being able to run the football last week:

"I think running the football for us has been key. I think one of the things that's really benefitted us is that we've had the same five guys up front for the last five weeks. I think the continuity on the offensive line those guys starting to come together and play with an edge, and then our running backs, playing physical and running behind those guys up front. We're a better offense when we're balanced, and that's important for us as we move forward."

His thoughts on Aaron Rodgers:

"I've known Aaron since I came into the League, and he's a great guy. Really, really great competitor, and he's playing at a really, really high level, but he's been doing that for a long time. Always have had the utmost respect for him, and how he handles himself and how he goes out there plays, and he's continuing to play great."

On the team's battles against the Packers:

"That's one of the things that gets made out to be bigger than they are, but certainly our teams have had some good games in the past, and have played in the past in important situations. That's always fun, but he's a great player. He's playing at a high level, their offense is playing at a really high level, and our defense is going to have their work cut out for them, but I'm confident they'll do a great job."

On Coach Smith saying Jake Matthews has been playing good football the last few weeks and what he's seen from him:

"I think Jake's been doing a great job for us all year. Obviously, at different times for everybody there's going to be some ups and downs, but he's kind of an old soul, so you kind of forget he's a rookie. He's consistent, he's very professional, so you forget it's only 12 games in for him. I think probably the biggest thing for him is he's starting to understand week-to-week how you have to prepare and what the competition is going to be like, and what he needs to do to get himself ready to play. That's different for everybody. You don't figure that out week one of your rookie year it takes some time, and I feel like Jake's starting to really get a feel for what it takes. Couldn't be happier with his compete and the way that he's playing."

On going against Green Bay's secondary:

"When you look at Green Bay as a whole I think they're number one in the League in turnover differential, I think they're plus 15, or something like that. Obviously, they thrive on that, and their defense is opportunistic. They've got some ball hawks in the secondary, guys that can make plays. That's one of the things we've got to focus on ball security and that starts with me. I've got to make good decisions in the pass game, and be accurate with the football. That's one of the points of emphasis for the week."

On how big it would be if Harry Douglas stepped up again:

"I think it's huge for us. I think the depth at our wide receiver position is a key for us, and has been for a long time. Julio (Jones) obviously, has been the lead dog on that kind of stuff, and has played really, really well, but our guys, the rest of the group has stepped up at different times. You've had Roddy with multiple 100-yard games; Harry stepping up making some plays; Devin, different times throughout the year making plays. I'm lucky to have those four guys."

On studying quarterbacks and whether Aaron Rodgers was in that group:

"Absolutely. That's one thing that never stops. As you continue to progress you take a look around the League at offenses that are having a lot of success and quarterbacks that are playing at a high level. I've always in the offseason taken a look at what they've done, and how he's played. Certainly does as good a job, if not better than anybody of extending plays and making things happen after things break down. He's been doing that his entire career."

On the field conditions at Lambeau on whether having Devin Hester can help because he's played in these conditions:

"I think Devin's a guy that's played up in Chicago for a long time, and obviously played in Lambeau once a year, every year. So he knows what it's like to play out in those conditions. It's one of those things where the weather is what it is you can't really let it affect you. You just have to go out there and play, and I'm sure he's probably as good as anybody at being able to do that."

On whether visiting Lambeau does anything to him:

"I remember the first time I went up there. Something about places with a lot of history. It's like any sporting event. Whether you go to old Yankee Stadium, or Fenway Park, or Augusta National for the Masters. It's certain places that have an aura about it, and Lambeau's one of them. It's a great place to play, it's a lot of fun. I think everybody looks forward to it when you have the opportunity to go play there."

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