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Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell Interview


Q: Perry, a lot of guys have said you emphasized being more physical this week. Do you think you have to be more physical than you have been, that's something you have to do against Green Bay?A: Well, it's the last game of the season, so to speak, or postseason, if you're not. And so, you have to get to your technique faster than your opponent, you have to be more physical than the opponent, and you gotta want it more than your opponent.

Q: Is their offensive line a lot more different from last time?A: Well, Clifton only played maybe 20, 25 plays I think in the Detroit game, he was just getting his feet back. So that will, we don't really know,. But that offensive line is good. They've been working together for the last two years. They've done a great job throughout this whole season and it'll be a big challenge for our defensive line.

Q: On better communication by the defense late in the season…A: Well, we've had breakdowns in communications throughout the whole season. Not just the communication of the front, but the linebackers as well as the defensive line. We kept communicating throughout the season and we've never stopped listening and talking to each other. And that's, it's taken place now. We are still listening to each other, we are still talking to each other, and we understand what each other is saying. We know what we want to do and how we want to do it. That's been one of the keys.

Q: On what specifically changed to improve communication on defense…A: It was just a combination of, some of our young players started to grow up. We did have a number of young players on the field at the same time. Chase Blackburn has been a tremendous welcome coming back to our squad and being able to communicate with our guys and get on the same page with our guys. I think it's just the work throughout the whole season, guys are listening to each other, talking to each other, and never stop communicating with each other, and believing in each other.

Q: Can you expand a little bit on what Chase has brought since he's arrived after what, four months off?A: Yeah, you know, he was the captain of our special teams a year ago. When he came back, Chase is a studier. He's a guy that takes notes when you're sitting and lecturing to the classroom. And everybody respects that. He asks great questions when we're in the meetings. And so, he brought credibility. He brought a voice that, like I can speak to Chase, Chase can speak to the defense, and we all spoke the same language. We mis-interpret a couple things here and there, but everybody knew he was gonna get it right. And he was gonna work hard to get it right. So I think it settled us down a lot more. Instead of us being indecisive, we became decisive.

Q: And he's played well on the field, once he's been out there?A: No doubt, no doubt about it. He's played physical, he's played well, and he has a great voice. I always talk about how Jon Goff had a good voice. When Chase shouts a command, everybody hears it. He has a great voice for our defense also.

Q: A lot of the Green Bay guys have talked about how the back-shoulder throw can be almost indefensible as a pass, do you agree?A: I don't buy that. I think you can defend a lot of routes. I think they are very good at throwing the back-shoulder fade, or the back-shoulder pass. His timing has been impeccable. You know, you have to defend it. there are some ways to defend it, and we look forward to defending it on Sunday.

Q: What do you see about the Packers on the offensive side of the ball that might open up some opportunities for a guy like Linval Joseph?A: You'd have to ask Linval that [laughs]. I think Linval's been playing good for us throughout the second half of the football season. I think Linval's just growing up. He's really a rookie, so to speak. I think Linval's just growing up a little bit. He's just turned it loose, and he's really playing well right now and with a lot of confidence.

Q: Their backup quarterback threw for six touchdowns when they rested starters for the playoffs, what does that say about their offense?A: That they're all on the same page, really. The timing of the routes, the quarterback's reads, the continuity of their football team because of their coaching staff, etcetera. It just tells you that, when you stick with a coaching staff and you have continuity in an offense, you can accomplish good things.

Q: On Flynn and Rodgers…A: I'm not gonna say anybody, but I'll tell you, they have two pretty good quarterbacks.

Q: On the opportunity for a rematch against a quarterback like Rodgers…A: I think anytime you have an opportunity to put the ball down, you have a chance to prove how good you are. I think that after playing them twice, knowing a little bit more about them, we're up for that challenge to see if we can hold that guy down. It's a big challenge for us, he's one of the best players in the league. This is a playoff game. You're throwing everything in the past out the window as far as everything he's done in the past, we want to find out what we can do on Sunday.

Q: On Kenny Phillips' role for Sunday…A: Kenny's such a good athlete, we want to do a lot of different things with him. Last Packers game we played, we had a specific role for him but he was injured in the ballgame and we didn't see that role come to fruition. We'll use Kenny's talents in certain situations. This week, we'll try to use Kenny's talents and try to get that quantum leap from Kenny this week…At times we see quantum leaps, you know, at times we see leaps, but we're looking for more consistency.

Q: On whether playing Green Bay again presents an opportunity for improvement from the last time…A: Yes, you know, when you play a team multiple times, you continue to study them, you continue to try to dissect and understand their offense and how they think. You'd like to think you have a better feel for the team than when you just play them one time.

Q: On Rodgers' scrambling ability…A: It's a problem. If you just sit back in the pocket, it would be a lot more comfortable for us. He has good scramble ability. I was watching the Bears' film and he made Briggs and Urlacher miss. That's a dimension you don't really count on. And he really can take advantage of you with his legs.

Q: On what he learned from Kansas City's win over the Packers…A: When I looked at the tape, I thought Kansas City did a nice job. They were very physical with them. Their desire up front to get after the quarterback and putting multiple hits on the quarterback I thought was good. I thought their corners covered their receivers well. I thought Kansas City may have wanted it a little bit more and they played like they wanted it a little bit more. From an X's and O's standpoint, there were things that we learned from the tape that, you know, we hoped we could use. I thought it came down to desire in that football game and Kansas City played with a lot of desire. 

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