From foe to friend: New Packers defensive coach happy to be on same sideline as Rodgers


Green Bay Packers’ helmets are seen during NFL football training camp Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – On Thursday, Packers Defensive Backs Coach Jerry Gray took time to speak to the media about the upcoming 2020 season.

Below is a blog that was updated live during both interviews with Coach Gray and Coach Luke Getsy, Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator.

Live Blog

  • On what he (Jerry Gray) brings to this team and the role that resonated with Mike Pettine:
  • “Just what does he expect out of his coaches, because you want to know what a coordinator expects out of his coaches before you take a job. He gives me a chance to coach technique football. He’s not going to sit there and micromanage you and he’s just going to let you do your job.”
  • “I played against Green Bay 12 times, coming from Minnesota, and especially last year, getting the Smith brothers, and those guys are still young, it gives me a chance to put a stamp on what they can do.”
  • On what the pandemic has made a change in how he’s coaching and if it’s adjusted the work/life balance:
  • “It lets you know who the leaders are going to be on your team, are the guys that are going to be disciplined and who’s really prepared. It’s refreshing, you get a little bit more rest, but you actually get to see what your wife goes through.”
  • On the 4-3 defense and if it makes a difference:
  • “It really doesn’t matter. We do a really good job of going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 because offenses now have to change for two different defenses.”
  • On what Gray’s philosophy is for his corners and when they press and hit pause:
  • “I like what the corners are doing. There’s really no cookie cutter formula. What I like to do is adapt to what a guy can do and build up from there. They’ve got a good group of young guys who can run and play man to man but they’ve also got a bunch of guys that can play off as well.”
  • On how much is getting back to the Super Bowl is a motivating factor:
  • “Every time you start a season, you want to get to the Super Bowl. To me, I’ve been to 3 NFC Championship games. It’s still not fun when you lose. You want to win as much as you can, and we’ve got a quarterback who’s good but you still have to go out and perform on defense. This is my third time coaching where we have a quarterback who can go out there and win the game for you. And going against Aaron Rodgers the last six years, he’s going to provide a lot of stuff for you and that’s the good thing, and now I’m on the same team as him.”
  • On how well does seeing the receivers from the Vikings side prepare him for this role:
  • “It’s good for me, I’m not here criticizing, I’m just showing you what I saw on tape, here’s the good things, here are the bad things and here’s where we can improve. We got a group of guys who are young and are willing to work hard.”
  • On Jaire Alexander and what stands out about him:
  • “You have a very young, energetic guy, and a lot of time, guys don’t have that vision to see the quarterback and the ball at the same time. And that’s a big plus. The biggest thing I talk to him about is where do you want to go? Hopefully whenever we get together, he’s done the things he needs to do and I have the knowledge to get you to the next level.”
  • On how he incorporates his playing knowledge into his coaching career:
  • “One thing that I learned when I first started coaching, is that my job is to make sure the players are getting better, and they’ll keep listening. That’s what I try to do every day, see players get better every week, and they’ll keep coming back.”
  • On how being on the defensive side for the Vikings will help the Packers offense:
  • “Yeah, but I can’t tell you because I don’t want Chicago and Detriot and all of them to figure it out. I’m excited to get with these guys and tell them what I saw and I can’t wait to sit down in the media room with Matt and Aaron and say, hey, here’s what we were seeing on our side of the ball.”
  • On what to look for in the slot and who to look for battling that out:
  • “Not really. I’ve seen Tremon do it, I saw Sullivan do it, Jaire do it, I’ve got a lot of guys fighting to get in. I have to wait until we get out on the football field, but I would love to see a lot of guys competing for the nickel, competing for the starting jobs. If you can compete in a high level at practice, then you’ll compete at a high level on Sunday.”
  • Quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy on not being able to be around Jordan much with the pandemic:
  • “Just like everybody else that was in the draft, we evaluated everybody. We spent a good amount of time on Jordan, we interviewed him at the Combine. Really, really enjoyed his personality and thought he was the right guy for our football team. It was the person that I was really excited about and I was very excited when those guys decided to take him.”
  • On his new role with the Packers:
  • “This is kind of what the role became and I think part of it is exciting for me and I’m excited for it. I’ll take more personable responsibility for it and this is kind of the role that I fell into last year and I’ve already taken on the third down role and I’m excited for that opportunity and responsibility.”
  • On what exactly is a passing game coordinator:
  • “Its the collaboration between Matt, Coach Hackett and me. My responsibilities fall under the passing in coaching the quarterbacks.”
  • On the virtual off-season:
  • “I realized I’m a much more visual person. I like showing pictures, showing film and I had to challenge myself to find different ways to connect with the players. You have to get creative and find different ways to challenge and make sure they’re retaining the information.”
  • On Aaron Rodgers’ tenor right after the draft and what you expect from him after drafting Jordan Love:
  • ” I think he addressed all that already. As far as our interactions, nothing has changed. His input this offseason has been the best it’s ever been. I think there’s no question that we’re moving into the summer with our staff being on the same page with him. He’s been a great teammate, and he’ll be the best teammate to Jordan, I have no doubt about that. He grinded through the off-season with us and I’m excited to put it all together.”
  • On identify what tripped up the offense in 2019 and how to make it better in 2020
  • “I think it came with finding an identity throughout the season. The other, is Davante gets hurt early in the season and other people had to step up and they did. I think it was a fresh offense to everybody, it was other people stepping up and then you throw Davante into the mix, we got stronger as the season went on. What we thought we were going to be, we changed into something else, and I think we have a really intelligent team.”
  • On how rookie quarterback Jalen Morton is responding to meetings:
  • “There’s a lot of raw talent there and it’ll be fun to get my hands on him in late July/early August.”
  • On the preseason potentially being cut down to two games and how that hampers getting guys ready
  • “You gain more through a practice more than in a preseason game. Losing the ability to practice against those other teams is more hurtful than a preseason game. The demand is going to be in practice. That’s where the improvements are going to come.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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