The Washington Redskins on Sunday play the Green Bay Packers in Week 11 action at FedExField.
On Wednesday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke to the Washington, D.C., media about their upcoming matchup against the Redskins.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy
On what he learned about the Redskins offensively from last year's playoff game:
"Very, very good offense. I think as you look as their numbers last year, I think they're even better this year – just their productivity. So, their ability to run the football, their movement phase, the play action passing game is excellent. I think, number one, when you watch their quarterback play, it's something from a far you always look at Kirk Cousins and coming out of college, but I was real impressed with himin live action and playoff games. So he has great command of it. The perimeter players are excellent. They've got matchup challenges throughout their perimeter group offensively, so this is a big challenge for our defense."
On if QB Kirk Cousins looks different from last January:
"I think he is playing with a lot more confidence. I'm not going to say a lot more confidence – I thought he was confident going into our game last year, so he's confident. He's distinct on where he's going with the football. He's playing with good accuracy, so I think he is playing extremely well."
On what they will try to replicate against Cousins:
"Well, I mean, once again, it's who we are and who they are this year, obviously every year is different. So we're just going to focus in on the things they do and try to play to our strengths."
On importance of this game:
"Well, this game is important I mean because it's the game this week, so that's what we're focused on – beating the Redskins. We clearly understand where we are in our season and understand how we've played the last couple games, so it's about improving each and every week. And we need to bring forward the good things we did last week and learn from the things that didn't go so well. Hopefully we get a couple guys back health-wise and have a great week of preparation and come down to Washington and win the game."
On the Redskins' offensive line:
"It's a good offensive line. In respect to the Redskins or any of the other teams, I'm not going to get into rankings and all of that… I think if you look at the way they're built and just really the philosophy and expertise of Scot McCloughan, I mean, it's a big offensive line and big defensive line. So, it starts up front and I think the line of scrimmage is going to be someone if you're watching the game that you're going to pay close attention to because I think both our team and the Redskins have very good offensive and defensive lines."
On the play of QB Aaron Rodgers this season:
"Good. He's playing good and it's important for us to have a good week in the detail of things that we're going to do as an offense and he's definitely our leader and he's leading the charge."
On why Rodgers' yards per attempt average is down this season:
"I think it's like anything – it's more than one game or nine games, so you just look at each and every thing. I mean, we've have some big play opportunities throughout our early games that we didn't hit so those are the kind of things we're paying attention to. We're fully capable of doing those things and we'll continue to work at it and we're trying to improve really in all phases of our offense."
On the play of Su'a Cravens:
"Excellent player, I'll tell you. I mean, they obviously they have a lot of confidence in him. You can just see the way they are using him. Things that you pay attention to, if you look at the key plays in games and particularly the Detroit game was the one that jumps out at me. He's the pressure player in key moments of the game so I think it tells you what the defensive staff thinks of him and just the confidence they have in him, so I've been very, very impressed with him on video."
On if CB Josh Norman changes the offensive game plan:
"Well, it's just like anything. I mean, you just spend the early days of the week, you're really focused on who you're playing against and obviously Josh is an outstanding player. You look at how he plays and how they're using him and where you think he's going to line up, if he's going to match one of our wide receivers and so forth. But by the time we get to Friday, we just get back to focusing on ourselves because offensively we're going to attack the defense and whoever is on that defense."
On if the team's history makes it difficult for fans to see the positives in tough seasons:
"Well, we're focused on what's in front of us. I think we all understand the reality of our business and the things that go with it, but for us to be the best that we can be each and every week, we're focused on winning football games. That's what we're working on this week with our preparation and that's what we plan on doing on Sunday."
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
On how familiarity helps in preparation for the Redskins:
"It helps a little bit more than seeing them every three years like we usually do, unless there's a 'common finish in division' matchup. But they do have some different personnel obviously. Obviously adding Josh [Norman] to the mix is a big add. You have Will [Blackmon] moving from corner to safety. The front is very similar – obviously you have [Su'a] Cravens, who has been playing a good role for them and [Cullen] Jenkins. [It's] a similar scheme that they ran last year, they're just doing a little bit better I think. You have some guys who maybe weren't big contributors last year who are kind of stepping up and being more of an impact player this year – I think like a Trent Murphy, who's had a good start to the season. Obviously Preston [Smith] has come along and made a nice jump in his second year. Those guys are playing well."
On how mindful he has to be of CB Josh Norman:
"He's one of those guys who you have to think about the kind of routes you feel comfortable throwing his direction. Obviously he's got very good instincts, all the intangibles you could want. He's a ball hawk. He's around the football a lot. He's one of those lockdown guys. There's only a couple in the league like that."
On Su'a Cravens:
"He's obviously a very versatile player. He's moving around a lot. He's a very good blitzer, he's a good tackler, plays in space well. He's obviously the kind of guy who might not fit into one specific role for a team, but he's just so talented you have to find a way to get him out there. So they've obviously found a way to get him out there for some significant snaps and he's played really well."
On how they can recover from a 1-4 stretch:
"Just do the stuff that we've been doing that's worked and then kind of slight improvements. In this league, it's a few plays every game that decide the game, and we have got to be on the right side of those plays moving forward. A lot of it is just fundamentals and execution. We feel like on offense we need to start faster and give our defense some points to look at early to feel better about the way the game is going."