Bears HC Matt Nagy said he isn’t worried about the team’s slow start to the season.
“Overall, I’d say the biggest theme for us would be ‘No panic’ and just understand that this was Sean’s first game calling [plays] and this was our first game of 2021 and we understand that that’s not good enough,” Nagy said, via Mark Potash. “We want to focus on any of the positives that were out there. That’s why I think we all believe in one another, and now we get another chance this weekend.”
Nagy added he thinks new DC Sean Desai and the entire defense will learn from the team’s struggles, citing the Rams’ opening touchdown bomb in particular where WR Van Jefferson got up after catching the ball and ran to the end zone.
“They both nonchalantly tried to tag him,” Nagy said. “You gotta do it more aggressively. You gotta make sure [he’s down]. If anything, you gotta hit him. Don’t put any gray into it. I guarantee you that entire defense will learn from that, and our offensive players will learn from that, too. If you’re not touched, stand up and run and turn it into a touchdown. I know Sean is teaching those guys the right thing to do, and I know those guys will definitely learn from it.”
Lions RB Jamaal Williams picked up the start in Week 1 as he took first-team reps for the majority of training camp while fellow RB D’Andre Swift healed from a groin injury. Lions HC Dan Campbell felt Williams was deserving of the start, even though he and Swift split time in the backfield and both were productive.
“Jamaal has been the rock because he’s been there every day,” Campbell said MLive.com. “He’s been steady, he’s been sound. We know exactly what he is. He’s been very durable and dependable. That showed again today. He was exactly who we knew he would be and there’s value in that. Swift hasn’t practiced a ton. Now, we got him back, and you could see what he could do when you get him back. But there was things that Swift was able to do. That screen that he took to the house was something special. But it’s clear that he’s missed some practice. He was rusty. There were little things to his game that he can — and will be — so much better now that he’s got this game under his belt. He’ll just get a little better and a little better and a little better. So look, I’m encouraged with that.”
- Campbell confirmed CB Jeff Okudah‘s torn Achilles: “I hate that for him. He put in a lot of hard work. He really improved a ton from spring until now. … He was really coming around. That’s one of those things we’ve got to adapt to, it is what it is and we’ve got to move on.” (Chris Burke)
- Campbell said CB Ifeatu Melifonwu will likely replace Okudah, but CBs Jerry Jacobs and Bobby Price are also in the discussion. (Justin Rogers)
- Campbell declined to say what the team will do at left tackle when OT Taylor Decker is healthy. First-round OT Penei Sewell filled in Week 1 after being at right tackle all summer. (Dave Birkett)
- Campbell added WR Tyrell Williams is in concussion protocol. (Burke)
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers isn’t pushing the panic button after Green Bay’s shocking 38-3 loss to the Saints in Week 1. However, he acknowledges the team obviously has to play better.
“It might be a freak out outside the facility,” Rodgers said, via Pro Football Talk. “I think it’s just a good learning lesson for us. We can’t play like that, we can’t start a game like that. Like I said after the game, our energy level was a little bit low before the game. We have to do a better job responding to adversity. There’s not much to say. We got our asses beat by 35 points, we’re all frustrated about it, but just move on. We have 16 more to go.”
- Packers HC Matt LaFleur said S Darnell Savage‘s injury isn’t a long term issue: “Hopefully with the extra day, that will give us an opportunity to get him back for Monday night.” (Ryan Wood)
- LaFleur added he is hopeful LB Za’Darius Smith will be able to contribute more soon: “Hopefully he’ll be able to practice a little more for us, and be able to take more snaps in the game, because you can definitely feel his presence when he’s out there. I thought he played physical.” (Wood)
- LaFleur mentioned TE Josiah Deguara is in concussion protocol: “I’m just glad Josiah seems to be in a good spot. He’s obviously in the protocol so we’ll see how he advances through it.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
- Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said CB Bashaud Breeland played better as the game went along: “Once he settled down, I thought made some really good plays in the running game. He broke up that last third down, I believe it was, to get us an opportunity to win the game, and I think it helped in overtime. Just consistency with him.” (Courtney Cronin)