Q: How much fun is this time of year and how much do you look forward to this challenge?
A: It's a great time of year obviously, January, playoff football in the National Football League. It's amazing, we're looking forward to going to play a very good Packers team, it's going to be a great environment at Lambeau Field. We're excited about the challenge, we're energized by the challenge, we've had a great week of work so far and we're excited to get up there and compete.
Q: Have you had to tell the young guys ‘Take advantage of this opportunity, you may not get this far again'?
A: Yeah, I think we kinda had a little bit of that last week before the playoff game against Atlanta. Just letting guys know this opportunity doesn't come along that often and to take advantage of it. Don't leave any stone unturned in your preparation. I think they understand that and I think they're taking heed to it.
Q: What did you learn from seeing Rodgers here in person a few weeks ago that you didn't see on film?
A: Just his ability to extend plays and be so accurate downfield. He did a great job, I mean, he's kind of like Houdini out there a little bit, he avoids pass rushes, he avoids that initial surge. He can get out of the pocket and make plays downfield with his wide receivers, or he can extend it, he can run the football with his legs, he's a tremendous runner in his own right. You just have to be very disciplined when you're rushing.
Q: What did you learn from the Chiefs' gameplan that beat the Packers a few weeks ago?
A: The Chiefs did a great job of being physical. They tried to slow the game down as much as possible and contain Rodgers in the pocket as much as possible. Rush him as a group with their front four, they rushed him as a group. They did a good job working together. Collectively I think everyone understood the task at hand and responded. You have to do that as a defense to collectively be on the same page.
Q: How important is it to get to him with a four-man rush so you can leave more guys in coverage?
A: It's important that whoever's rushing, that we make sure we rush as a group. Understanding your lane and your responsibility and make sure we keep that integrity. We don't want to open up any windows to throw the football or escape through. You have to be cognizant, you have to be very disciplined in your assignment.
Q: I don't think I've ever seen a quarterback make as few mistakes as he has this season. What is it about him that allows him to play so clean?
A: I think he plays very, very disciplined football. You see he doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes. He doesn't try to do too much. He gets the ball into playmakers' hands and allows those guys to do what they do. I think they do a great job of keeping teams off balance, staying ahead of the sticks, down and distance wise. And playing really downhill. They haven't had to play uphill without the lead throughout the whole season. So when you're in that situation, you're not pressing, you're not making those kinds of mistakes. We have to understand they like to play downhill like that. We've got to put them in situations where they're behind the 8-ball and they're playing uphill.
Q: Was the Chiefs game kind of like a blueprint? Did you guys watch that?
A: Absolutely, absolutely. The Chiefs collectively did a good job of understanding their assignments and then going out there and executing as a defense. And really, in all three phases. Special teams and offense also have to be involved in contributing to that. You have to be involved in contributing to that. You have to beat them as a team.
Q: When you say they haven't really played ‘uphill,' what do you mean by that?
A: I mean, they've always played with the lead throughout the season. They're always ahead, they're always up, they're always playing ahead of the sticks, so far as down and distances. They're having 2nd and 5, 2nd and 4, they're not really having to press. You see they do a good job converting in those down and distances and those situations. They haven't really been behind the 8-ball and had to press in any game throughout the season. We understand that as a team and we understand the positions we have to put them in to be effective.
Q: They make it easy on themselves?
A: Absolutely, absolutely. They make it easy on themselves by playing disciplined football and executing. They're one of the least-penalized teams in the NFL. You can see they're disciplined in that regard. They're a confident group and they've been performing at a very high level throughout the whole season. So you have to understand what you're getting yourself into.
Q: The old saying, ‘Make ‘em sweat, let's see em sweat'. Do you think they've sweat a lot this year?
A: They've done a good job [laughing] of playing disciplined football and executing. It just is what it is. I don't think they've been in too many situations that they're not familiar with and they've done a good job of finishing games and closing out games. We have to put them in situations that are uncomfortable.