Bay Packers' Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels (76) sack
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder during the
first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014,
in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY —
Mike Daniels gets right to the point.
He loved the long
weekend off that the Packers had after routing the depleted
Minnesota Vikings 42-10 on Thursday night.
On Monday, it was
back to work to build on the most complete performance of the year
for the Green Bay defense. There is always room to improve.
on us," Daniels said. The straight-faced third-year player
speaks in a taciturn tone that fits one of the Packers' toughest
A trip to Miami
to face the Dolphins is next for the Packers, who are tied atop
the NFC North at 3-2 with Detroit.
While the defense
has been far from perfect — stopping the run remains a work in
progress — it has shown signs of improvement each week.
three games, division games, you know we gave up 10 against the
Lions, 17 against the Bears and 10 against the Vikings,"
coordinator Dom Capers said Monday. "You know over that
period, we've given up 12 points a game, which is a step in the
Bay Packers' Julius Peppers is congratulated by teammate
Morgan Burnett (42) as Minnesota Vikings quarterback
Christian Ponder walks off the field after Peppers
intercepted a pass and returned it 49-yards for a touchdown
during the first half of an NFL football game against the
Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
The Packers have
come up with two interceptions in each of the last three games.
The defense amassed six sacks against the Vikings, which started
struggling backup quarterback Christian Ponder.
Green Bay kept
harassing Ponder. Capers liked how the defense was able to get
pressure with a four-man rush. That, in turn, frees up seven in
coverage. More defenders in coverage theoretically would lead to
more big plays.
good defenses that I've been associated with can disrupt the
quarterback with a four-man rush, and you've got the extra guy to
cover with," Capers said. "I think you've seen that show
up in we've given up fewer big plays, and the fewer big plays ends
up with fewer points on the board because people have a hard time
scoring a lot of points on you if they don't get big chunks."
Capers and coach
Mike McCarthy tweaked the defense this season to go more often
with four linemen after relying on mainly a base 3-4 scheme in
recent years. That change seems to cater to the addition of
veteran Julius Peppers in free agency to play a hybrid defensive
"I think the
flow of how we're using our players, it (has) come together and
our substitution patterns are where they need to be,"
McCarthy said. "I think we have definitely gotten better on
defense the last three weeks."
The Packers seem
to have a more active group at safety than a year ago with
converted cornerback Micah Hyde and first-round draft pick Ha Ha
Clinton-Dix partnering with Morgan Burnett. The veteran Burnett
had a nice game against Minnesota with 11 tackles and a forced
Daniels led the
way up front with 1 1/2 sacks, along with tackle Letroy Guion. The
third-year pro from Iowa has become a key cog for his leadership
and on-field play.
some pretty good players back there and got some good guys up
front to get after the quarterback," Daniels said. "We
just continue to feed off each other and put this thing together
— I'm very optimistic about it. It's going to be fun."
Daniels spoke in
the most subdued of tones. It was time to get back to work.
Note: The team
signed WR Kevin Dorsey to the active roster from the practice
squad Monday and signed CB Tay Glover-Wright to the practice
squad. Tight end Ryan Taylor was released.