On Friday evening during the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Green Bay Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, Jr. spoke to the media to discuss the two new players that he has coming into his unit, courtesy of Ted Thompson's first two draft picks.
Whitt discussed each player's skill set, as well as his attitude towards coaching the position and the players he has in his room. First up was his opening statements:
We're happy to have the two men that we have coming in. The CB room has changed this year with Tramon and Davon leaving and Jarrett up in the air...it's exciting for me as a coach to be able to take a new group of skill sets to try to work to our team goal to win a championship...nothing really changes with the way we will approach the room. The best players will play, the next guys will sit there and get ready to play. Will they play inside, will they play outside? We'll let practice figure that out.
Regarding whether first-round pick Damarious Randall and second-rounder Quinten Rollins project in the slot or on the outside:
Different guys have different learning curves, so what I'm gonna do with both of them, I'm gonna give them opportunities to play the different positions - left, right, inside, outside...but you never really know what you get till you get them in the room.
On Quinten Rollins' skill set and transition from basketball:
His rare ball skills, that's something special...this is a hard game, and he's gonna have some challenges when he gets to this level, as all guys do...it's a hard position to come in and play early...He can bend, he can motor-mirror, he can do some of those things already. I think he was Defensive Player of the Year, so he can play at a high level in (the Mid-American Conference)...I didn't watch him play basketball. I watched what he did on the football field. That's what I care about...He's a smart kid. I was happy, when I gave him the test and the quiz, he performed very well.
On Demetri Goodson and his similar transition from basketball to football:
Most of the guys that you coach played bball in HS anyway, so the skill set is something that you're used to. It's more of the football knowledge is what we have to work with...These guys play basketball every day between workouts.
What skills from other sports translate to cornerback?
The basketball part of it, just staying in front of people, the man defense part of it...but you have to learn how to play cornerback and I'm confident that I can get them up to speed.
On Damarious Randall's skills:
Randall is real quick, he played safety so he was in the slot a lot of the time. Quick burst, close, he was aggressive in coverage. He'll have an opp to play in a couple of different packages.
Regarding Whitt's own attitude as a coach and how he prepares his players:
My job is as a DB coach number one is to get my players to do what Dom Capers wants them to do. I don't care who they bring in the room, I'm gonna get the most out of them...i'm gonna coach them as hard as I can with one goal: and that's to win a championship...The main challenge is how do we play winning football quickly? that's the challenge...but can they not make mistakes when you're in a big game? Can they play consistently? That's the point.
Do Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers give you feedback on how much they value your contributions as a coach?
I'm very fortunate to work for this organization and to work under Mike and Dom. When we do the contracts that's when they let me know how they feel about me. I'm very humbled to be here and be a part of this organization.
How much of an emphasis do you place on turnovers?
This is a passing league now, and interceptions, turnovers is a way you can change the game...the six years I've been here we've been #1 in the league by a large margin...that's very exciting, the ability to get the ball and be able to score with it.