HomeTrade RumorsNotable NFC Players: Justin Fields, Jaire Alexander, Bears, Packers, Vikings

Notable NFC Players: Justin Fields, Jaire Alexander, Bears, Packers, Vikings

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Bears QB Justin Fields would love to play spoiler for the Packers’ playoff chances in Week 18.

“I think it would mean a lot to the team, the fans, the city,” Fields said, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think it’d be great. We know Green Bay’s playing for a lot, what’s at stake. They’re playing for a playoff spot right now. So I just think that with all of that on the table it would be a great feeling to end the season with a win in Lambeau up there.”

Packers

Packers CB Jaire Alexander is using his one-game suspension in Week 17 as a learning experience and hopes to improve from the situation.

“I think it was definitely something to learn from,” Alexander said, via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “There’s definitely things that I could have improved upon during that week to help with communication. Moving forward, that won’t happen again.”

Alexander feels the discipline helped improve his relationship with the Packers’ staff after having a good conversation with HC Matt LaFleur and GM Brian Gutekunst.

“It doesn’t affect my relationship with anybody,” Alexander said. “I think if anything, it improved it. … It was good for both parties to hear both sides. That’s kind of what we alluded to. We got down to the nitty-gritty. … We all just agreed to be on the same page with communication moving forward.”

Alexander was ecstatic to see Green Bay beat the Vikings without him.

“But when my guys went out there and did what they did, I can’t be too mad,” Alexander said. “I was pretty happy. I sicced my young bulls on them and I didn’t have to move a muscle.”

Vikings

Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell had high praise of DC Brian Flores for revolutionizing their defense but they must adjust as opposing offenses learn their system.

“Credit to Flo and his staff for the evolution of the defense, week in and week out [and] where they took it to try to give our players a great chance to have success,” said O’Connell, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “At the same time, as they put more on tape and more on tape, maybe teams are honing in on certain ways that they want to play, and now it’s our time to either adjust or take a look at it with a microscope and say, ‘We need to be better in our execution there, and tighten up a little bit there, and understand formations and tells and tendencies.’”

Flores expressed confidence in their defense but acknowledged that they must stay productive.

“I know what we’re capable of,” Flores said. “We’ve shown that. But every week’s different in the National Football League.”

Vikings’ assistant HC Mike Pettine compared his time with the Jets in 2006 where they had the league’s highest blitz percentage, describing that they made adjustments with individual players to free them up.

Part of it [with the Jets] was that we felt the need to manufacture the rush a little bit just based on the personnel, and I think that’s part of the case here,” said Pettine. “We certainly have Danielle [Hunter] and some guys we feel good about it, but at the same time it’s no different than a basketball player. Can this guy create his own shot? Can he win 1-on-1 off the dribble, or is this a guy we need to run plays for, picks and all that? Whether you’re running games with the pass rush, or whether it’s pressures to free a guy up, that’s the mentality behind it.”

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