Talked to Packers nose guard B.J. Raji† on Friday about the resurgence of, especially over the last two weeks despite a slew of injuries. The D slowed down the rival Vikings, coming up with a huge stops in the fourth quarter, in a 28-24 win. Then it posted the first shutout of the NFL season against Jets team that previously had one lost game. I asked Raji if the defense felt an urgency to pick things up with the offense struggling? "I think itís an indication of the type of people we have on the defense and on the coaching staff. Always in this game of football you play for respect. The last two weeks with our archnemesis the Vikings, we were able to get the job done. And, quote-unquote, the best team in the NFL, in their house were able to shut them out. So, itís definitely a big boost of confidence and hopefully we can build on that the next couple weeks." What changed within the unit? "We lost three games by nine points, those type of games thereís always 2-3 plays thatís the difference in the game. I feel the last couple weeks we were able to eliminate the mistakes. Because no one questioned our effort or our desire to want to win. It always comes down to execution in big games like that. In the Chicago game we made some mistakes and in the Redskins game." Was there a specific talk the defense had among themselves? "We even took it a step further. If you look at the playoff game, we felt we were the reason we lost. The offense put up that many points and we werenít able to stop them. We kind of took that to the whole offseason about gaining some respect around here. Obvisously coaches used that as ammunition as far as looking at our team as an offensive team, which is fine. But, we knew weíd have opportunities this year to prove ourselves. The last two weeks we did that."
Chatting with B.J. Raji
Nov. 6, 2013 11:21 AM
About this blogGet Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.
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