The Green Bay Packers miss special teams ace Jarrett Bush's presence on the field. That much, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum couldn't deny.
But Slocum was encouraged by what he saw Sunday from rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson, who's replacing Bush as the nine-year veteran is sidelined with a groin injury.
"Jarrett helps us be a better group. He's been an excellent special teams player for a long time," Slocum said Monday. "I thought (Sunday) Demetri Goodson stepped into that role and did an excellent job."
Goodson's special teams outing produced mixed results against the Vikings. The rookie was solid in coverage, finishing with two tackles. In the third quarter, he was also called for a 15-yard penalty after interfering with the opportunity for Vikings punter Marcus Sherels to make a catch.
After the penalty, the Vikings' possession began at the Packers' 42-yard line. It ended with a 51-yard field goal from Blair Walsh, pulling Minnesota within a point of Green Bay.
Slocum said "a little bit of aggression" led to the penalty.
"At the same time," Slocum said, "the punt was not good enough. It was a little bit low. He could have reacted better, but he had two tackles on the kickoff and that was very positive."
Goodson beat his blocker at the line of scrimmage and was downfield quick enough to force a fair catch, so Slocum thought the rookie could build off the play. But Goodson's aggression also crossed a line. A 15-yard penalty is never good.
"It's something we can develop from and continue to improve," Slocum said.
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