Highlights from Brian Gutekunst’s press conference to end 2023 Packers season

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst wrapped up the 2023 season by answering questions inside Lambeau Field. His young team went 9-8 and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs during a rollercoaster but exciting season.

Here are the highlights from Gutekunst’s season-ending press conference:

— Gutekunst said he’s “excited to build around” Jordan Love moving forward.

— Any consideration to trading Jaire Alexander: “No.” Said he is proud of the way Alexander responded to Week 17 suspension.

— On wanting Aaron Jones back: “Absolutely.” Called Jones a “difference maker ” on the field, an “influential leader” in the locker room and the “heartbeat of the team.”

— Confirmed the Packers and Love’s representation will move forward on contract negotiations over the next few months. Said an extension is important for the “stability” of the team.

— Not expecting major shift in what Packers want in defensive players under Jeff Hafley. NFL is still mostly a 4-2-5 nickel defense.

— On free agency/cap situation: “We’re getting to a little bit better spot.” Feels good about team’s spot going into free agency and the ability to add players if need be.

— On Love: Proud of the way he went through his first season as a starter. Learned how to play the position at the line of scrimmage and led teammates in games. “He’s got very, very high upside.”

— Expecting around 12 draft picks. Thinks they’ll have “more volume at the top,” which should allow more flexibility.

— On Rasheed Walker: “He did a great job. You have to give that kid a lot of credit.” Said he fought through some injury things and was a “warrior” in 2023. Thinks he can play on the left and right side. Wants more competition in the offensive line. “Has a bright future.”

— On Zach Tom: “He played really well at right tackle this year.” Can play all five spots, can be good at all five spots. Says Packers want the best five for the offensive line.

— On Jeff Hafley’s defense: Believes versatility — especially in the defensive front — will pay off with a defensive coordinator change. Hafley’s influence will have “some” effect on personnel but not substantial.

— On Christian Watson: Said he’s an “impactful player.” Packers looking into ways of helping Watson and others staying on the field. Says some young players need time to get into a groove with their process.

— On safety: “Pretty solid at safety” in the draft/free agency class. Need to “add numbers” at safety. Important position in today’s game.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire