On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 8:15 PM - 9:00 PM CST Packers Everywhere pep rally

    Packers fans 21 years and older are invited to bring the spirit of Green Bay to the Tampa Bay area a day early with two free Packers Everywhere Pep Rallies on Saturday, Dec. 20.

    The festivities will take place at two different locations in the Tampa Bay area Saturday. The main pep rally will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla. The second event will be held from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at The Varsity Club, located at 24091 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, Fla.

  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Lacy, Clinton-Dix appearance Packers Eddie Lacy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Sat., Dec. 27, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera) Mike Flanagan and Marco Rivera are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, December 27th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera)

    TTZ: Mike Flanagan
    Club Level: Marco Rivera

  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers vs. Detroit Lions Packers vs. Detroit Lions

News

Print
RSS

McCarthy puts emphasis on opportunity

Posted May 11, 2012


Many of the 59 players inside the Don Hutson Center on Friday for the first of three rookie orientation workouts face long odds to make it in the NFL.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy, though, has made it clear to them they shouldn’t be worried about those odds this weekend.

When McCarthy spoke on Thursday night to the “rookie” group – which includes eight draft picks, 14 undrafted free agents, one pre-draft signee, 29 tryout players and seven holdovers from last year’s practice squad – he gave them a startling number. He told them that on average last season, the Packers’ 45-man game-day roster included 27 players who were either selected in the final two rounds of the draft or came to the Packers via “street” free agency.

This was a 15-1 team, mind you, but McCarthy wasn’t kidding. For the NFC divisional playoff game last January, the number was exactly 27. For the season opener last year against the Saints, it was 24.

McCarthy may not have shared this specifically, but it’s also worth noting that three undrafted rookies (linebackers Jamari Lattimore and Vic So’oto and safety M.D. Jennings) made the roster of the defending Super Bowl champions out of training camp last year, and a fourth (running back Brandon Saine) was elevated from the practice squad by midseason.

In other words, the opportunity is meaningful.

“I gave them a number of statistics to support the fact that they do have a real opportunity,” McCarthy said following Friday’s workout. “I told them the drafted players may get the first rep in the first drill, but if you get the second, third and fourth, make sure you’re taking full advantage of it.”

The energy and enthusiasm of the young group was evident. McCarthy didn’t appreciate the five times the ball was “on the ground,” but the practice structure worked as intended and he feels by the end of the weekend there will be plenty of good film to evaluate.

Of the draft picks, first-rounder Nick Perry took all of his snaps at left outside linebacker, which McCarthy said would be his “starting point.” Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy also showed the quick first step that prompted the Packers to trade up to draft him in the second round.

“It’s clearly something that we were excited about when we evaluated him in college,” McCarthy said. “He has a very explosive first step for a big guy. He’s someone who’s going to be a factor inside. That was evident just in the drill work today.”

 Also evident was the edge that any time with an NFL team can give a player. Setting the tone for many of the drills were the practice-squad holdovers (receivers Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley, safety Anthony Levine, fullback Jon Hoese, center Sampson Genus, cornerback Brandian Ross and defensive lineman Johnny Jones) and former Arena League quarterback Nick Hill, who signed back in January and has been working in the team’s offseason program since it began last month. McCarthy felt that group stood out, which was to be expected.

Hill and seventh-round draft pick B.J. Coleman handled all of the quarterback snaps, which included routes on air, seven-on-seven, and team (11-on-11) work.

Two players were unable to participate due to injuries. Fourth-round draft pick Mike Daniels, a defensive lineman from Iowa, is out with a shoulder injury. He had surgery on that shoulder following his final college game. Undrafted rookie Jaymes Brooks, a guard from Virginia Tech, is also out with a hamstring injury.

“We’re off to a good start, and it’s a good group,” McCarthy said. “It’s a very exciting weekend. It’s fun to be back on the field.”

Additional coverage - May 11
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos