On Now
Coming Up
  • Wed., Nov. 26, 2014 1:35 PM - 1:55 PM CST Live McCarthy press conf. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.
  • Thu., Nov. 27, 2014 12:15 PM - 12:30 PM CST Live McCarthy press conf. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.
  • Fri., Nov. 28, 2014 12:15 PM - 12:30 PM CST Live McCarthy press conf. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.
  • Sat., Nov. 29, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Beebe, Harris) Don Beebe and Bernardo Harris are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, Novemeber 29th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 11:25 AM - 3:25 PM CST Toys for Tots Collection The U.S. Marine Corps will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for distribution to needy children in the area.  Cash donations will be accepted as well.  The collection will take place in the parking lot and at each of Lambeau Field’s gates.
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Beebe, Hentrich)

    TTZ: Don Beebe
    Club Level: Craig Hentrich

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

Latest News

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Patriots, Packers top Harrison's power rankings

    (6:31) Posted 11 hours ago

    Elliot Harrison reveals his top five teams in his Week 13 NFL Power Rankings.

  • WYMM: Defending a new QB

    (3:04) Posted 14 hours ago

    In this week's edition of "What You Might've Missed," Packers.com's Mike Spofford breaks down some of those Bridgewater scrambles and how the Packers adjusted. He also takes a closer look at the defensive play that almost completely changed the game.

  • McCarthy: We're going to stay true to our process

    (12:36) Posted Nov 24, 2014

    Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was available to the media on Monday, Nov. 24, in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.