On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Tue., Jun. 02, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

  • Tue., Jun. 02, 2015 1:35 PM - 2:05 PM CDT Live Mike McCarthy press conf.

    Head Coach Mike McCarthy available in Media Auditorium

  • Wed., Jun. 03, 2015 3:00 PM CDT Mentor-Protégé Program Fourth Session Celebration The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program is set to recognize the successes of the program’s fourth session participants on Wednesday, June 3, at a reception at 3 p.m. in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
  • Sat., Jun. 06, 2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM CDT Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic The 18th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 6, inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers’ indoor practice facility.
  • Wed., Jun. 10, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

News

Print
RSS

Mike McCarthy talks of plans for Julius Peppers

Posted Mar 25, 2014

Packers coach believes his team is better than it was last spring

Julius Peppers

ORLANDO—Mike McCarthy believes his football team “on paper” is better now than it was at this time a year ago, and that would suggest that McCarthy is expecting improvement on defense, just as he accurately predicted an improved running game last spring.

It would seem the recent acquisition of free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers is at the heart of McCarthy’s on-paper assessment of his team, which he provided on Tuesday to Packers media covering the NFL “Annual Meeting” in Orlando, Fla. McCarthy offered a snapshot of how he plans to use Peppers in Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers’ scheme.

“He’ll be a multiple-position player,” McCarthy said. “Elephant is a term used for a multiple-position player. Julius will be part of that group.”

That could mean many roles for Peppers. He could be used as a hand-on-the-ground defensive end in 3-4 and 4-3 alignments, or as a linebacker, much as Mike Neal was used last season.

Does that mean more scheme? Just the opposite, McCarthy said.

“We want more personnel groups, less schematically,” the Packers head coach said. “The scheme is there. We’re not putting a whole new scheme in. If anything, we’re taking things out.”

So, are the Packers still, by design, a 3-4 defense? It’s a question McCarthy answered with a question that only served to raise more questions.

“Are we a 3-4 team now? Our origin is. How much 3-4 defense do we actually play? We’re a sub personnel defense,” he said.

McCarthy was understandably unwilling to provide specific details of his plans for his defense in 2014, but it’s clear to see changes are in the works and that Peppers is at the root of those changes.

“He has more to offer, in his opinion, from an assignment standpoint, and I agree with him. We’ll have more flexibility with him,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy answered questions that ran the gamut of issues confronting the Packers as they head into a spring offseason program that’s to begin on April 22.

The team’s perceived need at safety and the potential for cornerback Micah Hyde to join Morgan Burnett at one of the two safety spots?

“I’m very comfortable with Morgan Burnett. Morgan has a lot of high value to our football team. Micah Hyde deserves the opportunity to be an every-down player. Micah was standing on the sideline too much. We’re going to give Micah a chance to play on all three downs,” McCarthy said.

B.J. Raji’s role?

“I want to keep him over the center, the A gap, more. The way he’s been used in the past, we can do less of that. I think we need to get him back over center,” McCarthy said.

Jermichael Finley?

“He’s still being evaluated,” McCarthy said of the tight end, who’s a free agent as he rehabs from neck-fusion surgery. McCarthy repeatedly cautioned as to the seriousness of Finley’s injury.

Matt Flynn?

“I’d like to have Matt back. I hope financially it’ll work out,” he said of the free-agent quarterback, who replaced Aaron Rodgers late last season and rallied the Packers to a record-setting win in Dallas that helped propel the team to the NFC North title.

Datone Jones?

“He was really starting to take off in training camp. The ankle injury was worse than we probably thought. I thought he came on strong at the end of the season but didn’t have the opportunity,” McCarthy said of the Packers’ 2013 first-round draft pick.

The center position, where the Packers have lost Evan Dietrich-Smith in free agency?

“We have options,” McCarthy said, mentioning J.C. Tretter, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Don Barclay as providing those options.

The decision to play Bryan Bulaga at right tackle?

“It’s where he has the most experience. We had a full season of David (Bakhtiari) and Josh (Sitton) (on the left side). You want to play your best five,” McCarthy said.

Injuries?

“When you look at injuries, I don’t feel I’ve hit the target. The offseason program will be different and training camp will be, too,” McCarthy said.

Change is clearly at the heart of the Packers’ offseason plans, and it would seem to begin on defense.

More from the Annual Meeting

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Clay Matthews discusses his versatility

    (3:16) Posted 22 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews met with reporters in the locker room following Thursday's practice. Matthews talked about the return of B.J. Raji and seeing the new rookies.

  • Eddie Lacy: "We have a chance to be great"

    (5:51) Posted 58 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy met with reporters in the locker room following Thursday's practice. Lacy talked about his hopes for the 2015 season.

  • Jordy Nelson likes responsibility of leadership

    (2:36) Posted 59 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson met with reporters in the locker room following Thursday's practice. Nelson talked about what leadership means to him.