On Now
Coming Up
  • 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
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.
  • Mon., Jul. 13, 2015 7:00 AM CDT Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 13, 2015, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, WI. Those interested in participating in the event can contact Holly Borga (920-965-6986; hollyb@packershalloffame.com) for more information.

News

Print
RSS

Packers coach increases sense of urgency

Posted Aug 19, 2013

Team’s health, preparation and evaluation reaching crunch time in camp

RB DuJuan Harris

GREEN BAY—Preseason weeks don’t get more important than this one for the Packers.

That’s the mentality evident in Mike McCarthy’s words and tone of voice as the Packers prepare for their third preseason game of 2013.

Following a helmets-only practice that McCarthy was pleased with on Monday – so much so he lopped off the final period and ended things early – the head coach addressed a number of issues on his agenda for this week.

In a nutshell, he wants to see players get healthy, starting jobs seized and high-impact play from anyone who wants to be on the final roster.

“We’re halfway there,” McCarthy said, referring to two of four preseason games being in the books. “This game is important. We have a (roster) cut coming after this game. We improved as a team from Arizona to St. Louis, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Work started on Monday for cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring), who was on the practice field for the first time in camp, albeit in a limited fashion. Same goes for defensive end Datone Jones (ankle) and tight end Andrew Quarless (quad), who returned from injury absences.

They were among the 15 players who missed the St. Louis game, a number McCarthy wants reduced for Friday’s game with Seattle.

McCarthy is having the players practice in shells Tuesday. They won’t put the pads on until Wednesday in hopes of giving those who have been banged up a better chance to play on Friday.

“You definitely need it,” Hayward, Green Bay’s top rookie from a year ago, said of game action. “Last season is in the past. I want to work on so many things to get better this year.”

Rookie Micah Hyde and Davon House, who bounced back from a rough opener with a solid performance in St. Louis, have ratcheted up the competition at cornerback. The position has lost James Nixon (knee, ankle) for now, but Hyde has been so impressive he’s adding punt-return duties this week.

Tight end remains competitive as well, with Brandon Bostick and D.J. Williams combining for five catches in St. Louis, though Matthew Mulligan (elbow) is now sidelined.

“We have two weeks left,” said Quarless, who was out two weeks of camp after sitting out all last year due to injury. “I’ve missed quite a bit. That doesn’t make me feel happy. Nothing is guaranteed. I have to get out there and produce and show them what I can do.”

As for starting jobs, right tackle appears closer to being decided, with Don Barclay taking more and more of the snaps with the No. 1 offensive line ahead of Marshall Newhouse. McCarthy didn’t declare the competition over, however.

A potential running back duel also awaits between Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris. Despite Lacy’s standout showing in St. Louis, Harris took the first snaps with the top unit on Monday and ran with more speed and burst than last week as a limited participant coming off his knee injury. He’s eager to get his first preseason action this week.

“I definitely tried to push it today,” Harris said. “I feel a lot better than I did before.

“It’s real important (to play), get those hits out of the way and get back in the groove of things.”

From up and down the roster, McCarthy made it clear he’s looking for players on both sides of the ball to show game-changing abilities. With a roster reduction to 75 players looming before the preseason finale, now is the time.

McCarthy lamented big-play opportunities that were missed in St. Louis. Deep seam passes by Aaron Rodgers and Vince Young that should have gone for touchdowns were off target, among other offensive miscues, and the defense got its hands on the ball a number of times aside from its three takeaways. Maximizing on those chances is what the head coach wants to see next.

“The efficiency of what we’re trying to do – alignment, assignment, technique – we have improved, but this game in the National Football League is about making big plays,” McCarthy said. “Big plays equate to scoring points on offense, and big plays equate to keeping the offense out of the end zone on defense, and that’s the part, we’re just not quite there yet.”

When he sees that, McCarthy will know two things. First, that his team is truly ready for the regular season, and second, which players deserve the final roster spots.

“You get into this third week, don’t be the guy that sits there and had a very high-efficient grade but had opportunities throughout the preseason to make impact plays and don’t do it,” McCarthy said. “That’s what I’m looking for, from our whole football team.”

Additional coverage - Aug. 19

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Jordy Nelson: Captains spoke to team before game

    (2:37) Posted 4 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson was available to the media on Sunday, Dec. 21, following the Packers 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

  • Randall Cobb: We found a way to get into playoffs

    (2:33) Posted 5 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb was available to the media on Sunday, Dec. 21, following the Packers 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

  • Morgan Burnett: Challenge ahead in Lions

    (1:29) Posted 6 minutes ago

    Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett was available to the media on Sunday, Dec. 21, following the Packers 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.