Big night coming up for young players

Posted Aug 29, 2017

QB play time to be determined; Clay Matthews, Vince Biegel not practicing Tuesday

GREEN BAY -- With Thursday night's final audition for roster bids coming up, the Packers are focused on making the right decisions and getting those young players ready for the regular season.

"As you go through positions, you have to feel good about your young guys," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Tuesday, prior to the team's final open training-camp practice. "As a coaching staff, we judge ourselves by how our young players play. It’s about developing the young player here. That’s been the case for 12 years.

"You have to get those young players, first year-players, ready to contribute, because history will tell you come November and December, those guys will be playing in the games."

As he often does, General Manager Ted Thompson plans to take in at least some, if not all, of the preseason finale from field level. He said he likes to watch how the players interact and get a sense of their personalities.

Thompson and his personnel staff already have a good idea of who's destined for the 53-man roster, but performances in the final preseason game can change those thoughts.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, it continues along the path that it was going," Thompson said of the evaluations. "You do have those instances because of the play in the fourth game, those decisions are halted and maybe you make a different decision. So there’s a lot on the line for everybody."

McCarthy said the playing time for backup quarterbacks Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill, who did not play Saturday night in Denver, would be decided on Wednesday.

He also said LB Clay Matthews would not practice on Tuesday, though he has no "long-term concern" regarding the undisclosed injury. Rookie LB Vince Biegel was not slated to return to practice Tuesday and would continue with his rehab.

As for the free-agent visit from former 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks, McCarthy said he hadn't talked to him yet but was looking forward to it. Thompson did not comment specifically on Brooks.

"At every position, we’re always evaluating what we can do to get better. We’re always looking," Thompson said, declining to address whether he felt the team was adequately stocked with pass rushers.

"It’s too close to the final cut to get retrospective. We’re getting ready to play a season, and we don’t have a lot of time to go over what you think were mistakes, good moves or bad moves. You have to keep going." will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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