GREEN BAY - Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced on Tuesday he has excused 16 veterans from this week’s minicamp to conclude the offseason program.
The Packers are conducting three practices through Thursday, and the workouts will be geared toward getting younger players extra reps as the installations are reviewed prior to the dismissal of all players for a multi-week break. Training camp begins the final week of July.
“They deserve it, where they are, particularly in their career,” McCarthy said of giving the veterans the break and an early start to their summer vacation.
“We were focused on the veterans through the OTAs, and now the focus, really starting with (last) Thursday’s practice, will be exclusively for our younger players. This is a huge opportunity. We have to take a jump as a football team.”
McCarthy didn’t mention which 16 veterans are excused nor explain the criteria, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the veterans already gone, so Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer will take the majority of the snaps in minicamp.
A draft class of 11 players gets a chance to move up the depth chart as well, so to speak.
“You see it every year, you see the young guys start to figure it out,” McCarthy said. “We are maximizing the reps and tailoring them to the group that needs them more. You see the improvement. There’s things these young guys need.”
The classroom portions of minicamp are geared toward teaching concepts without the veterans in the room, which gets things back to a fundamental level and gives younger players a greater opportunity to speak up.
“When we get back here in training camp, the instruction as far as the basics, that needs to be ingrained, because (then) it’s time to put the pads on and take steps toward the coming season,” McCarthy said.
Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.