McCarthy on new additions: 'I'm glad they're here'

Outside linebackers Ahmad Brooks, Chris Odom to practice with Packers for first time Monday


GREEN BAY -- The Packers added two outside linebackers to their defense over the weekend in free agent Ahmad Brooks and waiver claim Chris Odom, and both players were set to hit the practice field with the team on Monday as the 2017 regular season gets underway.

"Full-time preparation. That's pretty much what's gone on since both guys arrived," McCarthy said prior to Monday afternoon's practice. "Winston Moss has been spending a lot of individual time with those guys. We have a lot of work to do.

"They're obviously here for a reason and I'm glad they're here."

Brooks came to the Packers after being released by San Francisco. He's played against Green Bay a number of times in his career, and he's a veteran addition that gives the Packers' outside linebacker group significantly more experience following the offseason departure of Julius Peppers.

McCarthy sees Brooks as a very versatile player in terms of the responsibilities they can give him on defense.

"They moved him all over the place, particularly when (former 49ers defensive coordinator) Vic Fangio was there," McCarthy said. "I think he's a heck of a player, someone I've always had a lot of respect for. I think him and Bryan Bulaga had some excellent battles over the years."

Odom is a rookie who went undrafted this past spring and signed with the Falcons but was released at cut-down time. He played collegiately at Arkansas State as a defensive lineman and brings some size (6-4, 262) to the outside linebacker spot.

"I think he's a very good fit for what we do and how we play on defense," McCarthy said. "He's definitely someone we were very excited about during the draft process."

The Brooks and Odom additions coincided with the trade of Jayrone Elliott to the Cowboys and the signing of 10 players to the practice squad after final roster decisions were made on Saturday.

McCarthy called the last three days "exhausting," and while he would have liked to keep more of the players the Packers were developing during training camp, difficult decisions and constant change are the nature of the beast.

"I feel great about our football team, trust me," McCarthy said. "But there's a lot that's been going on since Thursday."

He added that Thursday's fourth preseason game provided a lot of "confirmation" of the evaluation of certain players in making the final roster decisions, but now it's on to preparing for Week 1 and a visit from the Seattle Seahawks.

After Monday's practice, the players will be off Tuesday, and then a normal week of preparation begins on Wednesday.

"It's my responsibility and the coaching staff's responsibility to get these guys ready to play," McCarthy said. "That's what our focus is." will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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