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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 1


(Guys like Barnett and Martin, are they on a one-a-day schedule?)
Yes, that's correct.

(Is Talley in that group also?)
Talley is in that group. Just with a number of our players coming off of the postseason surgeries, we have a number of them. I don't have the list in front of me but I'm sure you can figure it out. We will definitely start throughout the first week with those players on a one-a-day practice format.

(How soon before Brad Jones comes back?)
Brad has a bruised back. He's day to day. I don't have a true timetable on him.

(Some guys were cramping. Is that just something you have to work through in the early portion of camp?)
It started yesterday. I don't think we had some individuals on our football team that did a very good job hydrating. It's not like it's hot out here today or yesterday. But also, those things do happen at the beginning of training camp. There's a lot of anxiety, a lot of extra stress that goes into the beginning of training camp. Getting used to carrying your pads, the length of practice, the amount of individual fundamental work you have. It's just all part of getting their bodies conditioned for the stress that we're putting them under. But we could do a little better job hydrating.

(How valuable is it for guys like Bulaga and Burnett to get reps with the first-teamers early in camp?)
Well, it's very valuable for any young player to get the reps and have the opportunity to work with the 1's. I think that would be echoed across the league, anybody that's played. For you to establish reps with the first group, it's very important. It definitely brings a lot higher accountability for that individual, so it is great experience.

(What's been your impression of Burnett these first couple of practices?)
I thought he had a solid practice yesterday, and like I've stated before, for a rookie, for a young man, particularly in our defensive scheme, I think he does a very good job of communicating and he has a good understanding, and he just needs as many reps as possible. I think he's off to a very good start.

(Do you like what you've seen from Sam Shields?)
Sam has made plays. Yeah, definitely. Sam really jumped out to me in the spring, particularly with the special teams, and he's made some plays as a corner, as a defensive back. It is a transition for him. He's put together two pretty good days.

(You've had three punting sessions already. How much farther ahead do you think you are there this year?)
Well, we better be a lot farther ahead. I am tired of talking about the past. It was clearly a negative. We have installed our special teams in a different format than we have done in the past, and I think that is reflected if you truly closely watch the practice. We are going to focus more on just one segment per practice, sometimes mix a second one in too. With the punt being the No. 1 emphasis, which is normal for any football operation, we're going to make sure we have the protection set, the transition and the coverage set, and we've got a very healthy competition going on between both punters.**

(What did you think of Joseph today during 11-on-11?)
I didn't study him one-on-one. He definitely flashed. He is instinctive, he gets off blocks, and he is always around the football, but without viewing the film I can't give you a true assessment.**

(On Friday you talked about tackling, and we can see the drills you're doing. Do you feel good about your goals of making that better?)
Problem solving is clearly about staying focused and applying solutions and time and commitment to that. It is the same things that we have done in the past where we feel we have struggled in the red zone and we spend more time on red zone. We do not feel that we were a good tackling football team all the way through last year, so we are going to spend more time tackling. We have done tackling drills in the past, but we're doing them every single day. It's an emphasis, no different than some of the fundamental work that we felt attributed to the number of penalties that we had. All of the things that we feel we can correct on moving forward from last year, you still have to build the foundation of doing everything else, but we are emphasizing the things that we feel we need to work on.**

(Bishop had the hit on Quarless yesterday and had the pick today. Can you find ways to get him involved?)
I feel Bishop is very involved in our football team. I think he is having another good camp. I think he is even really positioning himself to take his game to the next level. We have excellent depth. We have four very good inside linebackers. It clearly was part of our discussions as a defensive staff of making sure we are able to get those guys more involved. The challenge is you can only play 11 players at once, but we feel very good about that whole group and Bishop is off to another excellent start of training camp. Very instinctive, tough, hard-nosed football player. I love the way he plays.

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