Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 1

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-practice press conference Saturday from Nitschke Field.

(How did you like practicing on the new field?)

Nitschke Field, it's obviously a great facility. I can't say enough about the Packer organization, so fan friendly. It's a little safer off of Oneida Street for everybody, but the players love it. The coaches, we were down here last week getting ready for it, so we're just excited to get out here on this new surface and get going. It's a great facility.

(You were doing some mixing and matching with Wells, Spitz, and Sitton. Is that pretty much wide open at center and right guard?)

There is definitely competition going on in the interior of our line, and really all the way through. We're trying to find the best five and work all the different combinations that are needed. We'd like to make a decision earlier in training camp than past years, but time will answer those questions.

(Practice was about two and a half hours; did you plan to go that long?)

Well, we were actually nine minutes early today so the pace of practice was good. I thought the structure of the practice was good. We're off to a good start, but it's like training camp (with) a lot of timing and rhythm issues and footwork and so forth. It's day one and we've got a lot of work to do.

(How concerned are you with B.J. Raji not being here for the first practice?)

B.J. is a young player. It's always important for all of your players to be here, particularly the young ones. Business sometimes gets in the way of football. That's part of the National Football League. That's just the way it goes sometimes.

(How rusty is Wells after missing the entire offseason?)

I had a chance to just watch Scott early. I tried to watch the injured players that were coming back early, but he looks like he is off to a good start. He looks like he is in great shape. The trainers and the strength and conditioning staff were real impressed with what he has done just the last couple of months. I look for Scott to come back at full strength.

(Same question for Jenkins)

Yeah, he was in our backfield a bunch on offense, so Cullen doesn't look like he has missed a beat. It's good to have him back. He looked good today.

(How did the defense function today?)

I thought the organization of practice on both sides of the ball was good. Defense, we had the one substitution error on the seven-on-seven, but I thought the function with Dom and Winston, the boundary interaction with the substitution because we gave them a lot of sub offense on first and second down, so I thought the mechanics of it was very good. That's really a tribute to the players and the coaches, what we got done in the offseason program.

(Any extra adrenaline for you today?)

Oh, absolutely. You don't sleep very good. I hardly slept last night. I was just excited to get down here and get going. Training camp is always fun. You have all of your administrative topics that you go through the day before, but it was great to just get started on the football aspect of it, no doubt.

(Overall, were you happy with today's practice?)

It's OK. I thought it was OK. I have a lot of notes. That's probably not a good sign, and we'll watch the film and we'll make the corrections.

(Did any of the rookies jump out for you?)

Nothing really jumped out at me. The biggest thing with the rookies is you get to see them in the spring, you see their athletic ability. I thought we had guys on the ground too much today. That's not a good sign, but it is normal in training camp. I thought our rookie class, they looked good in pads. It is an adjustment for them. You can see some guys, it's not that their conditioning isn't in order, but it's a lot different when you get to this level. Just going through it the first time, there are a number of them that will have to adjust to that.

(How did Jeremy Thompson look?)

I didn't watch Jeremy a whole lot individually today, but that's something I could probably better answer after watching the film.

(How did Chad Clifton look?)

Yeah, I watched Chad today. I think his conditioning, for what he has been through with the four operations, I like the way he is coming back. He is like the rest of our guys. He needs to go through training camp, a little rusty.

(Is right tackle Allen Barbre's spot to lose or is that too strong?)

You would definitely say he is ahead right now, but I thought Breno, just watching him in the one-on-ones and the times that he was in there, he looks like he is coming back off his injuries. And Tony Moll is definitely going to apply competition too. Depth charts on the first day of training camp are sometimes not necessary in my opinion, so we'll see what happens.

(Will Lang get some reps too?)

Potentially, yes.

(You have an off day on Wednesday. Does that say how camp is different where guys needed camp to get into shape and now it is a 12-month job?)

Definitely. I just think the whole structure is different than the old days. You hear Ted Thompson and the older players talk about training camps starting before July 4 and six preseason games. The times are different. When you have your football team here pretty much, I think we had 96, 97 percent of our football team here since March, so the amount of work that we were able to get done and the strength and conditioning aspect, schematically putting everything in, it's now time to get the padded work done and fundamentals, but we're just being smart with the conditioning and the health of our players.

(Does that eliminate the need for as many two-a-days?)

I am of that opinion. I don't know if that's what everybody feels. I think it's important, I like the teaching aspect of our schedule. We are not in a 2-1-2 schedule just so we can be off on Wednesdays. That's not really, that's part of it. But I think it's important to teach, then have an opportunity to eat, and then play. And then correct, teach, eat and then perform. It's very important. I didn't like the old schedule when I was an assistant coach because I felt you never really got to watch all the video. There's so many good situations that are created because of the competitiveness between the offense and defense out there. The offensive players have already put their plays in the spring, and the defensive players know it's coming and they can probably time it up by the installations. So there's problems that the defense can really generate for the offense, and you learn from it, and it goes the same way the other way. The offense can create problems for your defense. There's so much good learning from training camp film, and it's important to get through that film. So this gives us the opportunity to cover everything, every practice is looked at, every practice is prepared for. And when you go back-to-back practices and then have a meeting following it, it's hard to get that done from a time management standpoint.

{sportsad300}(How long do you look at the film after each practice?)

How long? Never timed it. I'm trying to think here. The staff, probably about an hour and a half. The staff will grab their plate of dinner and go right to the film room, and we'll watch it. Then the players, we'll go special teams and the quarterbacks at 7 o'clock, and we'll go from there. We have to have it done by 7 o'clock to answer your question.

(Is the punting battle wide open?)

Absolutely. Wide open.

(Last year you had just one punter in camp. How different is it with two?)

It's a position open on our football team, and we've got two young candidates without a lot of experience. That's where we are. It's different from the fact obviously the reps and splitting them up, it's a wide open competition.

(If a cell phone going off is a $1,701 fine, how much is it for using Twitter?)

That's part of the cell phone.

(What is the reason behind the Twitter policy for players?)

I'm supposed to flip out when a cell phone goes off in this setting, but we don't work for the same company. It's disrespectful. You don't pull out your cell phone and start talking in the middle of a meeting, and to me, Twitter, texting, and all the different things you can do on the cell phone fall in the same category.

(What does an undrafted player like Tyrell Sutton have to overcome?)

He's got to fight for his reps. He's got to fight for everything. It's only natural that the drafted player initially gets probably more opportunity. He missed the time early because of finishing his schoolwork, but he definitely has a big spring in his step. You can see why he was such a productive player in college. But he's just got to keep taking full advantage of his opportunities.

(Would you like to fully push Harrell in camp to make sure he can hold up?)

Fully test him? He's full-go. He's out there in the padded work. We're keeping an eye on all our players, especially the ones that are coming off of injures. But he's a full-go participant.

(How did Aaron Rodgers look today?)

I thought he did OK. I thought he had a solid day. I thought he was put in some tough spots with the protection part of it wasn't as clean. We probably had some plays the defense was, a better defense was called, where he was overloaded. The timing, without seeing the film, I thought it was OK. There's times we were in sync and there's times when we weren't. I think it was pretty much a normal first day of training camp.

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