(What's wrong with Justin Harrell?)
Justin Harrell missed practice today. He's having back spasms. He's just fighting through it, we're treating him, and it's a little bit of a setback for him.
(Is this related to his previous back injury?)
(How concerned are you that this might linger on?)
On a personal note, it's unfortunate. Justin, he's had a tough road dealing with his injuries, but he's doing everything and more that we're asking of him, and it's part of the game. It's something that as a coach you can't control, and it's really, on an individual basis, you get these guys the best care that you can, but you also, you have to be on top of the rest of your football team and how it affects that. That's part of training camp that every coach goes through.
(Physically in the offseason did he do everything you asked as far as being in shape?)
His offseason was one of actually still going through the rehab part of it too. He wasn't 100 percent going through the whole offseason program. His commitment was definitely what we were looking for. He's definitely in line with our football team, and I was fine with the quality of work that he was able to get done over the offseason.
(Are you concerned with Aaron Kampman having to take so many reps because of the injury situation? Is there a risk there?)
That was really the point I was trying to make with Justin Harrell. Every day you have the meetings with the training staff, with the doctors, and they identify the injuries, the care for the injured players. There's a difference between being hurt and injured, and I think our staff does a very good job of determining the difference. We take great care of those players, but really, the focus for the coaching staff is on the healthy players, because that's where the effect truly comes in your practice structure. We try to be smart with the players when we are short, like we are at the outside linebacker position. The running back position is a little challenged right now too. It's all part of how we exercise these guys within their individual drills. It's important for us to get the work done as a team, but we just try to be smart with the amount of work, because you don't want to stress out the healthy guys.
(Are you dealing with more injuries at this time in camp compared to previous years?)
We crunched the numbers prior to the scrimmage Saturday night, and this is probably about middle of the road. I think the one year we had 14 players that were being held from the game. This year was 12, and the year before I think it was 10. This is about normal.
(Has Finley made the strides you wanted him to make in his second year?)
No doubt, I think Jermichael Finley is a young man that will have the opportunity to have an impact on offense. Also Shawn Slocum has been very excited about him as a special teams player. That was really his first opportunity to get on the field and contribute. He's a young man that has really taken advantage of the offseason, a lot of one-on-one coaching with Ben McAdoo. He has an excellent understanding of really all three tight end positions, and we look for him to make an impact this year.
(Is there a timetable for getting Clay Matthews back?)
Really we are doing testing on a number of the players, and Clay is one of them. Hopefully we'll have some more information today when I meet with Dr. McKenzie. He was day-to-day but it may be a couple of days based on this next medical conversation so we'll see what happens.
(Are you going to test Nick Barnett today?)
I'll have a conversation with Pat McKenzie today at 4:30.
(Was this a bounce-back day for Mason Crosby after what he went through yesterday?)
I was pleased with Mason's work today. I think Mason is really striking the ball very well through camp. There are always some things that you are always working on, the technical aspect, whether you are throwing it, kicking it, or catching it. But if you look at his rhythm and the way he is striking the football, I am pleased with that. Now some of the things with the operation and the way the ball moves to the right sometimes, those are all fundamental things that every skill position has and we'll continue to work through that. I'm very comfortable with Mason.
(With this receiving corps established, what have you seen from those veterans?)
I expect a lot out of our receiving corps, just being on the offensive side primarily when we get into the meeting structure. I have an opportunity to meet with the quarterbacks and the receivers a lot. It's an excellent group that has some history together. I think you are going to see a more comfortable group as far as receivers and the quarterback because they will have a year under their belt going through an offseason and training camp. But we expect big things out of them. We need to improve on yards after the catch. That's the one area that we felt we dropped off last year. It's definitely a group that will challenge to be the best in the National Football League.