Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - June 14

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference on Thursday. Coach McCarthy addressed the media following OTA practice.

(What is the status of Blackmon?)

He's injured. He has a groin right now.

(Is it serious?)

No, I don't think so. I'm hoping he'll be ready ... hopefully next week he can get some work, but I don't think it can go much longer than that.

(He's been out for about a week?)

Yeah, it's been about six days.

(Your thoughts on Charles Woodson being here?)

I think it's great anytime your younger players can get the work that's needed with your veteran players. I was very happy to see him, very pleased with the shape he's in. He's ready to go. He's further ahead than he was at this time last year. So we had a good week of work with Charles.

(Was he here all week?)


(How did Favre do?)

Nine of the 12. He went through nine of the 12 OTAs.

(It sounds like he has a shoulder problem. Is he done now?)

Yes. Today was his last day. He missed the last two practices because of his shoulder.

(So he won't get to the nine?)

He participated in nine of the days. Seven of the nine practices. I didn't play him for the shoulder tightness.

(What did you see from him and where's he at?)

I would say conditioning-wise, he's probably a little further ahead than last year. I thought he was in good shape last year too, even this time of year when he came into camp. The biggest thing we get out of Brett being here number one is to be around the younger guys, to do the adjustments we've made to our scheme, getting ready for the season. And frankly, particularly, I was late for practice today because I was with Brett going back through some of the red zone and third-down adjustments we've made, just finalizing that and making sure we're on the same page. Because I think anytime you get into the format we've operated in, trying to put everything in throughout the spring, you're always looking to eliminate and fine-tune it as you move forward to training camp. That's really what the process was this week that we went through.

(Is the shoulder a big deal?)

No, I don't think so. Pat McKenzie is not concerned about it, so I'm not concerned about it.

(He talked about doing more on the run. Is the ankle still a work in progress?)

Brett's ankle to me does not factor at all as far as how we're going to move forward. You're always critical of yourself of a number of things, but I could have probably moved him a little more last year than I did. I had concerns why I didn't, and that's irrelevant now, so that's something we may look to do more in the future. But as far as his ankle, I think he's fine. I know he had some soreness earlier in the OTAs, but I don't see it being a problem come training camp, come the season.

(When you did do things on the run with him, did you notice a difference compared to earlier in his career?)

I think he's still a very effective player when he is on the move. And frankly, the people that know him fairly well, the people who have competed against him from a defensive standpoint, a number of them play with a wider end, rush the ends up the field, try to take that away from him. So for a quarterback that's as old as Brett is and they're running the ends up the field, I think that speaks of his ability to play on the move.

(What do you call that in your offense? They used to be called keep passes.)

They're quarterback movements, that's the category they fall into. We have keeps, rolls, sprints, speeds. We have four or five different variations of quarterback movements.

(Do you see yourself using those more?)

That's something we're looking at.

(Are you satisfied with the improvements the team has made in the offseason program?)

I can only judge from my experience with our football team last year. Individually, I've been very impressed with the improvement a number of our players have made in all aspects, in the weight room, in the classroom and now, more specifically out here on the practice field the last three weeks. So I'm very pleased with the individual improvement, I've said that all along. And I think clearly, everybody here has been to practice, comparing last year to this year, we're way further ahead at this time this year than we were last year. So yeah, I've been very pleased with the offseason.

(What's the matter with Jennings?)

Hip flexor. He has a hip flexor.

(How about Driver, Barnett and Harris?)

There were a couple veterans today that were actually here but they had to leave town. Nick just did not practice today. And Al had something he had to leave last night.

(Do any of the running backs excel more at being split out in the passing game?)

I feel we do. I think Noah Herron has shown that he can do that. I think Vernand Morency in his opportunities he had last year has shown he has that ability. And I think our younger guys we're learning more and more about each day. So I definitely feel they have that ability.

(Would you like to see somebody grab that position in training camp?)

You'd always like to see someone jump up and grab a position, because I think when that happens, obviously productivity increases. But once again, you want as much competition, it's a long season, God forbid injuries are part of our game. So I'm very comfortable if it takes three, if it takes two, if it takes one. That doesn't bother me at all. That's the job of the coaching staff, to take advantage of the personnel.

(How do you feel about the overall team depth?)

I feel very good about the depth. It's going to be a very competitive training camp. This time of year is important, but we are in shorts and T-shirts and helmets. It's a time to learn, it's a time to work together and move forward. We have accomplished that. But the real football starts at the end of July when we go into training camp, and I think it will be very competitive.

(Do you have goals for Favre this year?)

The most obvious with Brett is you have tremendous history to work with. Simply, his goal as a quarterback is you'd like to see him have his best year statistically that he's had, and that's obviously a challenge. That's the way I've always viewed the quarterback position when I coached it, and that's the way we'll view it with Brett. So we'll challenge him to have the best season of his career. Because physically I think he's fully still capable of playing at an extremely high level, and he has an experience level that's second-to-none.

{sportsad300}(What did you think of Rodgers' throws at the end of practice?)

I thought he was solid today. He missed a couple throws that were there, that he clearly was capable of making. I think it was more anticipation on the one to the right he had to Robert, and the one over to the left to Ruvell. I think he had a solid day today. I think when he practiced yesterday, he had a very good start, and it wasn't his best finish. But this is exactly what Aaron needs. He needs reps. He's had a good spring.

(Has Ferguson been working all week?)

I think so, yeah. He's fine there. He's sore like a lot of the guys coming back from the injuries. Our whole football team, we had four very good practices as far as the tempo, the execution level, the competitiveness was higher than it probably needed to be at times. But we had an excellent week of work, so I'm sure there's some sore bodies in there today.

(Before you send the guys off on their own, do you tell them anything regarding the personal conduct policy?)

I think that's always an ongoing message. Anytime you have an opportunity to learn as a football team, regardless of the issue, and with the personal conduct policy being a hot topic right now, there's been a number of opportunities to make examples of what to do and what not to do. That's a continuing message and I don't feel like I need to have a big team meeting one more time to emphasize it. But to me that's a constant message that we're preaching to our players.

(How do you balance getting them to rest before training camp but also stay in shape?)

I really think that comes into play when you set the schedule for the whole offseason, frankly, and I'll actually go back through the whole schedule again Monday in the team meeting of what exactly we're going to do between now and training camp and so forth. You have different phases of the offseason. We've laid them out in detail, what the targets are we needed to accomplish, and we've hit our targets and we'll convene Monday and address that again. Really from now to training camp, what they've accomplished up to this point, they need to maintain or even progress further in some individuals' cases. It's also time to step away into their personal life more, because once training camp hits, it's not a normal lifestyle for training camp and the season that follows.

(What contributed to Kevin Barry getting cut?)

Well, number one, the numbers. We were obviously high there as far as our numbers going into camp. And Kevin was coming back. But to say he wasn't a fit or he was a fit, frankly I didn't have enough information because he really didn't participate very much in the time that he was healthy. In my view it was more of the time on his clock ran out here. He was a player that did some positive things, but when you talk about offensive line, and when people talk about being a third tight end, I wasn't looking for another tight end. We were looking for offensive linemen that particularly can play multiple positions, and really his opportunity just did not happen because of his injury situation.

(Who's your backup left tackle right now?)

If we played a game today, Daryn Colledge. I would probably move Daryn out there.

(Are you hoping to develop someone else there?)

I'm hoping to develop a bunch of them. You never have enough left tackles. That will take care of itself in its place and time. I think Daryn is definitely a guy that has proven he can play there, on short notice like he did in Miami. Orrin has done a nice job. He'll have an opportunity. Tony Moll is a guy that I think if we had to, we could move him over there. We've talked about this before, and I think it's important, particularly with young linemen, and we have a number of them, is to get them established in one position, or left side or right side. We've had to move a number of our young players around last year, and I'm hoping to get away from that as much as I can in the future. Versatility is important, but I think when particularly linemen in the earlier stages, the more you can keep them in one position, I think they will progress quicker.

(Is Barbre primarily a guard?)

As we start today, he's primarily a guard. But he definitely has left tackle or tackle ability. He has shown that since he's been here.

(How has Korey Hall done with his transition?)

I think Korey is doing very well with the transition. Once again, he played defense, and now he's playing offense. So I think the terminology, the language part of it, was totally new to him. So I think he's definitely gotten over that hurdle. The specifics of technique and what he needs to do is going to show up in training camp, but he's picked it up extremely fast. How long it takes, I think every case on an individual basis is different. But I think he's progressed very nicely.

(Is that position getting more competitive or has Brandon established himself there?)

I think that will be a very competitive situation, because we really don't know enough about the young guys. We do have history with Brandon, I thought he played at a solid level for us last year, and he has the opportunity to improve. He's gotten a lot stronger. He's had a very good offseason, so we're looking for him to be an improved player for us. I think these young guys are going to make it very interesting. Because the other factor involved specifically with Korey Hall is special teams. He was an extraordinary special teams player in college, and we're counting on him to make an impact on our special teams here in Green Bay.

(Can you tell what you have on special teams?)

Well, one thing about special teams I felt we accomplished this last year was the body type we were looking for. I think we have the size, the combination of size, speed and athletic ability you're looking for, and that's something you're always striving for as far as personnel matchups. So I think we've definitely improved in that area. The understanding schematically, we're very much-improved there. I thought we started the season very slow, tentative to a point. We've talked about the youth of our football team, I thought it was highlighted in our special teams, the inexperience specifically in some of the areas. So from that part of it, I think we've had a lot of improvement, so I'm excited about that. And once again, special teams is a big part of it, just part of our game period, is mindset, attitude, approach, and that's something I think we'll see taken to the next level when we get to preseason.

(Are you spending more time on special teams?)

A little more. I treat it just like I do offense and defense. I make sure Mike has his 30 minutes every day to meet and he has his three periods during practice. You can't balance it with offense and defense, but we make sure he has the appropriate time to get everything taught, has the fundamentals, time for fundamentals, to get that taught, in situations. Everything I do from a practice environment the focus is on fundamentals and situations. That's prominent in everything we do, and I make sure Mike has the time to get that done.

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