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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - June 3

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference following Wednesday’s OTA workout on Clarke Hinkle Field.

(Now that you have been through five practices, can you see a difference in the way the defense is operating?)

We've had five practices, and then both offensively and defensively you are installing every day. You really don't get a true gauge of where you are when you are involved in installation practices, just to be honest with you. There are going to be days where the offense's installation probably gives them a little advantage and there are days where the defense's may give them a little advantage. But I like what I see on both sides of the ball. I really like the way our players have picked up the system defensively. I like the coaching that is going on. I had an opportunity to spend more time observing the drill work because we have some new coaches on defense, we have new coaches on special teams. The offseason program and OTAs is as much about scheme development, but it's also about making sure your practice environment is in tune. I think the defense is off to a very good start.

(Aaron Kampman made some nice plays in coverage today. Are you seeing a step forward from him every day?)

Aaron Kampman's performance so far has been very positive. I think he has really fit in very well. I think he attacked the new defense just like you think Aaron would. He spent a lot of individual time with Kevin Greene over the last three months. You could see he has a complete understanding so far of the installs that we have put in there, and I think when you do reach that point as a player, regardless of what position, it gives you the ability to play faster. I think he has done a very nice job. It's always nice to see someone add a little more variety to their game. He has always been an excellent pass rusher, an excellent player against the run, and has done a good job in the coverage. I think he'll only improve.

(Is it nice to have Donald Driver back?)

Oh, it was good to see Donald. Donald looks great. He keeps himself in great shape with his workouts down there in Dallas. He looks great, great smile as always, and looked like he had a good day today.

(Is it good to have Nick Barnett back and what is the plan with him?)

Nick Barnett, he has been here pretty much almost full-time since March and he is making progress with his rehab. We'll probably be cautious with Nick throughout the OTAs and mini-camp and make sure he is ready for training camp. That's the plan. He is ahead of schedule based on the rehab with our training staff, but he looks like he is improving. His hair is getting longer. It's going OK.

(Will you be installing through mini-camp or just OTAs?)

Frankly we're going to take the OTAs, last week we installed two days, reviewed the third day. This week we installed third down and red zone and we'll review tomorrow. We'll do the same thing next week and also the fourth week. Frankly mini-camp will be a review of everything we did in the offseason program because with the new defense, new things on special teams, I want to make sure those two sides of the ball have an opportunity to review everything thoroughly before we move on to training camp.

(Atari Bigby will moving to a very important role; do you think he is ready to take that next step?)

I don't think any of our players are quite ready to go play a game. That's why we are here working in the spring. Atari has been here throughout the offseason program. He has met a lot individually with Darren Perry. He is still fighting through his rehab. He looks really good if you went inside and watched him go through rehab workouts. Physically I don't think he'll have any setbacks. I look for him to be the old Atari and he seems to be picking up the scheme smoothly. But he needs to get out there and get the reps.

(Ryan Grant had the vast majority of the carries last year. Do you see that being the same this year or will some of the other backs get the ball more?)

He is the primary runner, so that's part of his job responsibility. But I think there's a lot of competition. I think Brandon Jackson did a lot of positive things for us last year with his opportunities. DeShawn Wynn jumped on the scene, had some production. Really, the way the season goes has as much to do with that as really the planning. You always plan to utilize all your players. Lumpkin is definitely a guy, he's making some noise, and I think everybody will be excited once the preseason games start to see him healthy and ready to go. To sit here in June and tell you the percentage of the carries of our running backs I don't think would be realistic. Ryan, there are some things he can do better and we're working on those things throughout the spring. He's done a great job. He's been a full-time member of the offseason program.

{sportsad300}(Is Clay Matthews any closer to getting back on the field?)

Not this week. We'll see how he is next week.

(Can you talk about Allen Barbre's transition from guard to tackle?)

I think Allen is someone that's probably built best for right tackle as far as his skill set. We've had an opportunity to watch him at guard. He's definitely athletic enough to play on the left side as far as we view our responsibilities of left to right positions on the offensive line. But he's been primarily working the left side, so to make the switch to right tackle has been adjustment. To work against Aaron Kampman every day is great work for him. I think he'll do an excellent job in the run blocking, and it looks like he's making the transition in pass protection.

(What kind of strides have Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm made?)

I would think to everybody watching practice today you can clearly see how much faster both young guys are playing. That's a product of going through the quarterback school, learning the offense inside and out, and having a complete understanding, OK, now I understand why we're doing it that way instead of just trying to memorize what I have to do on this particular play so I can run the play. I think both guys are playing a lot faster, and definitely Brian and Matt have taken advantage of their opportunities. Reps for the quarterback are just so hard to get. We're trying to give Aaron his work, but we're balancing out the reps between those two guys throughout the offseason. I think Brian is now comfortable with what we're asking him to do. I think he's doing a better job in the movement part of it, and he looks like he's definitely playing faster so far.

(With Tyrell Sutton and Brandon Underwood absent due to school, how much does that hurt them and what do you do so they don't fall too far behind?)

It's tough when you have players that fall into that category. I've had them throughout my whole career. When I was with the Saints, I think we drafted someone from Ohio State three years in a row, and they fall into that category. We're just going to try to catch them up the best we can when they get here.

(Do you send them DVDs of practice?)

We'll catch them up the best we can when they get here.

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