Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - June 9

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference following Wednesday’s OTA practice.

(There are a lot of padded practices early on in training camp again this year. Do you like the tone it sets?)

The training camp schedule is very similar, especially the first three weeks comparing to last year's training camp schedule. The number of padded practices that we had last year to the prior year is all the same. Now, once we get into the preseason games with Cleveland at home and Seattle away, and then we go to a short week at home against Indianapolis on Thursday night. We will then transfer into more of an in-season schedule. But I really like our training camp schedule, the 2-1-2 program. Our environment, in my opinion, is second to none. The new stadium down there with the fans and the night practices, it is a great environment and we look for quality, physical work again this year.

(How do you like the spacing of the preseason games?)

I'd prefer seven days between every game. If it was up to me I would play four on Saturday, but having the first two games, Family Night on a Saturday night and then preseason games No. 1 and 2 both on Saturday, I think it gives you a chance to get through all of your installations and be smart as far as your padded practices and how they fall and so forth. As long as the first two games are seven days apart, I'm fine with it.

(Are you on schedule with all of your installations and work so that you can give guys some time off in camp?)

No, we're not (winking). We have a lot of work to do left. Tomorrow's practice will be important, especially for our young guys, because these last two installations in my opinion are always the toughest of the offseason program because you are building up to all of your different situations. Now that you are into those, you're getting into more specialty defenses and offensive concepts. There is more 'rote learning' as I refer to it, so tomorrow's practice is important, especially for our young players. Then next week's work pretty much mirrors this week's work. Along as we accomplish what we need to accomplish tomorrow and the three OTAs next week, we'll have an opportunity really to go back in our mini-camp and we're going to use our mini-camp as a time to review everything that we have gone through in the offseason program. So I feel like we are on pace. Our attendance has been outstanding this year since March 15, so we have gotten a lot of work done, particularly a lot of individual work. In my view that is the most important aspect of the offseason program.

(Why did Finley sit out today?)

Jermichael Finley did not practice today. He had tendonitis in his knee. Ryan Pickett had a pec strain, so those are the two injuries to report.

(Brandon Underwood has been dealing with a lot of distractions this week. What have you said to him and how do you feel like he is handling the situation?)

I'll just address the activity this past week that we have had as a football team. We talked about it this morning in the team meeting. We discussed the fact that we are in an offseason program and we're in the paper way too much with things other than football. We all have a responsibility and an obligation to represent the Green Bay Packers properly. Every decision we make, both on and off the field, has consequences, and poor judgment was made. With that, the circumstances are what they are. We have dealt with it as a football team and frankly we have moved on.

(Is it a teachable moment and what else do you do to make this is used in a positive way so the other guys learn from it?)

I think every encounter you have, both positive and negative, is a teachable moment. I think you have to take advantage of that, and today was no different. It was an opportunity to go through some things, review some things that they have heard before, and just once again recognize the responsibility that they have to the National Football League and to the Green Bay Packers to make the right decisions, to make the right choices, and to make sure that you do that accordingly, both on and off the field. I think anytime you do that, your team has an opportunity to grow, and I think we will definitely grow from this.

(Is it any more disappointing because just a week ago you singled him out for his strong performance on the field?)

I stand by what I said about Brandon Underwood last week. I think he has had a very good offseason program here at work, and that's the facts. I don't know how much you watched him play today, but I'm sure when I go upstairs and watch the film, the young man is an ascending player. But this isn't all about playing football. There is a lot more to it. The rules of our society dictate that, the rules of the National Football League dictate that, and the more importantly, the rules here in Green Bay dictate that, and it's a lesson that he will learn from.

(When you got here in 2006 you emphasized character a lot, and this really has been a place where there haven't been many off-the-field issues until recently. Do you consider these isolated incidents or a sign that players need a reminder?)

I think they are isolated, and that's the way you deal with them. You deal with everything one day at a time and you make sure that you stay on top of all of the individuals in your program. I think we do a very good job of that here.

(You always talk about the importance of chemistry, and it was pretty clear from some of the comments from the players that were not involved that they were upset about the position Underwood put them in. Do you have to make sure that those guys get past that?)

I'll tell you what we talked about today. I think conflict is good. Everything was put on the table, and I feel confident that the individuals have moved past it. It's hard. No. 1, it's hard for the organization when you see a negative light shined on the Green Bay Packers, and it's very hard on individuals' families when things like that are said about your son or so forth, particularly when they are not true. So that has all been addressed.

(Do you feel good about your one-on-one meeting with Brandon?)

I feel like we've addressed everything. I feel very good about where we are today.

(Have you seen any development from Pat Lee, and if you gained confidence in him that if you needed him to play this year, he's proven himself now?)

Pat Lee, just watching him today, Dom Capers and I were talking about Patrick out on the field today. When Patrick lines up and plays, he's very productive. He's really had the injuries that have held him back. You go back to his opportunities in live action, he's performed every opportunity he's had. He just needs to stay healthy, we're counting on him, particularly in our sub groups, and he's making good progress.

(How comfortable are you and Dom with Morgan Burnett at this point, and how comfortable do you think he is in this system?)

He's learning, he's growing. I do like his assertiveness, particularly in his communication skills, and that's very important at the safety position. Athletically, he's a young man with a bright future. You can just see the athletic ability, both on special teams and defense. He's still learning the defense, and he's doing a good job of that.

(Why are you holding Barnett out?)

Just going through the rehab. Just being smart with him. Dr. McKenzie is particularly cautious at this time of year with all of our players, and it's going to be challenging, too, once we get to training camp and making sure we have enough guys to go. Because we do have a number of injured players coming off of last season going through the offseason program.

(Does he have a new issue with the knee?)

No, just a clean-up.

(He had a procedure?)

Ah, I don't recall. (pause to check notes) Yes he did. He had a knee scope, clean-up.

(Do you know when?)

Postseason. I don't have a date for you.

(You were here in '99 when Flanagan was a player. What kind of coach has he made? Do you see some potential in him?)

Absolutely. I think, No. 1, for the number of games Mike's played and playing the center position and playing in a couple different variations of the same system. He really brings a lot of experience. It's nice to see players get an opportunity to come back and test the coaching ranks and so forth. It's been great to have him back here. You particularly like to help the former Packers, and I think he'd make an excellent coach.

(Do you notice anything different about Scott Wells this year? Does he feel more comfortable now that he has the job back?)

I think Scott, No. 1, is a lot healthier at this time this year, and he's having an excellent offseason program. You can just see it in his lifts, and where his weight is right now compared to past years. Like I tell Scott all the time, when you don't talk to one of your players, that means they're doing a heck of a job. Scott and I haven't talked a whole lot this offseason. I think he's having a great offseason, and more importantly, No. 1, I just think he feels a lot better this year than he has in the past.

{sportsad300}(What do you like about B.J. Raji at the nose position?)

Really, it's good to see B.J. healthy. He was hurt there in training camp, and you could really see the foot quickness. He is rare. Both him and Ryan Pickett, for big guys, have outstanding feet. B.J. now has a better understanding of the defense, and we look for a lot more production out of him this year. He's having a good offseason too.

(What have you seen out of Josh Bell this offseason?)

Steady. He came in late last year, and I think he's starting to get comfortable out there with the secondary and the secondary calls. He had a nice play today on Greg Jennings. He's done a nice job.

(How have the punters looked to you?)

I think we have an excellent competition. I think they're both quality punters, particularly from a talent standpoint. They both have the ability to not only kick the ball with strong legs, but they also manage the football, manage the field very well. I'm very pleased with the competition with both guys so far.

(Either one have a slight advantage right now?)

It's tied.

(Looked like Bryan was doing a lot of punting toward the sideline. Was that by design?)

You'd like to put it on the sideline as much as you can, yeah.

(He seems to do pretty well at that?)

He does very well. He controls the ball very well. He uses the Aussie kick more from long range than I've experienced. He has a couple different kicks. He's a weapon with the different style of kicks that he has.

(What have you seen from Barbre in terms of bouncing back and how does he fit in?)

We've been working Allen exclusively more the left side, both left guard and left tackle. I think he's doing very well at left guard right now. We made the switch last year to right tackle and gave him an opportunity to go over there and compete and win the job. Physically, he may be our most gifted offensive lineman. He's stronger than ever, very athletic. He's really stood out at left guard. I'm excited about some of the things he's done there.

(Do you think Woodson will start practicing once the mini-camp starts?)

Yeah, he's been here. But once again, Charles, he's no spring chicken. So I think it's important to be smart with your older players. He's always done a great job, more of the old-school method of keeping himself in great shape. We know he'll be ready to play.

(Does Driver have an injury?)

He had postseason surgery. We've got him on the rehab list.

(What kind of surgery?)

He had some clean-up in his knees.

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