Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - May 18

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Friday press conference. Coach McCarthy addressed the media in the Don Hutson Center following Friday’s first minicamp practice.


(Is it important for Brett to be here?)

It's important anytime you have the leader and the quarterback of your football team here. And I've said it all along, it's important when our football team gets together that our whole football team is here.

(How is your relationship with Brett right now?)

It's fine, same as it always was. It's fine.

(Is the tight end position wide open?)

We're creating competition at all of our positions, no different there. No jobs are going to be won this weekend. The biggest thing is to give everybody plenty of work and just get as much information on all of our players.

(Do you have any comment on that rule keeping Brandon Jackson from being here this weekend?)

I have no comment.

(Is he technically excused from this?)

I guess you could say he's excused, yes.

(Did you say anything to Brett to convince him to come?)

Once again, Brett Favre, as far as his schedule for the spring, I talked about it yesterday to the media, we set his schedule for the spring. We have discussed the pros and cons of being 37, going to minicamps and training camps, but my understanding all along is he was coming to the minicamp and frankly I think this week of activity, it grew rather larger than it needed to be. I didn't like the way I said that, but ...

(What does it mean to have him here?)

It's great to have him here. It's always great to have all your players here. Once again, he's the quarterback of our football team. I wish I had something really great to say, a great statement that you guys could quit asking me these questions, but I don't have that for you. So it's great that he's here, it's great that all of our players are here. Once again, he's the leader of our football team, he's the quarterback of our football team. We want to take a step this weekend as a football team. I'm very pleased with the practice, what we were able to accomplish this morning in the meetings. Very pleased with the work today.

(How much does it hurt Brandon to not be here?)

You'd like him to be here, I think that's obvious. But everything he participated in the rookie minicamp is being repeated today. He was also here during the course of the week, so he really had the second opportunity to go through that. This would have been his third. But we will pick up next week, or the week following next week when we get back from Memorial Day, and we will repeat this whole process, so I think he'll be fine.

(What happened to Kabeer and Spitz?)

Kabeer took a shot on the thigh, I don't know the extent of it. And Spitz had a tweak in his back.

(Where is the improvement going to have to come on offense?)

You watch where the improvement's going to come from, it's going to come from our football team. We went through all the pros that we accomplished during this past season, we went through the lows that we need to improve on, and we presented the plan on how we're going to improve on them. And the first step toward that was today's practice.

(What kind of things, generally speaking, are included in that plan?)

There's nothing really general about it. It's one of those questions that are asked a lot. If it was one thing, we would have changed it already. It's just a combination, a better understanding of the scheme, maybe doing a little more with the scheme, better execution, things like that.

(Do you have any worries Brett's not over the frustration he expressed?)

No. No I don't. Not at all.

(What makes you say that?)

Our conversations with him during the process. I talk to him regularly when he's down there in Mississippi, and the conversations we had today. It's a non-issue.

(In some sense there's an implied criticism you need a playmaker. Does he have any fences to mend with his teammates?)

It's a non-issue in my view.

(How did Jennings look? Kind of looked like he jumped out.)

Once again, Greg's been here working. He's looked good through the whole offseason, he's healthy. He's back. Like we talked about at the close of the season, the Chicago game was really the first time he had been healthy since he was injured in the Miami game, so I think you're going to see an improved Greg Jennings. He's more mature, he's stronger, you can see that in his body. I thought he had a nice day today.

(Did you plan to use Aaron as much as he practiced today?)

It was clearly a medical decision. Actually Brett and Aaron were really in the same classification. They were limited. We just protected them in the 11-on-11 drills just because of where they are as far as in the final stages of rehab.

(How did it look to you, where Aaron is?)

I think Aaron looks great. We do the body scans every six weeks, he's had a lot of progress he's made in the offseason program and in the conditioning. I think his arm looks stronger than ever. I think he looks very good.

(Is Aaron close to the body fat percentage you'd like him to be at?)

He's close.

(What is the status of Aaron Kampman and Robert Ferguson?)

Same - they're limited and in the final stages of their rehab. I'd anticipate Robert being ready for OTAs, and it may not be until training camp with Aaron.

(Did you watch Frank Walker and Will Blackmon?)

Well, really I watched the DBs primarily in the seven-on-seven. Once again, they've both been here through the offseason program. Will Blackmon is another individual who has had an excellent offseason. Just the shape that he's in, he's injury-free now, and I think you're seeing a lot more confident Will Blackmon. We're expecting him to compete for a position.

(And Morency?)

Yeah, same deal. I sound like a broken record - I know that. But we've had an outstanding offseason program, Mo has been here the whole time, and I think it reflected today. I thought he had a nice day also.

{sportsad300}(Why did you have a better offseason program this year?)

I think it's number one, the improved attendance; number two - the maturity of our football team. We are obviously young, and you're seeing the individuals, particularly those in the second year, going through it. Most importantly they are getting used to what's asked of them. It's a different schedule. When we stood here this time last year, everything that was presented to them was different from what veterans had gone through in the past. Now we're over that hurdle, so the expectations, what's asked of them, I think it's a combination of all those things.

(Are you feeling more comfortable in your second time around?)

Frankly, I'll be honest with you, this is the easy part: coming out on the field. This is what you look forward to, especially after this week. This is what we all enjoy. This is what a coaching staff goes through since the season is over in February and March. You plan for your first minicamp, plan for your OTAs, so frankly this is what it's all about.

(As a coach, when you hear Brett Favre say things like that do you just cringe?)

I'm just glad the firestorm is over. I'm glad to put away the hose, and I can say that as a fireman's son. We're all adults. I talk to him on a regular basis, and there is nothing that has gone on that him and I haven't talked about. I'm just glad the course it's taken is finally over.

(Are the snaps valuable even when a quarterback struggles?)

Absolutely. They're all good reps. Anytime you make a mistake, you obviously don't want to make it again. Once again, as a quarterback developing in the NFL, anytime you get in 11-on-11 reps, they're critical. All the footwork drills, all the seven-on-seven drills, all the things you do on air or just with the perimeter, it's a whole different world when you have bodies all around you. So yes, they're very important to his development.

(What do you like about Paul Thompson?)

This is my first exposure to him. He's very athletic, everything our scouts said about him. I thought he did a nice job picking up the terminology in the short time he's been here. I'm looking forward to working with him.

(Is Desmond Bishop not here?)

Cal-Berkeley is on the quarters program so he will be here tomorrow.

(What did you see from Charles Woodson today?)

Charles looks good. He's a veteran, one of our premier players. Just to get him in here and to go through the adjustments in the offseason; his medical reports were excellent, I was happy to see that, and it just tells you what he's been doing since the season ended.

(What did you see out of Rayner and Ryan last year and how will they respond to the challenge?)

I thought they did a nice job. We need to improve in the area of both the punting and kicking. We need to be more consistent in the punting and need to get out percentage up in the field goal. That's something we addressed in our overall meeting of the team goals for the upcoming year. But with that, competition is good and the competition in both situations is something we'll all be watching closely throughout the training camp, and I think it will be healthy for our football team.

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