Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - May 2

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference following the first rookie orientation workout Friday at the Don Hutson Center.

(Rookies say the speed of the game is the biggest adjustment. Is that a mental thing?)

I think it's both physical and mental. Everybody can run at this level, so that's the first thing, I would classify that as physical. And the second part of it is the anticipation. If you look at the quarterback position just playing against our defense, they won all the bump-and-run. It's a challenge, but it prepares them in my opinion so much better when you play zone teams and things like that. But I think it's clearly a mental and physical adjustment.

(Why do you like this format, to bring the rookies in first?)

I think it falls under the area of time management. In my experience, when you go through all the administrative things you need to, it's usually the first night of training camp, and 90 percent of your football team has already been here. So what happens is the pace of all the little things that are important, it's rapid, and the key guys that don't get it are the new guys. So I think it's important, and that's why we call it an orientation. We pretty much split our day today between all the administrative aspects of a professional football player, the adjustments make coming from college football, and then we spent the afternoon on football. We're fortunate enough to get this group back May 16, and then we'll have plenty of time to get them ready for training camp. But it's just the ability to take all the administrative responsibilities, spend the time that's needed, make sure these guys get adjusted to a new city and all the things that's expected from them, and then when we come back in training camp with our veterans, we get right into football.

(Can you give us some examples of those administrative things?)

Just to break it down, when you play professional football, they have professional responsibilities and personal responsibilities. Just how we expect to conduct themselves professionally as a Green Bay Packer on the football end of it, what we expect in the classroom environment, the practice environment, what's expected in the weight room. Then you go to affiliations of their job in professional football, their responsibilities of dealing with the media, community relations, security. So it's just an opportunity for all the departments to come down, spend 15-20 minutes to present their expectations for the players, as opposed to running through it in 3-5 minutes the night before training camp. It's all the different aspects that these players are touched with when they make the adjustment from college football to professional football.

(How did the draft picks look? Did they come in as advertised?)

We're happy with our draft picks. We're really happy with everyone that's here. There's a lot of good looking players both in the free agent and the tryout category. This to me is not a time to evaluate performance, it's an education. It's an excellent learning experience and an excellent learning environment of what's expected on the field, off the field, and I'm very happy with the group we have.

(What did you think of your rookie QBs?)

You could see they both have a lot of experience, just the way they step into the huddle. Their huddle command was very good. I'm pleased with that. There's a number of fundamental things they've been asked to do that we'll adjust here. They seem to be very coachable. The timing and all those things will come. They're throwing to new faces, they're throwing to new faces with different timing and things like that, so I really don't get into evaluating these guys until we get further into the OTAs. But I thought it was a very good learning experience from today.

(How would you feel if you went into the regular season opener with two rookies behind Aaron?)

Well, there's a good opportunity that could happen. We have a lot of work to do. It's not just at the quarterback position, but we have a lot of work to do at the football team. That's a big part of it, and we'll have them ready to play. That's our job.

(It wouldn't bother you? You've been around rookie quarterbacks enough to know when they're ready to play or not ...)

I don't view it that way. I look at what's ahead. I look at the time frame that I have to get any rookie to play, and the quarterback position is clearly the one that's most challenging because of what they're asked to do as far as their responsibility, and I think we have the time to get that done. I think these guys have the right mental makeup to accomplish that. From what we're told, they have excellent work ethic, and it's something we'll be prepared to do if we need to.

(Justin Beaver is a longshot, but what did you think of him, and what does he have to do to be able to come back in July?)

He's quick as a hiccup, as they explained, or as advertised. I thought he did a nice job. He plays with both excellent pace and tempo. He's got an excellent spirit just the little that I've seen. But that's something that actually as a staff we'll sit down Sunday and we'll have an opportunity to sit down and watch all the film and we'll make some adjustments there. With the 80-man roster and even going down to 53, we're going to have some good football players that we may not be able to bring back.

(How do you like the way your tight end group looks, as a whole?)

Donald Lee and Tory Humphrey are both having very good offseasons. Donald is coming off an excellent season himself, and I'm very very happy with Jermichael and the two other young guys. It's a group that I think we've done a very good job of tailoring the athlete to what we're asking them to do. We've made some adjustments in the tight end position as far as what their primary and secondary responsibilities are. We've gone to more of a pure athletic tight end and I think we have a good group to work with.

(How about Nelson? Did you like what you saw today?)

Really liked the way he moves, and I'll tell you, I thought he did an excellent job on the go route, the way he stacked the receiver. You could see the patience that he has with the ball in the air. He's an accomplished route-runner, just the little I've seen. I'm glad he's on our team.

(Do you already see some things he'll have to work on, have to change?)

It's too early for that.

(Do you expect to do much changing with the quarterbacks' fundamentals, their steps and feet, between now and training camp?)

Absolutely, and that's normal. That's something that's happened with every quarterback I've ever coached, and I'm sure Tom Clements would tell you the same thing. There's different ways to skin a cat, there's different ways to teach footwork. We have a certain way that we teach it here. It's been extremely successful over the years, and these guys will be coached the same way.

(Did you make them do that this practice, or just this weekend do you want them doing it how they've done it?)

We did some of it. We didn't really have the time to get into the footwork part of it in the classroom, but we did some footwork drills out here today, and we'll continue to do so.

{sportsad300}(Is that something they can get done before training camp?)

To me, footwork is part of their skill set that they'll work on the rest of their career. It's something that you're always trying to obtain, and once you do, now it's a matter of keeping it sharp. That will be a daily exercise, just like it's always been since my time here.

(Finley and Lee are two rookies who might contribute right away. Do you put more on their plate, or is everyone handled equally that way?)

Well, I think it's more of a progression in teaching them. They'll be taught their assignments as far as their position, but I think the opportunities for any young player usually come through special teams. So they'll be given opportunities in that area there. I would say to answer your question, they probably won't be treated any differently, but it's just the progression of how they're taught and the opportunities that will come to them first, we just have to get them ready for that.

(How come Favre's locker is still in tact?)

Who do you want me to put in there?

(Isn't it just a locker?)

I think it's more than a locker, and there's some plans for the locker that will be addressed in the future. But there's nothing else to it. I wouldn't want his locker, especially after his hygiene, my goodness. It's a locker of a very special player in the history of our organization, and there are some plans for the future, and we'll address that when it comes. I'll just leave it at that.

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