Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - May 31

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

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(Does the recent situation in the front office affect you or the team?)

No, we haven't felt any effect from what's gone on this past week. Once again, the leadership of our organization is in tact, and the landscape of the National Football League changing is part of what goes on in our industry. During times like this, you look at leadership, and without a doubt, everybody has confidence in Bob Harlan and the executive committee.

(Have you spoken with the players about it?)

No, there really wasn't anything as far as our department or our area that I felt I needed to address. I touched on it in the team meeting today, just very briefly. Once again, the leadership is in tact and we're moving forward.

(What's Hodge's injury?)

It's a knee injury.

(Did he have surgery?)

No he did not. He's going through rehab and he's getting close. It's probably going to take him throughout the OTAs. Our target with Abdul is training camp.

(Is Brandon Jackson kind of catching up right now?)

Brandon's challenge as he moves forward is really not the schematic memorization or learning, because he was exposed ... what we've done the last two days was really what we accomplished in the rookie minicamp and also in minicamp No. 1 with the veterans. So he's kind of gone through a review the last two days, and we will actually go back and review it again on Monday, because the way we're structured as far as our installations, everything we build comes off these first two installations, so we want to make sure everybody has everything down pat. Like I communicated in the team meeting today, don't leave here unless you're 100 percent on what you're asked to do, particularly in these first two installations, because as we move forward, everything comes off of this.

(Are you pleased with the number of guys who are here? Does it concern you about anyone who's not here?)

I have no concerns. I can just tell you this. Every member on our football team, we've been in direct communication. The objective of what we're trying to accomplish in the offseason program, and I look at the offseason program through really three stages -- the actual training that goes on here, what we refer to as the offseason program, the camps that we're able to have is the second phase, with the rookie camp and the minicamp, and the third phase being the OTAs. Now, it's obvious to everybody that you have different levels of experience with your football team. We're particularly young, so we do a lot of things always tailored to the young guys. That's the importance of these review days I referred to earlier. Monday is important. Particularly with the older guys, we're also being smart with them from a body standpoint, and we do have blocks of time as these guys do come in and are built in the travel. Our whole scheduling really is in tune with the older, the veteran players. As far as the individuals who are not here, number one, it is voluntary; number two, I have no concerns because the individual plans are in place, and I feel very good about the progress we made as a football team both individually, in the particular position groups, and more importantly as a team throughout the spring.

(Is it really asking these guys that much to show up for 12 days, considering the money they make, to set an example for their teammates?)

I think that's a blanket statement that everybody would say heck yeah, I could see why you say that, but also you're dealing with 94 individuals as I look on my depth chart board and I'm talking about the gentlemen you referenced and so forth. It's really the more experienced players, and to just use one instance and what he's gone through with his body, and some of the things that have happened in the past, ... there are training methods. I don't disagree with it, because there's more than one way to skin a cat. That was really part of the research that we took apart in January/February, because we are fortunate here at the Green Bay Packers to have the resources to make it available to our players. But I'm also not naïve that there's other ways of going about it, and there's a couple of issues there. They aren't even issues, that's what's going on. So I don't really look at it that way, because I look at the big picture. We are improving as a football team, and I've told our team over and over again, I'm very pleased with the individual improvement that we've had throughout the spring, particularly in the weight room, in the classroom, but now the team is here. Is it important for everybody to be here when the team is here? Yes it is, because it's important for when a team works, everybody works. But you also have those instances where people are getting ready. Then you also have the personal situations, and we've had a number last year, and I'm sure we're going to have more as we move through here the next three weeks. Those are things I can't control.

(Were you referring to Woodson there?)

I'm not going to get into this guy and that guy. I've talked to a number of the members during the offseason. It's a voluntary camp. I want them all here, yes. But as far as why they're here and why they're not here, I'm not going to sit here and read off the list every day of why people are here and not here.

(I was just wondering if he said anything about the injuries he's had over his career?)

Charles has a specific training method. Alonzo Highsmith obviously in our scouting department is also down in that area in Houston. They refer to it as the Plex, I'm not exactly sure what the full name of the complex is there. But he's had a lot of success going through their program. In reference to Charles, if you look at Charles this year compared to last year, he's a lot further ahead in his training. He had a very strong medical report, which I was glad to see, specifically with the injuries that he played through last year, with the knee and the shoulder. He's in very good shape and excited about the season.

(How many practices is Brett going to make?)

Nine of the twelve, what we talked about I think at the minicamp. We're on schedule for that.

(Will Aaron Kampman be able to do anything for the OTAs?)

We're being very cautious with Aaron. If we played this week or next week, I feel strongly that Aaron would be out there. We're just being cautious with him.

(Both quarterbacks holding up at this point?)

Yes, both practiced today and went through all the individual, group and team work.

(How'd they look?)

You didn't go to practice today? I thought they looked alright...it means 'real good'. No, I thought they looked good. Brett's been throwing the ball, you know he didn't throw much going into the first minicamp, but I thought he threw the ball well. I mean he just anticipates so well, and those are valuable reps for the younger players. You know you can see one or two to James Jones, just coming out of the break and the ball is there. Those are the little things that you can't get enough of. I thought he (Favre) threw the ball well, and I think Aaron has thrown the ball extremely well. I thought he threw the ball well all spring, and now we've cut him loose medically. I'm very pleased with the progress he's made.

(What about Brandon Jackson?)

I think he looked like a normal rookie. I think he was feeling his way on some things .He understands what he's doing. He's picked it up very clean. The one thing you notice about practice, you don't see mental errors. Yesterday's practice was excellent. If we put 12 of those practices together, I'll be very pleased with the OTAs as a whole. Today's practice I thought was a good practice - obviously when I go watch it, it will tell me more. But you don't see too many mental mistakes. I think we only had four false starts today and I think one yesterday, so those are the things you look for from a mental standpoint.

(From what we saw today, looks like Brandon Jackson is a tough guy to bring down)

Well, I think it's really kind of the way we've gone with the running back group. They're not the tallest individuals but you look at every one of them, they all have excellent lower body strength. I think that will be a characteristic as you look at the whole running back group, a constant.

(What do you do with a guy like Brandon to catch him up?)

Well with what we've done with Brandon and really the whole rookie class, May 15 they're able to travel, so they've all been here since then. I think it was a Monday, we had a three full-day period before they participated in the first minicamp, so really everything he missed in that week he was able to go through prior to his travel out to Los Angeles. So we did that, went through the first minicamp, and then last week Monday through Thursday was a real focus on the rookie class in the weight room. Everybody else was off, and that was their first week off since March 19. Rock Gullickson, Mark Lovat and Brandon Johnson had an excellent week of work with the rookies, so we feel good about where they are as far as their foundation in strength and conditioning. We had four good days there. We went through that last week, there was some individual time in the classroom earlier in the week. Tuesday was our travel day, so we've been hitting it now for two days in the OTA schedule format.

{sportsad300}(Are you going to schedule your minicamp so it doesn't conflict again with the NFL event?)

Well they say, make that mistake once; however that saying goes. I think we can get that fixed.

(Did he express to you guys that he would have rather been here?)

Well, I think anybody close to the situation didn't anticipate that he wouldn't be a part of the minicamp. If that was the case, I think we would have made it possible for him to be here. With that being said, I think the timing of it and the way it came down and his anticipation of being here, but obviously it took a different course. I think it was Tuesday when it changed course on us. He's been excellent; he's very willing. Edgar (Bennett), there isn't a day that goes by that you don't see two, three or four players in Edgar's office. And I've talked about this in prior engagements - that's what you're looking for, that one-on-one attention that these guys are taking full advantage of. We've scheduled it in our weekly schedules for coaches to be available to players, and more importantly the players are taking full advantage of it, and Brandon is one of these guys.

(What signs do you want to see from Bubba that he'll bounce back from last season?)

Well, I'll say this about Bubba Franks - I think he's in excellent shape No. 1. He's not a youngster, so I think he's put a lot of preparation into this offseason, and you can see that. Particularly when guys do get older, the joints are the things you concern yourself about. I just think he's moving No. 1 extremely well. He had some injuries that he fought through last year. The adjustments we've made schematically he's picked them right up. Bubba's been excellent. I thought he had a very good minicamp, and he's off and running with these first two days.

(Did you have Brett on a throwing schedule at home after the minicamp?)

I'd like to sit up here and tell you I told him to throw 35 times and things like that. Frankly, I think he's done it long enough that he knows what he needs to do. We put him on the pitch count in the first minicamp just to be smart, and he didn't throw a whole lot and that was more because of the ankle that we were holding him back there. He's full go. He's in excellent shape for this time of year. We have the body scan that we do on every player, and in talking to the trainers during practice, they haven't read the full report but they felt this is the best one they've seen on him yet. So, I think that illustrates what he's been doing and his preparation physically to get ready.

(Will you increase his reps throughout the OTAs?)

I think today's practice will be constant through the OTAs. The most important thing for Brett is to get the individual timing with the players that he has played with, and the newer players, and to go through the adjustments we've made schematically and just get the little details cleaned up. The other thing that's going on with Brett is, I've done this process every year with the quarterback that was the starter in every offense that I've coordinated, you go through this time of year, and if there's anything you absolutely don't feel you need, it's time to throw it out. As I've walked through this business, reducing is a constant. The more you can reduce I think it gives your players the opportunity of doing less and being more comfortable, so we'll go through that whole process and that's why it's important for him the nine of the 12 days, we're going to go through all nine installations with him and get it cleaned up and tightened up, ready for training camp.

(How do you see fullback shaping up? Does Miree have the inside track for that job?)

To answer your question, obviously yes, because Brandon has been here. But that's clearly one position that until the pads come on, ... You can get excited about players in shorts and helmets, and it's important because we wouldn't do it if it wasn't important, but I think that will really show itself in training camp. But I really like what the younger guys are doing, and we're using the tight ends a bunch in certain fullback responsibilities. But I think we have some real young willing players that also have special teams ability, so that will be a fun battle to watch.

(How close is Ferguson?)

I would anticipate Robert being ready next week. Once again, we use the word cautious here a lot, and that's kind of been the theme with our medical players that have gone through that. He also fits in that category. But he's close. He's been here the whole offseason, and he's gone through the jog-throughs, and you can just watch him in the rehab and tell that he's really close. I'm hopeful that he'll be ready next week.

(What about Harrell?)

Cautious. If you watch him work out in the weight room, you wonder why he's not practicing full-go. If you would ask Justin, he's ready to go. We're just being smart.

(Will that be a training camp thing?)

It may be. We get together every Monday, Wednesday, Friday with Dr. McKenzie. We talked about it yesterday and we decided to hold him out this week and we'll visit again Monday.

(Is there something about that injury?)

As far as the strength levels, the range of motion, all those things are in tact. It's not a question. Once again, time is important. If you watch him go through the individual and watch him in the weight room and things like that, all that points to that he's about ready. Once again, we're just being cautious.

(Is DeShawn Wynn still limited?)

He had a very good week of rehab last week when he was here going through the strength and conditioning. He's close. I'm hopeful that he can go next week too.

(How well did you know John Jones?)

I met John Jones back in 1999. Actually John and I were hired when I worked here just the one year, and I met John back then. Once again, personally I'm very fond of John Jones. I think he's an excellent man, a wonderful family man. You feel for people. Anytime there's change professionally, it's never easy. But professionally, it's part of our business. But he's a good man. He'll always be a good man.

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