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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - May 4

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Sunday press conference from the Lambeau Field auditorium at the conclusion of rookie orientation.

(How did the last three days go and did you get accomplished what you wanted to?)

I'll say this about the mini-camp, actually Larry (McCarren) and I were talking about this earlier, ... comparing it to last year, which is the only other rookie mini-camp that I've been a part of, it was significantly better, just as far as the overall group. We had some more players this year than we had last year, and you could just see the progression of practices, how they improved from Friday to Sunday. I'm just very pleased with how the whole weekend went, and just like I told the players when we broke, I was very impressed with the quality of work we were able to get done this weekend.

(More and more teams are going to this format, bringing in the rookies and tryout guys first. Do you see this as a trend for the future?)

I don't follow it that much as far as what the other teams are doing, but just in my experience of doing it this way and the other way, this is in my view the best way to go. It's a teaching opportunity to get every player off on the right foot, cover all the little things that you sometimes don't take the time to cover in detail, both on and off the field, and it just gives them a chance so when they do come back here for the OTAs, they're able to step up and compete and step right into the flow of practice.

(What do the players have responsibility-wise between now and OTAs?)

The quarterbacks, we'll let them probably take their playbooks, because of the new language they're going through. But really, just to tie up the loose ends that they have in their personal life and just get ready to go full-bore when they get back.

(Will the younger guys come back any earlier?)

No, just the league-mandated May 16. We'll actually bring them in, I think it's the 17th, that Sunday, whatever that Sunday is. So we'll bring them in Sunday, that will be their travel day, and we'll start on Monday, with everybody else too.

(Is there anybody in your group who won't be able to participate because of their school calendar?)

I think we're OK. Quarter system? Yeah, it's been a problem. The Pac-10 schools, there's a number of them. Ohio State has always been a quarter school, on the quarters program. But we are clear of that this year.

(What's the next step with the tryout guys? Have you made any decisions yet?)

We'll go into a staff meeting. I spent some time with the personnel department just going through a number of the guys. Actually Reggie McKenzie is meeting with a the tryout players now. So we'll just make some decisions here. Hopefully we're looking to bring back approximately four of them.

(Can you assess how Ken DeBauche looked in this mini-camp?)

I know Mike and Shawn, just starting with his workout, just a very good directional punter. I really haven't spent much time watching him. I actually spent the day just with the defense, just trying to sort out the defensive back group. But we look for him to create very good competition for Jon, and we're excited about him, that's why we signed him. It was clearly one of the better workouts I'm told that our staff has seen.

(So you're looking at him as more than a camp leg? He's a guy who could come in and win the job?)

A camp leg, and winning a job, that's going from one extreme to the other. No, I think he's competing for a job, no doubt about it. They all are.

(Did you get through this without any injuries?)


(How did the quarterbacks come out as far as their arms, and how was their workload?)

Our practices, the workload wasn't heavy. They looked to be OK. Frankly, I didn't even ask them, just because the workload was not heavy. Once again, Friday's practice was a little rough. It was better yesterday, and it was very efficient, particularly from the quarterback position, today. Very happy with the starting point that both Brian and Matt give us, but we do have a lot of work to do.

(What are your initial impressions of Finley?)

Very athletic. Taller, a little more length than I remember on film. I think he has a tremendous upside. Just very, very impressed with his athletic ability.

(Will any rookies have any conflicts, like last year when Brandon Jackson had to be in California?)

We figured that out this year. So you guys can't whale away on me for missing mini-camp. No, not that I'm aware of today.

(Can you give us your thoughts behind moving the mandatory mini-camp to mid-June?)

A number of things played into that. No. 1, we had a long season, so I wanted to make sure the quality of work that we were able to obtain throughout the offseason was a little later than we've done in the past. The opportunity to let your veterans be away from it a little longer, and to be able to see them as a group before you go into training camp, as opposed to your one full mandatory mini-camp is in May and then you really don't have anything mandatory until training camp. That hasn't been an issue from an attendance standpoint, but I just felt it would be better to do that at the end and give a chance for the rookies and the younger players to build up to that camp, instead of having the camp first and then having the OTAs second. It's just more, I've talked about a lot there, but it's more the progression of teaching up to that camp and what we're trying to get out of it.

(Will you want to bring more than three quarterbacks into camp?)

It really depends on the 80, the roster. Is it going to be an 80-man or is it going to be 86? That's something we'll continue to watch.

(They're going to talk about that this month, right?)

Correct, yes.

(What's your opinion?)

When we all walked out of those owners' meetings, I think it was 80, and I didn't think it was going to change. I really have no feel for it.

(When the Vikings makes a move for a guy like Jared Allen, what work do you to toward those changes in the offseason?)

Well, with Jared Allen, his specific situation, we played against him last year, so we do have some recent history with him. We have a lot of respect for their football team. We have played them now with that coaching staff four times. So there's a mutual understanding. I don't foresee them changing a bunch of things schematically and so forth. But that particular situation is more of a match-up and how we'll adjust to it. But it's a division game, it's always going to be big, and I'll always view it that way.

(Does that type of acquisition make you sit up and say, hey, there's another pretty good football player in this division?)

It's like anything, it depends on how you want to look at it. They got a very good player, spent a lot more money on their cap. So it depends how you want to look at it. They're a good football team, and we're going to have to play very well, just like every time, especially when we go up there. I thought the two games we've had up there have been tremendous contests. But they've done a good job improving their roster.

(Can you assess Justin Beaver's performance, and does he have a shot at coming back?)

I'll tell you what, he's been very impressive. He's done a very nice job. He plays with a lot of energy, very quick, explosive. As far as, does he have a shot, that's something actually we'll discuss when we get back upstairs. But I would love for him to have an opportunity, because he's been impressive.

{sportsad300}(Will you have Tory Humphrey, Johnny Jolly and Abdul Hodge for the mini-camp in June?)

Tory Humphrey, for the mini-camp? Ah, I don't know. That's something that we'll have to ... right now we're not ready for the OTAs, and we'll see how that goes. I think Tory is close. Johnny, we'll probably just be smart with him. It was a pretty serious injury. And who was the other? Hodge? Just being cautious with him. But he feels great. He went out to Arizona, did some rehab out there before he came back to the offseason program. He really looks good.

(What about Blackmon?)

Probably the same there. We're just going to be smart and make sure we let the foot heal.

(With the two offensive linemen draft picks, do you bounce them around in different positions in OTAs in order to lock them in somewhere by training camp?)

Well, as far as the rotation, that has been something I think we've done a very good job of, as far as having our players play different positions. We kind of had to do it two years ago, but ideally for a young lineman, you'd like to put them in one spot and let them learn, and that will be the starting point. But they both look to have the flexibility to play different positions.

(Can you tell much about them in a camp like this other than their conditioning?)

Both of them, as a whole, I really like their disposition, and they're both very aggressive. They have the right attitude. Athletically, they're really what we thought they were. I watched the one-on-one pass rush drill today, and they both did a very nice job.

(What do you and your staff do between now and OTAs?)

We coach at a symposium next week, so we have a number of guys who will go participate in that. Actually Joe Philbin, Matt Klein and myself are just trying to finish up the training camp schedule, just from a scripting and organization standpoint. It's nice to do the OTAs and training camp at the same time if you're able to, because of the carry-over. We've got some administrative things we have to knock out here the next two weeks before we get cranked up on the OTAs.

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