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Young players shouldn't try to do too much

As preseason winds down, crisp execution is still where it starts


GREEN BAY – With two preseason games left, time is running short for the Packers on the roster bubble to make a lasting impression.

It's important to remember, though, that trying too hard can backfire at times. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that while it's a "natural tendency" for young players to try to stand out, execution starts with being on top of everything mentally first, and the big plays happen organically from there.

"We've had a lot of mental errors, higher than normal for our first two games, and I think that's a reflection of guys trying to do too much or not being totally dialed in," McCarthy said on Wednesday, one day before the team will travel to Oakland for its third preseason game and first on the road.

"That's something they have to work through. You try to get them more opportunities, but the reality is you can't chase big plays, you can't chase opportunities because that's when you get yourself in trouble."

Based on how the practice reps have been divvied up over the past week, it appears the Packers' first unit on offense will play little, if at all, in Oakland. The defense, in its first season under new coordinator Mike Pettine, might play more than the offense.

In any event, McCarthy hasn't sorted out all the playing time yet, and the medical report will factor into it as well, as it always does.

"We'll get all that done tomorrow," he said.

One player who could make his preseason debut this summer is running back Aaron Jones, who has worked his way back into 11-on-11 reps this week after missing time with a hamstring injury.

The Packers' two newest running backs, LeShun Daniels and Bronson Hill, both signed this past week, also could get their first preseason action.

On special teams, the battle at long snapper between Zach Triner and seventh-round draft pick Hunter Bradley will continue.

"It's going to take all four weeks. That was the plan going in," McCarthy said. "We'll try to rep them a little differently against Oakland than we did last week. It's all part of the evaluation process."

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