The players haven't taken the field yet for Green Bay Packers training camp, and things are already off to a very interesting start. Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Wednesday and, as ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert put it, was "droning on Wednesday about fundamentals and practice structure and conditioning tests" before he issued a message to this year's rookie class.
Apparently, the rookies looked a bit complacent and didn't have the right attitude in minicamp and OTAs, which might explain the lack of positive or negative comments we heard about Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy and Casey Hayward over the summer.
Below the jump are some quotes from McCarthy regarding the rookies and how they compare to last year's class. This seems like a clearly calculated message designed to guard against any kind of complacency at the start of practice.
"My recollection of the rookie class coming in here last year [was] you had a group that was sitting on pins and needles. They hadn't gotten a chance to come in during the offseason. They're getting their playbook, and I mean, they were so anxious and so ambitious and knew that their time clock was a lot smaller than in recent years. I thought that brought a lot of enthusiasm and urgency to our training camp last year. I thought it was a key to us having an excellent training camp.
My concern frankly is this rookie class came in here and ... when we hit the field, (they felt) ‘This ain't so hard. Pro ball isn't maybe what I thought it was going to be.' That's something that will not be the case when we hit the field tomorrow. Complacency, relaxing, any type of comfort ... we'll make sure that doesn't exist."
That's as scathing as a coach will ever get without a player doing anything blatantly wrong. Hopefully everyone heard the message loud and clear. The Packers need Perry and Worthy, in particular, to be able to contribute right away this season. They're not going to do that early unless they have very good camps.