Like most general managers and coaches, Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are in attendance at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Thompson spoke this morning, and McCarthy took to the podium during the afternoon, around 3 p.m. ET. During his press conference, he answered some questions about leadership roles on the team, player injuries, the running game and defending the read option. Highlights are below, with quotes via the Packers' official Twitter feed.
McCarthy: Room for improvement in the run game. Periods of the season were better than others. An area of focus. Need to do better job.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 22, 2013
This is an overarching thing that takes a lot of factors into account. The Packers need to add some talent at the running back position, they probably need to find some new blood along the offensive line, and McCarthy has to think about his play-calling. As we've discussed numerous times at this site, the Packers' offense, like most teams in the NFL, is most effective when they have a nearly even pass-run balance.
McCarthy: We're studying the read-option. Will meet with some college coaches to learn more about it. We will be better prepared for it.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 22, 2013
No, this does not mean that we think it's the future and we're implementing an extensive Wildcat package. It means that we'll be better prepared in the future, because it's not going away this year. Chip Kelly is in the NFC now and the 49ers should be contenders for the foreseeable future.
McCarthy: Important for leadership to continue to grow for our locker room culture. Woodson and Driver are special people.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 22, 2013
McCarthy went on to say that, because Rodgers is the longest tenured member of the Packers, it's now going to be important for him to be the leader, as opposed to just a leader. It's also going to be important for other guys (Matthews?) to step up in this regard.
McCarthy: Sherrod is in training room every day. Surgery was a success and what he needed. Hope he can work in the OTAs.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 22, 2013
This is a massive offseason for Sherrod. It'll be wonderful if he's able to participate in OTAs, and it's imperative that he's ready for the first day of training camp. If he misses any preseason games, he probably doesn't have any shot to win a starting job. And honestly, even though Marshall Newhouse was average last year, he exceeded my expectations and there's no reason to believe he's incapable of holding onto a starting job for years to come. That year off is probably going to hurt Sherrod's career prospects, but I'm excited to see him healthy and competing for a job.
McCarthy: Training camp will be a stretch for Jerel Worthy because of timing of his injury. He can be a player to make big jump in Year 2.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 22, 2013
This stinks. Obviously, we'll be following Worthy's progress intently this offseason. He improved as the year went on and appears to have a great career ahead of him.