Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the media today after the team’s first day of rookie camp. Below is a transcript of what he had to say in the press conference.
How difficult it is for quarterbacks to run a practice on short time….
It’s difficult for everybody, that’s why we really call it rookie orientation. I really don’t view this as a mini camp. I mean footballs obviously part of it, that’s why these 58 players are here. Nobody is going to be extremely evaluated on the execution of the practice. Frankly I thought the practice for the first day out was really good compared to the prior years. There’s a lot more to it, things I really personally look at is body movement, communication, and the ability to start the process of coordinating the practice environment. .
What are the important aspects of rookie camp?
Well its rookie orientation, this is for everybody. Just talking to all the rookie last night and then again today in the team meeting, every one of them has earned an opportunity for a spot on our 90-man roster. And if you look at the history of our 90-man roster, you look at the history of our 53-man roster, [look at] the percentages of how many undrafted free agents that have played here. Those are the kind of statistics you put in front of these guys just to show them that they have such a unique opportunity to make our ball club. This is a young man’s league, and it has been for a number of years. They’re all football players that are here for a good reason.
What went into decision of trying out former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla?
Colt is just like the other 58, he’s done things in his college career and is fully aware everything every prospects done on and off the field. With that, we felt that he’s earned the opportunity as a try out player to earn a spot to go to training camp. I’m excited to watch all these guys.
How do you get everyone together and determine which of the try-out guys gets that signing?
"well thankfully I think we’re like a lot of teams that spent a lot of time going through the draft. There’s names that move down the board for a reason into this area. And if we’re on your board, whether it’s the top of the board or the bottom, you obviously like ‘em. These players get moved of the board for other reasons so these are all players that a scout or somewhere in our process that someone feels really good about."
How do guys make an impression?
"You want them to come in and jump out at you. There’s going to be guys when we get together tomorrow that we’re going to talk about. I think the process has already started, our personnel staff has a major input into this as to why some of those guys are here. It’s not how many balls you catch, how many competitions you have, or how many passes you catch, you’re looking for fit. You’re looking for someone who has something special and that can add to your football team. We don’t just run a certain offense, we want to be multiple, we want to be open. This is two days of having a number of guys on your home turf. This is the best evaluation process of the whole draft process.
On his impressions of rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:
He’s been here all week. He’s been in meetings Tuesday and Thursday with the veterans. I think he’s off to a good start.
On the inside linebacker group:
Every one of those young men, you put their tape on and they make every tackle for their team. You try to gather as much information as possibly can, and hopefully a couple of these guys will contribute to our football team.
How valuable is it for rookies to be with veteran players:
That’s really a question for them. I like this rookie group. They all look like they belong; they look you in the eye when you talk to them. Our veterans are around all morning so there may have been some interaction between the rookies and vets. But yeah, I think to be on the field and practice with the veteran group even if it’s there just to see the speed of it, [they] get the feel for what pro football is really like.
On Thursday night meeting for rookie orientation:
It’s always a unique meeting. There’s a video that has been done historically and we make every prospect apart of that video. Its unique, and I think the players really appreciate it.
On what he has seen from Jared Abbrederis:
Just watching him, he’s definitely a very good athlete. Good body control, but he’s like the rest of them. He needs to get orientated and get accustomed of what is being asked of him. Strength and conditioning, he can make some gains there, but I’m very pleased with him.
On the undrafted players:
We like ‘em all. Once again we’ve created a very competitive 90-man roster. I think you’ll see that throughout each position group. I think the free agent group has created very good competition and there are going to be some try-out players here that I feel very strong we’re going to like at the end of the weekend.
On his first impression of center Corey Linsley:
Bigger than I thought he was. I mean, that was a good thing. Powerful young man, you could see the strength that he plays with in college and that’s just in the short time he’s been here. He has good command, I like his personality –you've gotta have that – and he’s off to a good start.
That's all for McCarthy on day one of camp. We'll have more news and notes from the second day of rookie camp on Saturday.