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Packers: McCarthy Addresses Jermichael Finley's Return

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Head coach Mike McCarthy has had little time to himself at the NFL Combine recently, after being swarmed by reporters eager to learn more on his thoughts this offseason.

Among the bigger issues that still loom for the Packers, the smoldering fire of Jermichael Finley's status has begun to resonate lately, mainly due to the teams depth at the tight end position.  Free agency and April's annual Draft continues to take center stage, yet that hasn't stopped rumors spreading toward the Packer offense.

On Tuesday, McCarthy once again chose to keep it short regarding his star tight end.

"He'll make us better," said McCarthy during Combine events.

Fortunately for all Green Bay fans, that may be the understatement of the century.  Finley's absence was felt immediately after his Week 5 knee injury against the Washington Redskins, particularly on third down situations, an area which troubled the Packers during the NFC Championship Game.

Finley's early season statistics were also relevant in terms of his performance, considering in just four weeks he accumulated a hefty 401 yards and a single score, outmatching rookie replacement Andrew Quarless' overall efforts.

Therefore, McCarthy can't help but love one of his most trustworthy targets.

"I love that kid, man," McCarthy lovingly said. "He's so competitive, and he loves to play football. He makes us a better football team. Not just because of his ability and his uniqueness, but also his competitive spirit. We missed him from a competitive standpoint. That guy loves to perform. Every day, in everything we do."

But while admitting his fondness for one of the teams most promising young receivers, McCarthy also expressed his concern with centering the team around one bright player.

"The best thing we do is we're multiple formation, multiple personnel," McCarthy said. "We're very conscientious of guys like Greg and Jermichael and making sure they play from every position.

Perhaps that same thought will be put to the test next season, with second year tight end Quarless showing he is ready for serious game time, along with strict competition at the running back spot behind James Starks and the returning Ryan Grant.

"I think we've done a very good job, particularly the last two years, making sure we're extremely diverse in case we have to move in a different direction. We don't want to ever react to the tendencies. We want to be in front of our tendencies. That's really why we were able to adjust this year."

It's hard to query McCarthy's answers as of late, especially with a new wad of cash set to float his way sometime soon.  Nevertheless, Green Bay may be called upon to make some week to week roster decisions as players prove they are ready in 2011.

If there's one thing we can rely on, it's a much more precise Aaron Rodgers, if that were even possible.  The main brunt of Finley's yards in 2009 came between the Packers own 21-50 yard line, showing how valuable he is when Green Bay is backed up in their own territory.

No roster issues to report just yet, and McCarthy has successfully silenced any questions - at least until the season begins.


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Ryan Cook is an Australian writer for Acme Packing Company. He is also a guest writer for PackerChatters. Send him an email: