Anyone here ever done transcription? It's pretty fun. I couldn't find a transcript of the press conference that Mike McCarthy held after the final practice of the Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp, so I listened through the tape and picked out the things that I thought were most interesting and most important. The things I do for you guys.
When asked about the progress of young players, Nick Perry in particular:
These last few weeks have really been about the learning process for our team, and that's really something we talked about in the team meeting, and we addressed it today. The enviornment changes when we come back for training camp, so in Nick's particular case, [spring OTAs and minicamp] given him a chance to really focus in on the playbook. It's a vast playbook. There are multiple schemes on defense. It's a chance for the game to slow down for Nick and all the other players.
More after the jump.
When asked about why the training camp schedule was altered:
I wanted to make sure our players were challenged because of the fact that the regularities were going to be a little up and down to start the season, and then we end up playing play every seven days after that. I wanted that reflected in training camp, so that was part of the reason why we're going with morning practices, night practices and afternoon practices. And frankly, playing in four Thursday night preseason games is very benificial to scheduling because it gives us two full weeks of being on an in-season schedule.
When asked about the biggest positives he's seen in camp, McCarthy singled out Davon House and Diondre Borel as top performers, and praised new acquisitions in general:
What I like is the energy of the newly acquired players bring to camp. That's every year, but this year is a little different because there are a lot of them on defense, so you can definitely see that the competition is really heightened from day 1. I'm always excited about our younger players. I love seeing our younger players being educated and seeing guys that come on at the end of the season, whether they're from the practice squad or they just didn't play a whole lot. Davon House comes to mind, [Diondre] Borel, I mean, you can just go all the way down the line. These guys look like different players. I really like the development of the second and third year players, it's something that always stands out to me at the end of the spring.
When asked about the safeties and how the absence of last year's starters has helped the younger safeties get better:
I would definitely say that our young safeties have taken advantage of their opportunities and reps, so we have some flexibility at safety that we haven't had before. [Jerron] McMillian's been training both at the dime position [and safety] and Anthony Levine might have a chance to go down in there. M.D [Jennings] has done a very nice job, so Charles [Woodson] really will play safety, nickel and dime, so we have some flexibility in our secondary a little more than we've had in the past just based on how we've been able to rep players throughout the spring. And Frankly, let's not kid ourselves, training camp is when things really come to light.
When asked about the backup quarterbacks, Graham Harrell specifically:
Well Graham's getting better, we've had Graham in our program for some time. Really the preseason games will be the biggest challenge for Graham, that'll be his true test. In the classroom and with the fundamentals, he's hitting all the targets that we like to see, so I'm anxious to see him play the game. He's prepared himself, he knows the offense, he's done a very good job with protection adjustments, it's just all the little nuances of our offense that take a little more time.
And finally, when asked specifically about the progression of D.J. Smith:
Well you look at what D.J. Smith did last year, he did a good job on special teams, he was able to play there right away. Then he had the opportunity to start a couple of games and if my memory serves me correctly, he won two game balls, so when given those opportunities, he performed very well. Now you see a young player that's very comfortable, getting in and out of all the personnel groups. He's a very instinctive player, a good space player. He just looks a lot more comfortable. He is probably one of our most instinctive defensive players. It shows up both on special teams and [on defense], particularly in the sub packages. I look for him to be one of those second year players who makes a big step and a big contribution this year.
I think that Smith is going to seriously push A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop in training camp. Both could be in for serious fights for their jobs.