As usual, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy met with the press following Wednesday's practice session to discuss the team's progress, injuries, and roster. As is standard operating procedure, his comments were streamed live on Packers.com.
Unsurprisingly, the first topic addressed was injuries, and McCarthy shed a little light on a few players who missed parts or all of practice. Linebacker Dezman Moses has a toe injury, fellow linebacker and rookie Nate Palmer tweaked a shoulder, and safety David Fulton had a knee issue. Johnny Jolly also was excused from practice midway through after injuring his ankle. The coach gave no real details about the severity of the injuries, only saying that "this is training camp football", implying that they are the typical types of things seen when players take the field after a long time off.
B.J. Coleman was discussed as well, and McCarthy suggested that he needs to continue working on his decision-making and pocket presence. At one point, the defense brought pressure with a three-man rush and flushed Coleman out of the pocket where he threw a poor interception; it certainly seems that he blames it on a lack of experience though, rather than any serious issues.
One position that McCarthy was asked about was the fullback, specifically whether the team will look to go back to an I-formation with a more traditional fullback look. As usual, he was vague, only saying that the Packers will be using a wide variety of formations regardless of whether a fullback is present.
Davon House and David Bakhtiari drew praise from McCarthy today. House apparently has a different edge to him in training camp this year - perhaps because of how close he appeared to earning a starting job last year. Bakhtiari, on the other hand, has impressed McCarthy from day one and will be getting additional chances to prove his ability moving forward.
Possibly the most concerning issue at this point in training camp is the lack of a defined returner on special teams. McCarthy clearly has not been impressed to this point, going so far as to say that if the season started tomorrow he would put Randall Cobb back out as the team's primary return man.
The inside linebackers also drew praise, as McCarthy complimented the depth and competition of the group. Rookie Sam Barrington was acknowledged for a "reckless" streak, which McCarthy said he likes. He also said that the younger players were "pushing" the established starters; whether anything substantial comes of that come week 1 we will have to wait and see.
All in all, it sounds like the lack of a standout on returns is the biggest issue weighing on McCarthy's mind at this time. Otherwise, he appears to be in good spirits and is not disappointed with the team's performance so far.
The Packers will take the field once again Thursday morning for another practice in full pads.
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