The Packers have transitioned from OTAs to mandatory minicamp. While the pads aren't on yet, the makeup of practice is shifting. Head coach Mike McCarthy met with the media to discuss how his team is progressing.
On why starting left guard Josh Sitton didn't participate in practice Monday:
"Josh Sitton was excused from today's practice and meetings."
When asked whether there is any development in Jermichael Finley's recovery from his spinal fusion surgery:
"I don't have any injury updates on Finley. Nothing has really changed from communication given to me back then."
On how rookie wide receiver Jeff Janis has looked thus far this spring:
"Jeff Janis, big athlete, did a heck of a job on kick off return today. Very explosive. It's a new system for him and a very competitive group. Young man getting better and better each day."
A reporter asked about Clay Matthews' continued stint on the sidelines during practice:
"Clay's coming along. Still part of the group that's not practicing."
On Nick Perry's lack of participation in practice:
"Talked to the staff and team about it. Accustomed to 15-week offseason. Now nine weeks. For a player to miss all of it is not good. Any of the players who did not take advantage of this nine-week opportunity will have to work hard to catch up."
When asked about Brandon Bostick's progress:
"Bostick took a step last year, would love to see him do the same this year. Brandon's got to be a consistent player on offense. His body type is a challenge for opponents. Came on strong before injury last year."
On the tight end group in general:
"You get excited about new players this time of year. That's a normal process. Able to see athletic ability. Get better idea in training camp at tight end."
When how well Richard Rodgers specifically has performed:
"Very good spring. Not many days when we haven't watched film and felt good about him. Very pleased so far. The game is very natural to him. He's learning to do some new things with the responsibilities at tight end."
On running back DuJuan Harris:
"I want DuJuan Harris to be best running back and special teams player he can be. Spends extra time after practice catching footballs. He's a potential returner."
A reporter asked about what McCarthy admired about former Steelers coach Chuck Noll who passed over the weekend:
"His toughness, consistency. As a young man, everybody looked up to him, and I think he gave direction to the great Steelers teams of the seventies. Emulated him. Big fan as a kid."
On Casey Hayward's progress recovering from a hamstring injury:
"Casey's made plays all spring. He's very competitive, very instinctive, exceptional ball skills. Anytime Hayward is on the field you feel his presence. Made a lot of players the last two weeks."
Discussing second-year players making the jump:
"Biggest challenge for (David) Bakhtiari and (Micah) Hyde, opponents now know about them, have video on them. Now known commodity. That's their new challenge."
On offseason progress and defensive tweaks:
"They're going good. We're right where we need to be right now. On defense, we have never been this far as far as mental consistency in Phase II. Good as it's been. Less volume probably helped."
When asked about Aaron Rodgers and the team's approach to offense during the offseason:
"Aaron's probably had his best spring. In great shape, changed things to make easier for new players. Changed things for others so he had more studying to do. Handled it well. He's in a great place. No one knows this offense better than him. Understands why we make changes and adjustments. He's driving this machine."