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Mike McCarthy Press Conference: Not Afraid to Use Key Players on Returns

In his post-practice presser, the Packers' coach addressed questions related to the return game and his wide receiver corps.

Frederick Breedon

After the team's short and relatively light practice on Tuesday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media as he does daily in training camp. Today's press conference covered a variety of topics, but the special teams will likely get the most attention.

  • McCarthy was first asked about the wide receivers. Regarding Jordy Nelson's injury, he didn't want to push him in his first practice back, saying "I took it light with him today. We're being smart."
  • On Jeff Janis: "He's made a play every day he's been out there...hopefully we can get him fully cleared to play by the medical staff and ready by Saturday."
  • Finally, Davante Adams' injury is apparently not a major problem, as McCarthy said "I'm told it's not a long-term deal."
  • McCarthy expressed that he likes the versatility of the team's defense and the ability to line up in lots of different alignments. He also is pleased with the talent and effort level, saying "the competition throughout the defense, it's going to be a hard cut down to 53 players."
  • Julius Peppers came up, and the coach was pleased with his growing grasp of the Packers' defense: "We've asked a lot of him, we haven't just lined him up in one spot. He's getting more and more comfortable." McCarthy would not discuss in detail how much Peppers would play in the next few preseason games.
  • Rookie tight end Richard Rodgers has been making a good impression on his head coach so far. Said McCarthy, "I think Richard is getting better each and every day...he continues to impress me. He did some really good things Saturday in Tennessee."
  • McCarthy was asked about punt returners, McCarthy said that they will continue trying to give opportunities to a number of different players: "You can never have enough...need to try a couple more guys on the kickoff."
  • On the topic of returns, though, McCarthy also said he won't try to rely on reserve players on punt returns instead of starters. Specifically, he said "I gotta get away from that thinking...when you're cautious, negative things happen. We're going to put our best players out there." That suggests that he will be willing to use Micah Hyde and/or Randall Cobb on returns if one of the backups does not take command of the jobs.

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of training camp here at Acme Packing Company.