The succession plan for Josh Sitton’s departure is in place. On Monday morning, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy made it very clear that Lane Taylor is the starter at left guard for the time being and will start the team’s first regular season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
McCarthy said that despite Taylor taking three penalties in the preseason finale in Kansas City, that he is “very confident in how he played” last Thursday. He did acknowledge that the fourth-year guard has room for improvement, but the coach sounds plenty confident about his abiility to step in immediately as a starter.
In addition, McCarthy noted that Brett Hundley’s ankle injury should be settled and have him ready to back up Aaron Rodgers for week one, and that this did not affect the decision to keep Joe Callahan on the roster. He also addressed Jordy Nelson, saying the veteran receiver is “full-go” for practice and game action this week, and touched on Corey Linsley’s injury as well.
Here are some of McCarthy’s most notable comments from Monday.
- (On the Josh Sitton release:) This is about growth for our football program. Every decision we make is about improving all aspects of our program. This is not about one player, this is about our football team. I think any time you make decisions, you have to look at everything that’s involved...each player is evaluated. Each player that touches the locker room is evaluated because the locker room is the most important (place) in our building, in my opinion.
- (Are you prepared for an offensive line without Sitton?) We’re prepared. Lane Taylor will get the start against Jacksonville. We will start that process today.
- (How did you evaluate Taylor’s performance last week after taking three penalties?) That’s part of the leap when you make changes, but it’s an opportunity to grow. I think like all things, you have to look at the video...I was very confident in how he played in that game. I thought he was physical, did a lot of things. And he has a lot of things he needs to improve on.
- (Do you have enough depth on the line?) Well, we have eight. If you look at (our) history that’s pretty normal. No, I’m comfortable with our eight offensive linemen.
- (Was keeping Joe Callahan a result of concern over Brett Hundley’s injury?) Really no concern about Brett Hundley’s ankle. I’ve been told all along the medical staff expects him to be ready this week. Really it’s how the hell does Joe Callahan not earn a spot on this team? ... I thought it’s very obvious what he achieved this preseason ... I thought Brett would have a ton of work this preseason and it went to Joe...He’s a very good football player.
- (On the signing of long-snapper Brett Goode:) It’s great to have Brett back, and his experience. Coming back off the injury was always the focus for him. Rick (Lovato) did very well all throughout the preseason. But our history with Brett is the way we turned in this particular decision.
- (What is Jordy Nelson’s status?) Jordy’s full-go and we expect him to line up and be full-bore in Jacksonville.
- (Will you try to play all seven wide receivers on offense?) I think clearly any time you have a roster where the number swings one way or the other it affects the way you play the game and the way you play on special teams ... the numbers at both receiver and the defensive backfield. We have two guys who are hurt...we’ll probably be working five receivers this week.
- (Initial impressions on new running back Jhurell Pressley:) When I look at Pressley, number one, I think special teams. Tha’s always the vehicle for a young guy to compete ... he has big play ability ... really just want to get him here today, get him in the game plan, operations, see what his history is as far as language and terminology. Once we get him on the practice field tomorrow we’ll see what direction we go with him.
- (Will Corey Linsley be ready to go this season?) Definitely. I think this is the right plan for Corey. I’ve talked a lot to Corey, it’s been very frustrating for him. Particularly training camp, re-injuring the hamstring, the timing of it. Any time you have an injury and you do it again, you have to take the long road back. That’s really what we’re doing with him. Timeline is really what it is with the PUP rules. I’m confident that once we get past the threshold of six weeks he’ll be ready to go.
- (Enough ILBs to keep Matthews at OLB?) I mean the goal is to play Clay (Matthews) outside. Anything you do that’s scheme-driven, that might be an exception, but his position’s outside linebacker.