On Wednesday morning, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media prior to his team’s practice, discussing preparations for his team’s upcoming season opener with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Practice this week is being held indoors at the Don Hutson Center with no air conditioning, as McCarthy and company try to prepare the team or the hot, muggy conditions awaiting them in Jacksonville on Sunday.
The head coach talked about a number of individual players this morning, including a number of his young players on defense - particularly at inside linebacker. It is clear that McCarthy thinks the starting tandem of Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez is ready for the challenge ahead as the season begins, as he praised both players for their efforts this summer.
Here are McCarthy’s notable comments.
- (On Eddie Lacy being ready to go for week 1:) Eddie’s had a solid camp, obviously comfortable with the offense and the things we’ll ask him to do ... I’m not going to get into who’s doing what, but he’ll play, I’ll promise you that.
- (On how much you prepare for the first game of the season:) The opening game, probably too much work. You have to guard against that ... the reality is until you set that final roster, that brings everything to light ... 20, 30% of un-scouted looks you’ll probably see in this game, that’s our approach ... (on making adjustments) That’s really the flow of a normal game. Your network of communication on the sidelines is a key component ... be proactive with your adjustments, how you train your team the week of to make adjustments ... at the end of the day, it’s about being ready. That’s always been our approach, sticking to the things you know you can do.
- (What do you think about Blake Bortles?) Bortles, when you go through the offseason study, you look at his production and the jump he made last year, what you really see is the comfort he has, particularly at the end of the year in the offensive scheme ... he looks like he has a good command at the line of scrimmage.
- We had a hell of a practice yesterday. The workload was tremendous. It was hot in the Hutson Center. Our big padded practice is today.
- (Injury concerns?) I don’t have any big immediate concerns. From last week to this week, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of things are going to change.
- (How much do you play Julius Peppers this week?) I think when you look at Julius and some of the veteran players, you have to take a hard look at the play time and what he’s done in the past and what works best over the course of the season. You might have projections ... you start that way but there’s so many things that can happen.
- (What do you expect from Dean Lowry?) Dean Lowry’s an excellent football player. The first thing is you love his motor, the way he flies around. He’ll have a role on our football team. If he’s up on the 46 as I fully expect he will be, he’ll be called on to perform.
- (How do you feel about Jake Ryan being a starter?) Jake Ryan, you could really see the second half of the season where the light bulb goes on full-time. He has an understanding, he’s playing faster. (He’s) not thinking, he’s playing ... I thought he had quality snaps in the Kansas City game.
- (On Blake Martinez making calls:) I think you have to give him a lot of credit for his ability to communicate and understand. That’s a heck of an adjustment ... we have a new communcation system with Dom Capers calling it from the box to the players. It looks like it’s worked pretty well so far.
- (On Brett Goode getting back into game shape:) I think you have to trust in Brett’s experience, but as far as easing back into being the snapper on punts and field goal, it’s clear cut in terms of responsibility. We’re not going to be able to (split his reps) ... we’re full-go with Brett Goode.
- (Any sign that Josh Sitton’s play declined?) I’ve answered the Josh Sitton questions the last three days. There was a decision that was made on a number of variables and that’s where we’re at.