On Wednesday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on the first day of his team’s 2017 Training Camp to set the stage for the upcoming season. McCarthy spoke for approximately 20 minutes, discussing his approach for this year, the evolving practice schedule, and a few individual players.
First up, McCarthy broke down the players’ schedule for day one:
Players started early with physicals, they’re actually participating in conditioning tests right now. We’ll get into administrative meetings at noon and that will go until 4:00. We’ll do our first install tonight and hit the ground running tomorrow morning.
He then moved on to discussing the team’s approach to practice, particularly the focus on offense. “The reality of the OTAs is you’re limited in what you can do,” he said, specifically referring to working on the running game. “We adjusted some things, particularly for the emphasis on the run game. You only have so much padded work.” Therefore, expect the team to work heavily on the run in those padded practices, especially with a young group of running backs.
The presumed starter at running back is of course Ty Montgomery, who comes in after his first full offseason at the position. McCarthy was “very pleased” with his progress in the classroom so far, saying that Montgomery looked “very comfortable in the understanding of the details and the things he’s asked to do.”
One of those things is protecting Aaron Rodgers and contributing in the passing game on third downs, a critical factor for any running back but particularly for those in Green Bay. He said that the ability to play on third down is “the first job responsibility is you want all your running backs.” The reason is that as a head coach and playcaller, McCarthy wants to be able to hurry up the offense: “the no huddle element, you want to be able to turn that on at any point in the game. That’s really the focus.” With that in mind, Aaron Jones’ skill set jumps off the page as the rookie who might be best able to contribute immediately behind Montgomery.
One topic sure to be a hot one throughout the next two months is the status of Letroy Guion, who was arrested for a DUI and is already on suspension for the first four games of this season from a previous marijuana-related traffic stop. However, Guion remains on the roster and McCarthy gave no sign that his status on the team would change: “Letroy’s situation is obviously a pending matter,” McCarthy said. “He’s made mistakes and we’re still working with him.” He went on to confirm that Guion will be practicing with the team during camp as long as he is healthy and available.
As for players who might not be available, McCarthy would not get into the injuries on the team just yet, but noted that he would have a full medical update before Thursday’s practice. Any roster moves to place a player on the Physically Unable to Perform list would likely take place today, however, so that news will likely be out well before that next presser.
I think it’s going to be an extremely competitive camp. The numbers are really good there. We have a number of guys playing multiple positions.
Stay tuned for more from camp, especially as practice kicks off on Thursday morning, bright and early at 8:15 AM Central time.