As usual, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Thursday following the Packers' practice. Also as usual, he did not reveal much information about the injured players who have been held out of practice all camp, saying only that there will be no further updates on them this week. That certainly seems to mean that Mike Neal, Derek Sherrod, and company will be missing the Family Night scrimmage on Saturday night.
The coach moved on to discuss the right tackle position, and brought up David Bakhtiari's name in the discussion for the first time as a serious candidate. He discussed the fact that Marshall Newhouse has been taking the snaps with the starters, but that both Bakhtiari and Don Barclay would be getting plenty of opportunities to play and earn more repetitions.
That discussion segued into talk about bad snaps and fumbles - Barclay was looked at as another culprit again today after another poor performance snapping the ball. As one might expect, McCarthy was thoroughly unhappy with the ball control in practice, and made it clear that Barclay needs to improve in that facet of the game if he wants a legitimate chance as a center. He also referred to a fumbled toss from B.J. Coleman to James Starks as something he had seen for the first time.
McCarthy gave some time to the kicking competition between Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio as well, saying that fans can expect to see both of them getting work during Family Night on Saturday. He noted that Crosby's accuracy was very good today, but that Tavecchio needs to get under the ball more as his kicks didn't have the same "lift" as Crosby's.
On defense, keep an eye out for Donte Savage. Coach said he was happy with how Savage has performed in camp, and I know that I will be watching closely for number 94 during the preseason games. It's still early, obviously, but if he impresses in game action Savage might sneak his way onto the final roster due to a serious lack of depth at outside linebacker.
Finally, McCarthy addressed the safeties and would not take a side on the Jerron McMillian vs. M.D. Jennings debate, even suggesting that the two are not mutually exclusive because of the various sub packages the Packers will use. He was complimentary of the progress both have made, but saved his greatest praise for Morgan Burnett and the development of his leadership qualities.
Practice resumes tomorrow evening, but until then we'll have a few more bits and pieces of football analysis to keep you busy and talking.