Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy liked what he saw from a big group of draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents and tryout players on Friday.
McCarthy spoke to reporters after the first day of rookie orientation camp on Friday. Here are some of the highlights:
On the difficulty of evaluating quarterbacks:
Itís difficult for everybody. Thatís why we call this rookie orientation. Football is a part of it. Nobody is going to be evaluated on execution of practice. I thought the practice was really good compared to prior years. The things I look at is body movement, communication and see the ability of starting to coordinate.
On the importance of rookie camp:
Itís a rookie orientation. This is for everybody. Just talking to all the rookies last night and today. Everyone has earned an opportunity for a spot on our 90-man roster. If you look at the history, the percentages of how many undrafted free agents, you look at the history of everyone that played here. This is a young manís league. Itís the opportunity to not only take the drafted rookies but these tryout players. There isnít a whole lot of difference between the tryout players and undrafted rookies who signed contracts.
On tryout tight end Colt Lyerlaís troubled history:
Really, Colt is just like the other 58. Heís done things in his college career and weíre fully aware of everything every prospect has done on and off the field. We felt he earned opportunity to come in as a tryout player.
Why have the camp?
Weíre like a lot of teams. They spend a lot of time going through the draft. Thereís names that move down the board for a reason. If theyíre on your board, you obviously like them. Thereís players who get moved off the board for other reasons. Ö Itís not how many balls you catch, you look for fit or something they can add to your football team. We want to be multiple. We want to be open.
First impressions of No. 1 draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:
Heís been here all week. This is a different year. The draft was last weekend. The rookies traveled on Sunday and Monday. Heís been through the meetings and a number of the drafted rookies and free agent rookies.
On improving the defense:
Itís early. Iím hoping thereís a couple guys who jump out these next two days and help our team. You look at the inside linebacker group, every one of them you look at the film they make tackles for their team.
On the rookies:
I like this group. They look like they belong. Theyíre obviously very impressed with our facilities. They had some interaction between the rookies and vets. To get on the field and practice with veteran group, they can see the speed of it. They can get the feel of what pro football is really like.
On the Thursday team meeting before rookie orientation:
Itís always a unique meeting. It was different this year. We combined it throughout. We had most of the guys here. We had a team meeting with those guys here. Thereís a video thatís been done historically. We make every prospect whoís here part of that.
On the undrafted rookies:
We like them all. We created a very competitive 90-man roster. You look at the wide receivers top to bottom. I donít know if weíve had a group as competitive as that. I think the free-agent group has created some pretty good competition.
On rookie center Corey Linsley:
Heís a little bigger than I thought he was. Thatís a good thing. Heís a powerful young man. He has a good command, good personality.