Following are the highlights from coach Mike McCarthy's post-OTA practice press conference:
(How decide who are the backups at running back?) start with 90 man roster, important to have system that can take advantage of players' skills. What looking for in backup running back, have concepts certain players do well. At the end of the day it's productivity. Look at Starks last year, productivity best of his career.
(important to have good backup RBs because of beating Lacy takes?) I like to think Eddie puts beating on. But we're conscious of wear and tear of players, it's about making sure you have a plan to use all your personnel.
(How is Bulaga doing coming off ACL?) Looks good. Our pass under pressure drill has been good, individual work exactly what he needs. He's stronger than he was in past. Having excellent spring.
(what think of Richard Rodgers?) Big time catch today, natural. Want to see him in line in camp.
(Can guys separate themselves in OTAs?) they can, but let's be realistic, practicing in helmets. There won't be any jobs won in June.
(Can Tretter make jump in second year or more rookie because of injury last year?) I think he can. First year lost big majority because of his injury, but mentally the way he went about it, and he was here every day this offseason. I look for him to make a big jump. Feedback from defense, how strong his hands are, we're going to put him in that second-year category.
(Is minicamp to come an extension of OTAs?) it is an extension of OTAs.
(How important to bring back Shields this year?) Definitely consider him one of your guys. Always happy when see young man like Sam , what he's able to achieve, fincancial opportunity. Reality is he's now a core player.
(What think of scuffles in practice?) it's natural. It's football. Understanding safety environment is heightened, measures in place lower risk at this time of year, but to think you won't have it at times is unrealistic.
(How Hyde doing at safety?) Done some good things. He's going to get opportunity to play on all three downs. Something he's done a great job with, shown flexibility to go back and forth between positions.
(Why think this team more mature than past teams?) Work ethic always been high. Re-inforced when new coaches come in and confirm what you think about your team. This group is extremely competitive. New training environment put us so far ahead of where we've ever been, that brings confidence. Just seems like this group is further ahead than we've been. Core guys been here longer, veterans do good job acclimating young guys, more player interaction on the field, guys self correcting and sharing information.
(How are new assistants doing?) Been good. Sam Gash an excellent fit, brings lot of enthusiasm. Approach to playing RB is good for our guys. Steve Marshall been great fit with James Campen, Ron Zook has made presence known with his energy and experience.
(Talk to shields about not changing to justify contract?) Concerned about everything. Biggest challenge for anyone in NFL is handling success. When receive big contract that's success. You have confidence he'll handle the success. Sam Shields has earned opportunity and I think he'll handle himself.
(What think of Richardson so far at safety?) Looks great. Coming off neck injury last year had chance to play in some packages. Made a nice play out there today (interception). Doing heck of a job.