Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Thursday morning, before practice. Here are some highlights:
On the plan for running back James Starks, who has a hip injury:
Work was good yesterday. I know he felt good at the end of the day. The plan is to try to get him to do more today. We’ll see how the pre-practice goes.
On practicing in pads twice this week:
Coming off the bye week, yes. (That’s the only week you can go pads twice in a week.)
On young players’ contributions:
I think it tells you the type of team we can be. Some younger players have played sooner than they thought and I thought. Anytime you can do that early in a season, it seems to pay off. It definitely gives these guys a chance to take a step.
On the back-to-back games against undefeated teams after the bye:
We broke the season down this year into three. We looked at this as the Hero’s Journey. It happens in three divisions with 16 stages. We’re now in the second division of our season, our journey. The third division will be our last three games. We broke it into three this year.
On veteran linebacker Julius Peppers:
Really, he’s been so consistent in everything. He’s grown as a leader since the first day he arrived. He’s done a great job. You see him talking to a lot of our players. He’s playing good football. I think it’s important to move him around. He’s taken full advantage of it.
On punter Tim Masthay:
So far, so good. I think he’s been really consistent. I think he’s off to a heck of a start. His ball placement has been excellent.
On the November games:
I feel in the first six games you have to create your identity. I think this six game stretch is exactly what we need as a football team. You play two undefeated teams back-to-back and then go into the division games. This is where you have to knock off all the edges and the discipline has to go way up.
On whether running back Eddie Lacy’s weight is affecting his performance.
I would say not. There’s more to it than just how much you weigh on a scale. This is for every player. Every player goes through the process. That’s all part of the coordination of the strength coach and the nutritionist, and even the training staff and our coaching staff; body composition and so forth and so forth. But I think Eddie has come off an ankle injury, which has had to deal with in the past. I just go based off what he’s done the last couple days and he looks like he’s starting to get back to himself.
On finding the Hero’s Journey:
It’s all part of our job responsibility. If you think you’re going to come in here and dust off your old notes from 2010 and think that’s going to work, I don’t think people are motivated by the same things. … Messaging is important. Spend a lot of time on it. Offseason, particularly.
On wide receiver Ty Montgomery’s timeline to return from an ankle injury and comfort with Jared Abbrederis on kickoff returns:
Hoping he can do more today. There’s a timeline for Ty. Going to give him until Saturday. … We’re obviously comfortable with Jared. I thought he made a good decision on returns. He’ll be up and ready to go.
On safety Morgan Burnett’s snaps:
You always watch the guys a little more the first time back. It’s something we’ll address at the end of the week, game-management wise. That’s not a position you normally substitute in the past.
On wide receiver Davante Adams' return from an ankle injury:
That kind of takes care of itself and the way we run the no-huddle. That’s kind of a moving target. That’s not always as exact as other rotation patterns.