GREEN BAY – Coach Mike McCarthy met with the media Tuesday before the first session of the Green Bay Packers’ mandatory three-day minicamp.
Here are some highlights:
(On practicing without the 16 veterans who were excused beginning with last Friday’s practice) “These practices in front of us – today, tomorrow and Thursday – are clearly designed for our younger players. As I told the players last week, these four practices, in my view, are the most important practices of the offseason program. We’ve had a lot of good things come out of these practices in the past. Really gearing them toward the young players. I’m looking for Brett Hundley, I’m looking for your second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-year veterans to step up. They have more opportunities … they have a chance for leadership. A lot of good comes out of this. … I’m hoping to see some guys take a jump this week, which is only natural they will, because they will have more opportunities to do that.”
(On what Hundley and other young quarterbacks gain from these practices) “First and foremost, it’s reps. At every position, but especially the quarterback position. … Brett will be running with the first group. …. The natural progression is, we’ve had a chance to put everything in for the first time. … Heavy situational play. … Making plays out of tough situations. … There’s always things that go on in the early stages of development of an offense when you have new players – a guy runs the wrong route, or reacts to a technique differently, you have an A-gap pressure … how does the quarterback handle that? You may view it and go, ‘Oh, that was a terrible play.’ I view as the most wonderful play of the practice because it’s getting everybody ready to play when things break down. That’s football. That’s the reality of the preseason games, at a higher rate. These four practices are a real illustration of that. It’s helping our young players get ready for training camp, and it’s definitely helping them get ready for preseason games.”
(On rookie cornerback Kevin King, the top draft pick who missed OTAs) “You have to be realistic. He’s going to practice in the fundamental periods today. We’re going to bring him along at a pace, see how he does and then we’ll talk about tomorrow’s practice and the same for Thursday. I don’t think it’s smart, regardless of who the player is, to just throw him right out there and think he’s going to pick up where he left off in the rookie orientation camp. So he will work in the fundamental areas.”