Packers notes: Mike McCarthy sticks up for Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is standing behind backup tackles Kyle Murphy and Jason Spriggs, both of whom had some rough moments during the 51-34 victory Thursday over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McCarthy doesn’t have much of a choice, given general manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t deliver any tackle help during the offseason and the likelihood of him finding any ready-to-perform help after teams cut to 53 is unlikely.
Murphy has been playing left tackle most of camp and Spriggs right with David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga both missing time. Murphy started for Bulaga at right tackle against the Steelers, played two series and then moved over to left tackle to replace Bakhtiari.
Murphy fared better with the No. 1 offensive line than he did later when he allowed linebacker Bud Dupree to sack quarterback DeShone Kizer. He moved back to right tackle in the third quarter and allowed a pressure on quarterback Tim Boyle.
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Spriggs replaced Murphy at right tackle in the first half but moved over to left tackle in the second half.
“I think in fairness to those two guys and really the group, I mean the goal is always to get the first five to play a bunch together,” McCarthy said Friday. “Well, we’re not going to achieve that obviously this year, and the guys that are affected by that more than any are Murphy, Spriggs and even Lucas Patrick and even Byron (Bell) coming in here new.
“These guys are playing a lot of different positions. The ability to go to the left side with the footwork and go back to the right, that’s all part of it.”
As for the start of the season, McCarthy said they’ll be ready.
“I have confidence in those guys,” he said.
A different view
Despite abysmal numbers, McCarthy said he was pleased with the running game.
He was referring more to the blocking than the production of his four backs (24 carries for 56 yards).
“Obviously, the games are very important, but I feel very good about where we are running the football,” McCarthy said. “So we’ve had excellent work throughout the week.
“(I) clearly understand what the numbers said last week and again this week. The things we didn’t do right last night are correctable. So, there’s a lot of good things to build off of.”
Working on Sunday
McCarthy said the team will work in private Sunday on the Chicago Bears, the opponent in the regular-season opener.
They will return for public practices Monday and Tuesday. They play the Raiders on Friday in Oakland.