McCarthy: Special teams needed more resources
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Tuesday morning. Here are some highlights:
On Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman:
If you watch the games, right now he'll be playing to our right. Obviously, he can go to the left. I haven't seen much of that or any of that. He has performed in the slot.
On wide receiver and punt returner Randall Cobb:
I think Randall has come off his (leg) injury excellent. He came back at the end of the year and played against Chicago and San Francisco, so he's had an excellent offseason, training camp. He looks like Randall. He's probably stronger than he's been. I think that's just the maturation now. I think he's ready to go. He's obviously a receiver, and he'll do the punt returns. I look for him to make an impact.
On adjusting to the rules emphases:
I think if you look at the progression of calls from Week 1 to Week 4, they did come down some. I think the point's been made. The emphasis on hand placement as you go through the different fouls, and it's something that we've been focused on. As far as how they're going to call it and what they're looking for, I think they've been a little more detailed in the communication. The conversation before the game usually reflects how that particular game's called, so it's been my experience going through the preseason. I just think really from our standpoint, just the fundamentals in the teachings of making sure their hand placement is proper, we're not grabbing is probably the biggest change as we go into the season.
On whether it's affected how players are coached:
No, it didn't affect anything. You don't teach people to grab jerseys. It's like anything – you have rules and you have rules that are being emphasized. If something isn't being emphasized, you grab the jersey. They weren't emphasizing it before, so now they're emphasizing don't grab the jersey, so you don't grab the jersey. It's really as simple as that. The communication between the officials and the players and the coaches, they've been very upfront and made their point in the preseason about what they're looking for and it's our job to teach it that way.
On running back Eddie Lacy's preseason work:
'Yes, I think Eddie is ready to go. I'm looking forward to seeing Eddie perform ... Thursday night.
On the Packers' approach to special teams:
Well, when you go back to the evaluation of postseason, we need to get back to giving special teams all the resources to be successful. We've played younger players. We've had injuries. We've had things happen in the past. Our veterans are back on playing special teams. Randall Cobb is our punt returner. Micah Hyde is our punt returner. I look for DuJuan Harris to make an impact on kickoff returns. So just the fact we've been able to get so many more people trained in playing your best players on each segment I think will definitely help us
On allowing eight sacks in the first half against the Seahawks in 2012:
I mean, really a lot of things ... you look at that tape that's really for personal matchup, as far as I've looked at it, and the teams have changed. ... Noise, something you have to deal with when you go on the road. We play in domed stadiums. We have to play at Minnesota and Detroit. This is unique the fact it's outside and it will clearly be one of the biggest challenges. It's something we're prepared for and that's why you go play the game.
On the Packers' run defense:
I feel good about our run defense. I really don't get this, we're smaller. We may weigh less, but I don't think our D-line is smaller. We've got some long-levered guys. Definitely the anchors we have on the edge of our 3-4, we've never had this kind of depth. From a personnel standpoint, I feel very good about the people and the ability to rotate different players will be a key. We want to play more players and I feel very good about the way the preseason has gone and we'll start that rotation Thursday night.
On why he wanted a new body type on the defensive line:
Well, it wasn't really just changing the body type. We don't just sit there, take this one out, put (doesn't finish thought). You have a draft process, things come to you, you select when you select. At the end of the day, I think you have to be honest with the fact that this game keeps getting more and more in space. Now it's in space and you can't grab a jersey. Team speed is important. The ability to run is more important than it's ever been. It's always been important. It's always been a determining factor if guys can play in this league and who can't paly in this league. We've always looked for the best athlete that gives you the most flexibility to be a four-down player, whether it's any position. And it definitely carries to the defensive line.
On his ninth opener as head coach:
The first game is always fun. It's definitely different now than it was back, especially for the first one, especially the way we got our butt kicked in the first one. I'll never forget that feeling. I wondered what the hell I got myself into being a head coach walking off the field that day. It's different. You're more prepared, you're more experienced. I don't really think nervous is part of it.
On tackle Bryan Bulaga going back to Seattle (where he struggled in 2012):
I think Bryan needs to go back to Seattle. Just like we all do, we want to go up there and win the football game. But it is the first game of the 2014 season. Bryan, specifically, I think he's getting ready to play his best football. He's 15 pounds heavier. He's in great shape. He's coming off of the season last year with the injury. I think he looks great.
Tuesday injury report (estimated; no practice):
Did not practice: TE Brandon Bostick (fibula), C JC Tretter (knee, out), CB Demetri Goodson (concussion). Limited: ILB Brad Jones (quad)