Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Friday as the team prepared for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. Here are some highlights:
Probable – ILB Sam Barrington (hamstring, full participant in practice), DL Josh Boyd (knee, full)
Questionable – CB Tramon Williams (ankle, limited in practice), WR Jarrett Boykin (groin, limited), ILB Jamari Lattimore (neck, limted),
Out – CB Sam Shields (knee, did not practice), DL Datone Jones (ankle, DNP)
On Tramon Williams:
Yeah, so we're still going through the process. But he's better today than he was yesterday. ... I think tomorrow will be the biggest indicator, obviously with us going to the practice field. As I stated earlier in the week, we'll give Tramon Williams every opportunity all the way up to game time to play.
On Tramon Williams' durability:
Tramon Williams, definitely very durable. Very impressive athlete in the strength and conditioning, he's always been impressive in there, takes great care of his body. He's a pro. He's an old-school pro. I don't think there's any question when we got back here Monday that he was going to do everything that he could to play in this game. I have great confidence in him. I hate to be redundant, but we're going to give him every opportunity to play in the game.
On Sam Shields' injury:
He pivoted on it. Obviously it's a knee strain, so he injured it sometime before and when he pivoted on it, it gave out on him.
On Brad Jones:
Brad Jones did some really good things and as we state all the time, Brad has technically started a lot of games for but we're going to play with more than 11, and the linebacker position, particularly inside, is something that has rotation to it, not as much as the outside linebacker, but he'll definitely play in the game.
On Datone Jones:
Yeah, I'm a little surprised at the path, but he's struggling laterally right now and until he gets that back, it doesn't make sense to push it forward. I thought he fought through last Saturday's practice but he's had a setback.
On JC Tretter:
JC Tretter, I thought he did some really good things yesterday in the padded work, and he definitely needed to see some things that he hasn't seen since training camp. There's a couple of bull rushes that obviously just with the way he's built, people are going to test him at. It was great to have him out there, he looks good.
On where Tretter can play:
I think JC has the ability to play multiple positions, no doubt about it. He actually took reps at multiple positions today in the opponent squad. We're trying to give JC as much work as we possibly can, particularly in the opponent stuff if he's pulling and get him as many athletic movements and different assignments, different techniques just to try to catch him up in the padded work.
On sudden depth at center:
You talking about the center position? Yeah, the center position I feel very good about. Garth has done a lot of good things for us, he's been steady. Obviously corey as a rookie, he's playing very very well. Having JC back, let's not forget Josh Sitton and TJ who definitely have the ability to jump in. so I think we have excellent depth at the center position.
On balance between pass defense and defending read-option:
That's an excellent point because that's really what happens to you in a week of preparation. We've had excessive reps against the read option this week, particularly in our padded practice. So we've taken just one period and that's all we did because I wanted the defense to see the speed of it and to get the proper run fits and the different variations that they've shown on film and particularly with the athlete, the size of the athlete that Cam Newton is. He's a different athlete when he runs the football. But with that, you have to find a time and adjust your schedule to make sure you're preparing for their passing game, too. There's a lot more to their offense than just the read option. So it's definitely a balancing act. It's something we talked about as a staff on Monday to make sure that, a, you want to take care of the reps as far as our defensive players seeing the read option, but let's make sure we're getting ready for the rest of their offense.
Who handled read-option reps in practice?
Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. Yeah. You're saying that with smirk, and I'm going to tell 'em about that, too, when I leave here. I think it's disrespectful. Did you ever see Matt play in college? Matt Flynn ran more quarterback power plays, I think, than anybody I had seen at that point in my career. That and the bubble screen, won a national championship doing it. No, they did a good job.
On the Friday schedule:
I like it. The players love it, so I guess that's a good thing, too. Fridays are very distorted, just for me personally. We get a lot of work done. I was worried about the amount of work that we were able to get done as far as the teaching. That actually has increased, more so where we're spending more time as groups. We've got more positions doing things together. So that's been very beneficial in our learning. That's reflected in our mental errors. Our mental errors are way down. That's something you worry about when you don't practice as long. So the theory of quality over quantity is working. You worry about your young guys, in particular, not getting the amount of time on the field. Just the things I was concerned about, we've been hitting the targets. So our preparation has been good, and I think the players really enjoy Fridays because it really gives them a chance to get their bodies back and the work on Saturday is obviously lighter than it was on Friday so they obviously like that, too.