McCarthy: Not concerned about Starks, Jones injuries

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks scores on a 13-yard run during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field.

Practice and injury report

Did not practice: RB James Starks (ankle), DE Datone Jones (ankle), S Morgan Burnett (calf), CB Sam Shields (knee).

On Burnett, Jones and Starks:

All three were moving pretty good. We'll see how all three come out. I don't have high concerns. All three of them are working through those injuries.

On keeping Shields out through the bye week:

I don't keep players out for games. If a player can play, he plays. Sam is going through a medical situation.

On Sunday night's opponent, the New Orleans Saints:

You look at the Saints. They're 2-4. Four losses on the road. When you watch the video, it's not a 2-4 football team. (Coach) Sean Payton has done a great job with his program. His personality, they play the right way. It's a high-tempo offense. Defensively, a lot of pressure packages, work to do from our standpoint. It's one of the loudest environments you'll play in that dome. Big challenge for us. It's probably our best Wednesday practice from our energy standpoint.

On covering Saints tight end Jimmy Graham:

He's a tough matchup. How you play him, that's what the game is for. They use him down the boundary and corner routes as well. He's definitely someone you have to be smart with.

On Saints quarterback Drew Brees:

They've had some injuries. Trust me, we're not counting on Drew Brees coming in and not playing at the level we've grown accustomed to. We're getting ready for a dynamic offense.

On Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb:

Randall is back. He had a great offseason. You could see that right away. He's getting more opportunities. He needs to touch the football. That's a focus of mine each week. It doesn't matter how you get it to him.

On the jet sweep and backfield packages with Cobb:

Really, what we did do and didn't do at the beginning of the season, it wasn't a factor of how the games went. Things we're doing every week are things we've worked on since April.

On determining whether a game is going to be a shootout vs. a defensive struggle:

I think you go into every game shooting all your bullets. I think you definitely, as you put your plan together, you recognize the play style of a team. It's on turf. It'll be a fast environment.

On his New Orleans connections:

I had great memories working in New Orleans. I like the people down there. Blue-collar mindset. It was five good years. That was a huge opportunity for me personally. Jim Haslett gave me the opportunity to be an offensive coordinator, install your offense for the first time.

On the Packers' NASCAR defense:

All four of those guys (linebackers Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry) are definitely hitting their targets how we're playing them. I'd like to get (linebacker) Nick Perry a few more reps. It's about utilizing them. We're not all about that one package. It's important to have that rotation.

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