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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media after Thursday's practice in preparation for Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints. Here are some highlights:

Packers injury report

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

On how Jones and Starks practiced:

Datone and James were limited. I had a better look at James, but he looked pretty good.

On practicing outside before heading to the Superdome:

It's better to be outside. It's better to train outside. We'll be ready for the field turf. Better for your joints. I'll always go grass over field turf. Our Saturday practice is scheduled for the (Don) Hutson Center. We were planning to be outside today, but we were able to beat the rain.

On Saints coach Sean Payton:

I have a lot of respect for Sean. I've always appreciated the way he viewed offensive football and coordinating with the (New York) Giants and Dallas (Cowboys). We were head coaches the same year. I have great respect for him.

On Burnett's injury:

My concern for Morgan is higher than it was yesterday. Hopefully with today and what goes on tomorrow, we'll see if he'll be able to do anything on Saturday.

On safeties Micah Hyde and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:

We feel very good about our depth. I can't say enough about the way guys stepped up last week. Everybody is looking for an opportunity. Micah has done a lot of good things. Ha Ha had an excellent practice today. Jarrett Bush is ready to go as far as the dime. Sean Richardson has played well on special teams.

Is this Burnett's best year?

I think so. He's been healthy. He's a lot more confident with the scheme. The communication has been excellent. I think he's having a better year this year over last year.

On his comfort with Clinton-Dix playing a full game:

I think Ha Ha is ready to play a complete game.

On the Packers' defensive line:

We've done a good job with the rotation, guys are fresh. I feel very confident in what we've been able to do.

On coaching running back Eddie Lacy:

Eddie Lacy is easy to coach. He's very willing. I can't say enough about anytime something comes up, he has a desire to not disappoint his teammates. He's better this year than last year.

On Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005:

When Katrina hit, I think like everybody, it's devastating. Living down there, the people you had relationships with, contacting them. The Saints were playing in a preseason game in Oakland right after that.

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