Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the media for about eight minutes following Thursday's practice. Here are the highlights.
Did not practice: G Josh Sitton (toe), G T.J. Lang (ankle). Limited in practice: WR Kevin Dorsey (foot). Full participation in practice: QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring), CB Sam Shields (knee), S Morgan Burnett (calf), DL Datone Jones (ankle).
On the progress of Sitton and Lang:
Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang were just clearly part of the rehab program today. I was incorrect, we're going to work them tomorrow.
On whether they need to practice in order to play:
I'd be very comfortable playing with T.J. and Josh without any practice time.
On rookie center Corey Linsley's maturation:
I think Corey is ready to make all the calls. The reality is, our guards are trained the same way the centers are. The communication, particularly on the road, the guards have a viewpoint. I also refer to the two guards, center and quarterback as the core of our offense.
On whether McCarthy scripts his first few plays:
In theory, we do. We're not the traditional no-huddle team where you script the first 15. I was never truly comfortable going down the first-15 list. I've been part of that. I've always scripted the first down and distance calls based on personnel.
On whether McCarthy prefers deferring or taking possession off the coin toss:
It just started with the fact that we wanted to set the tempo. If you look at some of our earlier games, a combination of things, we just wanted to make sure that we maxed out every opportunity. I've preferred deferring in the past. We'll talk about it tomorrow. Really, the coin toss situation, we make that decision every Friday.
On Rodgers being the key to the offense:
It helps immensely. He's the most important piece of the puzzle. The offensive system is always based on making him successful. We always talk about trying to stay on the front end of the cycle. Pro football is a cycle, the schemes and plays that you see today, you've seen some variation of it. trying to stay ahead of the trend, Aaron Rodgers gives us that ability.
On how Jones was playing before his injury:
Datone was playing well. It'll be important to have him back out there. I'm curious to see his drill work because that's the last hurdle he has to get over.
On improvements needed in the run defense:
It's a combination of things. It usually is when you have one glaring area. If you only take the one part that you thought you needed to change, trust me it would've been changed a long time ago. It comes down to everybody doing their job, and then when the play starts. Everybody talks about the fits. I think sometimes we try to do things a little too right. To me, it's a combination of those things. We've just got to get back to the basics.
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