McCarthy: TE Rodgers has 'taken a step'
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Tuesday morning following practice. Here are some highlights:
On linebacker Clay Matthews, out with a knee injury:
Don't have an update. Haven't met with the trainers.
On the cornerback competition:
I think cornerbacks as a group are off to a good start. Good work for receivers and corners in bump-and-run drill. Quarterbacks threw ball extremely well and receivers got on top of corers for some big plays. Gave you a good look at what the young guys can do.
On second-year tight end Richard Rodgers:
I think he's definitely taken a step. Thing I really like that he's doing he's had some dominant plays in special teams. He blocked two punts today as far as punt rush. Taking a step offensively.
On backup inside linebackers' opportunities with Matthews absent:
It's a big opportunity for inside linebackers and they need to make plays. Too much thinking going on. Today is a challenging day for our defense and inside linebackers with communication. You'll hopefully see more of that as week goes on. They need to settle in and start playing.
On rookie wide receiver Ty Montgomery:
He's picking it up. He's doing good things on special teams. He's off to a good start.
On competition for reserve offensive line spots:
Everybody is competing for a position. Every time you look at an offensive line unit. You look at a number of our younger linemen, they play multiple positions. They're doing a good job: Josh Walker, Donny Barclay.
On the running game in half-line drills:
I'd say production for offense running football is high comparison to prior years. I think it speaks volumes of whole group. Football IQ is much higher. Offense is off to a really good start.
On why linebacker Adrian Hubbard and tackle Vince Kowalski didn't practice:
Adrian has a groin injury and Kowalski has a concussion.
On running backs Alonzo Harris and Rajion Neal:
I think the young guys are doing good. They need to be out there, take the reps and be more comfortable. Hopefully, we can get the thinking to stop and they're out there playing and reacting and being proactive with everything that you're doing.
On piped-in crowd noise at practice:
There will be a time for crowd noise. We have a schedule and when it's coming up. It'll be an emphasis before we go to New England.
On linebacker Andy Mulumba:
He looks good. He looks like he's come all the way back. Frankly, just keeping stocking the performances we've had at practice. Line calls and adjustments he's made in team periods you can see his experience. Being in Year 3 helps. Staying healthy and available.
On quarterback Aaron Rodgers' competitiveness in practice:
I think it's common. Frankly, you want your whole team competing like that. Aaron has his way as far as being so productive against our defense. It's about the drill. The ability to stress an offense or a defense. We need that work.
On being vocal in practice:
Everybody has a responsibility. Obviously, I'm in charge of the tempo and structure of a practice. Everybody has a role. Definitely tempo is not what it needed to be (early). That's my responsibility.
On cornerback Sam Shields' leadership:
I think like anything in group dynamics, when I think of leadership, I think of informal leadership opportunities. Like when Sam reaches out to help young players. That comes from when he was younger and was helped by Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Joe Whitt.
On running back Eddie Lacy:
He had some foot soreness.