McCarthy: Matthews on 'trial return'
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media before Monday's 12:15 p.m. CT practice. Here's what he had to say:
On the plan for linebacker Clay Matthews, out last week with a sore knee:
Clay Matthews is on a trial-and-error, trial return. We'll see how his workout goes today.
On facing the New England Patriots in Thursday's preseason opener:
We went to an in-season schedule today because it's going to be a little different than what we did in the past, just as far as starting times and things like that. But we still have, obviously, training camp-type meetings with that. I thought it was important to get the players on the in-season regimen as fast as possible. Obviously we're in a quick week here. We'll practice today, tomorrow we're going to cut that practice back some and then practice Wednesday and get on a plane to go to New England.
On that in-season schedule:
Just some minor adjustments, start times, just things we want to emphasize. Whether it's the health and welfare of our players, just a couple small meeting things structure-wise.
On wide receiver Javess Blue's injury from Family Night:
He hurt his shoulder, so we'll see how he feels going out there today. He's in a trial mode, medically-wise, because obviously we're doing this before practice, (Public relations director) Jason (Wahlers) will have the post-practice information for you.
On plans for padded practices:
You have to be flexible. You have to pay close attention to how you're team is doing as far as certain positions. Each and every year, it's a different position it seems like. This year, the outside linebacker position is really stressed. Tomorrow's practice, I'll see how everything is in the morning. We'll be possible pads, possible shells tomorrow and helmets the day before the game.
On this week's practice schedule:
We're going to work New England but really stay true to our fundamental game plan. We have a game plan we really want to stay on track with as far as hitting the fundamentals and not really relying on scheme.
On the second-team offense:
I think the second group has done some good things. I'm anxious to see them play Thursday night, so they're going to have the same opportunities as the first group. But they've done some really good things through the installation phase.
On the importance for young players to get some game action:
This is the most important – you talk about communication, No. 1, coming from the boundary. The substitutions, the special team depth chart has a lot of moving parts to it, so getting that orchestrated. The pace of the game, playing on the road, traveling, all those things. Actually I'm thrilled that we're spending our first two games on the road, because we'll be able to get back to back work on traveling and just the whole thing getting in sync. The benefit of having a short week and then going into a long week is also a benefit. So these are all the kind of things when you get in the scheduling for the season your young guys need to adjust to. I think the way this preseason schedule has set up is good to prepare those guys for that adjustment.
On backup quarterback Scott Tolzien:
Scott Tolzien as we all know, puts a lot of extra time into his preparation. If you look at his first season how he was thrown in to a situation with Aaron (Rodgers') injury, frankly, we probably did too much with him, try not to slow the rest of the offense down, put too much on his plate. He was really productive but had the turnovers. Now that he's had the chance to really got through the offseasons and get the extra work, I think you're definitely seeing what it's done for him on the practice field. I want to see him be able to run the full complement of our offense and he'll have that opportunity Thursday.
On wide receiver Myles White:
Myles is doing a heck of a job. Myles is the type of young man that you root for. This is his third season competing to make the football team. Just what he's done with his body in the weight room and the training aspect of it, he's really picked it up on special teams, which is really a must for all of our young guys. He's really improved, and he's doing a good job.