Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Monday morning before practice. Here are some highlights:
On 13 players missing from Saturday's pracice:
As far as number of players who missed practice Saturday, it'll probably go down a little bit today. Today we'll focus on common concepts and things we want to build off of. We'll start our preparation for Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
On left tackle David Bakhtiari's injury:
He's going through a treatment program, it'll probably take a couple more days. Knee has been bothering him.
On Don Barclay working at left tackle:
Good for Donny. Anytime you can get reps there. I think you really have to look at where we are in our second preseason game. You want to give players opportunities chances to work there. That's no different than Don Barclay. It's an opportunity for players to increase their value.
On wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, still out with a concussion:
He's a very good football player. He's one of those players you obviously saw in college and the time he's been on the field here. He's natural and instinctive in his route-running. Connecting with quarterback in passing game. Injuries are unfortunate and part of the game. Injury that's keeping him off the field.
On defensive tackle Mike Pennel:
He's in the middle of making that jump. You see his body and training from Year 1 to Year 2. He missed a day or two with injury. Did some good things in New England. Playing a lot of positions. We can be a little more defined with that.
On the competition to be the third running back:
I think your third runner is critical. You look at games in the past when that person isn't available, it changes the direction of your football team. We had one healthy runner going into that game and we only took two into that game. Third running back is critical to your roster. It effected the game. We lost two linemen in the game. Ryan played hurt in the game and we were down to John Kuhn.
On going home to Pittsburgh for Sunday's preseason game:
Definitely. Going back to Pittsburgh is always fun. That will definitely be the case Saturday when I can get at home. It's fun. Prefer to go during preseason. My parents live across the street from them and watch all the nieces run around.
On special teams coordinator Ron Zook:
He's an excellent benefit to our staff. Player relationships. Takes a diverse personality. He's more involved with the medical meetings. I worked with Ron in 2000. It was a very competitive spring training camp. If you think he has energy now, you should have seen him them. He has a great personality and spirit to him.
On the competition at inside linebacker:
Having press conferences after practice that was a heavy impression of me coming off the field. I don't believe in grading players or correcting players in public. I think I made an obvious statement.
On getting playmakers at inside linebacker:
All those reps are so valuable. It's unfortunate Clay (Matthews) is going through what he's going through. We all know about the body type. You talk about the tight ends and inside linebackers. Those guys, the amount of work that's done each day at practice, that's a lot of work. That's why those positions probably get stressed more than other positions. A, they know the vehicle to get on the team is special teams but now they're getting earlier reps with the ones and twos. The mindset that special teams is less important is a bad mindset to have.