Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media before Wednesday’s practice as the team begins preparations for Sunday's season opener against the Chicago Bears. Here are some highlights:
On expectations for wide receiver Randall Cobb, who's been out with a shoulder injury:
Expectation for Randall and all of our guys is to practice and prepare for Chicago. I’m hopeful everybody practices today.
On John Fox-coached teams:
There’s a clear-cut philosophy I think it runs through all three programs he’s put together. Obviously the belief in running the football, stopping the run. I think those are common threads that run through all the teams he’s coached.
On where the Packers are at going into the regular season:
I feel good where we are. This is the first step. Every year is different. Every football team is different.
On educating the team on the Packers-Bears rivalry:
It happens usually a different time each and every week. It hasn’t happened yet. There will definitely be an education before we step onto the field.
On playing the Bears in the opener:
I think it’s the first time we’ve opened against a brand-new staff.
On having success against Bears quarterback Jay Cutler:
He’s a talented quarterback. He can make all the throws. Watching him play last year and watching him play this year, there’s some things that are precisely different. I think his mechanics and some of the things he’s shown in the preseason is an improvement over the past. Tough guy, getting ready for him and this new offense.
On dealing with with Bears tight end Martellus Bennett:
He’s definitely the focal point. You saw the displaced formations they use him in. We have to match up against those guys. He’s a talented and productive tight end. Got a lot of targets last year.
On linebacker Julius Peppers being everything he hoped he would be:
I think Julius Peppers had probably the biggest impact on our football team last year. We were all confident in the type of player that was coming to Green Bay. The personality and uniqueness of a man who interacts with his teammates is special. His role as a leader continued to grow throughout the season.
On Peppers’ speech last year:
It’s the connection. From today’s meeting, everyone talks about living a successful life is by how many people you impact whether it’s professionally or personally.
On getting wide receiver James Jones acclimated to the offense:
He has the foundation. He knows the history of the offense. The starting points are already there. He was with Ben McAdoo in New York.
On Alonzo Harris as the No. 3 running back:
Alonzo Harris is a part of our football team. I think he earned it. He has tremendous upside and glad he’s here.