McCarthy: 2014 picks clearly have grown
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Thursday morning as his team prepares for Sunday night's home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Here are some highlights:
On safety Morgan Burnett, coming off a calf injury:
I thought Morgan looked good yesterday. He took limited reps. Frankly, I haven’t even got his report yet from the trainers, but I think we’re moving in the right direction.
On defensive back Micah Hyde’s versatility:
He’s a heck of a football player all the way around. His ability to come in from Iowa playing corner and then playing safety and dime. His ability as a returner. He’s an excellent football player.
On running back Eddie Lacy's carries:
I think what happened last year someone of the media he had Eddie Lacy on his fantasy team and didn’t get his carries early. If we go back to Week 1, James Starks would’ve played more in that game.
On the 2014 rookie class' growth from the opener to the NFC title game:
It was evident how much they’ve grown. That’s normal, but we’ve been through this our first 10 years here. That was a great experience for our rookies. They’ve grown a lot from it. I think all three of those guys have taken that jump.
On Seahawks return man Tyler Lockett:
Special young man, dynamic. I had the privilege of working with his father in Kansas City. Makes a difference in return game.
On linebacker Clay Matthews in the middle of run defense:
Run defense, gap assignment and ability to trust one another for the ability to be in their gaps. It’s getting off blocks and making plays. You have to tackle at a high level of efficiency. He’s a player of high instinct and can make a difference. It’s important for us to continue to move him around.
On the Get Loud Lambeau campaign and being 9-0 at home:
The first thing would be the fast starts. I think we got into the game fast and got going. Crowd was into the game. As a team, you enjoy the comfort of being at home. I think our game-day experience has definitely increased. Our stadium has grown over the last five years.
On Ty Montgomery’s first two returns:
Winning the field position battle down in Chicago. You look at their history of special teams play. That’ll continue because they’re well coached. I think anytime you give our offense that kind of postion. We want to be down in that red-zone five, six, seven times a game. Winning the field position battle helps you with that.
On defensive end Datone Jones' return from a one-week suspension:
Datone Jones, we’ll see today. He’s coming off an injury. He had the (knee) injury a few weeks ago. We want to see his padded work today.
On tight end Richard Rodgers:
He’s had a number of wow moments in practice or some of the catches he’s made. I think Richard is more comfort with what we’re asking him to do at the tight end position. He’s definitely made a jump from Day 1 to Day 2.
On the Seahawks defense:
They’re still an outstanding defense. The way they fly around and ability upfront. Michael Bennett is an outstanding football player. It’s a talented defense. A game doesn’t make a season and it’s a big challenge for our offense.
On Marty Schottenheimer’s nomination for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Marty Schottenheimer and Paul Hackett have influenced my professional path more than anybody in my history in the NFL. When I think of Marty, I think of his leadership and ability to motivate. His attention to detail and structure of building a program. He played the game. He’s a successful player, very passionate and you could see that in his teams. I thought he did a tremendous job of seeing his personality in the teams he coached. He’s a Hall of Fame coach in my mind no doubt about it. That tells the whole story.
On whether he talked with Schottenheimer about bouncing back from tough losses:
Emulate, I hope I do. I don’t really talk about those kind of things. I think every coach and player who’s been in this league goes through tough losses. No one goes through the NFL unscathed when it comes to tough losses.