McCarthy: Aaron Rodgers is 'in a groove'
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy met with the media Wednesday morning. Here are highlights of what he said:
On Davante Adams’ health status:
Davante, he won't go through the practice structure today. He'll be part of the rehab group. We obviously have a light practice coming back from a Monday night game.
On Morgan Burnett’s status:
I’ll have a better sense of that tomorrow. Because today’s practice is, we’ve got a lot of walkthrough, our two-minute, seven-on-seven drill – our no-huddle, seven on seven – and all our special teams are at teaching speed. We’ve had two really physical football games in a row coming off night games, so we’ve got to be smart. Plus, we’re flying out Friday.
On whether Aaron Rodgers might start running read-option plays:
That's a scheme question, I don't answer a scheme question. ... He makes too much money to run the option, so ...
On Aaron Rodgers’ higher completion percentage:
I just think he’s in a groove. I talked about it a little after the game. Really our football team coming out of the offseason program — to me the offseason program is preparing your team for the training camp. We felt a little bit coming out of the offseason that training camp started cleaner, more productive in all three phases. Maybe special teams was a little bit behind. We worked at it maybe more than we have over the years. They’ve really been in sync, the whole offense and Aaron being in sync with the receivers. He’s making great decisions. He’s always been a high ball accuracy player. That’s nothing new.
On Jeff Janis’ development:
Jeff Janis is doing a heck of a job. He's definitely making the leap that you're looking for in the second year. He's done a very good job on special teams. I thought he had some moments in the preseason that he was able to learn from, I thought he's played big there. And there are a number of things that are just new to him, whether it's the punt rush – he's done a very good job there. He's done a good job as a gunner. As a receiver, I mean he goes right in and we don't change anything when he's in there. He's definitely part of the flow of our offense.
On 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick:
He’s a dynamic player. Obviously we’ve had some issues with him in the past and they’ve gone back to their read-option and so scheme-wise he definitely stresses you. He can make all the throws, he’s a big, athletic guy, so he’s a different type of quarterback to prepare for.
On whether the Packers’ defense is better positioned to slow down Kaepernick than in the past:
Well, I think the reality is, I think both teams are a lot different than the last time we played them. We have a good plan, and we’ve got to get ready on a short week, and travel out there on Friday. So those are the things we’re really focused on.
On continuing the Packers’ fast start:
A win at San Francisco, I would say we complete the fast start. The first quarter of the season is the focus so getting to 4-0 would get that. I’m a really good speaker in the team meetings, but I don’t think that’s not realistic. I think coaching is you get what you emphasize. I think it’s a conscious effort of everybody that we need to come out of the gates faster this year, and we did that.
On whether Packers need to add another tight end with Andrew Quarless injured:
We’re pretty multiple in our personnel groups. That’s something that we go into each and every week. I don’t really want to get into specifics on that, but that’s the diversity of our offense. Really, it’s the beauty that Aaron Rodgers gives us. We can always be creative, and our assistant coaches are very aggressive in the game plan part of it.
On defensive improvements:
I’ll tell you, we have a little bit of what we had last year. You get to a point in the game where you’ve got a sizable lead, and the opposing offense has their most production in the fourth quarter. As a football team, we discussed it in the offseason, we need to do a better job of just finishing games. When you get the lead in the game, you’ve got to finish better in the fourth quarter.
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