Mike McCarthy addressed the media today after OTA’s and I gotta say I, while there was not a whole lot of information about individual players, I really liked what I heard. First of all, McCarthy made it a point to express that he is enjoying himself. In response to a question about his more active role in the special teams unit, he responded, “Coaching is still coaching regardless of what position you work with. Coaching is where I want to be…This has been a very fun year.”
This is important for two reasons:
- It shows me that McCarthy has left behind the sour way that last season ended.
- A coach that is having fun is going to facilitate a team that doesn’t play tight. We all know that with coach McCarthy, the Packers will be a well prepared team, but it is great to hear coach say that he is having fun.
McCarthy addressed the health of the team as well, stating that he had “no long term concerns medically of anybody on the roster right now” This is great news for Packernation as we all know that a big concern going into the 2015 season is to carry over the general health of the team that we finally saw in 2014. We are off to a good start.
McCarthy made it clear that he needed to first teach the team how to practice, and that includes the veterans who are familiar with expectations but coming off a hiatus. The young rookies will quickly catch on when the veterans get up to speed. Tempo is a major component of a McCarthy practice. And it will be projected onto the field in September.
Coach McCarthy hinted at some of the changes while making note that they were minor, and not major departures from the past. He mentioned new drills, some different coaches and different combinations. We don’t know what these are but Coach was very strong in his support of Ron Zook, stating that “Zook is an accomplished coach. you want your unit to take on your personality. Fundamentals and techniques. thats where the focus is on special teams.” McCarthy described Zook’s relationship with the players as “Excellent”.
As many in Packernation have thought, it seems that Aaron Rodgers will have a greater influence on the output of the 2015 offense. Coach McCarthy mentioned that “Aaron loves football.” and that he is in a “comfortable place on the football field.” He described Aaron as an “Excellent teacher” and particularly mentioned that the coaching staff “went through all the installs with his (Aarons) input.”
If there was one place where coach McCarthy seemed a bit jaded or secretive, it was when he was asked about Clay Matthews. There was no clear answer as to where Matthews would line up in the base defense but McCarthy did say that the coaches would use him in multiple ways. I think the final proof will be in the pudding of thise year’s rookie class.
Could be our best veteran base for a football team
On a final note, coach also made a very clear pitch for Nick Perry. Saying that all of his teammates consider him a very good, very tough football player. I think Nick came on especially in the Seahawks game at the end of last season and believe he will have his best year yet in 2015.
At the time of this writing, the press conference was not available in video or transcript form. But for that, you will have to go to Packers.com