An enthusiastic and positive Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarty addressed the media in a press conference at about 6:15 tonight – his message was one of moving ahead and progressing.
He talked about Eddie Lacy, Datone Jones and Johnathan Franklin, among others; he said this particular unit of rookies was ahead of schedule compared to last year and he said that they were all off to a “good start.”
“Eddie Lacy definitely is very smooth,” McCarthy said about his second round running back. “You can see things in the run game he did at Alabama. His comfort with footwork was my first impression. I’m glad he’s here.”
About Jones, he said, “I’m glad Datone Jones is here. Datone and Johnathan [Franklin] got in late last night. Two fine, young men and both very talented. Jim Mora [UCLA head coach] is a heck of a football coach. You can see Jim has made an impression and has that program off to a great start. I think they’ll be fine.”
In addition, McCarthy was asked about specific players who stood out and surprisingly he mentioned Angelo Pease, a 5-10 running back from Kansas State – an undrafted rookie.
However, he also came back to Lacy, saying, “Frankly, I thought it was Eddie Lacy – he dropped his weight and hit the hole.”
McCarthy also talked about the process of orientation with the rookie group and how it was important for the young guys to rub elbows with the veterans.
“Our schedule with the veterans this year is different than last year. For coaches, it was like coaching two teams today. We had the offensive players in the weight room. We had our practice on the field at 8:30 and then had to flip and turn around. I was interested to see the interaction because I think it’s important. I definitely like this format better than last year.”
McCarthy, in explaining the process of developing players and acquainting them with the Packers Way, he said.
It’s about 40-50 percent about culture, orientation. Fifty-60 percent about football. It’s important players clearly understand the expectations they have and how they conduct themselves in the locker room, cafeteria. Tough day because they don’t get football until the end, had some cramping. Tomorrow you’ll see practice improve because it’s the first thing you do in the morning. They spend a lot of time with Rob Davis. Spends a lot of time with this class.
My expectations for every young man who dressed today is what I told them last night. I told them makeup of team is sixth-, seventh-round draft picks and free agents. I’ve changed the philosophy of our program. We’ve been known as a draft-and-develop football team but we’re a draft-and-undrafted football team.
Tomorrow should be a better day for the Packers rookies, according to McCarthy. He said that their continued learning cycle will only improve as the team continues its on-field work.
Stay tuned …