GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers’ Head Coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the media on Tuesday morning, June 12 as the team kicked off a mandatory mini-camp in Titletown.
Mini-camp got underway after three weeks of organized team activities, or OTAs. Attendance is mandatory unless you’re an excused veteran.
“Sixteen veterans have been excused from the camp. There’s only so many reps you can accomplish throughout the off-season and today’s practice and tomorrow and Thursday’s practice will be exclusively for our young players. W e are maximizing the reps and tailor that to the group that probably needs it more. That’s the theory behind it. It works. We’ve seen the improvement. You are evaluating our team and our players and so are we internally. There’s things that these young guys need,” said Coach McCarthy on Tuesday.
QB Aaron Rodgers was one of those excused veterans. There’s ample opportunity for the other quarterbacks in mini-camp. DeShone Kizer is trying to unseat Brett Hundley as the backup and Tim Boyle is an undrafted youngster. As it was proven last year, you can’t rely solely on Aaron Rodgers.
“You just look at the rep distribution throughout the OTAs, the amount of reps Aaron takes each and every year, and every starter in the league needs those reps, so now it’s time for those guys to get those reps, so this is a very important time for particularly the quarterbacks,” said Coach McCarthy.
“I don’t know how everything’s gonna pan out — whether they’ll keep both or whatever, but I feel like they’re both playing a lot of attention to detail around here — is what keeps people around for a while,” said Davante Adams, wide receiver.
Seventy-four players took part in mini-camp on Tuesday, including #21, HaHa Clinton-Dix, the four-year veteran safety who skipped out on the optional OTAs.
“I lost my grandmother at my graduation. I guess she was excited to see me graduate and just had a heart attack — and came back here and had a foundation event and she lost all brain activity that Wednesday, so it’s challenging at times, but my family means everything to me,” said Clinton-Dix.
Mike Pettine, the new defensive coordinator, just got to Green Bay in January, and he brought with him a little project for his new players.
“Each one of the players on defense actually wrote down personal goals. I think this is something that Coach Pettine kind of implemented and it’s kind of cool to write down those goals on paper and make them kind of tangible. Some guys’ goals are going to be to make the football roster and some guys’ goals are to be All-Pro, so it’s putting goals down that are tangible and realistic, but also goals that you kind of want to reach for. I set the standard and bar high for myself and I shoot for the stars and that’s kind of how I’ve always been, whether that’s at Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and I’m going to do the same here,” said Vince Biegel, Packers’ linebacker.
After Thursday’s mini-camp comes a big break for everyone involved until Green Bay Packers’ Training Camp starts on July 5.