Coach McCarthy on Aaron Rodgers ahead of Training Camp: “The best shape I have seen him in”

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GREEN BAY — The odds in Las Vegas have only one team favored more than the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl in February. The work to get there officially begins Tuesday morning, July 26th as Training Camp officially begins.

On Monday, it was time for physicals, conditioning testing, meetings and other final preparations for what’s to come.

For Aaron Rodgers, as preparations for the season begin, it’s about bouncing back from what some saw as an off-year.

This could be the season where the Packers, and Packers fans see a “Rodgers rebound.” It’s something we’ve never really had to look for before.

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers has the #1 all-time passer rating in the NFL, but he is coming off a down season. His career numbers, 104.1 for passer rating — but last season he was at just 92.7.

The Packers are tied for 25th in the league in passing offense — and Rodgers is the signal caller.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy

“I would say Aaron’s vibe, and really, his off-season participation and performance looks to line up for a great year. He’s in great shape. I would say this is the best shape I have seen him in. This is — as always, he’s very into the details. He’s ready to go, and he’s excited. In communication with him — he was excited to start,” Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.

During the off-season, Rodgers made some celebrity appearances, and even played some celebrity golf.

Now, it’s time to focus on football, and he and the Packers hope it’s at a level they’ve become accustomed to.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a lot of optimism surrounding the Packers as they head into Training Camp beginning Tuesday.

“I’ve always broken the team down into three areas. You’ve got your veteran group. You look at that group and the veteran players — we have really, the experience we have there, the production from that group. Then you have that group from two to five years and those guys will really play a big part in the success of our football season. That’s just the way I train them. Frankly the rookies, this rookie class as far as the professionalism, their attitude, their approach, their energy has been excellent,” Coach McCarthy said.

Football is the ultimate team game. The Packers will continue building that theme as they hit the practice field on Tuesday morning to get Training Camp underway on the field — but critical players do stand out and on the offense for the Packers Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Eddie Lacy are three of the biggest.

Rodgers is coming off a down season, Nelson is coming off an injury, and Lacy is trying to come back after not being in the best shape last season.

“I think we are all confident, Aaron and Jordy included, that they are going to get it back. It’s just a matter of getting back out on the field and getting the reps. You’re talking about two players that have thousands of reps invested in their time together. Expectations of Jordy and Eddie, I just want to see them work and have a healthy Training Camp and be a year better. It’s about making players around you better too and I think both of those guys have that ability,” McCarthy said.

If those three players bring up their individual performances, the packers offensive collective performance figures to go right along with them.

The Packers were 23rd in the league in total offense in 2015, and Aaron Rodgers, headed into his 12th season, expects to do more and McCarthy says it’s on Rodgers and the rest of the unit.

“We need to be much better offensively and in the area of fundamentals. Last year was not good enough and the numbers reflected that. We need to improve on a number of things fundamentally and that’s what Training Camp is for,” McCarthy said.

Jordy Nelson will be among the Packers players not working out on Tuesday morning. He has been placed on the “physically unable to perform” list.

Other players on the “PUP” list include Ty Montgomery, Jared Cook, TJ Lang, Corey Linsley and Sam Barrington.

Below is the complete Packers Training Camp schedule, including the pre-season games:

Tuesday, July 26
  • 8:15 a.m.
Wednesday, July 27
  • 8:15 a.m.
Thursday, July 28
  • 8:15 a.m.
Friday, July 29
  • No Practice
Saturday, July 30
  • 8:15 a.m.
Sunday, July 31
Monday, August 1
  • 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 2
  • No Practice
Wednesday, August 3
  • 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, August 4
  • 6:15 p.m.
Friday, August 5
  • No Practice
Saturday, August 6
  • No Public Practice
Sunday, August 7
  • Preseason Game (Canton, Ohio)
    Packers vs Colts
    7 p.m.
Monday, August 8
  • No Practice
Tuesday, August 9
  • 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10
  • 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, August 11
  • No Public Practice
Friday, August 12
  • Preseason Game
    Packers vs. Browns (Gold Package)
    7 p.m.
Saturday, August 13
  • No Practice
Sunday, August 14
  • 12:15 p.m.
Monday, August 15
  • 11:45 a.m.
Tuesday, August 16
  • No Practice
Wednesday, August 17
  • No Public Practice
Thursday, August 18
  • Preseason Game
    Packers vs. Raiders
    7 p.m.
Friday, August 19
  • No Practice
Saturday, August 20
  • No Public Practice
Sunday, August 21
  • No Practice
Monday, August 22
  • 12:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 23
  • 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, August 24
  • No Practice
Thursday, August 25
  • No Public Practice
Friday, August 26
  • Preseason Game
    Packers at 49ers
    9 p.m.
Saturday, August 27
  • No Practice
Sunday, August 28
  • No Practice
Monday, August 29
  • 12:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30
  • 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, August 31
  • No Public Practice
Thursday, September 1
  • Preseason Game
    Packers at Chiefs
    7 p.m.
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