The dormitory rooms at McCormick Hall on the campus of St. Norbert College in De Pere are now occupied by 88 football players and come Friday morning, the Green Bay Packers will embark on their 93rd National Football League journey. Thursday morning, head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media at the Lambeau Field auditorium and here are some of the highlights.
Audio from McCarthy news conference July 25 above
McCarthy also touched on several other topics, such as moving the early camp practices to the early morning. Each of the first week's practices will begin at 8:20 AM. "We feel best to do our heavy lifting in the morning", McCarthy said. He hopes the continuity of the camp schedule produces less wear on the player's bodies so they will be a healthier team when the games start to count. Admitting the team lost valuable leadership with the retirement of Donald Driver and the release of Charles Woodson, McCarthy said the void will be filled naturally. With Aaron Rodgers at the top of the list, other, new field and locker room leaders will emerge. Rodgers will get plenty of throwing in as the Packers will carry only three quarterbacks into camp after releasing undrafted rookie free agent Matt Brown of Illinois State earlier this week. With the reduced number of practices, and shorter length of each brought on by the now two year old collective bargaining agreement, McCarthy said it's just not very practical to carry four quarterbacks because number four would get very few opportunities. The team will have 88 players on the roster for the first workout with the signing of number one pick Datone Jones. The UCLA defensive end became the last of the 11 draft choices to get a deal done and it was formally announced by General Manager Ted Thompson Thursday morning. The team also signed free agent safety Ryan McMahon, a 5-11, 210 pound rookie from Sacramento State. He was looked at during the team's rookie orientation camp on a tryout basis and has now signed a free agent deal. Make sure to come back for regular postings once the camp practices begin and you're invited to follow me on Twitter for in-practice updates and notes @markdanielsWNFL. Let's roll!