The top Packers personnel have been at the NFL combine this week, trying to find players that they believe can help Green Bay win. Head Coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson have different beliefs as to the most important aspect of the trip to Indianapolis.
"The interviews are probably from my perspective the most important, there's a lot that comes out of the interviews," Mike McCarthy explained.
"Quite frankly, I think the ability to get medical examinations and find out all the medical information we can," Ted Thompson weighed in.
That's about the most informative piece of information we got from Thompson. He's very guarded, especially when asked about the upcoming NFL draft and free agency. Here's Thompson's reasoning behind his poker face:
"If we were going to be exactly specific, it wouldn't be good for the organization. There's propritary information involved," Thompson explained.
So no official word as to who or what position the Packers are targeting in the draft. No specifics on free agency either. Green Bay has 20 free agents... four on the defensive line. McCarthy squashed the reports that the team would go with a smaller lineup there.
"If anything you always want to get bigger, stronger, faster, longer and things like that. We're definitely not going to be smaller," he told reporters.
It's always been McCarthy and Thompson's philiosphy to keep their own players, but Coach admitted it's not practical to keep them all. With that being said, they plan on getting their money worth out of last year's first round pick.
"At the end of the day Datone Jones needs to be on the field and being utilized. So we have a lot of creativity in our defense lot of scheme but the reality is we didn't get to a lot of it this past year and we gotta make sure that we're emptying our guns each and every week and that will be a focus of ours on defense," McCarthy said.
The safety position needs to be a focus. For the first time in over 50 years in Green Bay, that unit didn't record a single interception. There has been talk the team may move cornerback Micah Hyde opposite Morgan Burnett.
"I'd like to see Micah compete to play all three downs on defense so if there's a personel group that he has to play safety that's an option," McCarthy explained.
On the offensive side of the ball, last year proved how important the backup quarterback position is. McCarthy said Scott Tolzien will be back and said hopefully they can retain free agent Matt Flynn. But per usual they'd like to round out the qb room heading into camp.
"I think we definitely need four. So I'm hopeful we can get a young guy out of the draft," McCarthy said.
Coach is also satisfied with his running back unit but expects more out of them.
"I thought our running back group rotation-wise is as good as its been in my time in Green Bay but with Eddie and Jonathan and James Starks, hopefully we can sign James back, if all these guys are able to play three downs it gives your offense a chance to play faster, keeps guys fresher, keeps it more in a rhythm, you don't have as much substitution."
As for the guys paving the way for the backs, McCarthy called it the "best group of offensive lineman from a depth standpoint" that he's had since taking over the reins. Derek Sherrod and Bryan Bulaga will also return from injury. Bulaga was slated to move to the left side before getting injured... that's now up for discussion.
"I told Bryan when he left in the exit interview that I will be in touch with him to let him know what our plan is, whether its the left side or the right side," McCarthy said.
NFL free agency kicks off March 11th and the draft gets underway May 8th.
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