Gutekunst and LaFleur speak ahead of Packers training camp


Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst listens as head coach Matt LaFleur is introduced at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(WFRV) – A training camp like non other is set to kick off at Lambeau Field. Head coach at Brian Gutekunst met the media on Sunday ahead of this year’s training camp.

Below are the highlights from their press conferences:

Matt LaFleur

On players following rules and regulations due to COVID-19: “It’s gonna take a lot of self discipline. Anyone who comes in contact with our players, they have to be very mindful of what they’re doing outside of the building”

No preseason games and changes to practices: Going to have more scrimmages and even practices inside Lambeau Field to create more game like situations for players.

On talk of need for rookie QB to play after being drafted in the first round: Most importantly Aaron Rodgers is our quarterback. Feel so luck to be able to work with him on a daily basis and don’t see that changing any time soon.

Challenges inside the building and on the field: There’s been a lot of adjusting. Unfortunately we can’t use all the meeting space. We are lucky we have a lot of space in this building to move things around and have team meetings. As far as practice, I still think that’s something we’re going to work through. We have a plan laid out. Certainly we want to limit the risk for these guys. Football is close contact sport, but we’re going to do every thing in our power to make sure our guys are as safe as they can be.

Comfort level with WR corps after Funchess opted out: We’re expecting everybody to step up. What’s great is these guys are in their second year in the scheme. Guys had a really productive offseason even though they weren’t in the building. Good to have St. Brown back in the building. Confident that group can take the next step.

Set group on the OL: Nothing is set in stone right now. You have to roll out five guys, but competion is there across the board. The key is to find five guys that fit together.

Isolating QB or having a quarantine back-up: We’ve floated around the idea a little bit. Have not made a decision about that. Certainly not something that’s out of the realm of possibility.

Working with rookies: There’s certainly some things they haven’t seen, like speed of workouts. Showing them some film from last workout. Going to be a challenge around the league with rookies being behind. Up to how fast Packers can get them up to speed with how they do things around here.

How different does the day to day routine feel: The whole layout of training camp is unprecedented. We’re trying to make the best decisions for our football team. We’re evaluating every thing as well go. When something doesn’t feel right or work for us, we’ll make the changes. Right now we’re trying to get that process down.

Evaluating QBs during the spring with virtual offseason: What was taking place was a lot of quizzing to make sure they can articulate the offense. It was on them to go out and get the workouts in. That’s why I’m excited to get guys back in the building. Now we can get our “hands on them” and work with them in person once they get back on the field.

Ends media availability with “don’t forget to mask up!”

Brain Gutekunst

On Funchess opting out: Obviously we support Devin. Really no different than every year, you lose players for different reasons. It’s a daily thing adjusting to changes.

On conversations with players about playing this season: Have not had any discussions with other players about opting out of the season. Only Devin Funchess has decided to opt out his year.

On looking for more help at wide receiver and conversations with Tramon Williams: “It’s nice to have everybody back in the building, but as far as we go about the process hasn’t really changed.” Grateful for what Tramon has done here, team is aware of where he’s at right now, and no updates at this time.

No preseason games for evaluation: Going to be different. Always felt guys went out under the lights and proved themselves. Really confident in Matt and his staff’s ability to create opportunities in practice. Going to have lots of opportunities, but hard to replicate the real pressure of a game.

Closely following MLB: I’ve got a lot of confidence in the plans. There’s a lot of unknowns and we’re going to have to adjust every day. There are some things that are out of our control, no doubt about it.

Split squad or 80 man: Going with split squad for the time being, and sticking with the 90 man roster.

Challenge of going with a rookie quarterback given limited preseason: Unfortunate we’re not going to have the game reps, but excited for what Matt and his staff will do to create situations. Having one of the best (Aaron Rodgers) will help as well.

How different has it felt: Not having OTAs and padded practices leadings gup has been different. Having players back in the building makes it feel more normal. Once we get to football, watching practice, and getting ready for games it will be a little more normal.

No on-field work during the offseason and no preseason games present opportunities for young guys: Different opportunities, but different than past years without preseason games. More physical practices, team periods to create chances for young guys in practice.

Concerns about players going out when away from Green Bay/facility: Around here we’ve always put a lot on the reliability factor. For us to accomplish what we want to accomplish guys are going to have to stay smart away from the building. Football’s the ultimate team game, this year more than others. We’re going to have positive tests. The dependability and availability of players is a big part of who’s going to have success this year.

Contingencies if the season can’t start on time: The league’s got all kinds of contingency plans. I have not gone down the road. Sure Mark (Murphy) has had those discussions. We’re preparing every day like we’re going to go. The best part of having the guys back in the building is everyone is excited to have football back again.

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