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Mike McCarthy Press Conference

July 30, 2010

The Coach

Mike McCarthy introduced training camp with his first press conference of the year. The fifth-year head coach of the Packers said a lot without saying much at all. The highlights included the preseason PUP list, his thoughts on rookie safety Morgan Burnett, and a comment on an NFC North rival.

McCarthy named 3 players who will begin training camp on the PUP list: Cornerback Al Harris, safety Atari Bigby, and running back James Starks. As I wrote earlier today, Al Harris’ agent, Jack Betcha, claimed Harris would be ready for week 3 of the preseason. McCarthy, on the other hand, did not necessarily share in Betcha’s optimism. “The doctors are very encouraged with Al, particularly in the past three weeks. But I do not have a time frame for his return,” McCarthy said. On a more positive note, McCarthy said he “would not be surprised” if Harris was able to return for the start of the regular season.

McCarthy commented that James Starks’ hamstring injury is the same one that kept him out of most of the offseason work, but McCarthy could not provide a time table for his return either. In a surprising addition to the injury list, it was reported that Atari Bigby’s ankle is still bothersome. McCarthy said he is “concerned about Atari, but hasn’t had a chance to talk to him yet.” He added that Bigby’s “ankle really bothered him in the conditioning test” so he was put on the PUP list.

During Atari Bigby’s absence from summer practices, rookie third-round draft pick Morgan Burnett has made the most of the opportunity. When asked how he felt about Burnett, McCarthy answered “That’s what training camp is for, but I really like what the young man has done.” McCarthy acknowledged the “opportunity [Burnett] has in front of him,” and went on to praise the rookie’s work ethic. He finished by saying he is “excited to see him out there.”

Believe it or not, McCarthy is still getting questions about Brett Favre. When asked about Favre and the Vikings, McCarthy planted his tongue firmly in cheek and answered, “We feel blessed we get to play the Vikings twice a year. It’s a great rivalry. They are real good team. We know where they are on schedule.”

And with that quote, McCarthy made my day.

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