Head coach Mike McCarthy touched upon numerous topics on Wednesday at the NFL's owners meetings in Phoenix during his media availability, but among his most interesting comments were those on DuJuan Harris and the Packers' running game. McCarthy indicated Harris will get an opportunity to start but also had more to say, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Though he wouldn't be specific, McCarthy offered a few hints at what might be different, saying he wanted to play more into the strengths of the personnel and stick more with a one-two punch," writes Silverstein. "It could be inferred that he wouldn't be asking his offensive linemen to do things they aren't good at, which could mean fewer reach blocks and more in-line tight end use." It's looking inevitable that the Packers will add a power back to complement Harris' quickness. They could go multiple directions, such as a player like Ahmad Bradshaw in free agency, or players like Eddie Lacy, Stepfan Taylor or Le'Veon Bell in the NFL Draft. McCarthy's lack of commitment to James Starks and Alex Green also spoke volumes.
Mike McCarthy also expressed the need for the left side of the Packers offensive line to improve. “If you’re breaking down the line as a whole, our left side and the center position, we need improvement there,” McCarthy is quoted as saying by Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. “I thought (right guard) Josh Sitton probably had his best year. And frankly, (Bryan) Bulaga and (Don) Barclay at right tackle with Josh was, we felt, a good combination. We need to get the left side to play better.” T.J. Lang signed a big contract last season and seems entrenched at left guard for the time being, but it would appear that neither Marshall Newhouse nor Evan Dietrich-Smith have jobs locked up. As incumbent starters, they might get first crack at the job, but they do need to display signs of improvement.
More on the offensive line comes from ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Linebacker Brad Jones, who is an unrestricted free agent, was spotted at Packers headquarters on Wednesday, but he didn't talk to the media, and we can only speculate about what may happen with him. "In a light blue hooded sweatshirt, Jones was inside 1265 Lombardi Ave. for about an hour," according to the Journal Sentinel. "It's possible he was meeting with defensive coaches to find out what kind of role he would play next season." Jones previously visited the Tennessee Titans, although it's unknown if he received a contract offer. He's very likely trying to decide where he'll have the best opportunity in 2013.
More on Brad Jones comes from the Press-Gazette.
It appears as if it's a foregone conclusion that the Packers will bring in competition for kicker Mason Crosby this season. “I think competition’s good,” McCarthy is quoted as saying by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “Definitely, I don’t think you can look past any performance throughout your team and think that competition’s (not) going to help, regardless of how they performed the year before." Whether that competition comes from a draft pick or some sort of street free agent remains to be seen.
More on Mason Crosby comes from the Press-Gazette.
Free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw mentions the Packers' interest in him during a radio interview.
An article on Mike McCarthy's thoughts on the Packers defense appears at the Press-Gazette.
More tidbits from Mike McCarthy appear on the ESPNMilwaukee.com blog, including items on Aaron Rodgers' contract, Tramon Williams, Jeremy Ross, injuries, visiting Texas A&M and night-time training camp practices.
Packer Plus has articles on the wide receivers, Ted Thompson's frugal spending, the youthful Packer roster, the history of the Packers' "G" logo and a feature on former equipment manager Gerald Braisher.
It's official. The Green Bay City Council approved a street to be named "Donald Driver Way."
The annual checkup series concludes at Fox Sports Wisconsin with linebacker Frank Zombo.
A job fair is being held Thursday at Lambeau Field.
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Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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