Underwood 'Most Improved' Says McCarthy

Mike McCarthy singled out second year cornerback Brandon Underwood in his press conference yesterday as the most improved player of those heading into their second year.

Interesting quote from McCarthy's press conference yesterday:

I think Brandon Underwood would definitely be a candidate for most improved player from Year 1 to Year 2 so far from what I've seen. I think he's really matured in the weight room. He looks very good right now. I know we're only practicing in shorts and helmets, but I think Brandon Underwood is off to an outstanding spring so far. I've been very pleased with what he has shown on film.

Underwood looked completely lost in preseason and his first regular season appearance down in Tampa was downright pitiful. But as his rookie season wore on, Underwood did seem to improve. Here's hoping he makes the proverbial 'jump'.

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Comments (32)

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nypacker's picture

June 03, 2010 at 11:49 am

I've been hearing that out of the abysmal secondary play in the wildcard game, only Woodson and Underwood did good in coverage. Now that's not to be taken wholeheartedly considering the entire defense didn't play as well as expected, but I expect Underwood to be one of those that would learn from that experience and build on it.

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Ron LC's picture

June 03, 2010 at 11:50 am

Let's hope so! GB is going to need him.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

June 03, 2010 at 04:19 pm

A
B
S
O
L
U
T
E
L
Y

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CSS's picture

June 03, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Things you always hear in May and June:

“Most Improved”
“Competing for a starting position”
“Can start in this league”
“Nose for the ball”
“Making some noise”
“He’s really learned the system in the offseason”
“We’re really deep at position ‘X’ this year”

Things you never hear in May and June:

“He needs a perfect camp to make the roster”
“It’s obvious he’s a fan of Dunkin’ Doughnuts”
“Yes, you’re still 5th on our depth chart”
“He couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat”
“He’ll be lucky to make the practice squad”

I so desperately want to believe everything I hear, but I constantly have to remind myself how frequently I'm disappointed with my homeristic enthusiasim come September.

Here's to hoping....

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JohnRehor's picture

June 03, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Well said CSS. Lets hope the always hears become a reality.

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Max's picture

June 03, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I hope Underwood has a great year.

Having said that, who did McCarthy say was most improved last year? Didn't Jersey Al write something about Lumpkin being the "most improved running back" last year?

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NickGBP's picture

June 03, 2010 at 05:57 pm

That was all a part of the love affair that the Packers Blogosphere has/had with Lumpkin. It was sickening even then. I don't think McCarthy was specifically enthusiastic.

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PackerAaron's picture

June 03, 2010 at 07:37 pm

I blame Al for that. ;) I never got on board the "Lumpkin is the best" train - but I WAS excited to see what he could do.

Now, the Tyrell Sutton lovefest - THAT was sickening..

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Jersey Al's picture

June 03, 2010 at 07:55 pm

I accept responsibility. I don't really remember anyone else touting Lumpkin like I was.

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Ron LC's picture

June 04, 2010 at 11:14 am

broad shoulders Al. You are my hero!

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Chicago Hooligan's picture

June 04, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Justin Beaver?

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PackerAaron's picture

June 04, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Oh god...thanks for reminding me... ;)

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Jersey Al's picture

June 03, 2010 at 07:52 pm

I never wrote that Lumpy was most improved. I did, of course, claim that he would be a better overall running back than Ryan Grant if given a chance. It was mostly wishful thinking, but it was the type of thing you take a shot at, and if it actually happens, you look like a genius. With Lumpkin's failure to do anything positive last camp and new rookie Starks on board, I'm stepping off the Lumpkin train. However, I still hope he shows something so I'll feel better about what I thought I saw in him.

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VApackerfan's picture

June 03, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Max, i would have to say that player last year was jeremy thompson. Now he is retired, haha. CSS is right, but if it builds some momentum with fans then so be it. McCarthy went on to say that Brad Jones would be another guy that is making a big improvement from last year. Let's hope so because the OLB pass rusher is a big need right now for us

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Brett Cristino's picture

June 03, 2010 at 01:09 pm

Underwood played pretty well and seemed to steadily improve in his brief playing time last season, in his 46 snaps(according to PFF), he didn't give up a single TD and was never penalized. He was and still is very raw as a CB but his upside is tremendous and Mccarthy feels that he is one of the most improved players on our team this offseason. I love the mentality of Underwood, he seems like a guy who plays with a chip on his shoulder and loves to make the big hit as much as the big INT. I think that Lee and Underwood are both going to step up in a big way for us this year, giving us a deep and stable crop of CBs.

I can't stress how much it helps these young guys having Harris and Woodson to learn from. Those two guys are pros to the highest degree, whether it's in the film room or on the field, the lessons these young guys are learning from those two are absolutely invaluable. Darren Perry helps a ton as well, he's a guy who's very hands on when he coaches and seems to always get the most out of his guys. The talent is absolutely there for Underwood, Lee, and Tramon, the coaching and leadership is there, so it will be absolutely no surprise when these young guys step up and play well for us this season. No offense to Jarrett Bush and Will Blackmon, but these guys have a chance to be twice the players they were ever capable of being and should be immediate upgrades in the secondary. Hopefully the days of getting abused by top-tier QBs are over and we'll be able to thank our fantastic Cornerback depth for the vast improvement.

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PackerAaron's picture

June 03, 2010 at 02:14 pm

"he didn’t give up a single TD and was never penalized" - that is incorrect. He committed a facemask penalty. (Think it was against the 49ers)

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nypacker's picture

June 03, 2010 at 02:25 pm

I think you mean Joe Whitt Jr. who coaches the CBs. Darren Perry is the safeties coach.

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Matthew's picture

June 03, 2010 at 02:31 pm

One thing that I noticed about Underwood that makes me a tad optimistic, was his ability to break on the ball. How many times did we see Bush and others to allow a reciever to catch the ball and be nowhere to even challenge or make the catch more difficult. Now Underwood seemed to be a half step slow in getting there, but it does lead me to believe that he has promise. Whether that promise is a future starter or a dime back remains to be seen

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Brett Cristino's picture

June 03, 2010 at 03:21 pm

Perry is the secondary/safeties coach, he works with the entire secondary. As for the penalty, guess that had it wrong and he had ONE penalty. That's nitpicking, my point was the guy played pretty good for being as raw as he was/is and he should make a big jump Year 1 to Year 2.

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PackerAaron's picture

June 03, 2010 at 03:31 pm

I was more giving PFF a hard time than you. And I went and checked - they did have it. And it was the 49er game. But you actually bring up a great point. The one penalty he did have came after the catch was made on a WR screen. He didn't have any pass interference or defensive holding calls, which is rare for the Packers secondary. Hopefully this means we won't see many as he gets more snaps.

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Brett Cristino's picture

June 03, 2010 at 05:23 pm

It's also rare for a rookie to be so mistake free, especially a guy who seemed to be getting by on athletic ability alone. I got an idea for your next article too Aaron, maybe a little comparison between this team and the 1996 squad. This is one of the deepest Packers teams i've ever seen, from top to bottom, this team is SO deep and extremely talented.

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PackersRS's picture

June 03, 2010 at 05:36 pm

Position by position wise I don't know, but that 96' team had the best season of all time.

It had the #1 Offense, #1 Defense, #1 ST, won it's games by the largest margin ever...

That's IMHO impossible to duplicate.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

June 04, 2010 at 04:05 pm

I think the current Offense and Defense have the potential to be just as good if not better (especially the O). But the ST's, not even close.

GBP 4 LIFE

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andrew's picture

June 19, 2010 at 03:50 am

special teams dont really take a whole lot to turn around.. maybe i am just being optimistic but if you find someone who can return and is healthy all year (BLACKMON) i think we will see a turn around.. we have two solid? according to what ive heard at least potentially decent punters.. crosby is a toss up you never know if he is gonna have a good year or a bad one but i think the special teams wont be as bad this year

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FITZCORE1252's picture

June 19, 2010 at 03:54 am

I'm optimistic as well. Just going off of last years product, we're not close to the '96 ST's unit. You are right though, things can change very quickly especially if we get a competent punter in there.

GBP 4 LIFE

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Brett Cristino's picture

June 03, 2010 at 05:50 pm

No doubt that feat is going to be near impossible to beat overall, from top to bottom this team is better than the 1996 team ON PAPER. Now the hard part is going to be going out and proving that.

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Brett Cristino's picture

June 03, 2010 at 05:51 pm

*typo

No doubt that feat is going to be near impossible to beat, but overall, from top to bottom, I think this team is better than the 1996 team.

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retiredgrampa's picture

June 03, 2010 at 07:50 pm

We can't be sure how much coaches say is hyperbole, but I believe we can look forward to a much improved team this year. Priority #1 is to beat the Vikes twice...all else follows secondarily.

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nerdmann's picture

June 03, 2010 at 08:19 pm

I like the way you think, sir.

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PackersThad's picture

June 03, 2010 at 09:47 pm

Priority #1 is to win the Superbowl...if we do that...I don't care if we get swept by the Vikings again!

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PackersRS's picture

June 04, 2010 at 01:42 pm

I agree.

But if we get swept by the queens, chances are we aren't going to even make the SB...

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packsmack25's picture

June 05, 2010 at 09:32 am

Most improved just means he sucked last year. But I guess it's better than not improving. Still, Pat Lee is the key here. Underwood is just an added benefit.

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