On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:30 - 5pm

    Green Bay Packers Bishop’s Charities Game

    Meet and Greet Autograph Table

    Oneida Nation Gate, Lambeau Field

  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game) Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game)
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    11:30 am- 12:30 pm

    NWTC Green Bay Campus- Welcome Center SC240

  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Packers at Chicago Bears Packers at Chicago Bears
  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM CDT Coats For Kids Collection

    The Salvation Army will be collecting new and gently used winter coats as well as cash donations in the parking lot and at each of Lambeau Field’s gates.

  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM CDT Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks

News

Print
RSS

Mike McCarthy praises defense as spring fades into summer

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Nick Perry will have to catch up during training camp

GREEN BAY—Heading into the final practice of the spring, the Packers defense is making good on Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s “big letters” promise the unit will be improved in 2014.

“I feel very good about our defense. We’ve never been this far with the mental consistency,” McCarthy said following Tuesday’s opening day of a three-day mini-camp.

Wednesday is likely to be a team-building day, which often means a trip to the bowling alley, and that would make Thursday’s practice the last before training camp.

“We expect to be improved,” Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers said. “That’s our goal. We expect to be improved over where we were a year ago.”

The Packers were in the bottom third of the league’s defensive rankings last season. A move into the top third would be a dramatic but not unrealistic expectation for a team that has invested a lot of high draft picks and a big free-agent contract on the defensive side of the ball.

“You hope this gives you a good basis and things happen fast in training camp,” Capers said. “I understand what my job is, to get the defense to play the best it can.”

The good news on defense this spring is that Julius Peppers, signed to a big free-agent deal in March, has made an encouraging transition from defensive end to linebacker. Good news also includes the return to health of cornerback Casey Hayward, the Packers’ 2012 interceptions leader, who intercepted a pass in Tuesday’s practice. Hayward missed nearly all of last season with a hamstring injury.

“He’ll be one of those hybrid types,” Capers said of Peppers. “He’ll rush, he’ll drop.”

Peppers will be used at the Packers’ “elephant” position. Asked to describe the duties of an “elephant,” Capers said: “An elephant, for us in some schemes, could be an outside linebacker, a defensive end in other schemes.”

Of concern are recoveries from injury that have forced pass-rushing linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry to be sidelined for all of the practices. Matthews is recovering from two surgeries on the same thumb. Perry was hobbled by a foot injury last season, but the Packers don’t provide injury information during the spring.

“I don’t think it helps any player to miss a whole offseason. It’s not a good situation to be in. It’s definitely something they’ll have to work on to catch up. He’s injured,” McCarthy said of Perry.

Capers spoke of the hope that defensive lineman Josh Boyd would make the same kind of second-year improvement Mike Daniels made in 2013.

“Mike Daniels was our most productive guy on the defensive line. I think he’ll continue to improve. We’re hoping Josh Boyd can make the same type of improvement Mike Daniels made. We anticipate Josh is going to take a step,” Capers said.

What if the defense stayed as healthy during the season as it is now? It’s a question that brought a smile to Capers’ face.

“That would make our planning much easier. Those things go in cycles. Maybe this is one of those good cycles,” Capers said.

Additional coverage - June 17 minicamp
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Rodgers, Kuhn dress like pilots at luncheon

    (1:12) Posted 13 hours ago

    After the final training camp practice, the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Welcome Back Luncheon at Lambeau Field.

  • Packers vs Saints: Final Thoughts

    (3:30) Posted 18 hours ago

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview game four of the preseason as the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Ted Thompson: "It's not my favorite time of year"

    (10:51) Posted 20 hours ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson as he talks about the final preseason game between the Packers and Saints and how the game will affect the 53-man roster moving into the regular season.