GREEN BAY—Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy denied any concerns for rookie running back Eddie Lacy’s conditioning, when McCarthy was confronted with that question at Tuesday’s post-practice press conference.
“Eddie Lacy, going through the conditioning test, he was fine. If we had any concerns about our players’ conditioning, they wouldn’t be on the field,” McCarthy said.
The question was likely the result of Internet scuttlebutt about Lacy’s weight. Lacy has participated fully in each of the Packers’ first four training camp practices and McCarthy commented on Lacy’s play in drills on Tuesday that focused on the running game.
“Eddie Lacy definitely falls into the category of a big back, and a big back falls forward,” McCarthy said of Lacy, listed at 5-11, 230 on the Packers roster.
McCarthy spoke approvingly of his team’s performance in Tuesday’s practice.
“The start was good. The offensive ran the ball well. I thought we definitely took a step forward today,” he said.
Blitz-pickup and pass-rush/pass-blocking drills were feature attractions on Tuesday. Lacy and undrafted free agent linebacker Andy Mulumba made the loudest sound of practice when they collided in blitz pickup.
“You have to close the door. I thought the outside linebackers clearly got the better of the running backs today. That’s a drill I’m sure we’ll do again,” McCarthy said of blitz pickup.
“It’s important to see your young guys go against the old guys, and sticking their head in there,” he said of one-on-one drills between offensive and defensive linemen. “You have to win your one-on-ones. You can’t do enough of that stuff. It gives you a great idea of what football comes down to. You have to beat the guy across from you.”
Second-year tackle Don Barclay, who performed well in replacing Bryan Bulaga at right tackle in the second half of last season, continues to split time between tackle and center.
McCarthy said Barclay has “earned the right to compete to be a starter, but we have to get the center position taken care of, too.”
Evan Dietrich-Smith is the Packers’ starting center. Fourth-round draft pick JC Tretter was to be groomed as Dietrich-Smith’s backup, but Tretter was lost to a leg injury in OTAs and won’t be ready for the start of the season.
First-round draft pick Datone Jones flashed his talent by dropping into coverage in a zone-blitz scheme and knocking down a pass.
“He can really run. You can see the quickness. He needs to learn to finish better. When a guy shows up in team drills, that’s something I’ve always looked for,” McCarthy said of Jones. Additional coverage - July 30