Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mike McCarthy On Injuries And The Offensive Line

Usually the only bits of good information to be gained from a Mike McCarthy press conference are about injuries, and his presser on Wednesday was no exception. Here's the complete recap from Tom Silverstein:

TE Andrew Quarless, OL Derek Sherrod, and FB John Kuhn might all fail their physicals. I doubt this is a surprise to anyone with the Packers. Quarless's (torn knee ligaments, see below) and Sherrod (broken leg) were very serious injuries. I'm not counting on Quarless at all this season, and I expect he'll spend it on I.R.

McCarthy said that Sherrod is "getting close." I don't expect he'll be on the PUP list so he can practice at least on a limited basis. He still has so much to learn that he'll need that time with the coaches, even if he isn't ready to play.

McCarthy sounded more optimistic about Kuhn than either Quarless or Sherrod, but in hindsight, they might have made the wrong decision by choosing rehab over surgery for his MCL injury. I would have guessed that Kuhn would have been fine without surgery too, and that his knees are strong enough for the MCL to heal on it's own. They really don't have an obvious Plan B with only a couple of undrafted free agents behind him on the depth chart. This could lead to a change in strategy this season with the full back being de-emphasized in the offense. Of course, a similar thing happened in 2010 when Kuhn spent significant time at running back after Ryan Grant's injury, and the offense didn't struggle.

Finally, along with the news that McCarthy will spend more time with the offensive line after Joe Philbin's departure, he spoke about his confidence in Marshall Newhouse, and that the quarterback has confidence in him too. That's a pretty ringing endorsement. The stats haven't shown that Newhouse really deserves it, he did give up a lot of sacks last season, but McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers seem to think Newhouse really turned a corner late last season.

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