GREEN BAY — Special teams coordinator Ron Zook is the miked-up coach whose voice can be heard over the loudspeakers in each training camp practice, but it’s likely his energy and enthusiasm would be noticeable regardless.
Zook and Head Coach McCarthy coached together for the first time back in 2000 with the Saints. Both were NFL coordinators for the first time (McCarthy on offense, Zook on special teams) and McCarthy recalled those practices being awfully competitive.
“If you think he has energy now, you should have seen him then,” McCarthy said prior to Monday’s 12:15 p.m. practice. “He has great energy, a great personality and spirit to him.”
Zook is charged with getting the Packers’ special teams units back on track after a sub-par 2014 during which the team’s punt return, with Micah Hyde’s two TDs, was the only impactful unit of the core four.
A former college head coach at Florida and Illinois, Zook brings the type of leadership experience McCarthy finds beneficial on special teams.
“His head coaching experience pays dividends time and time again, whether you talk about scheduling, talk about player relationships,” McCarty said. “Coordinating special teams takes a diverse personality. He has to think like a head coach. He’s more involved in medical meetings because it affects his personnel more than anybody else’s, it affects his depth chart more than anybody else’s.”
On the medical front, starting LT David Bakhtiari (knee) is going through a treatment program that would keep him out of practice for at least the next couple of days, McCarthy said. On Saturday, Don Barclay worked at left tackle with the No. 1 offensive line, which McCarthy referred to as an opportunity for Barclay “to increase his value.” Bryan Bulaga can also play left tackle if needed.
Packers.com will have a News Now! update mid-practice.
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