McCarthy saw Mack in live action in the summer of 2014 when the Raiders played the Packers in the preseason. The fifth overall pick was just getting his rookie year started, but he already stood out to McCarthy.
“As a coach, anytime you get a chance to evaluate a player live on the field, to me that’s where you get the best evaluation,” McCarthy said on Wednesday prior to the Packers’ first practice of the week in preparation for their weekend trip to Oakland. “I was really impressed with him on the field last year. He’s extremely athletic, a great motor. Just a very good, instinctive football player.”
Mack’s youth is complemented on Oakland’s defense by the veteran savvy of safety Charles Woodson, a former Packers star. Woodson has five interceptions this season, his 18th in the league.
“He’s always clawing at the ball,” McCarthy said. “Very strong hands. His anticipation skills are at a very high level. He’s playing very well.”
On the injury front for the Packers, McCarthy said he was hoping WR Ty Montgomery and C Corey Linsley, both sidelined by ankle injuries, would be able to practice on Wednesday. TE Andrew Quarless, still on injured reserve with the designation to return, is scheduled to practice all week, but McCarthy said he doesn’t have a “set plan” with Quarless, referring to potential activation.
“He was definitely better last week than he was the first week,” McCarthy said of Quarless.
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