GREEN BAY — Veteran Tim Masthay is the last punter remaining in the Packers’ camp after the release of rookie Peter Mortell on Monday, which Mortell announced via his personal social media accounts.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy felt the competition was good for both players, and that they pushed each other throughout training camp.
“Tim’s in the driver’s seat,” McCarthy said, suggesting the competition continues with all the other punters around the league. “It’s important for him to have a good week of practice and perform in Kansas City just like everybody.
“Tim we have great history with here, and he’ll continue to work and get better.”
Mortell was one of the feel-good stories of camp, a local kid from Green Bay who played his high school football at Notre Dame Academy, just a couple of miles from Lambeau Field.
“Peter did a good job,” McCarthy said. “I thought Peter Mortell was a young punter that has a lot of growth in front of him. It was good experience for him. I thought he was definitely making progress and was pushing the envelope with the competition.”
The Packers will be announcing some roster cuts over the next couple of days, needing to be down to 75 players by 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Packers have two open practices this week, on Monday and Tuesday, before heading to Kansas City for their preseason finale on Thursday night. After that, the roster must be reduced to 53 players by 3 p.m. Saturday.
With that in mind, this final week of training camp will be about those roster battles for the final spots amongst young players. The Packers’ veterans will be running the scout teams in practice as the young players get ready for their final preseason showing, and there’s a lot of benefit to that structure.
“We’ve seen Aaron (Rodgers) has taken more opponent look reps than he has in prior years, and the intensity of the drill goes up,” McCarthy said. “The competition goes up. You get into blitz drills and pressure drills, two-minute, no-huddle, and you have Aaron Rodgers running that look team, the whole period goes to a different level. Everything goes up. It’s great for those guys.”
That level of intensity is what has pleased McCarthy most about the 2016 training camp. It has shown up in the GPS technology the team uses on individual players that records the intensity of their workouts. McCarthy also pointed out they’ve had more reps in the half-line run game drill than they’ve ever had before, one of the most high-intensity drills of camp.
“This is the best year we’ve ever had as far as the energy, the physicality,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s been an excellent training camp.”
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