GREEN BAY – You know all that talk about the Green Bay Packers having so much depth at wide receiver that they could keep six or even seven of them coming out of training camp? Mike McCarthy threw a bit of cold water on the idea Thursday.
While the Packers coach certainly didn’t dismiss the idea of Tori Gurley, Diondre Borel, Shaky Smithson or other young receivers joining the top fivesome of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver, McCarthy also made it clear that the team won’t keep extra wideouts – even if they deserve a roster spot – if there are needs elsewhere on the roster.
“It’s really not that simple of a question, where you say, ‘We have so many individuals at one position, we’re going to keep more there,’” McCarthy said Thursday during an appearance on Green & Gold Today. “It’s really (about) how the whole board shakes out. It all has to come together.”
This is nothing new; McCarthy said during the team’s mandatory minicamp that special teams could determine who stays and who goes, and Gurley, who showed a knack for blocking punts last training camp and has bulked up (6-foot-4, 232 pounds) might have an advantage there. Smithson, a special-teams standout in college at Utah, could also be a factor. But when training camp kicks off next Thursday, McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson won’t be going in with preconceived notions about how many receivers they’ll keep.
“Really, the determining factor in a lot of these conversations when you get down to picking your 53 is special teams. It’s the factor that’s going to sort out whether you keep a player or not,” McCarthy said. “However many receivers we keep, it’ll really be the responsibility of that group to compete and put their best foot forward. … Keeping the best 53 players, it may not be the most talented 53 players, but it’ll be the best 53 players that we need to enter the season with.”
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