Young receives special attention to learn Packer playbook

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By Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GREEN BAY--Green Bay coaches are going through the offensive installations with quarterback Vince Young the way they did with the rest of the team prior to his arrival, but the emphasis for Young is different.

All this week, Young, signed Aug. 5, is working on mastering a limited portion of the offense so he can perform comfortably against the Rams.

“You have measurables and you have things that you look at in every player and pertaining to his position, but when a guy has the unique ability to go win games, I think you need to definitely make sure your system can take advantage of that.” McCarthy said. “That’s really what we’re doing with Vince.

“I’m just trying to get him ready to go play. I want to see him play quarterback, be comfortable playing quarterback, so we can get a true evaluation on him.”

Young gets a limited number of snaps in practice in the Packers offense and then takes the rest of his running the scout team. Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell get most of the reps within McCarthy’s offense, but some plays are saved for Young.

Presumably, those are the ones he’s going to run against the Rams. The coaches can evaluate everyone who takes part in those plays, but they are specifically called with Young in mind.

“When I look at Vince Young’s particular situation, I don’t think it’s realistic to ask a quarterback to come in at this particular time and get caught up to the other guys,” McCarthy said. “The other guys have been here all throughout the spring and Graham’s going on his third year and B.J. (Coleman)’s going on his second year, so really the goal for Vince is to get him ready to play.”

Support staff

After speaking at a news conference announcing his retirement as a Packer, Ryan Longwell went down to practice and watched the ongoing battle between kickers Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio.

Longwell, the Packers’ all-time leader in field goals and field-goal percentage, has known Crosby through the kickers fraternity and the fact their teams played against each other twice a season while Longwell was with Minnesota. They have talked kicking philosophy in the past, and Longwell supported Crosby through his struggles last year.

Longwell also has a connection with Tavecchio. Both attended the University of California-Berkeley and started their careers with the San Francisco 49ers.

“Ryan’s a legend,” Tavecchio said. “I had never met him before today. It was great to talk to him. We didn’t really talk (about kicking). It was more about being here in Green Bay and things like that.”

Longwell watched the two kickers combine to hit all 16 of their attempts in practice. He said he thought it would be a very tight competition between the two.

Safe and sound

Defensive end Ryan Pickett was absent from practice to deal with a personal issue, McCarthy said.

WFRV-TV (Channel 5) in Green Bay reported an ambulance was sent to Pickett’s home and two members of his family were taken to the hospital. Pickett lives with his wife and six children ranging in age from 2 to 9.

“Ryan Pickett is where he needs to be right now,” McCarthy said. “My understanding is that everything is going to be OK.”

Labor intensive

Rookie free agent guard Lane Taylor was there for all of his wife’s 22 hours of labor Wednesday and Thursday before the birth of their daughter.

Taylor spent Thursday night at the hospital where he was able to stretch out on a cot and got to the team hotel Friday in time to catch a short nap. Then he went out and played well against Arizona that night.

“I had some good motivation,” Taylor said. “I just had a daughter, and that was all the motivation I needed.”

The 6-3, 324-pound Taylor, a four-year starter at Oklahoma State, has been playing both guard positions and center.

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