Super Impressions

Whenever UW's pro timing day came up on the schedule, the usual scouting eye from 1265 Lombardi Avenue was general manager Ted Thompson. But with the amount of talent and pro-ready athletes Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema appears to have produced, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy had to check it out for himself.

MADISON – When's he on the recruiting trail after a highly sought after offensive recruit, one of Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema's main selling points is that, unlike most of the Big Ten and its spread offenses, the Badgers' pro-style offense suits an athlete that has NFL aspirations.

As powerful as those words are, it means more coming from the coach of the Super Bowl champions.

With potential first-round picks Gabe Carimi and J.J. Watt, solid prospects John Moffitt and Lance Kendricks and other under-the-radar Wisconsin athletes taking part in Wisconsin's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy couldn't help but laud the work Bielema and his staff have done in building up the program.

"They do a great job here," McCarthy said after the workouts. "It's fun to watch them on film, particularly watching their offense in getting prepared for the workout. They run the football, play-action passes, I really like their style of play. It's the type of football player that's ready to play in the NFL."

This was the first appearance at the pro day for McCarthy in six seasons as the Packers' head coach, as usually only manager Ted Thompson makes the short trip to the state's capitol.

Not only was McCarthy there with Thompson and assistant director of college scouting, Shaun Herock, the defending AFC champions Pittsburgh Steelers brought a large contingent of four, including head coach Mike Tomlin, and Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew.

Virtually every NFL team was represented, a vast change from last year's UW pro day and a credit to the senior class of Wisconsin's senior class, which went 11-2 last season, including winning the school's first conference championship and earning a berth in the Rose Bowl in 11 seasons.

"I think it's an excellent class," McCarthy said. "I think it speaks volumes about Bret's program here. He is doing a great job here and I wish him all the best. Wisconsin Badgers are great guys and I'd like to get a couple of them in green and gold."

McCarthy declined to go into individual evaluations, but one of those options could be senior quarterback Scott Tolzien, the 2010 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award winner who holds school records for career completion percentage at .681 (min. 300 att.) and career QB efficiency rating of 153.2 (min. 300 att.).

McCarthy and Tolzien, along with UW offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, talked at length after the throwing session, which followed a brief talking session with Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who Tolzien said was impressed with some things and gave him some valuable tips on his fundamentals.

Wednesday was one of the first times McCarthy has spoke publicly since he was given a contract extension on March 4, believed to be a three-year deal.

"It's a great place to be and I can't say enough about the organization," McCarthy said. "Mark Murphy and Ted Thompson believe in what we are doing. We're excited to be in Green Bay."

The signing came less than a month after the Packers won their fourth Super Bowl and 13 NFL Championship, a victory the 47-year-old coach won't fully savor for a couple more weeks.

"It's been busy," McCarthy said of the offseason. "People keep asking me if I've had a chance to sit down. I've been able to appreciate what we've accomplished this year but just like every year when you go to Indianapolis (for the NFL Combine), you turn the page to the next season."

for more Wisconsin coverage, check out foxsportswisconsin.com


Badger Nation Top Stories