The Green Bay Packers expect more production from strong safety Morgan Burnett in 2014.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy assessed Burnett’s play in 2013 during an interview with Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com at his hotel during a break from the NFL scouting combine.
“You know, I don’t think it’s, ‘Oh my God, he’s a bust,’” McCarthy said. “It’s nothing like that. I think the guy needs to – and I think he will – he’ll be coached to make more impact plays. That’ll be his emphasis next year, and he’s the type of guy that will do it. The guy will go about it. He’s a pro. I wish he’d be more assertive, but that’s not really his personality, either. He’s a soft-spoken young man.”
Burnett signed a four-year, $24.75 million contract last July.
“Really, the quarterback part of it, the communication, I thought he had a very good year,” McCarthy said. “Productivity and tackling, he had over 100 tackles. How many did he have?”
According to the Packers, Burnett had 104 tackles.
“So that’s a productive year,” McCarthy said. “It’s the play-making ability on the ball. Is he a product of what’s been going on back there? [Playing] Cautious? Whether to run through the ball carrier, receiver, or make a break on the ball?”
McCarthy said Burnett lacked confidence last season.
“He needs to be more assertive in play-making opportunities,” he said. “He did not have a good year in that particular area. There was a lot of production otherwise, too, but … what safeties do they talk about? The ones that make the big hit or the ones that make interceptions. And until he starts doing that, they’re not going to talk about him that way. They don’t talk about 100-tackle safeties anymore.”