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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conf. Transcript - Dec. 19

Posted Dec 19, 2010


MM: I’ll start with the injuries, Tom Crabtree had a knee contusion, he did return. Nick Collins had x-rays, they were negative on his ribs, he did not return. And [Diyral] Briggs had an ankle, same as last week, and did not return. With that I will take your questions.

Q: Mike, why did you decide, I know hindsight is 20/20, but why did you decide not to go for it on the fourth down inside the one?

MM: Just based on where we were in the game. I mean you have to take the points there. I mean, our defense was playing well. I don’t know. I don’t have any regrets on not going for it on fourth down, that particular time in the game. There was a lot of time still left on the clock.

Q: Mike, what about the two-minute drill, especially the last two plays? Did you think you could get off another play or two, or was it rushed?

MM: First of all, the third down completion, you have to find out if it’s first down or fourth down. So, it obviously takes time and the clock was running and I think it was 20 to 21. It got to a point, we were right at the point, if it was a first down that we would have clocked the play and we would have had a set play on second down. You know, it takes the referee time to, you know, make a decision. And it was a clear fourth and one, so you have to get up on the ball and take a shot at the end zone. I think it’s a very clear situation and I think Matt operated it properly in a three-man rush and they sacked us. So, the mechanics of it, I thought, was very well done by Matt Flynn.

Q: It looked like he was checking personnel, was there trying to change personnel on that last play?

MM: No, we were in zebra. We didn’t change personnel, he was just setting the formation. You know, you have to find out the down and distances first. You’re in a clock situation if it’s first down and you have to throw the ball in the end zone if it’s fourth down. And that was the communication that Matt was giving to the rest of the offense.

Q: Mike, on the previous sack, earlier on the first down, looked like the guy came unblocked? What did you see?

MM: It was a mental error. It was protection, obviously a problem, it was a play we called for man coverage and we had a mental mistake in the protection. And that obviously put us playing uphill at that point. We had to waste a time out after that play.

Q: What did you think of Matt [Flynn] overall?

MM: I thought Matt did a lot of positives things and I think it’s definitely something that Matt Flynn can grow from. We came here to win and I want to make that clear. I thought he put us in position from time to time to win the football game. But, there was a decision or two, but for his first start on a big stage, against an excellent football team, playing very well. I thought he did a number of positive things and gave us a chance to win tonight.

Q: Are you encouraged or discouraged coming out of this game given that no one gave you a chance?

MM: I don’t care what you guys think. We came here to win. We’re nobody’s underdog. We are 8 and 6. So, we need to get ready for the Giants and we need to get our ninth win. That’s the focus of our football team.

Q: Mike, did Aaron [Rodgers] do anything today to further…

MM: I’ll have an update for you on Aaron Rodgers probably Wednesday. We get back probably 4 o’clock in the morning tonight. So, I won’t have any new information for you tomorrow as far as his status. I’ll have that for you Wednesday when we see each other.

Q: Your thoughts on the Patriots?

MM: Very good football team. They made big plays. You know, the kick off cover, the poor tackling by us. [Dan] Connolly’s return was a huge play in the game. Their goal line stance was a big one for them. The interception return for a touchdown, so they made big plays in the game that were probably the difference. But, we did a lot of positive things tonight and you can’t make those kind of mistakes on the road. I thought our team fought extremely hard. They are definitely warriors, I’m proud of them for that, but we came up short tonight. And that’s the bottom line.

Q: Did the squib kick not get far enough?

MM: Well, when you kick the ball, you would like to kick it to an offensive lineman. That should be a positive for a kick-off coverage team, so we did a very poor job there tackling.

Q: On the pick-6, James Jones broke off his route?

MM: I probably need to see the whole film. I know there has been a lot of conversation on our sideline and so forth. We were expecting an inside man breaking in and breaking combination, our route concept over there. So, I was on the other side of the field, so I didn’t get a clear look at it. I’ll watch it on the plane.

Q: Was the problem that the guy was so big?

MM: Poor coaching. I mean, we probably didn’t practice our players tackling offensive linemen. So, we’ll institute that this week. He did a hell of a job. Best run I’ve seen an offensive lineman make…and I’ll take my hat off to him.

Q: At what point in the week, did you have an onside kick?

MM: We work the onside kick every week. [Mason] Crosby does an excellent job with it. You know, you look at the game plan every week and we felt that if the right opportunity presented itself that we would try it tonight. And it just happened to be on the opening kickoff.

Q: I think the score was 27-24 and you were in your own end and Flynn was sacked on first down.

MM: Yes, we had a fake called. That was a disappointing play. Outside of staying out of second and longs, I thought we played the game that we wanted to. We ran the ball effectively. We had some fakes that we didn’t even run tonight, but that was a play that we set up based on how we were running the ball earlier. So, that was a negative play that we obviously didn’t overcome. It was second and long and then third and long.

Q: Did you defer in order to do an onside kick or was that something you decided when you got out there and saw the formation?

MM: I don’t want to get into the specifics because everybody does it differently, but it was something that I feel we do very well. We’ve been able to execute those when we’ve called them in the past. But it’s like a lot of things with plays, you want to call it when it puts you in an ideal situation. It was players executing the play, just like they’re doing with every play. It was close. I thought they did a good job reacting to it, but Nick Collins did a nice job.

Q: How do you assess Matt’s performance tonight?

MM: I thought he played well as far as giving his football team an opportunity to win the game. He’ll be graded in a lot more technical… He’ll learn from it. He pushed it out a little bit too much a couple of times tonight but he did a lot of tremendous things tonight. He gave us a chance to win.

Q: Does it kind of hurt more when all of your losses have been in such close games?

MM: I don’t want to be disrespectful to your question, but you’re supposed to be in every game. I don’t think I’d feel better if we lost by 21 points. You compete every week in this league. It’s a tremendous league. Just look at today’s games and the crazy things that have happened. I think it says something about our football team. We come out here to compete and expect to win every game. Every time we line up, we expect to win, period, and we didn’t get it done tonight.

Transcript courtesy of New England Patriots media relations

 
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