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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Dec. 22

Posted Dec 22, 2010

(Was Rodgers fully cleared yesterday?)
Yesterday, yes.

(How did he look today?)
He looked great. He looked great. He had a good practice. Aaron Rodgers, I thought he threw the ball very well. I thought he had a very good Wednesday practice.

(Do you expect him to start or does he have to go through the week?)
I anticipate Aaron will start, yes.

(You mentioned last week that he will be wearing a different helmet. Do you have any more specifics on that?)
He is wearing a different helmet than he used to wear. There are a number of different helmets that are made available to NFL players. Obviously they have options. He chose to switch to another helmet. I’m sure he could share the specifics of that with you

(What do you get with a veteran like Aaron in the game?)
Aaron Rodgers is clearly one of our best, or the best player on our football team, so I think that probably answers the question all the way around. He is commander-in-chief of the offense. He does a very good job. Matt had an opportunity this past week and did some very positive things, but Aaron is our starting quarterback. He has been very productive and he is going to have to play big Sunday for us to be successful.

(What do you expect from Nick Collins this week and why he was unable to come back?)
This week, I just know Nick’s history. I expect him to progress like he usually does and I anticipate that he’ll play until I am given further information to think otherwise. But those decisions during the games, it really comes down to the doctors. They felt like Nick could not go back in and that’s their decision. It’s cut and dry.

(Do you need to give Matt a significant number of snaps this week just in case Rodgers gets hurt again?)
My thought about Matt’s reps would be no different this week than prior weeks. He’ll take the normal reps that the No. 2 quarterback takes. Even Graham, we put Graham in some of the drills also with our game plan. We have a normal progression that we have always gone through and we’ll go back to that this week for the Giants.

(In other words, Rodgers takes almost all of the No. 1 reps?)
Correct, yes.

(Do you expect your team to come out fighting and scratching with their back up against the wall?)
Absolutely. Our playoffs started when we got on the plane to come home Sunday. That’s the way we’re approaching our preparation, that’s the way we’re approaching this game. It’s going to be a playoff-type atmosphere here at home. We feel very good about that. They’re an excellent opponent. There’s a lot of positive things on film that we’ve been going through today with our players, and it will definitely be a playoff-type game.

(Can you talk about the challenge of stopping their running game, that 1-2 punch, with how challenged the defense has been physically all year with the injuries?)
Well, it starts up front. I think you can really take both sides of the ball. I think they do a very good job personnel and what they do and what they do with their big guys. Their running game is excellent. They have a great 1-2 punch as you’ve already stated, and we anticipate them coming in here trying to run the ball on us.

(For your running game, do you look at matchups as far as who to plug in that would fit best against that type of defense?)
Are you talking about personnel or scheme here? I don’t follow your question.

(How do you decide who’s up, who’s down and then who gets carries?)
You’re talking about our running backs? Well, it’s a two-part answer. Obviously the offense that you have in for that particular week, and then the second part is special teams. Whether we carry six running backs or five running backs, most of the time it comes down to the special-teams preparation than game plan.

(Are the Giants more of a power team and the Packers more of a finesse team? Is that an accurate statement?)
I wouldn’t say that. I think we play very physical football. I wouldn’t agree with that statement.

(Can you talk about Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora? They each have 10 sacks. How do you go about containing those guys?)
Well, they’re excellent. Tuck, they’re doing a very good job schematically moving him around than prior years, so I’ve been very impressed with his flexibility. And Osi, he has been an excellent pass rusher in this league for quite some time. Their D-line is in my opinion the strength of their defense. It will be a big challenge for us. It will be important for us to know where they are at all times. It will be a big challenge for our offensive line.

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