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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Dec. 8

Posted Dec 8, 2010

(Did you go through the whole process with Clifton on the concussion?)
Chad Clifton, we’re going through the normal procedure for a concussion. He was not symptomatic until Monday. Today was the day where you go through a light physical workout. He participated in the jog-through today.

(How unusual is it for a guy to have symptoms the day after the game?)
I would say it’s not uncommon, but there was really no indication Sunday during or after the game because all of the players that have any types of concerns after the game go through an evaluation with the doctors there in the training room. It was something that showed up Monday.

(What is going on with his knees?)
Normal. He has bad knees and he’ll continue to have bad knees. He’s no different than he has been the last three or four weeks.

(When you drafted Starks, did you see him as potentially as a No. 1 guy or a third-down back?)
I think physically he is a gifted young man. I think that is obvious to everybody. There is a reason why he was in the sixth round based on his availability as a collegian, particularly in his senior year. Hopefully we are past that. Every player has some type of injury that they go through in their career. Sometimes it comes in bunches and sometimes people don’t make it through that stage. It was definitely the right thing to do as far as putting him on PUP to get him healthy, number one, and really to give him a number of weeks to get ready to play in a game. But he is a very talented young man; there is no question about that when we drafted him.

(How did Wynn and Wilson look today and does either one have a leg up right now?)
They both have been practicing very well, as I stated, I think it was Sunday after the game that they have really been competing the last couple of weeks to be up on the 45. I’m sure we’ll go through the whole week and go through the same process with those two guys.

(So neither one has an edge right now?)
I didn’t keep score today. We’ll watch the film and we’ll see how it goes. C.J. has been up the last number of weeks, so he obviously had a leg up coming into this week. But like I have stated, Jarius has practiced extremely well and I feel very confident for him to go on Sunday.

(As you enter the last quarter of the season, what areas does this team still need to improve in?)
You’re always trying to improve. You’re always chasing the perfect game. 34-16 is not good enough. Sometimes when you win by that, when you view it with a sense of accountability, you’re always trying to improve. There are a lot of positive things that we have accomplished from a performance standpoint, but we’ll continue to stress the fundamentals and the little things. I think we are playing very disciplined football right now. We had some time-management issues last game burning timeouts, so I made an emphasis of that today in the team meeting. Our PAT/field goal protection unit needs to improve from a technical standpoint. We have had a common issue with some footwork there, so we spent some time on that today and we’ll spend more time on that tomorrow in the padded work. Just staying on top of our fundamentals because it’s the little things that turn into big things, but they usually turn into real big things if you don’t take care of it, especially in the month of December.

(Do you have to drive home that the Lions are more talented than their record indicates?)
It’s a division game, and these are always the toughest games. These are always the toughest games on the road, and that’s our viewpoint. We don’t need to look at their record. They came into Lambeau a few weeks back and played very well against us, the best they’ve played against us in some time. We stay true to the tape. We need to go to Detroit and play our best game.

(What does the tape show on Drew Stanton what’s different about them?)
Well, the offense hasn’t changed a whole lot. I thought he did a nice job of running the offense against Chicago. He’s an athlete. Liked him coming out. I think he’s a young man that will improve with opportunity. He’s never been really given the ball over an extended period of time. They’re still a potent offense. They challenge you schematically with Drew playing quarterback.

(Do you view this game Sunday as a must-win?)
All division games are extremely important. You can put whatever words on it you want. We’re going after this one. It’s an extremely important game. We spend extra time throughout the offseason on division games. We spend extra time in training camp on division games. This is a very important football game, especially a division game that takes place in December. So you can put a higher importance on it if you want to.

(Can you talk about Calvin Johnson and the challenges he presents?)
Extremely athletic, big target, especially in the red zone. You see the number of plays he’s made in that particular area. Does a good job of body control, his positioning on a defensive back. He’s definitely a primary target in their offense as far as how they make an effort to get him the football. He’ll be a big challenge for us this week.

(When you get ¾ of the way through the season like this, is there ever a dip in energy you have to watch out for?)
I don’t see a dip in energy. We’re going into the fourth quarter. This is what you live for. This is the type of football games you live for when you start working out together in March. If anything, our energy is improving. We need to play our best football of the year, and that starts in practice. That was evident, we were off the field eight minutes early today. They’re going to be pushed harder than they’ve been pushed this week. That’s our mindset as a coaching staff. But no, there’s no dip in energy in this football team.

(Does Woodson have anything outside of the usual?)
Charles sprained his ankle today in the screen and deceptive period. I have not gotten a report yet on him from the training room. I’ll see how he is.

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