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Head Coach Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 29


(How much are you working on Kansas City and how much is on Philadelphia?)
It was Kansas City game plan in the meat of practice. We discussed some concepts for Philadelphia, but we are getting our younger players particularly ready for this Kansas City game.

(Masthay took all of the kicks with the No. 1 group and has punted well. Has he inched ahead?)
We have one more game left and we'll just continue with the same routine that we have gone with in the first three games. I think we need to punt more. I don't feel comfortable saying that. I wouldn't be opposed if we punted a little bit more in this fourth game to get some more information on these two guys.

(If Masthay wins the job, would you consider using him on kickoffs?)
Mason would still be our No. 1 kickoff, but gosh, I thought Tim did an excellent job the other night and he does a very good job, particularly with the wind today, he did a very good job today. It's just another kicker that you can have and can help on the wear and tear of Mason. Mason is still relatively young; I don't think we are at that point in his career there, but it is a nice option to have.

(Do you ever remember calling plays to punt more?)
No, I don't. I don't go in with that intent because that is not fair to the offense, but it would be good to get these guys some more opportunities for punting. So we'll see what happens this week.

(With the offense executing the way it has, how else can you evaluate those guys?)
We feel that we have exhausted both Chris and Tim as much as we can in the practice structure. We have used Family Night and punted extensively there. About the only thing left is live game action, so we would just like to have as much information as possible on both punters. I think they are both talented and I think they are both ascending punters. We're going to pick the right one and the one that doesn't stick here, I'm pretty confident will be punting in the NFL somewhere else. I think that much of both men.

(Anything else you want to see from your offense?)
My biggest objective this week is going to be personnel. There are a number of players that are fighting to get on the roster, so we have a solid game plan for our players to be successful in all three phases. It's a fundamental game plan, to be frank, but we want to give these players an opportunity to go out and play and compete. It will be a great crowd down there at Arrowhead. It will be hot. They'll be challenged. They're going to play a lot of football, so this will be their final test and their final opportunity to be a part of our 53-man roster.

(Where is the left guard situation at with Bulaga out?)
We haven't announced it or anything, but I think it is accurate that Daryn Colledge will be the starting left guard in Philadelphia. I like the production of the first line. I thought Bryan was improving with his opportunities there, but when you are injured you are not part of the equation anymore. Daryn Colledge will be our left guard in Philadelphia.

(Are you comfortable with the way you have run the football?)
It's more on opportunities. I am comfortable with the way we are operating at the line of scrimmage, whether we are running or we aren't running. Running the football is a commitment. Running uphill is a commitment, is a mindset that you don't necessarily have to live in. I think there is a point in almost every game that you do live in that mindset and I feel I call plays that way. But I am comfortable with the team run periods that we have here. Our defense was the No. 1 run defense in the league last year, so I feel we have a lot of quality work going against each other. Time to run the ball, it's more about attitude and finish and those types of things. I don't think we're going to be lacking in fundamentals and scheme when it comes time to run the football.

(How is Brad Jones?)
He was testing out a harness today, but he was actually a rehab player today as far as his category for practice. He put the pads on to test out a potential harness that he could play with in the future, but he has a chance to get back.

* (A chance for this week?) *He's close. He's getting close, yeah.

* (How about Bulaga?)*
Just talking to Pepper, he has a chance to maybe practice tomorrow, so we'll see how he does.

(Do you feel good about the outside linebackers even with the injuries you have had?)
I feel good about them. I like the emergence of Frank Zombo. I like what Brandon Chillar did when he went over there. Brady is steady and consistent with his style of play. Clay has missed a bunch of time, but I'm confident that he'll be ready to go in Philadelphia and get back to his form. I feel even if Spencer Havner had to go over there in a clutch situation, we have that option too. So I feel good about the numbers there.

(How is Al Harris doing?)
Al is doing well. Al is doing very well. He is hitting the targets that they are looking for with the medical staff. He has made a lot of progress.

(Could he be in the mix early in the season?)
That's a decision that we'll make. There's a lot of other factors involved in that. He's doing his part. He's getting close.

(Have you ruled him out for Week 1?)
Ruled him out for the season opener? I haven't ruled him out to making our 53-man roster.

(Any particular reason Rodgers was on scout team today?)
Well, he's not going to play a whole lot in the game on Thursday. We want to make sure we're keeping everybody fresh. Practice needs to look a certain way, on both sides, the opponent squads that are giving the card looks and obviously from the offense and defense, and it takes everybody. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to come down and just work one group of guys on both sides of the ball. A lot of our starters took a lot of the opponent reps today.

(Does Matthews have a chance to play on Thursday?)
We'll answer those questions at the end of the week, but he's getting close also. Cullen Jenkins is probably the furthest away of the group.

(How is Barbre?)
I'll know more tomorrow. Today, he obviously wasn't ready today. He's trying, I'll say that. He had a procedure done, and I think they wanted to wait until tomorrow to assess where he is.

(Did you see Bishop's MRI results?)
I haven't seen them personally. I've seen some MRIs in my day. Not today.

(But any update on his status?)
I think he'll be ready for Philadelphia. Confident that he will be.

(How is Underwood?)
Underwood has a shoulder, and he's also had surgery to the same shoulder. Anytime that happens, particularly in a joint area, you're not sure if it's new information or old information. Dr. Pat McKenzie doesn't really have his hands around exactly how long we think he'll be out.

(With Jones and Underwood both battling injuries, do you see a scenario where Zombo and Shields could win those jobs?)
I can't say enough about those two guys, and I think you throw Nick McDonald in that same category. But those questions will be answered as we move through it. I really don't have any answers about who's starting against Philadelphia.

(What did you seen from Graham Harrell Thursday night and how has he improved?)
Played well. He's a good quarterback. He has the natural instincts for the position. He's played a lot of football. He's played a lot of quarterback. You can see that. I think he's done a good job of changing to our system the way we do things here, from the quarterback system. I thought he was in a very good rhythm in the Indianapolis game. I thought he managed the huddle. Matt Flynn, frankly the second group offense's tempo was better than the first group. I thought both those guys did a very good job in the second half.

(What is Will Blackmon's status?)
Day to day. Didn't come out of the game as well as probably everybody would have liked. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

(How has Mark Tauscher looked this year since he has been in camp the entire time?)
I think Mark would be the first one to tell you that being here since March has really helped him. I think there's a misconception that older players don't need the offseason, and the ones in my opinion that truly understand it, and if you go about it the right way too, you're not breaking your players down physically in the offseason, it's very valuable for them. I think Mark being h ere through the whole offseason really got him ready for training camp, and the wear and tear of training camp. We've been smart with both him and Chad, and I think it's reflected in the way he's playing. He's sharp. He's game ready. He's ready for the regular season. Fast forward, you go to the players this year we have coming off of major surgeries from last year, that first year back, it's a tough go. It's a really tough go. Only having to play half the season probably really helped Mark Tauscher.

(How has T.J. Lang looked?)
To me, T.J. Lang looks like a young player that missed an offseason program. He came in, he wasn't probably in the best shape he should have been in when he arrived. His pad level was high, and just the basic fundamentals, the footwork probably wasn't as sharp as you would like it, and those are all things you can attain and get better at in the offseason. I think T.J. is getting better, and it's just a matter of just getting the work in. I thought he did a very good job for a first-year player last year, and we've been kind of waiting for him to take a step, and I think he's done that here in about the last seven days.

(How is Quinn Porter?)
Porter is a knee sprain. We really don't have a handle on how long he's going to be. It's a pretty significant knee sprain.

He had knee swelling, so we rested him today. His knee flared up.

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