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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conf. Transcript - Jan. 2

I have zero injuries to report, so far. With that, I'll take your questions.

(What did you tell the team after this?)
I'm just proud of them. We've had a different road we traveled this year and we've met every challenge. We're at 10 wins and we're one of six teams in the NFC. This is an exciting day for the organization. It's an exciting day for our fans. And we're excited as a football team. We're really looking forward to preparing this week and going up there and compete against Philadelphia in this tournament. I'm very proud of our football team, just everything we've accomplished. Nothing's come easy for us and we wouldn't want it any other way. Chicago came in here and battled like they always do. That's the type of game you should expect when Chicago and Green Bay gets together and we didn't disappoint tonight.

(It seemed like defense carried the banner tonight. Can you comment on that?)
I thought our defense was outstanding. I thought our defense and special teams clearly were the two major factors in the victory today. The defense kept them out of the end zone. The special teams, I haven't seen the statistics, but I would think we won or were very close to winning the field-position battle. I thought Tim was excellent with the backed up punts. Offensively, it was not our best day, no question. The field position, the turnovers with the field position we had, but 10 points was enough to win today. I was just very, very proud of our defense and special teams, the way they carried this game.

(What was the difference between the first half and the second half?)
The difference? Could you be more specific? It was 3-0 at halftime, we came in and had zero panic. I thought the guys were very upbeat at halftime. It was fundamentals. Everything that did not go our way, were things that we could control. We came out and competed and won 10-3.

(You blitzed a lot and Charles blitzed a lot as well. Was that the plan in the second half?)
We wanted to put pressure on Cutler. I thought Matt Forte did a good job running the ball early. He had a couple runs come out in the first half. But we wanted to put as much pressure as we could on the quarterback.

(Erik Walden wasn't even on this roster recently. The day he had today, what does that say?)
Well, he's just an excellent example of what's going on in our program. It's a credit to our program. It starts with the personnel acquisition, and the coaching staff getting players ready and Erik Walden coming in and taking full advantage of his opportunity. I can't say enough about the young man and the way he's performed, the way he's worked.  The extra hours that you see him and Kevin Greene put in throughout the evenings upon his arrival here. We've done a very good job getting players ready to play in a short period of time. Our team is formed, this is who we are and we head into the playoffs.

(Do you think the NFC is wide open?)
We're worried about Philadelphia. This and that, that's for you people to write. Philadelphia is a hard place to win. I'm sure our team looks a lot different than the first time we met to start the year. It's one at a time. We feel very good about our chances. We'll play anybody, anytime, anywhere. That's been our motto and we're well-oiled. We've been challenged and we've learned from those challenges. Trust me, we'll be ready when we get to Philadelphia.

(Do you have a preference in playing Saturday or Sunday?)
We were prepared to play Saturday. We started working on Philadelphia Thursday evening as a staff. A lot of work was put in yesterday as a staff and some coaches worked a little bit this morning. We were preparing for a Saturday game.

(When do you think they'll find out?)
I'm sorry I assumed Jeff announced it. We play Sunday, 4:30 (Eastern time) at Philadelphia.

(Was there any sense of relief to find out they called timeout before that first down in the third quarter?)
Well, that helped, no question. That's football. There's plays that go your way and plays that don't. That's why you play 60 minutes. We had some plays that didn't go our way too, so you've just got to keep fighting through them.

(Much was made of Devin Hester's ability, but Tramon Williams had a punt return really gave you guys great field position.)
Tramon has been very consistent for us in the punt return. We felt like we've been close on really both the punt and the kickoffs all year. Hopefully the playoffs is when we finally get it to come all the way out of the back end and score. He's done an excellent job fielding the ball, he does an excellent job in his reads. It was a wall return, so he did a very nice job.

(With big plays so hard to come by against Chicago, what did it mean to have Aaron find those two back-to-back long passes to set up the touchdown?)
Well, you have to take your shots, you've got to run your offense. They were sitting on the vertical routes on the outside. We were able to get some things where we're able to break them in, break them out and get behind them on the wheel route. They do a very good job, they play excellent vision to the football. They're a good defense. Statistically, it speaks for itself. But we can't turn the ball over, you've got to do a better job on third down. The most important key is to manage the down and distance on third down. I thought we started the game doing that, but we had too many third-and-longs there and the untimely penalties, with the second-and-20. That's a hard call.

(You lost half a dozen, maybe seven starters since the opening game of the season in Philadelphia. How else is your team different coming into this next game?)
Well, that's a long answer right there. I don't think I can really get into it. We're a different football team just from the faces that we have. But I think the core of our football team is the same. I think it's important any time you start a season you have systems in all three phases that can endure change and always has. We're playing damn good football. We're a good football team, but we're working to be a great football team. We're not running a bunch of different plays or running a bunch of different blitzes. We stay true to the fundamentals of football, continue to put our players in the right positions to be successful. But this group is very coachable, hard working, totally bought in, I like the way they approach things. The road does not concern us at all.

(Can you go through the play-calling sequence where you had to settle for the field goal?)
The calls? I ran it on first down, it was a dive play. We ran the fake, the quarterback sneak on the second play. And we had the defense we wanted. On the third down, they played coverage, and we went to six-man protection with double moves on the inside and didn't come away with it.

(You were scoreless at the half, what did you say to your team?)
Just really talked about the fundamentals. I thought it was important to stay in tune that it was a three-point game. The problems that occurred in the first half were all things that we were able to control. We had the dropped ball, and we had the fumble going into scoring position. Just really stayed true to the game plan. We didn't change a whole lot. But I thought our guys were upbeat and they knew it was going to be a 60-minute game.

(How much do you like Donald Lee's touchdown-to-catch ratio? It seems like every time he catches a ball lately, it's a touchdown.)
That's good stuff. It was an excellent fake, a full fake there, and a good job with the ball handling. And Donald did an excellent route because the release on the route is key. A lot of times they try to hold you in that situation, so it was a well-executed play.

(Has Bryan Bulaga hit a wall or was it who he was up against today?)
Bryan Bulaga made some errors today, obviously, with his penalties. But Bryan Bulaga will line up and start and play well in Philadelphia. That's what I expect from him and I guarantee you he will prepare to do that. It was a winning performance for our football team and Bryan will learn from his mistakes. But I'm sure when we turn on the film tomorrow, there will be a lot of things that were very positive on Bryan's behalf.

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