Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conf. Transcript - Nov. 21

(Injuries coming out of the game)
All right, I'll start with the injuries. Anthony Smith had an ankle, x-rays were negative, but he did not return.  Patrick Lee had an ankle injury, was re-taped and returned. Atari Bigby had a hamstring and did not return.

(Are you satisfied with the way your team is playing in relation to the other teams in the division?)
Well we're really not concerned about the standings and where they're going with the playoffs, our focus was clearly on getting this division win. This is a tough building to play in, I just can't give the players enough credit, you could see this building through the week, and I thought our work throughout the practice week was outstanding. It was very important for us to play well, because when you have the preparation week like we had this week, you want it to carry over to Sunday and it absolutely did. We knew coming into the game that if we were to take care of the football, zero giveaways, play disciplined football, which was reflected in the zero penalties, we felt very confident that our defense was going to take the football away. We wanted to start on defense today to challenge their offense and have the ability also to get the ball in the second half. Our players did an excellent job of executing our plan and anytime you win 31-3 on the road, especially in the Metrodome, that's a big win.

(How good is your team?)
We're 7-3, and that's the facts. We're a good football team; we always knew we were a good football team, but we have seven wins, three losses and we have an opportunity coming up here in seven days, in Atlanta. It's important for us to take the things from today that we can do better, we'll do that over the next two days, make sure we correct that and Wednesday morning we'll crank it up and get ready for Atlanta. We've got our foot on the gas, our hands on the wheel and we're looking straight ahead. That's what you have to do in November; this is the best time of year for football. November football is critical because it gets you into December when it counts.

(How impressed were you with the way Greg Jennings played today?)
Greg is outstanding; just a. the route running and b. the yards after the catch. We felt that if they were going to give us the 1-on-1's in space that we were going to be able to take advantage of it. They played exclusively a lot of two-deep (coverage) early and we struggled there in the first, maybe second series. We had the one sack where we made a mistake on the protection, but then after that I thought our offense played in very good rhythm, Aaron (Rodgers) kept us in very good plays at the line of scrimmage, we managed the crowd noise excellent, I can't say enough about our fans, they were awesome and it was a great day for the Green Bay Packers.

(How much do you think Aaron learned from his experience here last year with all of the sacks?)
I mean it was a performance that we obviously had to look at throughout the offseason and it's something that we looked at again this week. It is something he definitely learned from. For him to extend the plays today the number of times that he did and the big plays that came off of it, I think he clearly learned from his experience last year.

(What did you think of Tramon Williams interception early in the game?)
Huge. Anytime you can get a takeaway and the way he jumped that route, they had a little momentum on the drive. It was a one score game and that's a big play in the game, no doubt about it, Tramon is having a heck of a year. But we were very confident as a defense that we'd come in here and shut this offense down and have the opportunity to take the football away and we were able to do that today.

(Could you sense the frustration building on the Vikings sideline?)
No, I didn't even look over there, I was just concentrating on my own sideline.

(Is your defense playing at a championship-caliber level right now?)
That's really for you to say. I love the way we're playing, we're confident. I've never deferred a coin toss in my career here and there are a number of factors that go into making that decision. We're playing excellent defense, we're playing outstanding adversity defense and that's why we wanted to get up and get started with our defense today and get on the field and get going. I've been very pleased with the job the defense has done, particularly the last four or five weeks.

(What were those factors that went into the decision to defer after winning the coin toss?)
I really don't want to get into all of that, I think they're very obvious. It's something you look at week-to-week, that's why you study film, it's part of your game plan. It was something I felt on Friday in our game management meeting and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense and it worked out today.

(Your defense has only allowed one touchdown in the last three games. What can you say about that?)
Well we're No. 1 in the league in scoring defense and for good reason. Our guys are doing an excellent job, the defensive staff is doing an excellent job, but we've got a lot of football ahead of us, we've played 10 games .We've got six left and we get to go to Atlanta in seven days and we're excited about that.

(Was it part of your plan going in to involve Dimitri Nance more than you had previously?)
Definitely; Dimitri has earned this opportunity, it was time really to get him going and give him some opportunities. He's a fine young running back and it was great to give him some carries and we need to continue to grow with him and Brandon (Jackson), so I was pleased to finally get that rotation going.

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