Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference - Sept. 21

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Sunday night from Lambeau Field. - More Packers-Cowboys Game Center

OK, I'll start with the injuries. James Jones had a sprained knee. He returned in the second quarter. Nick Barnett had a bruised elbow. He returned. Nick Collins had a bruised back. He did not return after the second time. Al Harris had cramping, but also had blood in his urine, so from a medical standpoint, they would not allow him to return to the game. Brandon Chillar had the wind knocked out of him but he did return. Those are the injuries.

(What was the difference tonight? Did they beat you up front? It looked like they really had the advantage running the football tonight.)

Well, statistically they put up big numbers. Any time someone runs for over 200 yards, that's significant. But how they did it is the thing that we're more interested in. We made some mistakes, particularly on the long run. It was an alignment error. That's what happens when things like that happen. They were able to run the ball for four quarters and kind of wear our defense down. I thought our defense was playing very well and the offense really didn't help them there in the second quarter. The time of possession at halftime was definitely tilted too far against our defense and I think it caught up to us.

(Any loss is disappointing, but was it more of a disappointment because of the magnitude of who you were playing, or it being a night game and losing at home?) You never want to lose. No doubt about it. It's frustrating, it's disappointing. Losing at Lambeau, I don't like it. That's for sure. It's an emphasis. I definitely thought we had that going in the right direction, but the reality is that it's the third game of the season. It was a big game. It was great measuring stick for our football team, and I'll tell you exactly what I told them. The Dallas Cowboys are further ahead than we are right now. That's the facts and that's Week 3. How far ahead, time will answer that question. We have work to do and we'll continue to do it and we need to get the things fixed tomorrow with our review Monday and get ready to go. I'm more concerned about the medical condition of our football team right now with the number of guys we had banged up in that game. We're going to have to get ready to go down to Florida, in Tampa in six days.

(You seemed at times to try and run the ball. Was that part of the game plan and why couldn't you run the ball more effectively?)

The most important thing about running the football once again is attempts, in my view. You have to get the attempts up. We really didn't do a very good job of sustaining drives. You can say whatever you want, the run game, the passing game. But the times we were able to commit to the runs throughout the series that was longer than three plays, I think it was productive. We need to do a better job of that. I was not very pleased with the production we had on first down offensively. The injury to James Jones kind of set us aside there for a few series there in the second quarter and I probably didn't do a very good job of adjusting quick enough to that.

(What do you think of the performance by Aaron Rodgers tonight?)

I thought it was steady for the most part. I thought he was in some tough situations. The pass protection I thought started off pretty good. I thought we were in a decent flow there in the first quarter. The thing about protecting the quarterback, when the game gets tilted the other way and they are playing downhill on you, it doesn't work in your favor. And I think that's what happened to us there in the second half.

(How much did you commit to stopping Owens and did that take away other things you did on defense?)

The game plan, we definitely talked about staying on top of their star players, and obviously he's one of them. Witten was another one we focused on, and he had a very productive day. That's game planning. You try to take away one thing, and you obviously have a one-on-one on the other side because that's usually how it works.

(What was your take on the red zone performance of your team?)

Not very good. We were down there, what, three times and we only got it in once. We had pressure there on third down and if we would have picked it up, that probably would have helped. We weren't very sharp in the red zone. We weren't very sharp on third downs either, two key situations.

(What can you do to stop the penalties?)

What can I do? Well, penalties, we emphasize it. We'll continue to emphasize it. We have referees in practice. I think it's important to look at them and better judge them. I've talked about penalties here before. The pre-snap penalties are unacceptable. The combative ones, we need to look at the combative penalties that we're encountering and see if the proper judgment is involved by our players in those situations.

* (What were they doing to Aaron to keep him under wraps? In the first couple games he got out of the pocket and made some plays. Tonight, he wasn't able to do that.)* They did a good job staying in the rush lanes. I thought they did a good job setting the edges with their up-field rushers and the inside guys were doing a good job staying in their lanes. You only get to do certain things so long in this league and people now have more information on you. I'm not interested in seeing him run around a ton. So we need to do a better job in just the first and second down controlled passing game. I didn't think we were very effective in that particular area tonight.

(Did it look to you like Grant had some of the best speed he's had since he came back? At least early on?)

I'd agree with that. I thought he's getting closer to his old self. I have not talked to him or he didn't show up on the medical sheet, so hopefully he came out clean tonight and we can move forward another week.

(Did the doctors say what the blood in the urine means)

They don't know yet.

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