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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 22

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Friday night from Denver. - More Packers-Broncos Game Center

(How important was it for Aaron Rodgers to play well tonight?)

I think it was more important for our offense to play a lot better. The quarterback position has a lot to do with that. I thought Aaron had a very good night. I thought he was sharp. I thought he managed the offense, the tempo, was smart with the football, was very good on third down. I thought it was important for our offense to come out and establish some tempo and have some productivity early in the game. We were able to do that and continue it for four quarters.

(What was the difference with him between last week and this week?)

Once again, it was more of an offensive issue. There's things that went wrong last week that were, you know there was enough for everybody. This week we played at a lot higher level. I thought we were more physical, our pad level was down. We pass protected better. He made good decisions. He threw the ball, we caught the ball better so it was really the offensive unit that played a lot better.

(How important was it to play better?)

Oh, it's important. If you want me to say it's important, it's important. I mean we didn't play very well last week, and we played a lot better this week and we won the football game. Anytime you win a game, it's important to recognize that. Success is hard to achieve in this league regardless of what time of year you do win football games. I think it's a good experience for our younger players, but we're looking to improve week in and week out, there's no doubt about it. I'm more interested in what's on the film and as we can continue to learn. We still are a young team. We still have a lot of work to do, and we'll continue to move forward getting ready for the home opener with Minnesota with our opportunity next week with the Tennessee Titans.

(Were you surprised at your inability to get off the field on third downs?)

The big drive was disappointing. The strength of our defense has always been third down. We weren't as sharp tonight as we have been, and we need to tackle better. That's two weeks in a row. The run defense was not as productive as it has been, but getting off the field on third down, that's the strength of our defense. We're better than we showed on that particular drive, and we'll take full advantage of it and learn from it.

(Jennings seemed to be back at full speed?)

Yeah, I thought Greg (Jennings) played at full speed tonight. Donald (Driver) looked great. Our receiver group had a good evening as a unit, but I thought Greg Jennings was back to himself. He really had a very good week at practice, felt very good throughout the week, so it was nice to have him back out there.

(How would you assess Brian Brohm's night out there?)

Brian, initially, you know I thought he did a good job with the run game checks. We had a lot of runs in his two-to-three series that I recall, didn't really have a lot of opportunities in the passing game. He had the one ball, the third down versus the double blitz, the tight end down the middle, I thought it was a good read but he just needs a better throw. So I need to give Brian and Matt more opportunities in the passing game next week because they didn't have very many opportunities tonight.

(With the way Aaron played tonight, do you not have to play him as much next week and get those guys more reps?)

Momentum is important, but I think the determining factor is the health of your football team, and that's really my number one concern. We'll have an opportunity to get some players back. We got a couple of guys nicked tonight. As we move forward, we'll stick with our original plan of how much our players are going to play next week.

(Can you give us an early update on Josh Sitton?)

Josh Sitton, we'll know more tomorrow. Just with Josh being a rookie here, anytime you go through an injury, there's an adjustment period. He had a knee, and he was the most serious of the group.

(What about your safeties?)

Atari had an ankle that they don't feel is really bad and Nick Collins had a neck. You'd almost call it a stinger, he just kind of twisted it. I talked to him on the sideline in the third quarter. He thinks he's going to be fine.

(James Jones came out, how is he?)

Yeah, they're looking at him. He could have continued. They're actually looking at him in the locker room when I came through.

(It looked like Daniel Muir limped off with a groin)

I don't have anything on Daniel, but he does have a groin going into the game.


Oh, absolutely. I think Aaron Rodgers has done everything right from a focus standpoint. He's been put in this situation that's different. He's done a very good job focusing through that, and at the end of the day he needs to focus on playing quarterback, and I thought he did that very well tonight.

(Did you throw those quick passes in response to blitzes?)

That's a schematic question, Bob.

(Did you like how he reacted to them?)

Yeah, he had off coverage. I thought he did a nice job with the quick ins. They did blitz on that play too.

(What were you trying to do with that personnel grouping on that first series?)

What was I trying to do? Well, it's like any other game plan. We went to more of a two-back tonight than we've done the last two weeks, particularly San Francisco we were chased out of a lot of our sub-runs. You know, it's like any game. They played a little differently than you might expect, but as far as getting in and out of the personnel groups, there were just some concepts we wanted to work. There is no, you know, rhyme or reason as far as being in this personnel group versus their particular defense. They stayed base on both first and second down, even versus our sub groups, so that's something we adjusted to and tried some things.

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