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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 13

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference from Soldier Field in Chicago following Sunday’s contest with the Bears. - More Packers-Bears Game Center

OK, I'll start with the injuries. Brandon Underwood had a hip strain. He's OK, he returned. Greg Jennings banged his knee and returned after the one play. B.J. Raji had a shoulder injury; he returned, and Johnny Jolly had a back bruise and he returned. So those are the injuries, and with that I'll take your questions.

(Do you feel like you gutted one out here today?)

I feel like we won a football game versus a division opponent, our archrival. It's a great game to be a part of. We really enjoy coming down here and playing. I know they have a confidence playing against us, so I thought it was two physical football teams battling out today. We didn't come down here anticipating a blowout, that's for sure. We got off to a great start, and I can't say enough about our defense. I thought the game started with our defense and I thought it ended with our defense. They're playing at an extremely high level, and they were a huge part of our success today.

(Did you leave too many points on the field?)

I agree. I think we definitely left some points on the field there in the first half when your defense is playing that well and your special teams is doing a very good job in the coverage units. We had favorable field position particularly there in the first half, and to have only 13 points, yeah I felt we left points on the board offensively and obviously with the missed field goal.

(Can you talk about Ryan Grant's performance?)

I thought the run game was very good. Once again, we were able to play a run and pass game against the Bears. They were heavy leaning towards the run as far as the way they were playing us so we went to a different format as far as running the football. I was pleased with our overall play. You know the third down productivity which has been a strength of ours, we did not play to our level today. We had favorable down and distances on third down that we did not convert, but I felt like the mix of run and pass on normal D-and-D kept us in good field position and good down and distance.

(Was it good to see Ryan break a long run?)

Yeah, it was great to see Ryan get on the second level and finish the run. You can't start the game any better than that. He's a tough, hard-nosed runner. He's very consistent. He's over 1,000 yards for a reason. It was good to get Ahman in there too. I thought Ahman gave us good punch with his opportunities, and definitely Brandon is an excellent complement. We feel like we have a good mix there. We feel like we have a lot more continuity on offense than we did have earlier in the season, but definitely the red zone and third down was not what it needed it to be today.

(On the Collins interception)

Well it's fun, you're exactly right, with the play calls whether you're on offense or defense. Dom was very aggressive throughout the day, and you could see that all the way up to the last play. We were able to hit the corner blitz and Nick can't play it any better and the quarterback forces the throw. Our defense is in rhythm - their play tempo, play speed, and Dom is keeping his foot on the gas. There is a confidence, there is a trust there, and once again I think this game started and ended with our defense. I'm very pleased with the way we're playing on defense.

(At 4-2 in the division and 7-3 in the conference, do you feel better about your postseason chances?)

There's only one goal here, and that's never going to change. We're focusing on getting to 10 wins. I mean yeah, we fully expect to play in the playoffs. We've talked about it as a football team, and I told them not even to get involved in it until we get 10 wins because you're really wasting your time. The playoff picture changes so much week to week, it's really nonsense for us to even talk about it. That's our approach. We're working on winning football games, being aggressive with our plans. Our players are executing it. I like the bounce in our step. We're confident. We're relatively healthy coming out of this game, so they're going to have their first victory Monday of the year, and they're excited about that. We need to get ready to go to Pittsburgh. That's going to be another tough football game.

(Is it nice to have things to work on as well?)

The turnovers right now. We have five turnovers in two games, and I'm not particularly happy about that with the offense, and we need to rectify that. We don't turn the ball over. We've been number one in the league in giveaways all year, and the last two games we aren't playing to that standard. We want to play a certain way, establish the way we want to play as a football team. We take care of the football, and we take it away. We need to start taking care of the football. The last two weeks we have not.

{sportsad300}(How worrisome are the struggles by Crosby?)

I haven't had the chance to talk to him after the miss. Just like last week, I look at the snap, the hold and the kick, but Mason needs to kick the ball through the uprights. The snapper needs to put it where it needs to be snapped and the holder needs to put it where it needs to be held. It's no different than offense. We need to put the ball in the end zone when we're down there. Point production, if you're looking for your negative story, yeah, we did not put enough points on the board. But we won a football game, a division, tough archrival game in Chicago. We feel good about that as a team. There are a lot of positives for our football team that we have picked up from one another. But today we did not score the amount of points that we had the opportunity to.

(Are you worried though that he has missed a kick three games in a row?)

What's the saying, worrying is praying for the wrong thing to happen. I'm not worried. I have confidence in Mason. I believe in Mason. I believe in our football team. Once again, Mason, the offense, we had more opportunities to score points today and we did not get that done.

(Did you sense anything from your team when you fell behind?)

I mean I don't know if you guys can feel it from where you're sitting, but that's a football game being played against an archrival. There was a lot of energy on the sidelines. I think it's definitely a game of momentum. They made the big play with the turnover on our first drive. It's nice when you're dominating your opponent, and it's important to make sure to take advantage of those opportunities because that momentum, there are going to be opportunities where it's going to swing back at you, and you have to keep stepping up and swing it back the other way, and our guys did for four quarters.

(On what the win means)

This is special. Trust me, I know what my division record is: 17-7, 4-4 against the Bears. I'm definitely in tune with where we are in our program. This is an important game. It's an important game for each organization. It's a very important game for the cities. There are a lot of people that put a lot into this game. It's a very, very important game for our fans, and I'm sure they're excited. Trust me, we feel very good about the victory today.

(How big was Collins' interception?)

Huge. The takeaways has been a staple of our victories each week. We're doing an excellent job of taking the football away, and it's a product of our players, a product of our training, but it's important to take the other part of it, you've got to take care of the football. I'm very pleased with the way we're playing on defense.

(On penalties)

Penalties, you look at them. The pre-snap penalties, not to be a broken record, there is no excuse for that. I know we had one there on the punt. You can't do that. There is no excuse for pre-snap penalties, and then you look at the combative penalties, evaluate them, and keep coaching your players on it. I don't know what the numbers were, but I thought we did a good job in that area today.

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