Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 20

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Sunday from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. - More Packers-Steelers Game Center

OK, I'll start with the injuries. Ryan Grant had the wind knocked out of him; he did return. Nick Barnett had a knee bruise; he did return. Greg Jennings, ankle, he also returned. Chad Clifton, shoulder, he returned and Brad Jones had cramps and he did return. With that, I'll take your questions.

(How difficult was this loss?)

All losses are difficult. Losses in December are probably a little more important. This was a game we had a lot of confidence coming into. We knew we were going to have to score some points today on the offensive side of it. I don't think we thought it would go that way as far as their aggressiveness and the passing game against our defense. We came up one play short and it will be corrected tomorrow. I'm sure there will be a number of opportunities where we could've probably made one play. I think this is classic December football. It came down to the last play of the game and we didn't get it done.

(Inaudible question)

One play short will be able to show up in all three phases. I felt offensively in the first half we left some opportunities on the field, particularly in the passing game. They played a lot more base defense versus some of our particular personnel groups, which we felt confident throwing the football. That's probably why our numbers were where they were throwing the ball. Mason needs to make the kick. He missed the kick. He's missed kicks in the past. He needs to make the kick. So yeah, it would have been nice to have those three points but I'm sure as we go through the defense, there will be opportunities there I wish, you know a play here, play there, that we needed to make. We were one play short, and I'm sure all three phases will have evidence that needs to be corrected.

(When did you go to the new holder?)

We made the change to Jeremy this week. It was more of a confidence approach with Mason. Mason and Jeremy spend all their time together. Jeremy is handling the ball during the game non-stop where Matt is obviously involved with his offensive duties. This was a switch made in that regard. I thought Matt did a good job, but it's something we've been talking about for a couple weeks, and that's why we made the switch.

(Is there anything that can be gained confidence-wise from playing with this team?)

Confidence comes with winning. There are different levels of success that you have during the course of a performance, and we'll point to that. We're very honest and realistic with our correction and evaluation process, and that's the way we'll go at it in the morning with the players. It's important to correct this and move on to Seattle. The Seattle game is very important to us. We need to get our win total to 10. That'll be the focus as soon as we get off the plane back here in Green Bay. But a tough loss for everybody. To let one get away at the last play of the game, it's a hard one to swallow.

(Did Rodgers take a step up today?)

I thought Aaron played big. He took some hits early, and I thought he just stayed right in there and threw the ball. We had some dropped balls in the first half that hurt us, and he didn't lose his confidence in anybody. He just kept going back out there. I thought the protection was outstanding. The direction of Aaron and Scott Wells and the production of our protection unit was outstanding versus that defense today.

(Does this show that your pass defense is vulnerable?)

It's one game, and I know Seattle is going to look at it, and that's what you go week-to-week. That's the beauty of this business. You're challenged every week from a new opponent, and Seattle will bring their game into Lambeau on Sunday, and we'll be ready to go.

(Only 12 rushing attempts, did you like the matchup with Rodgers?)

Well, frankly I think it was more the way they played us to our personnel groups. They played a lot of base defense on first and second down, and that's really why I went the direction I did with our passing game.

(Did the onside kick surprise you?)

I mean I don't think it surprises you. They were playing to win. I thought they threw caution to the wind. I thought they threw everything at us. They didn't hold anything back. I thought Bruce Arians did a hell of a job today. I thought he called an extremely aggressive game on their part, and obviously Mike was going for the win there with the onside kick.

(Did you like your chances with them having to go 86 yards?)

Of course I did. I always think we're going to stop them.

(So many plays on that drive that could have ended it...do you look at them and say 'what if'?)

There will be plays throughout the game, on that last drive, through all four quarters, through all three phases, that I will correct with our players that I'm sure we'll wish we could have back. That's not the way it goes. That's why you play one play at a time. That's why you move on to the next play, and we came up one play short.

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