Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 28

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

I'll start with the injuries Scott Wells had an ankle sprain and did not return Aaron Rouse had a knee sprain and did not return. Allen Barbre had an ankle sprain and did not return.

(How important is this win, big picture for you guys?)

Winning is the goal. And anytime you have an opportunity to win and beat a division opponent, those are all aspects of your program you can point to and build off of. This is the way you want to start the (next) season. It's short-term. It's definitely something positive we can point to.

(We made a big deal about your confidence in Aaron Rodgers. What did that say about him going deep on that drive to put up some more points and about your confidence in him? )

I think...Shoot, I know I've had confidence in Aaron Rodgers all year. I think the way the game is called dictates that. To come out and take that shot at that specific time based on the circumstances that just occurred, with Detroit driving and scoring, I think that says a lot about the play-caller and the quarterback being on the same page. I think it's been evident all year. The protection was excellent and he did an excellent job with the safety and reading his eyes. Donald ran an excellent route. It was a good ball and catch, and good finish. You have to have confidence and that's where we are as an offense and those are the types of things we want to build off of as we move forward.

(Can you talk about the play of DeShawn Wynn?)

DeShawn did a very nice job. I think that's something you can see building. That's the way he practices. He's a young man who had an excellent opportunity last year. He was injured and fought through a rough training camp and fought his way back from the practice squad. I think it's an excellent story. I think it's a tribute to him, and shoot, he needs to hold onto the ball, but other than that, I thought he played a hell of a game.

(What about Finley?)

Jermichael Finley just keeps getting better every time he takes the field. Everyone talks about the rookie wall and Jermichael Finley, when that wall was supposed to hit, he just kept getting better and better. I'm proud of him. He's a young man that has a bright future. He continues to work and get better and it's nice to see him have success on Sundays because that's the type of player we've seen for quite some time during practice.

(I know this isn't how you wanted the season to go, but can you point to the thing that you're the most proud of from the team?)

Well, just the way they fight. It's a group that works hard and they fight on game days. That's clearly evident every time they take the field. We've had our share of self-inflicted wounds that have cost us football games. But the one thing where the team has never wavered is how they prepare and how they approach games.

(Have you ever been part of a game where there is a free kick?)

That's a good question but I want to say that this may be my first. It's something that you practice a lot. And Mike Stock and the special teams unit did an excellent job. It was well coordinated, and I don't know how close it was, but it looked like a couple more yards and Mason would have had it.

(Were you planning for that play?)

Absolutely. That's why we called the timeouts. That's a free kick situation, that's something that when Detroit had the ball, that was intent of calling the timeouts. We need to talk to our home clock guy. Seven seconds on that last play, he's got a little quick trigger there. Humor.

(Is 70 yards as far as you'd go with that?)

Well, the wind, we factored in the wind. It was worth a shot. Mason has a strong leg. We were probably about at the limit there. But we watched the flag and the flag was still gusting pretty strong. The decision was really based on if he could get it up in the wind and it could carry.

(Do you think a few guys didn't know about the rule?)

We know about the rules and we'll just leave it at that.

(We've asked a lot about Aaron's progression throughout the year, but now with a full season under his belt, what's your initial assessment of that full body of work? )

Well, it's a body of work. I think you need to look at it from both angles. You need to look at it from the Green Bay Packers perspective and it's a quarterback that has shown productivity. There's definitely things that play to his strengths and that's what we'll start with in quarterbacks school. And in all my times in developing quarterbacks, you always identify two, three, four things that you always emphasize, whether it's an area of fundamentals or something schematically that he needs to do a better job of, and that's the way we'll attack. But I think he's created an excellent platform and foundation for us to build off of. But the other side of the spectrum is now the NFL. Opponents now have a book on him and those are the types of things you need to prepare for and be smart from a self-scout standpoint. I think he has built a very solid foundation for us to build off of.

(With the Jermichael Finley incident about midseason and the chat you had with him, do you think that was a stepping stone and that it kind of got him refocused and going into the right direction at that point?)

I think it would be convenient if I said yes. I think Jermichael Finley is a young man that a lot of things were new to him. And he just continued to improve every week. There's not anybody in the locker room, talk to Aaron, talk to our quarterback, talk to our other perimeter players. Players know the other players best. Everyone is excited about his ability and the potential he brings to our football team. Now we're seeing him develop into the playmaker that we all felt he and believed he can be. I'm just excited about his ability and I'm real excited about his future.

(Did you give any words of encouragement to Coach Marinelli after the game?)

It was short. But that's personal.

(Can you talk about the offensive line?)

I thought our offensive line did a great job. We obviously made the change this week with the three position changes, and then we had two injuries that we had to overcome. But the one part that definitely is in place is the flexibility aspect of our offensive line. I think we'd like to get back to more of a solid five guys playing to get the continuity, but that's a credit to those guys. It's hard to do, it's hard to switch positions during the game, let alone switching positions during the week and then having to switch back during the game and have to overcome two substitutions. And then to give us the opportunity to have as productive a day as we did have offensively. It all starts up front. They did a hell of a job.

(Your thoughts on being on the history making game with the Lions being winless?)

I really don't have a thought about that. It's a division game. I'm going to politely avoid the question. That's a tough deal. We were focused on winning the game.

{sportsad300}(On the flip side of that, how important is it, with all things considered the season not going well, how important is it to get the last win of the season and to go into the offseason with the momentum?)

It's definitely important because there's really only one team that fulfills their goal and that's the team that wins the Super Bowl. The next step is to win your last game. We were able to accomplish that and it's something we can build off of. We are a young football team and we need to learn. And that's definitely something we can learn from when we have a positive experience because we've had some difficult experiences as of late.

(I don't want to be rude here, but just to be clear, obviously you're thrilled to win, but you don't take great pride in sending Rod Marinelli to that fate?)

I don't look at it that way, so I don't have an opinion on it.

(How much of a mental break do you get now that the season is over?)

Mental break? They call it the offseason just because the games are over, but there's really no offseason and you have to go onto the next challenge. I'm not looking for any mental break. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the opportunity that I've been blessed with being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. I wake up every day and go as hard as I can and I'll do the same thing tomorrow.

(I know there's three phases to the game, but you've got a 4,000-yard passer, you've got two receivers with over 1,000 (yards), a rusher with over 1,200 (yards), does it make you shake your head that you've only won six this year? )

Well, those are really questions for next week. Or this week or whenever it is. I guess it is Wednesday so we can take the postseason questions then.

(What do you tell your club before the break off?)

A lot of things. I'll review the year and talk about the expectations. We'll get in some scheduling things and we'll have exit interviews with all the players, which will take two days to do. I'll do that Monday and Tuesday and from there, I'll move onto the coaches.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content