Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 9

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Sunday from Lambeau Field. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Raiders Game Center

I'll start with the injuries. Nick Barnett was poked in the eye. He returned in the second half. Chad Clifton was kicked in his shin and he did return. Chad also had a shoulder and we held him out after that. Charles Woodson was held in the fourth quarter. That was my decision.

(Can you talk about the offense and the running game?)

It's been an emphasis because of lack of productivity earlier in the year. We spent a lot of extra time on it this week. It was our primary focus coming into this game. I can't say enough about Ryan Grant. He's really coming into his own. You can see the comfort level that he has in the scheme. He's doing a great job when he gets to the second level of breaking tackles. We're very pleased with him. The run-blocking unit is getting better. I thought our guard play was solid. We have some things that we need to continue to work on but I was proud of the way we ran the ball today.

(How is Favre's elbow?)

No complaints. I think he was hit a few times but his elbow wasn't re-injured. I think he came out of the game fine elbow-wise.

(How important is it to run in cold weather?)

The cold weather, to me, really didn't factor into how we needed to play the game. The wind is what you always look for. There wasn't any wind today. I felt we were able to throw the ball when we needed to. Game plan-wise, we felt that we could run the football today. More importantly you need to run it everyday. I understand that. We went into the game with the focus of giving Ryan Grant a bunch of carries and he did a great job.

(How long do they get to celebrate the division title?)

Midnight tonight, that's the rule. It's the first step towards reaching our goal. We still have some business to finish in the last three games. It's definitely the first check off of our list. I'm proud of the fact that this is our first division championship. We've come a long way but we still have a long way to go.

(What was the mood in the locker room?)

It was fun. It was good. I got ice thrown on me on the field. That was my first experience with that. I picked the coldest day of my career to get that done but that's part of the deal. It feels great. It was a good win. You want to win your division at home in that fashion. I'm glad we stepped up and played the way we're capable of playing today.

(Was the team fresh coming off of the long break?)

Absolutely and we treated it that way. We thought it was important to give the players four days off. We're definitely healthier this week going into practice. Hopefully we'll come out the same way. We definitely had a lot of energy. You could see it throughout our practice week. I thought we definitely stepped up as a football team. You want to win games but we still have areas to continue to work on. Our guys have bought into that. That will be our focus as we move forward.

(Is that what a healthy Will Blackmon can do on special teams?)

Will Blackmon is clearly one of the better athletes on our football team. Personally, it's really gratifying to see him out there after everything that he's gone through to overcome the injuries that he's been battling for a year and a half, to have the opportunity that he had today and take advantage of it. He's an explosive young man and a very good defensive back as he moves through his development process. And he's definitely a weapon on special teams as he proved today.

(Are your special teams problems over?)

We're going to enjoy the fact that Will Blackmon had two touchdowns today. I'll leave it at that.

(How close was he to going on IR?)

We discussed it. Dr. Pat McKenzie felt that if we gave him proper time and he responded to the treatment, we clearly made the right decision. It's a credit to our medical staff and Will Blackmon going through the rehab process and Ted Thompson being patient. It was clearly the right decision.

(Any thoughts of pulling Favre in the fourth quarter?)

I thought about it. Craig Nall would have taken the last series there if there was one. I was comfortable with what we were trying to do and with Brett out there.

{sportsad300}(Are you concerned with Crosby?)

The ball's a little different. It was his first time here at Lambeau. To answer your question, I'm not concerned about him. He's a talented young kicker. I think he's going to kick in this league for a long time. I think it will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He'll learn from that.

(Is it just him adjusting to the conditions?)

The first one was footwork so that has nothing to do with weather. It's a learning process and he'll improve as he goes forward. He was the special teams player of the month last month.

(Can you talk about Justin Harrell's play today?)

Just from the communication during the course of the game, I didn't watch Justin, but I felt that he played very well in the run defense. I know for a number of times he was collapsing the gaps, staying square and doing the things he's supposed to. Without seeing the film I would say he had a pretty good outing.

(Why did you put Blackmon on punt return this week?)

We've been working him the last two weeks. He continued to work through the rehab. As he was able to do more with weight distribution on his foot he continued to work on skill development. As you recall he was a force in the preseason. Just to get him the opportunity for him to go today was something that we've been anticipating for some time.

(Were you happy with your guys mentally coming into this game?)

I thought they did a very good job focusing during the week. I thought the focus was good during the game. The sideline was full of energy. Game management, as far as communication, people going in and out when a guy gets hurt you're not looking for a guy to go in. They're going in already. Those things, to me, are examples of good focus and I thought we had that today.

(Were you aware of what was happening in the Dallas game?)

Jeff just told me about the Dallas game. During the commercial they had the highlights of the Tampa Bay game. I saw that. I'm not worried about it.

(Is that something you worry about during the game?)

Not at all, you're just adding another distraction to your focus. We're worried about what we can control. That's winning football games. We don't worry about our opponent. We don't worry about the referees. I'm not concerned about what's going on in other games. We've won 11 games so far. We have an opportunity to win 14 so that's what we're focused on.

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