Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 12

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

We do not have any injuries today. So with that I'll take your questions.

(How much did the experience in Dallas help this team?)

The Dallas game was something we pointed to throughout our preparation. I feel like we definitely learned our lesson. I thought we were extremely sharp. I thought we were detailed from an assignments standpoint, fundamentals and all the things that we've been focusing on since Dallas. I'm very proud of our football team, the way they performed today, especially after the start that we had.

(How were you able to overcome the early deficit?)

I thought, No. 1, Brett was extremely sharp. He did a great job of keeping us in favorable plays, particularly in the sub groups. He threw the ball very well. When we got behind 14-0 I was concerned that the weather was going to turn bad because there were some things in the passing that we wanted to get to. We were able to accomplish that. I felt like we controlled the line of scrimmage, both sides, throughout the contest. Ryan Grant had a big day after a tough start. I can't say enough about the performance. That's the performance that you're looking for. Our guys definitely stepped up. We talked about poise and composure. That's something that we accomplished (after) the first 20 seconds of the game.

(Can you talk about the confidence you had in Ryan even after his fumbles?)

He was a big part of our game plan. I know I've pulled players in the past for turnovers but he was a big part of the way we approached this game. The first one, what can you do about that? It got out of control a little bit. The second one his pad level was too high. It was corrected and he went on to have a great day.

(What was his attitude after the second fumble?)

He handled the correction of it very well. Edgar Bennett does a very good job with the running backs. It was something that was corrected and we moved on. We never gave it a thought, which was obvious the way we stuck with our game plan.

(Was there talk to sit him down for a series?)

Never one thought. We just stuck with the game plan.

(Can you talk about your offensive line?)

I thought our offensive line was excellent. It started in the run game. Pass protection was very good. We went to some empty sets early, it was getting a lot of pressure. Really across the board, I can't say enough about the offensive and defensive line.

(What was the thinking on the challenge?)

It's communication upstairs from the coaches. I had a good view of the play myself, with Bubba extending it. That was a big play because we had a lot of momentum as a football team, coming back. It continued that drive. It was one of the bigger plays in the game in my opinion.

(Did Brett influence your thinking at all?)

I think it might have been Joe Philbin or someone up top was on it right when it happened as far as it being a bad spot. I thought our scoreboard operation was excellent. We were all able to get a view of it. That was all a part of the decision.

(Would you have gone for it anyway?)

I don't have to answer that question. I wasn't in that position. I probably would have punted to be honest with you.

(How would you evaluate your passing game?)

I thought the passing game was sharp, protection was very good. I thought Brett was extremely sharp. Greg has been a big-play receiver for us all year. He stepped up big again today. Brett does a good job of giving those guys the ball in space on short passes and had a couple shots down the field so he had a very nice day.

(How worried were you with the team's playoff experience?)

I really wasn't worried about it because it's nothing that I can control. Our guys aren't going to grow up any faster over the course of the week and that's really the approach that we took. I really didn't even address it with the football team. We are who we are. We're here for a reason. We're a good football team that continues to improve. I think we put our best foot forward today and that's what you want to do in the playoffs.

(What was that bunch formation with three backs?)

The three backs is actually two personnel groups. There's three backs, two receivers, we refer to that as falcon. Then we have three backs, a tight end and a receiver, we refer to that as rhino.

(You seem to run a lot of passes and runs out of it.)

Those are things that we've been doing throughout the year. We were heavy run game-plan wise into the game. This gives us some flexibility personnel-group wise. It keeps us in good angles when they're playing eight-man fronts.

(Are you surprised that they never sent more than five?)

I think the weather probably had a little bit to do with that. Brett was sharp with the football. I was not really surprised the way he played us. We had a lot of personnel groups going in. It looked like he had more of a plan to stop the run, in my opinion.

(Are you able to appreciate Favre during a game?)

I wasn't 'Wow'. But I'm glad he completed it. It didn't start off with wow, I can tell you that. He's a special player. He's clearly one of the all-time greats or the best that ever played the game. Really our focus is on winning during the course of the game.

(Can you talk about the play of Atari Bigby?)

I thought Atari was extremely physical. He's one of our younger players that continues to improve. He's taken full advantage of his opportunity. He's making more plays on the back end. He had a very nice day.

(Did he make up for his missing practice?)

We've moved past that.

(Did you think the weather would be anything like that?)

No, I was told the snow was going to stop at kickoff. You can see on the weather report. We're prepared for that. We were able to stick with our plan. We really didn't have to adjust anything.

(What is it about Grant that makes him able to bounce back?)

Ryan's a talented young man and he's a young player. He has so much room to improve and you can just see the improvement during the course of the year. Ryan's very consistent. That's what I like about Ryan. You have the same player every day. He works extremely hard. There isn't a whole lot of variance in his performance. That's very useful for a coach, particularly in the game plan. I think his consistency is the thing I like best. He plays with a lot of confidence. He's very confident. It's really his third year being in the league. I never questioned him and we did not blink. Edgar Bennett handled it very well. It did not surprise me that he ran the way he did today.

(Why did you run so much today?)

Ideally, if I could call a perfect game, I would call 50 runs. I think that's the way you have to play at this time of year. I'm also not naïve to the fact of the quarterback and perimeter group that we have. We wanted to be balanced. Running the football is a big part of that because you're able to tap into the action-passing game. That's a big part of the way we play on first and second down.

{sportsad300}(What did the Packers see in Grant that they traded for him?)

The personnel department did a great job of tracking Ryan Grant throughout the preseason. The New York Giants had a number of backs so they were able to make the trade. I like Ryan because he's a bigger back with a big body-type. I'm not going to sit here and say I knew he was going to run for 200 yards in January when we traded for him in training camp. He's just a young, promising player that continues to get better.

(What makes a player poised?)

It's a tribute to their maturity. Everybody wants to talk about inexperience but this is a very confident football team. You could see it building throughout the year. They believe that they're going to win the Super Bowl. This is the first step and the second step is the NFC Championship. That's our focus. They do a great job of staying with the plan, focused throughout the week. We'll get a chance next week in the NFC Championship Game.

(Did you address Grant at all after the fumbles?)

Briefly, if I recall. It wasn't really a concern of mine. There was a lot of football. I think it took 20 seconds for the first score, and that happened on the next series. There was a lot of football in front of us.

(Could Blackmon have gone?)

It's still very sore so he's hopeful for next week.

(How did Tramon do?)

I thought he did a good job, a solid job.

(What was it like with Holmgren coming back?)

Well, Mike Holmgren is a great coach. He has a great history here with the Green Bay Packers. Anytime a young coach like myself has an opportunity to compete against an individual like Mike Holmgren, it's a challenge you look forward to. It's something that I'll look back on and say, 'Boy, that was a heck of a day.' I have a lot of respect for what Mike has done throughout his career. Like I've already stated, I think he's one of the greats in this game.

(When's the last time you had a team score six touchdowns on six possessions?)

Couldn't tell you. I've had some games where you really get into a rhythm calling plays. We definitely had that going today.

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