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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 11

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-Vikings Game Center

I'll start with our two injuries. Mark Tauscher had an ankle. He did not return but he could have. Cullen Jenkins banged his knee at the end. With that I'll take your questions.

(What does this win say about your team?)

A very good performance by our football team in all three phases. We anticipated a very physical game with Minnesota today, especially after the game at the Metrodome. I thought our guys really prepared well, starting with the defense with the shutout and stopping the run. That was the emphasis going into the game. Offensively, we wanted to establish our run game. It was a completion-oriented mindset as far as game plan against their defense. I thought the quarterback was sharp in that regard. I thought we were a little sloppy with the passing to start the game, in the first quarter. For the most part, I was very pleased with the performance in all three phases. That's clearly our best performance this year.

(With all the focus on Peterson, how satisfying was it for Ryan Grant to play so well?)

Very satisfying. It's really something that we've been emphasizing. It starts up front with the run-blocking unit. The offensive line did an excellent job. I think Ryan just keeps getting better each week with his opportunities. We're heading in the right direction. At one point I looked up on the scoreboard and our offense was pretty much balanced. That's the way you want to play entering November and December.

(Did you plan on running him more outside the tackles?)

Their defensive tackles are, as a tandem, are one of the best in the league at run defense. The core of our running game is a stretch, cut mentality. That's the starting point. We also felt some of our pattern schemes we could get on the edge. Those are some things in game-planning that you think you can take advantage of. When you break their run defense down, it starts with their tackles.

(How do you assess the maturation process of the receivers?)

I think the whole perimeter group and the young receiver group is getting better each week. I thought there we had a couple balls that we could have handled early. Once again, that group spends a lot of time together, the quarterback and perimeter group. The communication, the relationships that they develop, it's carried over to their performance on the field.

(How important was the shutout?)

Very important, the first shutout since 2002. We talked as a team, it was time to shut somebody out. We had some good performances. Down the stretch we probably could have played a little better. It's very important to our defense and it's the reflection of a football team focused on improving. We improved today. Winning is the most important thing but improving is our focus. This football team improved today.

(How did you contain Peterson?)

It's everybody involved. It starts up front, the linebackers, the way we played our safeties in our two-shell defenses. We played a little more three-shell defense with the eighth element down. It was just an excellent effort by the whole defense.

(Why didn't you kick a field goal instead of going for it in the first?)

The wind was up a little bit at that time. We were in the gray area. I felt we had some rhythm going at that time. I was very comfortable with the call and the down-and-distance. It would have been a stretch to kick it right there.

(Did you use the five-WR set to catch them off guard?)

It must have. We've been doing a lot of empty this year and with the five wide receivers it did result with them calling a time out.

(Koren played better in the game?)

Excellent. He made a big play in the game. We had a lot of long drives throughout the game, which is important, time of possession is important. What I told the football team at halftime, I told the offense that we had a lot of production but we didn't have enough points. We had some opportunities to have more points on the board but that was a big play for us by Koren Robinson.

(You seem to have cleaned up a lot of the penalties?)

We had four today. That's a big improvement over the last two weeks. That's something that you have to emphasize. That's a big part of coaching. You have to emphasize the negatives and keep improving on the positives.

{sportsad300}(What's your reaction to Darren Sharper calling you the best team in the NFC?)

That's very nice of Darren to say that. We just started the third quarter of our season. We feel that we are a very good football team. We're focused on winning and improving. It's as simple as that. There's a lot of football left to be played.

(Did the offensive line handle the challenge?)

Absolutely. I felt they did. I liked the way they handled it, as far as the week went on. Once again, they played very, very well in the pass protection. They did it again today. I thought our line was excellent with the pass protection. When you throw the ball that much and your quarterback's not getting hit, that's says a lot about those guys. We want to be more balanced. I thought the guard play was very good today.

(After Brett took that shot to the head, did you consider putting in Aaron?)

Yes I did. I actually called for Aaron. Brett waved me off and told me he was okay. We even talked about putting Aaron in even earlier but Brett seems to be okay.

(What's the secret to your success against the Vikings?)

I wouldn't say there's a secret to it. It's important to sweep any division opponent, especially the history of the rivalry with these two teams. It's something to build on.

(Is there room for improvement?)

Yes, there's room for improvement. There's always room for improvement. I'll say this, the first time I stood in front of the football team. I said the biggest challenge we'll have in Green Bay is handling success. It's a constant message of mine and I'll continue to harp on it because my experiences in the past that's some of the biggest challenges that I've had as far as coaching certain individuals. We are very much in tune with stacking success and handling success. That's my responsibility.

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