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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 15

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

I'll start with the one injury in the game. Daryn Colledge had an ankle bruise and he did return. With that, I'll take your questions.

(Mike, in the grand scheme of the season, how much did you need this win today?)

Well, it was important for us to get back on track. You know, especially after the past two weeks. You break your season up in quarters. Getting to 5-4 was important. We have a three-game third quarter in my view the way we've broken up the season. And we've talked about this in here already: three games in 12 days. I can't...Just to go through the game overview, I can't say enough about our defense. That's the vision that we're looking for, especially playing at home. We had some excellent performances across the board, especially against a very good Dallas football team and a hot team and a powerful offense. We had a whole lot of respect for those guys coming in here. But to hold them out of the end zone until 38 seconds, I was very proud of our defense.

(How do you explain that? You lose to Tampa Bay and things look poor and you turn it around tonight.)

It's the National Football League. You prepare and you perform on a weekly basis. So, we're very pleased with our victory today.

(Did you have a sense that your team was ready, either before the game or during the week, did you have a sense they were ready?)

You know, you feel like you have your finger on the pulse of your football team. We had a very good week of practice. We had more juggling this week than most weeks as far as injuries and who was up and who wasn't, who was going to be able to come off of the injury list at the end of the week. So, that's always a challenge. We had the young players that we had to get ready to play. So I thought the week of preparation was very good. They were very quiet and focused before the game. And I'm done trying to figure that out. I'd like to be able to sit here and tell you exactly how they were going to play tonight. But they were definitely focused. They played with incredible passion and energy. I thought our defense once again and special teams kept us in the game with all our rough spots that we had offensively there in the first half. I thought it was an excellent team win but it definitely starts with defense for us.

(Did that indicate the way you saw their demeanor that it was a back-to-the-wall attitude after last week?)

We were ready to play football. I believe in winning and improving. These guys are a very, very coachable group. I love their work ethic. I can't say enough about them as a group. And they prepared. They had an opportunity to play on national TV today with the late game. So that all plays into it. We went out there and did what we had to do to win the game.

(What does Charles Woodson mean to this team?)

He's definitely one of our prime-time players. Once again with his performance tonight, his instincts, knowledge, and his toughness, and play-making ability, obviously he was a big part of our defensive success tonight.

(How do you think Brad Jones held up today?)

I had a chance to watch him. I thought he did a good job. His plate was full, no question about it. I'm excited to watch the tape, excited to see Brad, T.J., and obviously it looked like Clay definitely had a lot of pressure over there. Our rookies had a big part of our success today.

(Did you blitz more often on defense today?)

I couldn't tell you exactly what the numbers are right now.

(Did you have a more aggressive gameplan?)

We had a lot of pressure on their offense.

(Hawk and Barnett had a lot of pressure up the middle. Is that something you saw that you could do?)

Well, that's all part of it. You go through the protection adjustments and you're trying to hit run pressures and pass pressures. It's a pressure that we've been doing all year. It's probably our lead pressure if you look at us from a tendency standpoint. We're doing a good job of winning the one-on-ones. When you pressure it doesn't mean you're going to blitz and they're going to run free. It's trying to create an angle and a one-on-one and we've got to keep winning those one-on-ones. And I thought we won our share tonight.

(That 15-play scoring drive for the offense, did that change the game do you think?)

I thought it was a big moment in the game. I really thought it illustrated how you want to play. You want to run the football, you want to stay in favorable down-and-distance. Their defensive front we knew it was going to be a challenge coming into our game. We knew we were going to have some spots that we needed to manage in the game as far as how we were going to play in certain situations. And that's the way you have success, the ability to play in favorable down-and-distance, which obviously was opposite of what we did there in the first half.

(As an offensive-minded coach, can you appreciate the defensive struggle that this was?)

I love this kind of football. Maybe I was a defensive coach wannabe, but that's the way the game is supposed to be played in November. I speak about it all the time to the football team. We are a defensive first priority. They are the thermostat for our football team and when they play like that, we're going to win a lot of football games.

(Offensively, was there more of a concerted effort to run screen passes or shorter, quicker routes?)

We threw more screens today. I probably average about four a game. And I think I exceeded that today.

(Was there more quick-hitting passes?)

There were some things that we did off of our run game than we normally do, which resulted in some of the quick passes.

(Given what has happened the last couple weeks, what can this win do for this team down the stretch?)

Stack success. It's a good win versus a very good football team and a football team that has been playing very well. So, it definitely gives us a big nugget of confidence that we can grab onto. But when midnight strikes tonight, we'll be about the San Francisco 49ers.

{sportsad300}(Last week there was talk of this being a low point, could this be called a high point as far as the regular season goes then?)

I don't like to swing. Last week did not feel good for anybody, that's for sure. But that was last week. This definitely feels a lot better, but it's important for us to stay focused on improving. We were able to win the game. We accomplished the first goal, now we need to improve. There's definitely going to be some things tomorrow when we go though the film and the corrections needed to be made.

(Can you talk about the significance about some of the challenges that you made?)

Challenges as far as the game plan? I'm not sure what you're asking me.

(The actual challenges of the referees' calls.)

Oh, challenges. OK. I challenged one too many. That's the first point and that was my fault. Where do you want to go from there? Do you want to go through each one?

(Well, the fumble on the Tramon Williams one.)

Well, we were able to get that one. And the second one, really what happened on Jordy's catch and potential touchdown down there to the goal line, with all the chaos after the (play), the 40-second clock was set immediately. And then when I started with the personnel, we were down to about 20 or 25 seconds. I was behind the clock as far as play entry to begin with. The video was up on the scoreboard. We had the chance to see the one angle that obviously looked like he was in. Once it got to 15 seconds, I knew I had to challenge it because what am I going to do, you're going to lose a timeout anyways. So, that's really what based my decision. So I was trying to get as much information and really the clock got away from me a little bit. I think I did it with four or five seconds left on the 40-second clock.

(What did you think about Aaron's performance. It seemed like he really managed the game.)

Aaron had a lot on his plate. I told him earlier in the week that this was the most comprehensive game plan I think we ever have thrown a quarterback. And all quarterbacks...I'm not trying to dramatize here, I think you know that's not my personality. But we had a lot on his plate. When you make adjustments and you're playing as much as we did, as far as protections and different calls, we did some new things this week. There wasn't a lot of time to get things repped. There was a lot of adjustments that carried over to Aaron's responsibility. So, from a management standpoint, I thought he did a very good job. We'll look at the tape and there's definitely some corrections I think we can improve on and there are some new things that I think we can carry forward that will help us.

(It seemed like a couple rookies, Lang, and Jones gave you an injection today.)

Definitely. They stepped up. I'm looking forward to watching the tape because they're definitely guys that have been working hard, making progress and have earned the right to start tonight. It's going to be, it's always good to see a rookie step out, especially in a big-game environment like this.

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