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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 18

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-Panthers Game Center

(What is the injury situation?)

Johnny Jolly has a shoulder. I spoke to Johnny coming in off the field. He thinks he'll be fine for Thursday. I haven't gotten a specific diagnosis from the doctor. Ryan Grant is an ankle sprain.

(Will Grant be able to go on Thursday?)

I'll know more tomorrow. I'm sure when he wakes up tomorrow there will be a better indication of how bad it is.

(What's it like having the best start since 1962?)

No disrespect to history, 9-1 is impressive, but you have to keep focus on the next opponent. We beat a good football team today, a football team and a football coach that I have a lot of respect for. They've won a lot of football games during John Fox's tenure down there so we knew this game would be a challenge for us. I thought we played well in all three areas. With a short week, we don't have much time to enjoy 9-1 because it is time to move on to Detroit, which will be a big division battle on Thanksgiving. I'm pleased with the progress of our football team because I think we made progress again this week. Minnesota last week was the first game where you can say we played well in all three phases. We were positive in all three phases again today. There are some things that we need to clean up. We'll do that tomorrow. But we need to move on and get ready for Detroit.

(What happened on the pooch punt for touchdown?)

It was something we practiced all week. Mike Stock felt that he has something on the alignment of the kicker. Tramon did a very good job fielding the ball. That's what happens. I've been on the other side of that before. When you have your field goal placement team on the field and you have to cover the kick. Our guys just did a great job finishing the play and it was an excellent run by Tramon.

(How well have the special teams been this year?)

I think our special teams has been very solid and has won a number of match-ups for us this year. I thought earlier in the year the field position was definitely in our favor. We gave up the one big game against Chicago. We felt like special teams was an area where we needed to win in today's game and we felt like we accomplished that.

(What's it like being able to put out five quality receivers?)

It's important because our game is about match-ups. To me that's one of the most important aspects of game-planning. When you get to this point in the season you're looking at the injuries and different packages. Being able to take advantage of that is even more important. I think it's more evident when you watch the way that defenses react to four wide receivers or five wide receivers. There's a lot of respect and cautiousness in the way defenses approach it. I'm sure there will be a time when people challenge us (with) those particular sets. But it's definitely a weapon for us.

(Do you mind the way the kickoff team dances on the field?)

Absolutely, it's something that the officials warned us of excessive celebration so we had to tone it down a bit. Energy is so important, passion, confidence, we spent last year trying to build. I think this is a football team that shows it week-in and week-out, play-in and play-out. It's a big part of our success.

(Is it almost too easy now?)

I didn't think today was easy. There were parts of that game that we were a little sloppy in. They had the big play early in the game to take the lead. That's a good football, a lot of veteran football players that have won a lot of games. You can't always get caught up in the score. We need to clean those things up. We have work to do. We need to move on and get ready for Detroit.

(When you're up 28-3, is it hard to keep the team focused?)

When you're up 28-3 we're just in a different situation. Football is all about situations, whether it's four-minute situations, two-minute situations, red zone, they're all parts of your training that come up. Four-minute offense is something you'd like to be in a lot. We need to do a better job of finishing the games. When you're up 28-3, we can learn from that experience to put the opponent away. There was some sloppiness in our play down the stretch that we can learn from. 28-3 to me is just another situation that you're involved in.

{sportsad300}(With the short week coming up, at what point do you start pulling starters?)

It's something that you're very conscious of during the week planning. Having two games back-to-back the way we do with the short week coming up it's something we were very conscious of as far as reps with our football team. It's something that we talked about on the sideline. It's the reason Johnny Jolly and Ryan Grant did not go back in the game. Those are all decisions that you're definitely conscious of.

(Did you think about pulling Brett?)

No, I didn't. I didn't think he was in any danger with the way we were playing the third and fourth quarter.

(Is the defensive line the key to your defense?)

It is definitely one of the keys to our defense. It is the key to football in my opinion. You have to win at the line of scrimmage. I think the defense has been our most consistent position since I have been here. You'd like to have that depth across the board at every position. It's a position that I point to time and again to our football team. They're the catalyst. It starts up front. To play our style of defense and to play our scheme, you have to have the corners that we have in Charles Woodson and Al Harris. It all feeds off that defensive line. The linebacker play has been excellent. We have a good defense.

(Can you assess how Brett played?)

We didn't hit our stride coming out of the tunnel in the first quarter. We had a couple rough plays. I thought Brett's performance as far as managing the game, managing what they gave us. They played us with a lot more zone than we anticipated. I thought he was smart with the football. I thought Brett had a solid performance today.

(Do you expect teams to drop more people in zone?)

How many more guys are they going to drop? They have eight, nine men. You always try to stay one-step ahead. I think we've done a good job from our self-scout with our empty formations. We're just trying to use all our different personnel groups to take advantage of match-ups.

(How proud are you of this team?)

You have to acknowledge any time you accomplish something that's part of your base plan, your base vision. I am proud of the way our players are improving and staying focused. We are playing to who we are. We don't get outside of ourselves too often. We need to continue that mindset as we move forward.

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