Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 22

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Sunday from Lambeau Field following the contest vs. San Francisco. - More Packers-49ers Game Center

OK, I'll start with the two injuries to both Aaron Kampman and Al Harris. We will not have all the information until tomorrow. Both injuries did not look very good. There is some concern, but we'll have all the information tomorrow. With that, I'll take your questions.

(What is Aaron's injury. Is it a knee?)

Both of them were knee injuries. Correct.

(Any time a player is carted off, it can be an ACL or MCL injury. What is your comfort level with the two rookies?)

They definitely had... the two rookies had a chance to play today and it'll give them a chance to learn from being in there. Brad had a chance to play some last week so he'll have two games to work off, and Brandon, it was obviously a big opportunity for him so we'll just keep coaching them. We've kind of been going through the injury phase of it and hopefully these two injuries aren't as serious as we may think.

(Obviously things went to so well in the first half, but in the second half, they came back. What happened there?)

I thought we played an extremely productive first half as a football team, you know, in all three phases. I thought the defense really set the tone. They had the one long run and the ability to give off the field on third down and to continue to give us the ball back on offense. On offense, we had a lot of production. We didn't play as well as we liked in the red zone on those first two series. I thought the special teams was really...they kind of picked up where they left off against Dallas. The second half, they had some momentum swings, they had the big kickoff return, they hit a couple vertical routes on us, third-and-20, third-and-10. They were big plays in the game and frankly, in hindsight now, sitting here in front of you, I think it's definitely something that we can build off of because we've had some momentum swings in the past, just two weeks ago, that we didn't recover from. So I like the way our defense hung in there, they kept battling and our offense, particularly in the four-minute offense, to run the clock out. So, it's a good team victory. It was an opponent that we had a lot of respect for, as far their players, their coaches. They're well-coached. I can tell you that first hand, and this is a good victory for our team.

(Smith only had five yards passing in the first half, but in the second half they went into shotgun and gave them an extra half second to get rid of the ball. Did that make a big difference?)

I mean that's part of why you go to the shotgun. It does buy you a little more time and gives you a little more space. I agree with your opinion.

(How confident were you running the ball at the end against a very physical team?)

A very good run defense. It's a run defense that we had a lot of respect for. It was important for us to run the ball a certain way. I just really felt that our run-blocking unit did a very nice job and I thought the backs, as far as their courses and their reads, were very disciplined today and it ended up being very productive for us. So I thought that was a big part of our success on offense.

(Is it a challenge or inevitable that a team playing so well in the first half to have such a letdown, well, that's probably not the right word, but maybe a false sense of security because you dominated so much in the first half to let down in the second half?)

It seems to go that way. There's no doubt about it. Games where you go out and play dominant football for two quarters, it's hard to sustain that. There's no question about it, but that's the goal. But if you're on the other side of that, too, you have a heightened sense of urgency and that factors into it. You play with a little more risk versus reward as far as your play calling and it can go one or two ways. They were able to hit on some vertical balls, like I said, third-and-20, third-and-long, they hit on some vertical passes. And the kick return really gave them a big shot of momentum right after we scored and that's the third time that's happened to us this year. We cannot let that happen.

(How much momentum do you guys carry into Thursday? Obviously you won, but the second half letdown and the injuries, do they kind of take away from that?)

Injuries have kind of fallen upon us and hopefully Aaron and Al will be able to bounce back from this. It's unfortunate; you don't want to see any of your players get hurt, but it's part of our job. That's really a big part of a coach's responsibility to overcome these types of situations and navigate through your medical phase of and aspect of your football team. It's a short turnaround. Our guys will be in here early in the morning, they'll be in the weight room, they'll be getting treatment and we'll start on the film study. It will be a quick week, but our goal is to go 3-0 in our third quarter of the season and we've been preparing for this. It is a short week and we got a divisional opponent on national TV so we're going to turn this San Francisco game over pretty quickly and get on Detroit in the morning.

(How much will you play the positives rather than the negatives? They were able to come back yes, but how much of it is a positive that you held them off?)

I play it real. I don't believe in that false stuff. I'm not a good phony. I'm not a positive guy to be positive. I'm not a negative guy to be negative. I just think you've got to walk right down the middle and when you see it you got to call it. I'm going to tell them exactly what they did good and I'm going to tell them exactly what we need to work on. And we're going to focus on doing whatever it takes to win games and then with that approach we're going to focus on improving. So, that's been my approach since I first took the job.

{sportsad300}(Do you have something going on the ground now? It's been several weeks that you guys have run the ball well?)

Yeah, we like the way we're running the football. We have been productive and I just think, as always, the opportunity to be balanced gives us our best chance to be explosive with our offense.

(What did Mark Tauscher give you out there today?)

I thought Mark played very steady. We were counting his reps, just trying not to give him too much because once again playing these two games back to back, I thought he played very well from what I saw.

(How much did Finley help you out, having him in there?)

It's great to have Jermichael back. He's a weapon. When you have big targets running down the middle of the field, it makes life better for everybody. It makes life better for the quarterback, it makes life better for the guys that play around him. So you cannot have enough weapons to win down the middle of the field. It was great to have him back.

(Can you talk about that last offensive series, just being able to run out the clock was the key there. Were you confident in the offense that you could do that?)

I think the confidence was displayed in the play selection. We ran the football and really ran it for four quarters, and that's probably a big part of it. I think we had the ball for 22 minutes in the first half and we would have liked to run the ball a little bit more efficiently in the third quarter. But I can't say enough once again for the guys up front, and I thought the backs did a great job protecting the football. As a football team, we were plus-one today. We had zero giveaways and when you're playing against a good defense, that definitely factored into the game.

(Any other injuries besides Harris and Kampman?)

Yes, Ryan Grant had a stinger at the end of the game, but I think he's going to be OK.

(Is that why Jackson was in at the end?)

Correct.

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