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

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Thursday from Ford Field in Detroit. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Lions Game Center

Injuries: Kabeer had the ankle injury, did not return. Charles Woodson had a toe, he did not return. Aaron Rouse had a knee, he did return. Colin Cole had a forearm fracture and did not return.

(What about Driver?)

I think he's going to be okay. He returned to the game and played down the stretch there.

(What was your thinking throwing 17 consecutive passes?)

Well, you never think he's going to miss one. As far as the heavy pass, we went to that in the second quarter. It was really just reaction to what was there. I anticipated a little more two-shell defenses, and a different variety of some of the formation personnel groups that we were in, so we went that way just more of a reaction to how they were playing us.

(How did Brett play, especially with all the consecutive completions?)

That's what you look for. To be able to (put) him in there with good tempo, the quarterback was making good decisions. The protection was outstanding again today. The passing game has no chance if you don't have the protection we've had. Our quarterback is dealing the football, throwing it very accurately and our receivers are making a bunch of plays, yards after the catch. We've been consistent in that area all year, and we need to continue to do so. I was frustrated with the way we started the game on offense with the fumble and the three-and-out. But we were able to get our run game going as the game progressed.

(How were you able to turn it around after Rouse's interception?)

I thought Aaron Rouse's play in the game was huge for our team. Coming in here, we knew this was going to be a dogfight as far as the environment, the opponent, everything at stake with the division and so forth. I thought our defense was outstanding holding them to field goals early. Aaron Rouse's play was huge because we were able to go up 7-6, and we really hadn't done anything on offense yet. I thought that was a huge play in the game.

(Were you aware of Brett's team record for consecutive completions?)

Somebody mentioned something around 17, but to be honest with you it kind of irritates me when people hit me with that, especially in the middle of the third quarter when the game is tight. Congratulations to Brett. It seems like he breaks a record every time we play on Sundays. I was aware there was a record there, but I wasn't aware of the specifics of it.

(Talk about the defensive adjustments due to injuries)

I'll say this, it was a true gut check for our football team. Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush, Frank Walker, those guys played a ton of snaps today. They played all the special teams, all the sub-defenses there at the end, so I view it as a character check for our football team. They get closer than you'd like there at the end of the game but we had a number of guys go down. Coming off a short week, there were a lot of factors going into this football game, and for us to step up the way we did I thought was impressive.

(3rd quarter you scored on all of your possessions - how were you able to sustain those drives?)

It's execution. I'd say in the third quarter is where we were in rhythm. The first half from my view was a bunch of big plays. We had some big plays, they had a big play on the kickoff return. It was a game of big plays. If you look through the history of the Thanksgiving games, big plays are very evident in those football games. That is something we talked about in our meetings this week, and we were in that type of game in the first half. That was something we emphasized again at halftime, that we need to cut down the explosive plays defensively in the coverage units and also from an offensive standpoint, those are there for the taking. I don't know if that has to do with the short week, if the guys are tapped from an energy standpoint, but if you look throughout the history of this game, there are a lot of big plays in this game.

(How do you handle the team mentally and emotionally heading into this Dallas week?)

Well, the emotion part of it, game day, a lot of that will take care of itself. It's real important to stay focused and do not forget how we arrived at 10-1. That will be a big part of my message this week. Our preparation this week I thought was very good on the short week, and once again we're probably going to have to adjust our practice format this week based on injuries. For a young team, we're making the adjustments, the communication is good, we're getting our work done, it's quality work and we need to take the same approach. We can't let the magnitude of this game change how we prepare for this football game. This is one of 16. It's an important football game coming up, but we need to stay true to who we are and never deviate from how we arrived at 10-1.

(Are you amazed at how Brett Favre is playing?)

He's playing at a high level. I wouldn't say amazed. He's a Hall of Fame quarterback, a great football player. I'm just pleased as a play-caller that that's the rhythm, the execution and production that you're looking for in your offense. Like all coaches, you tend to hang on the negatives, the things that didn't go right, and you want to improve on them. Week in and week out, Brett has played at a very high level and will need to continue to do so. He's a big part of our success.

(Five in a row on the road in the division, how proud are you of this football team)

I'm proud of this football team, proud of the way they work, proud of the way they focus. They're in tune with improvement and winning and really reversing the order: winning and improving. That's what we need to continue to do. I think this football team has arrived at playing well in all three phases. We need to continue to do that as we move forward. Our challenges ahead are going to be tougher. But to be at 10 wins with five to play is where you want to be. We need to take care of business with our week of preparation and get ready for Dallas.

(Were you surprised Detroit ran the ball so much?)

No, not at all. It's actually something we talked about. If you look at their success, the last two weeks they were so heavy in their passing and the games resulted in losses. The prior three weeks they were almost 50-50, so that was not a surprise at all to us.

(Did Woodson get hurt on the punt return?)

I think it was a punt return, yes.

(How serious is the injury?)

I don't have any indication.

(Any regrets about having him on punt return?)

Not at all. I knew you guys were waiting to ask me. When he's healthy, I'm sure he'll be back there again, I'm sure. He's a weapon. He's very good at what he does on both the defense and the special teams. His decision making shows up week in and week out in our battle of field position. If I was concerned, I wouldn't have had him back there.

(You also mentioned about Tauscher?)

Tauscher still has an ankle he fought through. We were just being smart with him at the end when the score was 34-19.

(Know how serious Cole might be?)

I just got the list. I would think a fracture would be serious.

(Can you talk about Greg Jennings and his development seeing as this is almost a homecoming for him?)

I'm happy for Greg on a personal level. I know he has a lot of family here. We were having a little fun with his suit and shoes at the team meeting last night. I know this was important for him to come back here and play well. Greg Jennings has really been about as impressive a rookie, a young player, that I've ever been around. He came right into camp last year, was very productive and then his season was disrupted at the end there with the injury, struggled a little bit coming out of training camp with injuries, but when he's healthy, he's a very consistent player, very detailed route-runner especially for as young as he is. He has a complete understanding of all the positions and just a very mature young, young football player. I'm definitely glad he's on our team.

(Is Brett's play more impressive than it was in his MVP years?)

I wasn't with him in his MVP years, but it's impressive the way he's playing right now. Maybe that youth helps him.

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