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Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 26

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference following Thursday’s game at Ford Field in Detroit. - More Packers-Lions Game Center

(Did you have any injuries?)

Jermichael Finley has the wind knocked out of him; he did return. Chad Clifton had a hamstring; he did not return. Cullen Jenkins had the wind knocked out of him; he did return. Jordy Nelson had a shoulder injury; he did not return. Brandon Underwood had a hamstring; he did not return. And with that, I'll take your questions.

(How did your team handle the early 7-0 hole?)

Well, there was definitely adversity in the game today, and that's something if you look at us in the past through the season, we couldn't have handled it better. I was proud of the way our team fought through that and how one phase picked up for the next phase. We didn't start the game very well on special teams and frankly didn't play very well on special teams today, but I thought the productivity on offense with the ability to move the football and generate enough points was a big factor. Once again, our football team is about defense. Our defense was huge today, and the ability to keep taking the football away from the offense was the No. 1 factor in our success today.

(Did you feel like you didn't miss a beat without Al Harris and Aaron Kampman?)

We played some more people, had some different combinations. I felt Dom was able to have a good volume going into this game, and we were able to stop the run, number one, because that's where it always starts. I don't know exactly what the total was until they went into a two-minute mode, but I thought we were playing at a very, very high level. They were able to get some production there in the fourth quarter. Stopping the run, generating turnovers has been the staple of our defense, and we need to continue to do that. I think we definitely have room for improvement, but we had a good day today on defense.

(So Charles' role won't change at all?)

No, not really. We matched him up on Calvin a bunch, as I'm sure you noticed, and his ability, try to keep him around the football as much as possible. He had an incredible day today. Once again, I don't know who is playing better football than Charles Woodson around the National Football League. He had a huge day for us.

(Does what he do even surprise you anymore?)

I hope he keeps surprising me because his level of play is the highest I've been around as far as productivity for a defensive player. The ability to anticipate, recognize, the versatility of playing a number of different positions, he's productive, tough, instinctive. He's playing at an extremely high level for us.

(Did the rotation of guys have to do with getting guys reps or the short week?)

I think it's definitely a lot to be said for the players. A lot of people's roles changed. The urgency and importance of this game was evident to us as a football team. It was a short turnaround. We addressed it 12 days ago when we knew we were going to have these three games, and the ability to walk away with three victories is something to feel good about. We have an opportunity to get some rest, get healthy, which we haven't been. Everybody knows we have a five-game gauntlet that we'll get ready to run, and I think we'll feel good about it when we line back up and get ready for Baltimore.

(Do you like where you're heading now?)

Yeah, I like where our football team is right now. Probably like every coach in the league, you wish you were healthy. We'll have that opportunity. To win this game today, we knew when the schedule came out that we going to have the opportunity to have two bye weeks. We're treating this exactly like our first bye week, and our number one priority is to get healthy.

(Describe Aaron Rodgers' play)

Consistent. He's doing a very good job of running the offense, not taking chances. Took a couple of hits today. Both hits that he took today were missed assignments, so we're being smart with him. I think the pass protection has improved week to week, and he's just doing a great job of running the offense. Having Jermichael Finley back makes a difference. I think that's clearly evident to everybody, and with the ability we have on the outside to keep dealing the football, keep us in safe plays, smart plays running the football, we've been playing at a high level here on offense.

(Is Rodgers okay physically?)

Yeah he's fine. He'll be sore in the morning.

{sportsad300}(That one long pass to Driver, did his arm surprise you there?)

That wasn't the design of the play but it was a heck of a throw. I think it starts up front. Obviously the protection was very good. He extended the play, and Donald got behind him. When he threw it, I looked up to see where Donald was. I was impressed that he got the ball there. I think the safety was surprised, too.

(Are Clifton and Nelson serious at all?)

We'll know more as time goes on.

(With Lang's experience, is he a little more comfortable there now?)

T.J., I tell you, for a rookie and the versatility he's given us is impressive. We've been repping him exclusively at right tackle trying to bring Mark Tauscher along in the rep count, and then he has to go back to left tackle today. We didn't miss a beat. I didn't change the calls, and I know we didn't help him. We stayed right with the plan, and I thought he did a nice job.

(Early in the second half, you passed on fourth-and-2. Can you explain your thought process there?)

It's a good call if you convert it, and it's not a good call if you don't. That's the beauty of play calling. I thought we had a very good play. We got the defense we anticipated, anticipated some pressure, and we didn't handle it very well. I just felt at that time Mason's kick early in the game was a little shaky. I thought he settled down and kicked the ball better as the game went on. We were in the gray area. I just felt good about the play call. I was in the four-down zone. I think it would have been a 48-yard field goal. I'm comfortable with the call, wish we converted it.

(Is there any lack of confidence in Mason?)

I don't think so. Shoot, I would think it's obvious I have confidence in Mason Crosby. We've gone for a number of 50-plus field goals this year. You weigh the conditions, watch how he's kicking during the game, watch how your offense is playing. There are other factors that go into that decision. I felt we were moving the ball very well in the passing game. I was comfortable with the play call and was anticipating pressure from their defense, and we didn't handle it very well. I thought we did a great job the next series coming back. I know we were backed up on offense and came right back and put together a scoring drive, so I thought that was an important series in the game. I'm fine with the fourth-and-three call. If it came up, I'd do it again because of the way I was thinking and the variables up to that point.

(On where you go from here)

Winning solves a lot of things, no doubt. You know what the challenge is when the schedule comes out as far as your planning and so forth. Once again, we wanted the opportunity to get healthy, and that will be the most important thing for our players in the next four days, and then we have a big-time opponent coming into Lambeau with the Baltimore Ravens.

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