Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 14

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference on Sunday from Lambeau Field. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Redskins Game Center

Cullen Jenkins had a knee. He did return. Vernand Morency had ribs. He also returned. Bubba Franks had a knee injury. He did not return. And DeShawn Wynn had a hand injury. He did return. With that I'll take your questions.

(How do you feel about your team?)

I'm glad to be 5-1. I thought it was a good victory today against a very good football team. We felt all week that this was the best football team that we've played to date, as far as film study goes. We knew this was going to be a big challenge. I thought our defense was outstanding. I thought they were the key to the victory today, particularly down the stretch. I thought they got stronger and stronger as the game went on. Their offense was productive early on normal down-and-distance. I thought our defense responded well to that. Offense, I didn't think we weren't very sharp. We weren't in rhythm at all today. We started strong on the first two drives. On the one drive we didn't convert on third down. We had the big play to Donald on the second drive. I felt that we were sticking to the passing game and the running game is a work in progress. I thought special teams was solid. It was an area where we felt that we could win the field position battle. I haven't seen the stats yet but I feel like we played with favorable field position in the second half. We feel good about being 5-1 but we're a team that needs to clean our house. I feel like I stood here last week and said the same things. I still feel that. I feel like we're a football team that's just getting started. We have a number of areas that we need to continue to improve on. We'll work towards that as we go through the bye week and get ready for Denver.

(Is this what you expect from your defense?)

I clearly think our defense is capable of playing this way. I think they proved that down the stretch last year, if you look at Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago last year at the end of the season. The thing I'm looking for is a complete game from our football team. We have not achieved that yet. That's been the focus the last two weeks. I think this team is just getting started. We have a lot of improvement that we need to make. But we feel great about being beating an excellent football team today. Those Washington Redskins are well-coached, challenge you schematically and it's a big win. We'll take it. That's for sure.

(Was the defense the key to the victory?)

I said in my opening statement, they were the key to the victory today. You could just see the strength of their performance as the game went on.

(Were you sitting on the end-around play?)

Al Saunders is deceptive with his schematic approach as far as challenging the perimeter. The perimeter-run game was something that we went into the game emphasizing. Their first play of the game was a perimeter run and they had a plus situation there. It was really part of the way they attack the perimeter: reverses, sweeps, pitches.

(What's it like on the sideline when Charles makes a play like that?)

It provides a huge lift when any of our guys make a play and Charles had the biggest play of the game, which I think he clearly ignited our football team and Lambeau Field. That's, in my view, the biggest play of the game.

(That Franks pass in the end zone, is that challengeable?)

It's a judgment call. It is not. The team last week got that call but that's just the way it goes.

(Was he hurt on that play or the next play?)

That's a good question. I think he was hurt on that play.

(Any word on the injury's significance?)

They literally hand me this as I walk in the door here. I have not made it to the training room yet.

(Did you do anything differently to stop Cooley the second half?)

He was a focus of ours in game-planning all week. He had a productive first half. He had a big play before the touchdown. We just cleaned some things up and did a better job of covering him. He's a good football player. He was clearly the No. 1 target in their passing game as far as our game-planning was concerned. He's a real good player.

(Did you guys get away from the slant?)

They played inside leverage. It's something that we anticipated. I have a lot of respect for Gregg Williams. I think he does an excellent job of trying to take away your strengths. We had some up-field opportunities that we did not convert today, particularly on the fade throws. I thought Taylor was excellent with his reaction to the quarterback and getting over the top on a number of deep throws. If we were late, the film will show what happened there. We had some areas of their coverage scheme that we felt we were able to attack, particularly with the deep ball but we didn't get that done today.

(Were you able to see what the breakdown in the running game was?

No, it's basically communication. It's fundamentals. You guys probably get tired of hearing me say this but running the football is about attitude and fundamentals. We need to improve both.

(Do you need to improve there?)

We're 5-1 and we're 5-1 for a reason. We'll go into the bye week, get healthy and get ready for Denver to get to 6-1, running the ball, throwing the ball and everything else involved.

(Is this the best time for a bye?)

I always look at byes from a medical standpoint. Byes are good to get your team healthy. We're particularly a healthy team if you look at us opposed to everyone else around the league. I think it's a good opportunity to have a bye whenever it comes because certain aspects of your football team you'd like to clean up and improve. I think this is a good time for our players to get away, get their bodies rested. We have a couple extra practice days for Denver. We'll concentrate a lot on fundamentals.

{sportsad300}(Why don't you think that you played very sharp?)

The productivity in the run game. The passing game, there was stuff that they did at the line of scrimmage. They tipped a lot of balls. We just weren't very sharp. I can't really answer that question until I watch the film.

(Did you see anything wrong with Jennings' and Jones' route running?)

I know on one third down I wish James would have kept going. He saw something, whether it was a zone or man situation, on the one third down. There was nothing too glaring. There were some competitive throws down the field that you'd like to see your guy come down with it or nobody come down with it. I think we had one or two of those. The specifics of it, I can't answer that question right now.

(Did Brett put too much air under the ball on those?)

That or the timing. If you look at the deep balls that we had, if you look at the pictures and replays you're able to see that we were able to get to that void between the corner and the safety. So whether we didn't get it up in time or he didn't throw it far enough, we'll look at that tomorrow.

(How is Mason Crosby?)

He was left on the two. But he kicked very well in the pre-game. His particular style, I haven't talked to Mason, but that's something that Mike Stock and Shawn will go through in the morning.

(Why did you punt with 16 seconds left on the play clock?)

That's poor time management. That's my responsibility. I was in a conversation on the third-down call. That's no excuse. That can't happen. That was clearly a mistake on my part.

(Will you give you Woodson and Harris a week off?)

I think it's a great opportunity to get the whole team healthy. As far as our schedule for next week: we're off tomorrow. We're working Tuesday. We'll do all our meetings, corrections and some life skills in the NFL program that we need to go through on Tuesday. The victory today gives them off Wednesday. They were already off Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We'll travel Sunday and pick up Monday.

(So no practices?)

We'll practice Monday. That'll be the first time we practice.

(What does it say about the team's character when you win close games?)

I'll take that game right there as a very good illustration of the character of our football team. There was a number of momentum swings in that game and they just kept battling back. That's what we talked about after the game. That was a huge character win for us. We beat a very good football team, not to be redundant. You have to find a way to win football games. That's the National Football League and we did that today.

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