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

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference Sunday from the Lambeau Field auditorium. - More Packers-Lions Game Center

OK, I'll start with the injuries. Jordy Nelson had a knee bruise. He did not return. X-rays were negative. He did not return, coach's decision. Chad Clifton reinjured the same ankle and we'll probably know more about him in the morning. With that, I'll take your questions.

(Is a win a win, or is the sloppiness take away from that?)

Very important win today, number one, playing at home. I mean, these are things we address as a football team, staying focused the target and winning at home and winning division games. I felt the game today started with defense. I thought they played at a very high level holding the Detroit Lions to zero points. The ability to play at home like that with great defense has always been the focus. I was very pleased with that. I thought the special teams played very well in their segments. I thought the fake punt was a big play in the game for us. We had a couple penalties on those units, we'll look at that. Offensively, we had a lot of production. But the two big negatives are the sacks and the penalties. So, pre-snap, no excuse. No one feels good about that, but we'll look at the other stuff. But to win at home 26-0, it's a step to get back. It's been 13 days since we've played. I know our football team was excited to get out there today. I thought the crowd was outstanding, playing at home at noon. Once again, home wins and division wins are very important.

(The run game, can you talk about that?)

Well, really the attempts going into that point, frankly, their defense has as much to do with that as just the way we went into the game, without getting into specifics. But we moved the football. Whether you do it by run or pass to me is irrelevant. But when you have to run the football when you're in a four-minute offense, when you want to run the football, I thought we were productive. That's the toughest time to run the football, when you need to and I was pleased with the way we ran it in the fourth quarter.

(What was the deal with the passing game today? You seemed to go to a lot of short passes.)

Really, planning-wise, I thought our plan was very similar this week to the last couple weeks. We're not in sync in the protection aspect of it. I think that was evident with the five sacks. I thought the ability for the quarterback to get the ball out to our perimeter people, let them make plays after the catch is always the focus and I thought we did that at a high level today.

(What was the key to the defensive performance today?)

What was the key? Well, playing with favorable down and distances, the ability to stop the run on first down. I thought Dom and the defensive staff had a good plan. There was probably more pressure this week than we've been the last couple weeks. I think it really helps our defense play at a higher tempo. Just really just guys flying around and I think we're getting better and better week in and week out defensively. It was nice to have Atari back. He definitely showed up today and had the big interception there in the end zone. But I just really felt that our tempo was up where it needed to be, where's it been at times throughout the season and it's definitely a performance we can build off of.

(Is Clay Matthews starting to look like the player you thought you drafted?)

Definitely. He's talented. I thought Clay took full advantage of his opportunities to start in both the base and the nickel. He's been coming on strong. His performance up there in Minnesota was a big part of us making this change and giving him the opportunity today and he definitely performed.

(Mike, you guys did some things differently scheme wise. It seemed like Aaron Kampman had his hands on the ground quite a bit and he got a sack doing that. Is that a sign that maybe he's just a better pass rusher in the three point stance? )

I'll be...you know, I know a lot has been made of that. I'll say this about individual statistics, and this goes clear across the board. When your team statistics are in order, the individual statistics will be in order. As far as playing with his hand on the ground and so forth, those are things that we've talked about all the way back in the spring. We're going to continue to put all of our players - Aaron included - in the best position to be successful. We're teaching the scheme of defense. There are some moving parts to it. There is a little bit of an adjustment and we're working our way through it. But I thought as a whole, that is what the defense was supposed to look like today. And when that is in order, the individual statistics will come in order. That's the emphasis. I'm not really interested in having a number of individuals with good statistics and being ranked 27th in the league in defense. We need to play defense the right way. I think Dom is doing a very good job of implementing the system and getting us on point.

(Chad had another setback. Did you see how he got hurt? Was it near the goal line?)

It happened on the turnover down there on the goal line. I didn't see the specifics of it. It's disappointing. We're just, we're not very healthy up front right now, and we've got to keep working and working our way through the adjustments you've got to make. Injuries are part of the game.

(Those sacks that were given up, were those similar to the ones in the past that were a problem?)

Those are really answers for tomorrow. Without seeing the film and gathering all the information...I know we had some communication errors on two of them, so those are the things we'll discuss when we view the film.

(You had 13 penalties today. Is there a breaking point on that?)

A breaking point? Well, I'll tell you, it's frustrating. There's no denying that. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I feel really good about it. The ones that grab a hold of me are the pre-snap penalties. There's no excuse for it. It doesn't matter who, when, where, what time, and that's the thing that's unacceptable. These combative penalties and some of them that were thrown, we'll go through the process that we go through every week. We had 13, they had six. So it definitely factors into the game. You don't, particularly on offense, play with any rhythm. You're going back and forth, the game stops and so forth. You're down and distance changes. We have to get it cleaned up. It's definitely an issue in the first five games.

(You had Tramon on the punt return, then Charles went back there, what was going on there?)

I just felt Charles, with his experience handling the football...I think Tramon has done an excellent job with that. The wind was changing. Shawn Slocum and I discussed it on the sideline. So just with his (Woodson's) experience back there. I thought the wind picked up in the second and third quarter.

(Was Raji OK? I thought he limped off?)

No, he actually tweaked his ankle again. That's why we held him. That was a coach's decision. That didn't come out of the medical.

(Did you try to get Donald a catch right out of the gate? It was just a little hitch pass to the side.)

Well, actually the first play was supposed to go to Donald, so it just goes to show you that you don't always get to throw it to who you want to throw it to. But it was good that that happened right away. I know he felt good about it and just wanted to get into the flow of the game. Once again, I can't say enough about Donald Driver. It couldn't happen to a finer individual. He's an outstanding representative of the Green Bay Packers, so, very, very happy to be a part of that. You just can't say enough about him personally and professionally, what he accomplished here today.

(After that play, there was some confusion for Donald trying to get the football. You went on the field after that. Was that why or was it because of the penalty?)

Well, you had a couple things going on in that play. You had Donald breaking the record. Just with the discussion with the officials before the game, I think they wanted to handle it appropriately as far as giving him the football. But then you also had the penalty on the play, too, with the personal foul on Daryn Colledge, so I think you answered your own question. There were a couple things going on in that particular play.

(How have the Lions changed after last year?)

How have they changed? Well, the first thing you notice is just in your preparation, their personnel. And even going into this game, they had a number of guys that were hurt. So you're preparing for different people and schematically, they are just totally different. Scott Linehan, what he does on offense and the way he plays, and Daunte Culpepper and the way they're playing from the quarterback position. Their defense is totally different. They're just different all the way around in personnel and scheme.

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