Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 19

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

I'll start with the only injury of the game. Jeremy Thompson had a stinger and did not return. I'll take your questions, please.

(Could you have asked for a better performance out of the defense?)

I thought our defense was excellent today, along with the crowd. When you play great defense and having the crowd at Lambeau Field, that's what it looks like right there. And that's what we'll continue to talk about as a football team. The importance of winning home games, but the importance of utilizing Lambeau Field as a homefield advantage. I thought it was a great victory into the bye and I thought our defense was huge today.

(Can you talk about how aggressive you were early in the game, the onside kick and then going for it in your own territory?)

Those are things during the course of the week, why you game plan, things you see on film, the approach you take into the game. I wanted to be aggressive from an offensive standpoint. Ball control was at a premium. We were able to accomplish that in the first half. It didn't go as well in the second half. But the ability to steal a series from their offense, we were very impressed with the way they played against Baltimore. We have a lot of respect for that group, and we were trust trying to be aggressive with those guys.

(The onside kick, did that play into the aggressiveness?)

Yes, absolutely. I was trying to steal a series from their offense. It was something we saw during the week, we thought we had a chance. The ball kind of skipped on Mason out of bounds. But as far as the block and the timing of it with Charlie Peprah and Will Blackmon, I thought we had a chance over there.

(Did you reconsider after Dungy called a timeout on fourth down?)

No. No I didn't. I was confident. I actually stayed with the original call that we had before he called the timeout. It was more of an approach going into the game. I wanted to be aggressive and control the clock. The red zone, as far as scoring touchdowns down there, kicking the field goals...But that's how we wanted the first half to go. I think we had three series from their offense. And you just have to take those chances sometimes.

(Is Aaron really settling into that job? It looked like he was in such control out there.)

He's played very well. I thought he did an excellent job today taking what the defense gave him. The checkdowns were there, (Brandon) Jackson had a bunch of catches. Just the patience of going through reads. I thought he really trusted his footwork today. He didn't hold the ball. He stepped up very well. And that's what you're looking for. No turnovers against that defense, that's an accomplishment and that's something you look to do going forward.

(Is there a tendency for a young guy to match Peyton Manning throw-for-throw in a game like this for a first-year starter?)

Yeah, that's an interesting question. I didn't see Aaron attempting to do that. I think just the way we played on offense opposed to the way they played, too. I thought Aaron did a very good job of operating the game plan and staying within himself. Peyton Manning is a great player, they put a lot of stress on your defense with the no-huddle operation and so forth. I thought our defense did a great job of handling that today.

(What about staying with the nickel 100 percent of the time against that offense? What was the thinking behind that?)

It's matchups, just the things you're trying to do. Once again, when they're operating at the line of scrimmage, it's easy when you start on Tuesday to game plan and feel you need to do this and to match that. And really at the end of the day, the most important thing we need to do is communicate and make sure that our defense had the right call and everybody was in the right call and doing the things we need to do. I think we did a good job with that for the most part.

(Would you say this was the best performance all year all the way around for your club?)

I thought it was a very good team win. I definitely felt the offense played to the defense based on who our opponent was. I thought the special teams did a nice job. You had the wind factor that played into it. You had the field position swings as far as when you had the win and so forth. So I thought it was a very well played game and I thought our players played smart today for the most part.

(How hard is it to play without two members of your starting secondary? And given that, what does it mean to your team to hold your own against Manning and to play well?)

I thought our secondary did a very good job, a much better job of putting their hands on. And anytime you don't have starters like Atari and Al Harris, that's definitely an opportunity for other players to step up. It doesn't help when you have starters out, no doubt. But I thought our players did a very good job of that, stepping up. And you could see the defensive backs getting their hands on the wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and that was definitely an emphasis going into this game.

(I think you had a 10-minute time of possession advantage similar to last week. Is that how you'd ideally like this team to be, to control the clock and keep the ball out of the other team's hands?)

Ideally, you'd like to control the clock, get down in the red zone and score touchdowns. That's the way you'd like to play offense in a perfect world. This defense in the Indianapolis Colts doesn't really give you a whole lot of opportunity for explosive gains over the top. They do a very good job of keeping the offense in front of them. So, the ability to manage the down and distances, and playing in favorable down and distances, and keeping the third downs where you can keep the pass rush under control and so forth, that's important. When you get in third and long against the Indianapolis Colts, you're playing uphill.

(What did you see on the two long interception returns for touchdowns?)

Nick Collins with the break on the ball, I thought with the cut he made just to finish it, he cut back inside, he had three white shirts inside and he split them and scored. That was very impressive. A big play in the game, obviously. I thought Aaron Rouse, his interception, 99 yards, is to my understanding, tied for the longest in the history of Lambeau Field. Anytime you get to put that next to your name, that's a nice accomplishment. So that's a big play for Aaron Rouse.

{sportsad300}(Obviously all the wins are big, but how big was this one, losing two in a row and with the schedule coming up?)

Well a win at home is very important. I felt we did a good job here last year. We're 2-2 at home, it's something we've talked about as a team, the importance of coming out here and utilizing our homefield advantage. Once again, I thought the crowd was outstanding, particularly with Peyton Manning at the line of scrimmage. And that's the way it was supposed to look. So that's definitely something we can build off of.

(There was a report on Fox today that Brett called the Lions before your Week 2 game to tell them about your offense. If that's true, how disappointing is that from one of your former players? Or maybe not?)

I would say it's disappointing. I'm not really in tune with the whole report and so forth. Jeff Blumb told me about it earlier. I really have no comment on that stuff.

(What kind of an undertaking is it to hold Peyton Manning without a touchdown pass?)

You said it. He's as good as there is in the business. He's done it at such a high level for a long time. Their season started off a little rough with injuries and so forth. But they really looked they were back untracked last week. The Baltimore game was an impressive outing for their offense. He does a very good job of defensive recognition, keeping them in a favorable play. It's a challenge. For them to operate as clean as they do at the line of scrimmage from a communication standpoint, I think it says a lot about their offense.

(I know you guys try not to ride the wave, but is the attitude from your guys different now than it was two weeks ago? )

Well, winning always helps your attitude, there's no doubt about it. But I think the thing we've corrected, is really our preparation. This group takes a lot of pride in their preparation. They have a clear understanding because of some experience that we've had in the past, that preparation applies to how you play. The toughest thing about being injured as a football team in my view is really the week of preparation because it's so disjointed. I felt like the last two weeks we really practiced well. We really practiced well and went out and played well. That's something we need to continue to do as we move forward. We have an opportunity to get our team healthy over the bye week. But what we do on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday definitely needs to show up on Sunday and I think we've been able to do that the last two weeks.

(Is this as physical your secondary has been with a group of receivers that you've seen in a while?)

Without looking at the film...I'd like to sit here and tell you yes. One thing I did notice and watched, I felt we did a better job getting our hands on the receivers at the line of scrimmage. That's the way we play. That's who we are. It's starts from day one of OTA and mini-camp and that's something we'll continue to do as we move forward. Those are all the basic fundamentals, the things I talked about when times weren't good when I had to stand up here. Those are things I'm talking about. It's about the fundamentals, using the proper technique, playing with high energy. The physicalness and finish we had today, that's what we're looking for. We haven't had it for four quarters there during the spurt where things weren't going well. But I thought the last two weeks that we played physical football for four quarters two weeks in a row.

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