Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 20

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

(Mike, what's the status of Chad Clifton?)

Chad Clifton had an ankle sprain. He did not return. The X-rays were negative. Donald Lee had the wind knocked out of him at the end of the game. He obviously did not return. And Nick Collins has a chest injury and did not return.

(How do you explain the huge disappointment like this?)

We didn't play very well today and my disappointment is to not play your best football at home. It was a major emphasis for our football team in the offseason. We have not played to the standard that we need to play at home, especially with this great home-field advantage that we have with our fans, our stadium and so forth. That's the most disappointing part for me. When you emphasize something for your football team and it doesn't get done, that falls solely on the responsibility of the head coach. We didn't play very well offensively, we didn't play very well defensively, and we didn't play very well on special teams. So we'll get back at it tomorrow, we'll get it cleaned up, and we'll move on. We're 1-1, but it is disappointing to have a home loss like that. That's something that we need to fix.

(Could you talk about Odom's five sacks, especially in light of last week, having trouble on the other side.)

Our pass protection is a negative right now. First of all, running the football will help that. I understand that, but when you set a plan, you put things into your plan, they are done with good reason and with the focus of putting players in the position to be successful. And we're not protecting the quarterback very well right now. I'm going to have to look at it. I don't know if he was holding the ball on some of those or so forth. That will come in the film study.

(How do you explain having 13 penalties and two turnovers?)

Well, us having ten penalties probably didn't help. We didn't play very well today. I don't take anything away from the Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis. They came into our home and beat us, and that's not right. We need to change that around here. It's a focus and we'll stay after it. Our fans deserve better. We have an incredible environment that we're playing in and we didn't take advantage of it today.

(Why did you go away from the run game in the second half? Was it not working?)

The second half, we had the one series there in the third quarter and one at the beginning of the fourth quarter, we actually had a couple runs that we, based on the defense, that went to the pass. That happens sometimes. It wasn't by intent. I wanted it to be more balanced there on first and second down. I didn't come in here today to throw the football all day long. We wanted to start the game throwing the football. There's some things we wanted to get going on our perimeter with our perimeter players versus their perimeter players. That was just the focus to start the game.

(Mike, sometimes the head coach can see a performance like this coming. Did you sense anything like this coming?)

I can't speak on the other head coaches in the league, but I know I'm not happy with the way we practiced. But you go through it every year at the beginning of the year. I don't know of how many teams that I've been a part of that just jumped right out of training camp and were having great weeks of practice. I thought we practiced better this week than we did last week. I thought the defense has put together two good weeks of practice, solid weeks of practice. The offense has got some work to do and I think it's carrying over to our performance. So, you have new faces, you have different things, guys doing different things during the work week. It's a normal progression and we will clean up the problems that we had today, we will clean them up tomorrow and I can promise you we will have a hell of a practice Wednesday.

(You think they were prepared mentally, with the intensity and passion they played with out there?)

Well, I didn't think we played with great enthusiasm, but it was a sloppy game. There was 23 penalties in the football game. Those games, there's a lot of starting and stopping. And there's not a whole lot of rhythm and so forth. You have to fight through those games. And that's how they usually end, too. It comes down to a play or two at the end of the game. In my opinion, I thought it was a sloppy football game.

(Barnett didn't play late. Was that coach's decision or injury?)

Probably just personnel. There was no injury that I'm aware of.

(It just seemed like this team wasn't very sure with the football with more drops.)

Yeah, that's two weeks in a row. We've got to catch the football. That's not the way we play. Talk is one thing, production is another.

(Defense struggled on the third and longs and gave up some things there. How do you explain that?)

Well, they had the two screens. Dom, part of the call, I thought they were solid calls. We just didn't execute it. We didn't play very well fundamentally. I didn't think we finished blocks, I didn't think we got off blocks. I thought we dropped the football. We did some fundamental things that once again, I don't want to be redundant here, we were sloppy today and that is a reflection of myself.

(What about the penalties? You spent a lot of time talking about that after last season.)

You talk about it, we exercise different drills and things in practice. We spend a lot of time educating our players about the officials. We had a presentation Thursday about the emphasis that the officials are looking for, so we just continue to emphasize and continue to educate. But at the end of the day, you have to be productive on Sundays.

(Do you have to rethink your offensive line rotation after somebody gets hurt? Did you see that as a problem today with guys switching positions?)

I didn't think it was a problem. I thought Scott Wells going into the game makes perfect sense.

{sportsad300}(Did you think Rodgers clocked the ball at the end of the game?)

I was surprised by the official's comment to me at the end. With the type of play that we ran, the receivers were already down there. So I was watching the line and I thought for sure that it was going to be close. Particularly, Daryn Colledge, it looked like, was the last one getting down there. His communication to me on the sideline, excuse me, after the game, it was Greg Jennings, 85, that wasn't set. Now that surprised me. I have not seen the video. But with our receivers being down there I thought the issue would have been with one of our linemen. So I was surprised by that to say the least.

(The inability to stop the run, they pounded it all day long, was that a big surprise to you?)

That's why you play the games. There's no gimmes in this league. You've got to line up and stop it every week. You can't come out and play with tremendous emotion, passion, and fly around against one opponent on a Sunday night football game and think it's going to show up to the next week. It doesn't work that way. We emphasize that, we work during the course of the week, but we didn't play very well today. Once again, that is my responsibility.

(If Clifton is unable to play for an extended amount of time are you inclined to stay with the same line that you had? )

Most likely. We'll see. We have time before we make that decision.

(The strategy at the end there to kick the field goal with about 45 seconds, did that turn out the way you wanted it to there)

Well, with no timeouts, I think that's the right call from a clock-management standpoint. Sixteen seconds, that's the line right there. That's hard to get two plays. Some people tell you 17, some people tell you 18 if you want to get into the clock management details of it. So the throw, the completion halfway from the down and distance we were participating in and getting your team set, we knew it was going to come down to one second. That's why frankly, with the play that I called, and when we hit it, watching the linemen, I knew that was going to be the challenge. I was surprised it was Greg Jennings that was called for the illegal formation.

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