Mike McCarthy Post-Game Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 23

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-Chargers Game Center

(How is your football team?)

We're 3-0. We're a team that's improving. We beat a very good football team today. That's an excellent win. I thought the environment was incredible. I thought the fans were outstanding. They were with us every step of the way. It's a very big team win for us. I think it's one you can point to as far as building your program. I'm happy with the energy that we're playing with. I thought they played physical. The urgency coming out of the gate, we knew they were going to try to run the football on us and be physical with us. I thought it was an excellent team win.

(What does it say about the way the team rallied?)

I think that speaks to the character of your football team. We knew there were going to be some big plays in the game. That fourth quarter had a number of them back-to-back. I thought San Diego did a real nice job on third down, for us to come back and respond offensively. I thought our special teams was very consistent. I like the confidence of our football team. I think it's real. It's growing week to week. But I can't state enough that we have a lot of work to do.

(Do you have the injuries?)

Yes, Cullen Jenkins had the wind knocked out of him. He returned. Nick Collins has a back, he returned. The second time Cullen Jenkins left the game it was the same thing, he had the wind knocked out of him.

(What changes were made after they scored on the first drive of the second half?)

I thought our pressure calls were good on first and second down. They made the big play on third down with pressure in his face. I think you can overreact to those types of things. We're a bump-and-run, man-to-man team. That's who we are. San Diego made some big plays on third down. We stuck to our game plan. When it came down to that last series on defense at the end of the game we put that in the hands of our defensive line. We feel that we're very good there. We just stayed the course. To answer your question, we didn't make many changes schematically. We just stuck with our game plan for four quarters.

(Can you speak to their character?)

I think is a football team that truly believes in what they're asked to do and more importantly, how they're asked to do it. That's a part that everybody wants to establish coming out of training camp. It's a young team in a lot of areas. Our confidence is real. It's building. It's a team that needs to continue to improve. That's our focus. It's something that we talk about all the time in our preparation. We'll continue to take that course.

(How were you able to keep them off-balance when they knew you were going to throw the ball?)

Whether its offense or defense, it's comical when people say, 'They knew what we were going to run there.' Well, it's a 50-50 chance to run and pass. You have to be able to run the football when you run it. You have to be able to throw it when you throw it. That's the importance of offensive football. We feel in our offensive system that if we need to throw it a bunch we will. If we need to run it a bunch we will. That's just the way we're designed.

(Why didn't you challenge Donald Lee's catch at the 1?)

The information I was given on Donald Lee is that he was hit and that he was down. I didn't have a problem not challenging that one there. If I had it to do over again I would have challenged James Jones'. I wish I would have changed my mind. Whether he was in or not you have to give your team an opportunity to win the game. That was a play that could have changed the outcome of the football game. Obviously a number of things happened after that. I'm sure I'll see the video like every one in here did. I wish I would have challenged James Jones. Based on the information I was given, Donald Lee was down.

(Who gave you information, the refs?)

The refs aren't going to help you out there. It would be nice if they would. No, from the box.

(Why did you go with an empty backfield at the 1 taking away the threat of running?)

We could have run the quarterback. That's an option. He did it on third-and-1 out of an empty backfield set. It's important in the game of football to trust your plan. I thought the empty backfield set was very productive for us today. We did it the second play of the game. Our empty backfield set is something we did all game. It's a part of our game plan, a part of our third-down package, a part of our red zone package. Frankly, I was trusting my call sheet. I learned this a long time ago. In times of crisis, I hate to use the word crisis cause it's overstated, think of players and not play. I put the ball in Brett Favre's hand and I feel very comfortable doing it.

(That was a draw on that third-and-1?)

It could have been. We've got 13 more games.

(What was the play on that last TD?)

It was an x-slant, drag slant, a very basic play. Probably one of the first plays we put in.

{sportsad300}(Was Greg going to play all along?)

He was going to play. Friday morning was the decision for him to play. The course of rehab we took with Greg, we didn't want him to in a situation where he was up and down every week. We had a series of tests he had to pass. It was just getting him to 100 percent. He probably would have liked to play sooner. He was 100 percent Friday morning after Thursday's rehab session. He was ready to go and did a nice job.

(You haven't lost since the Jets game last year. Did that game serve as motivation?)

Anytime you lose a football game, especially the way we did, if you recall in the second half of that game we turned that thing around. We had a number of opportunities to get back in that game in the second half. Our defense was outstanding. We had a few opportunities on offense that we didn't make. Really it's about preparation and performance when I think of the success you have on game day. Our players are into the structure of preparation. They're getting better. They're taking care of their bodies when needed and they're performing. It's a confidence that continues to build. I don't look at the New York Jets as a springboard of when we turned it on. I look at the Jets as a learning opportunity of things not to do and some things we could build on.

(Has Brett played a role in that?)

I believe so. That's why the plan was built the way it is. We're keeping him in very favorable looks and he's been disciplined with the football. A big part of quarterback play is decision-making. I think these last two weeks he's been excellent with his decisions with the ball. We all know how accurate he is with it. We've done some positive things to build on. Again there are a number of things that we can build on. There are a number of things on offense we need to continue to work on and continue to improve at.

(What do you think of Favre tying the record?)

I think every time he takes the field he adds another log on the fire of such a brilliant career. That will continue to burn, hopefully for a while. He's a remarkable individual. He's plays the game of football with such a passion. It's no surprise that he's breaking records and will continue to break them.

(Was it all the better because of the win?)

Definitely. You can ask Brett the same thing. It was such a good win. It would have been great to break it today, especially at home. It's very fitting.

(Can you talk about how your defense handled Tomlinson?)

I thought the run defense was excellent, especially when they came in and tried to establish the run from the first series of the game. It wasn't like they tried to run the ball, got away from it and came back. They pounded away at it. We talk about swarming it. We had the ball bounce a few times early. They like to run the power inside. He's an excellent runner, obviously. He has exceptional vision. He got the ball on the perimeter a couple times on us. I thought they did a great job.

(What did you do to stop him?)

We didn't put in any new defenses. We played our scheme. You either push against the run or push against the pass. We felt they were going to try to run the football. That was true coming in here. We had our safeties down a little lower than normal. We were definitely committed to stop the run.

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