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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 16


* (How is Ryan Grant doing?)*
Ryan Grant suffered a concussion. I hope to have him back tomorrow. He has gone through the procedure and saw the doctor today. He'll see another one tomorrow, and I'm hopeful that he'll go tomorrow night.

(How about Kregg Lumpkin?)
Lumpkin had a hamstring that he suffered late in the game, so I don't really have a timeframe on him yet. That's why he missed today.

(Any update on Crabtree?)
Crabtree has another doctor's appointment this afternoon, so we're talking about a potential cast and looking at some other options. Hopefully we'll get him back. His appointment today will give us more information.

(How about Evan Dietrich-Smith?)
Dietrich-Smith sprained a muscle in his neck, so he has a neck sprain.

(Do you know if Crabtree has at least a fracture?)
That's to be determined. If he wants to share that with you. It is a wrist sprain is the way Pepper is describing it to me.

* (Is Will Blackmon any closer to returning?)*
I hope so. There was some testing done today, and I'll have more information. I think he is going to be one of the guys that is going to work tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes.

(Did you feel like the No. 1 offense kind of broke through there with the score in 2-minute work?)
I don't look at it that way. Two-minute and no-huddle, they are very similar jobs. I think Aaron does a very good job of that, but they definitely keep score. They must read the paper too I guess, so it's probably good for the offense to get off the schneid. It's a good day for the offense.

(What do you like about Quinn Porter?)
He has a lot of ability. He is raw. He has a lot on his plate and he needs to understand the importance of special teams. The best opportunity and vehicle to get on our team is through special teams. He has a lot of new things that he is being asked to do, but there is a lot of ability there. He has had some exciting runs, but he is a very raw football player at this point.

(You got on a lot of guys out there today; was that by design?)
I don't design that. Practice, there is an accomplishment, a level of practice that you try to have every day. When we don't reach that, it's my responsibility to get it out of them. This is a tough practice. Year in and year out this is always a padded practice 48 hours after a game. This is a tough practice on our football team, so it was important to get the quality work out of our team today. I think we accomplished that. We'll look at the film, but we weren't as sharp as we needed to be when we started practice today.

(After watching the film, did you see the improvement on special teams that you were looking for?)
It is one game and it is preseason, no different on offense and defense. You're trying to accomplish a lot of things, and even more so on special teams. Going through each phase, I though the punt protection was a plus. The changes that we made, I thought they definitely showed up on film. I thought the punters' performance was good. Kickoff coverage was disjointed. A lot of that was we played 30-plus players on kickoff coverage. We have never done that here. We're trying to look at as many different individuals as possible. We exhausted our whole depth chart in the kickoff phase, and I think it showed up in the production in the kickoff coverage and the kickoff return. That is not where we need to be. I'm confident with our kickoff coverage based on the people that we have had here in the past and the way we have played in the past. Our timing and spacing in the kickoff return needs to improve. We'll probably emphasize that more this week as we get ready. Punt return, once again we used a lot of people there. But the kickoff coverage, we'll start to settle in more on certain players, but we do want to make sure we get everybody an opportunity and give them a chance because special teams is where a lot of these jobs are going to be won.

(Will you use that many players this week?)
Ask me Friday. The medical report and how this week in practice goes, there's a lot of things that play into that.

(How has Frank Zombo looked?)
I think Zombo has done a lot of good things. He's getting better. He had two big sacks to finish the 2-minute on third and fourth down there. I'm very pleased with the progress. He's improving, and that's what you look for in young players.

(How did the first offensive line look in the game?)
Offensive line? I thought they graded out well. They came after us with a lot of pressure, so there were a number of things that happened at the line of scrimmage as far as the communication. I thought the quarterback handled it very well. I thought the checks were intact. I thought the first offensive line played well. I wouldn't say that about the second offensive line.

(How did Matt Flynn play?)
I thought Matt played tough. I think it was two, maybe three, he took three good shots because of lack of pass protection, but I thought he played well with the opportunity he was given.

(Do you see any of the young wide receivers pushing for a roster spot?)
They're improving. Dillon continues to jump out at me. That's the first one that comes to mind. Gore, it's new for him. Chery just arrived. They're not getting the work that that group has probably gotten in the past. That's a tough group to crack as far as the four or five guys in front of them. But they're getting better. That's what you're looking for.

(Did Flynn make big strides this offseason?)
I think Matt Flynn has continued to improve since he arrived here. I thought he made a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and he definitely has total command of the offense, and that's what you expect of your quarterback. We feel very confident to play with him through all the different things we do at the line, both run and pass. I thought he managed the game very well. Once again, I thought he was put in a couple of tough spots, maybe a couple of throws he wish he may have hit. But I thought he played well.

(You have said good things about Brandon Jackson as a third-down back, but how comfortable would you be if he had to carry the load in a game?)
Brandon Jackson to me is an every-down back. I have no problem with that. Really the last hurdle he needed to overcome was on third down. He accomplished that last year, in my opinion. You're seeing him not only third downs but in special teams. Brandon Jackson is a good special teams player, too. He's a complete football player, and if we had to play all three downs with him, I wouldn't even blink.

(How long will the competition at left guard go on for?)
I don't have a deadline, but really just the progress that Bryan makes and how Daryn continues to go through camp will answer that question. I know everybody would like to have the starting line by the third game, but we'll just see how it goes.

(Crabtree has been playing with the hand injury for a while. What have you seen from him?)
Tom's a tough, hard-nosed football player. He's probably our best run blocker. I think he's done a great job making the transition that a lot of our players do from Year 1 to Year 2. I thought he did a great job in the offseason, and I think it's definitely paying dividends here. Tough special teams player. We've moved him throughout the special teams core units, working both sides on the punt. He could play on all four units if we had to play a game today. He has that kind of ability. I think he's a very versatile football player.

(Does it hurt his bid to make the roster?)
Availability and accountability. I think that's for everybody. When you don't practice because of your injuries, it's unfortunate, injuries are part of the game. But I think that's very obvious, when you're not out there fighting for a job, it doesn't help your chances.

(Is Starks making any progress?)
I hope so. I hope so. He's kind of at a standstill. But it would be nice to see him out there.

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