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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 23


(What happened to Bryan Bulaga?)
Bryan has a groin strain, excuse me, a hip flexor. So they're looking at him right now. It's kind of been bothering him here for a little bit and it just flared up on him again.

(Cullen Jenkins?)
Cullen Jenkins strained his calf about three-quarters of the way through practice. I'll know more about him when I get up top.

(Can you talk about Brandon Chillar going back inside in nickel?)
Wanted to get Brandon some work back inside, just trying to take advantage of his flexibility. He's had quality reps at the outside position. Also wanted to get some more reps for Frank Zombo. A.J. was a trial return today, so we took him through the jog through to see how he was doing and practiced him more on some of the opponent stuff. Just trying to create some flexibility. Frank  Zombo has earned some more reps, and that's a credit to his performance. Once again, just trying to have everybody ready in our different personnel groups to continue to build that depth chart. Brandon Chillar is obviously versatile to play inside or outside.

(What's the prognosis on Quinn Porter?)
Quinn Porter, I would say he's probably day to day. He has a chance to go this week.

(Brad Jones?)
I would put him in the same category. I think Brad, he has a chance to go Thursday  night against Indianapolis.

(Are you concerned about the running back depth, or because Porter might be able to go are you not as worried?)
It's training camp. I'm more focused on the individuals that are available, giving them the reps, make sure we're playing the different combinations, both on offense and defense, and making sure you flow through the personnel groups and we train them the right way conceptually, because once you get to the real games starting with Philadelphia, you want to have the ability to get in and out of personnel groups. You never want to be one player away. I think that speaks volumes about John Kuhn to be able to play fullback and one back and two back as a halfback in our system. Injuries are unfortunate. Quinn's going through it now. It's just kind of where we are at the running back position.

(With the practices you have left, what are your hopes over the next couple of weeks?)
We technically go to an in-season schedule tomorrow. This really officially from a scheduling standpoint takes us out of training camp with the last night practice. The night practices have been great. Our fans have been phenomenal. But we'll get on an in-season schedule starting tomorrow and we will work with an in-season Thursday schedule tomorrow, just to try to get our players in the routine as best we can. Then we'll have a full week next week going into Kansas City of an in-season schedule. We're getting ready to play games, and from a scheduling and a regularity standpoint, it's important to make the switch the third week in training camp like we normally do.

(What part of Zombo's game have you seen develop the most?)
He brings the physicality that you're looking for as an outside linebacker. Everything we start with is speed to power on the rush and how you want to play the runs and so forth. I think he's done a very good job with that. High-effort player. Tough kid. Play through injuries. He's had a nice camp so far. He's earned every rep that he's been given and we want to increase his opportunities and see what he can do.

(It looked like you made some changes with the special teams groups. Are you looking to settle on your top units there?)
Changes … in which regard?

(Shields with the 1's, and Crabtree.)
Sam's earned it. Sam's definitely getting some time with the 1's. We do want to get closer to what we feel are going to be the the guys who we're going to be playing with. There is some projection, and you want to get some more information on particularly your newer guys, Tom Crabtree like you stated, and Sam Shields. Once again, it's kind of the same answer to a different question. It's all part of these preseason games.

(After you saw the film, did you figure out what Derrick Martin did to get ejected?)
Yeah, it was inappropriate. He swang, or punched the player in the back. It was a foul, and he was ejected for it. It's an experience that we addressed with everybody, because if that's a regular-season game, now your 45-man roster goes to 44 real fast, and that's not very smart. It's a discipline penalty. Penalties have been our No. 1 priority for us on special teams, and for that to happen, it's not what we're looking for.

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