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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 31


(How do you feel about the overall health of the team through camp?)
Well, compared to last year we have a couple more players in a negative health situation than we did last year. I just look at the stats because the training camp structure is supposed to eliminate some of our fatigue injuries. I'd like to be healthier, but that's just part of where we are. We're actually a little more banged up this year than we were last year.

(When you look at the key starters, except for Matthews, do you feel you have good health there?)
The most important part of our injured players is you're hopeful that none of them are serious or long-term. For the most part, that's true. But there's no replacement for playing in live action. Defensively, as far as you talk about Clay Matthews, Brad Jones and Cullen Jenkins now in the last week and going into this week, and now Bishop falls into that category, when you have starters who are not playing together and don't have the continuity, it's not a concern, but it's something you wish you weren't dealing with. We'll have to get them ready for Philadelphia and get it done in the practice structure.

(Have you made roster moves today?)
We'll have that for you in a couple hours.

(When did you see something in Zombo and think you might have a player on your hands?)
I think Frank Zombo, he's definitely a longshot just from where he started, but he fought through a big injury and I'm curious to see how he plays Thursday night down there in Kansas City. You look for players to make plays. It's as simple as that, and he's made plays in every game he's played in since he's been here. It gets your attention. The injuries to Clay and Brad have given him more opportunities. Now with Brandon Chillar, we had a chance to work him over there and now working Brandon back inside, particularly in the sub packages, he's been given some more opportunities. You'd like to see a young man take advantage of some of his opportunities, and he's done a pretty good job of that.

(How much will the 1's play?)
Aaron Rodgers and the first offense will play the first series.

(Same for the first defense? One series?)
We'll see. Pretty much the same mindset, but we'll see how that goes. We have a couple players that we're considering playing a little longer. I really want to see how we come out of this practice and then finalize who's going to actually play and who's not going to play and who's going to go on the trip and so forth.

(How important is Thursday for Justin Harrell?)
It's important for Justin to come out and perform at a high level, and more importantly, come out of the game healthy. His big hurdle has been his health and so far he has been able to battle through that for the most part. He had the one week where it flared up, but I thought he has put together a good string of 7-10 days here. So it's important for him to go out and play well.**

(Why do you want to see one series with Rodgers instead of just giving them the game off?)
It is a format that we have followed. It's more on total reps of the whole preseason.

(What are your thoughts on the run game this preseason?)
It's different. We haven't really come out and tried to establish a run game as far as number of attempts. We haven't come out and said, 'Hey, we are going to work on these concepts.' We haven't come out and said, 'We're going to get Ryan Grant so much work.' It's been more of the players behind Ryan and the opportunities to see Brandon Jackson, and Quinn Porter was in that mix, and also with Kregg Lumpkin. I don't have any concerns conceptually where we are offensively. I think we are in a very good rhythm right now as I stand here today, and it's important for us to try to continue that Thursday night against Kansas City.**

(Has Brandon Jackson made that big jump from last year to this year?)
Oh, I do. I think Brandon Jackson made a big jump. I keep pointing back to the Pittsburgh game because I felt that he took his pass protection and his third-down performance to another level. If you remember last year Brandon was not healthy during training camp last year and had a very slow start to the season. Now we have a healthy Brandon Jackson who we feel very good about offensively, but more importantly, I feel he'll be a core player for us on special teams this year.**

(How has Graham Harrell progressed?)
He is getting better. There is another young player that has been given some opportunities and has moved the offense down the field. He has really improved since he has been here. That's what you look for, particularly in younger players, an ascending player, especially at the quarterback position to come in as late as he did. You are starting to see him be more and more comfortable each week that he gets his opportunities, so I like the progress that he has made.**

(Chris Bryan wasn't here today …)
Chris Bryan has a personal situation that he is attending to right now. It's of a positive nature and I'm sure he'll discuss that with you here in the near future.**

(Will he be available Thursday?)
I'll find out tonight or in the morning.

(What have you seen in Andrew Quarless' development?)
Andrew is getting better. He is healthy. He was a little sluggish today I felt. He made a couple of nice catches, but there is more to it than that. He is a young, talented guy. He's got a lot of natural football instinct, but he definitely has things that he needs to continue to improve on. We'll see how he plays Thursday night.

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