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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 6


(Any word back on Atari Bigby's surgery?)
Atari Bigby's surgery, I do not have any information for you at this time. I just asked Pepper Burruss before walking off the field, and he does not have the report yet. I have nothing to report.

(What's wrong with Brady?)
Brady Poppinga suffered a concussion. He will go through the process, and he will be out for Family Night.

(Was that last night?)

(Did you feel you got done what you needed to today to be ready for the scrimmage?)
Oh absolutely. Today was another install day. We have seven of the nine in to this point. I feel very good about the body of work that we've been able to accomplish throughout the week. It's been a long week. They're definitely taxed, and I thought they did an excellent job of fighting through today's practice.

(Is tomorrow night an important night for the kicking game?)
It's an important night for everybody. It's your first opportunity to take one step closer to real football games. We'll use the scrimmage format that we've used in the past. How long we go and so forth may be limited. I'm concerned about the health of our football team right now. Our medical report doesn't look very good. How long we can go, and just being smart with the reps and make sure we're not stressing a bunch of our players out on both special teams and offense or defense. That's something we'll talk about tonight and meet on it again in the morning, once the final medical report comes in.

(Who else are you holding out tomorrow night?)
I don't have that for you right now. We'll look at all the … once again, we'll go into the post-practice training room, and then tomorrow morning there will be doctor evaluations, so I'll have a better idea. That's why we don't even have a staff meeting on it until tomorrow. I always wait until the day of the game, because things do change. We'll have a plan in place and we'll know potentially what our options are. But I'll have all the information in the morning after all the players see the doctors.

(So you'll definitely do tackling?)
We'll have a live segment in the scrimmage, it's just a matter of how long. We've had three series before with the 1's versus the 2's, the 2's vs. 1's, and the rest of the 2's and 3's versus each other. That's something that I'll have to look at closely tonight, and really, the biggest decision will be how healthy we are.

(Do you like what you've seen out of Quinn Porter?)
Quinn Porter, he jumps out, every practice. Everybody's excited about it. He's shown some very natural run instincts. There's a lot of things that are new for him. Special teams will be a big opportunity for him. He's starting to move up the depth chart in a couple of areas there. He's a young man that so far is taking advantage of his opportunities. It will be exciting to see him under the lights in live action.

(When he has a run like he did in the run-the-clock-out period, are you excited about the running back doing that or ticked off about your defense allowing that?)
50-50, that's the way I am supposed to answer that. We are in a type of situation there where we were working on our four-minute offense and we actually had the same segment earlier in the practice called 'game situation.' That is a 'no mas' situation for the running back, so do you score the touchdown or do you take the knee down there. It's an excellent run, but it's also a learning experience that we'll use with our football team.

(How do you feel about the D-line, the second and third groups?)
I think the young guys are coming on strong. You've got to be excited about what Wilson and Neal have shown and the progress that they are making in pads. Historically you see young players or players coming off of injury, it takes them a little longer during the initial days, the first initial days of camp to get their feet underneath them and pad level and things like that. I'm excited about the progress that they have made. They are starting to play with the tempo that is needed play in and play out**

(Who has stood out behind Will in the return game and what have you seen there?)
The individual drills that we are doing, the ability to block better with proper fundamentals. We led the league in penalties, particularly in holding, so it is a major emphasis for all of our run-blocking units, whether it is on the offense or in the return game on special teams. So I think we are making progress there. We dedicated obviously more time to that. Today was the initial start of putting in our No. 1 return, and I thought it was productive on the field. It will be good to look at it tonight in the film sessions and learn from it.

(How would you assess the week Sam Shields has had?)
Up and down, a lot of good things. He is a talented young man, a very mature individual. I like his approach. He has been impressive in the classroom and the extra time that he spends with his coach. He is a talented player that is making a position transition. He has done a lot of good things. Special teams is a place he can take advantage of some of the opportunities that he is going to be given.

(You'd like to see the young returners catch the ball more consistently though …)
We want everybody to catch the ball consistently. We're asking them to do some things from a technique standpoint, we have changed I don't want to say the style or the type of returns that we are doing is a primary emphasis. There is a little bit of an adjustment in there for the returners and they are doing a good job with it so far.

(We can see you're spending extra time on special teams. Do you know how much more it is?)
It's probably on an average of five minutes more per practice, if you want to keep track of it. It's usually two periods in a normal practice. They are 10-minute segments. We are now with a 15-minute and a 10-minute segment. Also we have gone with a five-minute period afterwards in post-practice. I guess if you are keeping track, 10 minutes per practice.

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