Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Aug. 7


(Any update on Jordy Nelson?)
Jordy had a bruise to the side, Clay Matthews tweaked his hamstring, and then Brett Swain had the knee sprain.

(Is Swain's injury serious?)
I think the initial doctor's report, it looked worse than he thought it was. But we'll obviously see how Brett is in the training room and we'll see how he is tomorrow. I can't really judge on any of the three injuries right now.

(Is it disappointing to have injuries in a scrimmage?)
The scoreboard for me personally, the way I view it, is the No. 1 score that I am interested in is our medical report. You want to come out of this controlled scrimmage healthy, there is no doubt about it. But at some point you are going to be in live action. This was our first opportunity to get in front of a live crowd. I can't say enough about our fans, the environment that they create for us a week before our first preseason game. It's the first opportunity to have live action with your fundamentals, blocking, tackling, handling the football, and that's very important. It was obvious that there was an emphasis on special teams. We were able to get a number of field goals kicked both with the No. 1 field goal and field-goal protection. Also we wanted to create an environment for our punters to continue to compete with the emphasis there in the last segment. We definitely accomplished that. There will be a lot of quality film for us to grade and move forward in the training-camp process as we finish our installation phase that we'll wrap up Tuesday. This gives us a pretty good barometer of some guys that have moved forward and the work that some others may need.

(Was tonight a pretty good demonstration of what Finley can give you guys?)
I thought Jermichael had a good night. I thought he had a productive night and the ball came his way. He had a number of one-on-one situations that him and Aaron were able to connect up on. Yeah, I don't think it is anything new. It's a fact that being the starting tight end, his opportunities will definitely increase this year. But he is still young. He has work to do, but he had a good night tonight. I thought a number of players stood out tonight. I liked Jermichael's performance. I thought A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones were extremely active on the defensive side of the ball. Brandon Jackson, that kickoff was well blocked and he hit the crease the way you are looking for. There were some good things that happened from an individual standpoint, but more importantly from a group, a position, and a team standpoint.

(What stood out from your cornerbacks?)
The No. 1 defense I thought played extremely well. When you go out and have four three-and-outs, that is exactly what you are looking for, especially with the one turnover by Brandon Underwood for a touchdown. I thought that they did a very good job of jumping the underneath routes, the three-step drops, I thought they did a very good job of closing in on the ball. I thought the secondary was aggressive and active and that's what you want, because when the ball is in the air, as we have demonstrated in the past, we have playmakers on defense that when they get their hands on the football they are able to do something with it. That's a trait that you always look for in our defense and I thought they exhibited that tonight.

(Do you like what you saw from Crosby?)
I thought Mason kicked the ball very well. I know he had the one miss. There was pressure off the right side, but I thought the ball came off his foot very well tonight, even on the kickoffs. We had to slow him up a little bit so we could get the returns. But he is a very, strong gifted kicker and we've just got to keep working the operation. As we know, the punting competition will factor into that. I definitely felt improvement in the whole field-goal operation and I thought Mason kicked the ball very well tonight.

(Do you make anything of the offense's struggles in the two-minute during camp?)
I think it is very important, I know from my perspective to not get too caught up in statistics in the installation process of camp. As I said, that goes until this Tuesday. But also two-minute and no-huddle in my view are the same. Aaron has been very productive in the no-huddle, but the defense did a great job of keeping them out of the end zone tonight. It is all part of the process. I felt the two-minute was a major emphasis going into last season. I think we definitely answered that bell. I definitely rank Aaron as one of the better two-minute quarterbacks that I have coached, even this early in his career. The statistics may not illustrate that, but having the opportunity to work with him on a daily basis, I am very confident with him handling our two-minute situations.

(How did you think the punters did?)
I thought they did well. That's what we wanted. We wanted to try to create as close as we possibly can to a true game atmosphere, put pressure on them from the four areas on the field, and I thought they handled it very well. It's going to be a very good competition. They're both very talented. I have no question that we are so much further ahead than we've been here the past two years just with the individual ability at the punting position. But as we all know, it's all about performance, and we're trying to create that environment to test these guys from a performance perspective as much as we possibly can.

(Can you talk about Brandon Jackson? He returned the kickoff tonight but he's also on the No. 1 kickoff team and seems to be a jack of all trades.)
I think he has a lot of ability. I kind of steer away from jack of all trades because I think the next sentence is what you don't want to be, master of none. I think he's someone that can … I'm not making fun of your … it's Family Night, Mike. Brandon Jackson I think has definitely arrived. I felt that way coming into the second half of last season. The Pittsburgh game was a huge step for Brandon just from a pass protection standpoint. I think it really completed his game. He's always had special team ability. We need to get him more involved in special teams as a frontline player. He had the injury last year that slowed him up at the beginning of the season. But he's just one of those young men who has that ability to play on all four core units on special teams and he has the ability to be a three-down back. Very happy with the way he's progressed since coming in here as a rookie, and I'm very confident to play with him at any time if we needed to.

(Are you happy with the way Brad Jones has responded to being moved back to the No. 2?)
The depth chart hasn't been set. I know I get to fill it out for you tomorrow, but it still hasn't been set, and we don't just play with 11. Brad suffered the back bruise there, but he's had a good week of practice, and I'll see the film to put a true grade on him, but I felt he was definitely active tonight. I definitely felt his presence in his play tonight.

(Is James Jones ready to take that next step?)
I think so. Spring, all through camp, I think Jordy and James have really stepped up their game. We're very confident with those first four receivers, and it was good to get Brett Swain back out there. There's a lot of confidence right now between the quarterback, those four receivers and the tight end group, and that's what you're looking for in the vertical passing game. I'm happy where we are right now.

(Across the board are you happy where your depth is right now?)
Well, like every coach in the NFL, you spend a lot of time on your medical report. We just want to get healthy. This is the dog days, the foundation days of training camp. They're vital to 2010 Packer team success. We have to go through it. It's a process that is needed. But you want to stay healthy, and it will be important to us to have a good day Monday, and the two-a-day Tuesday will be important and then we'll move on to Cleveland on Wednesday. I just want to be healthy. I'm pleased where we are as a football team right now.

(Where is Will Blackmon at with his knee?)
I think Will is someone, you fall into that category of skill position player that comes off a major knee surgery, going into a two-a-day type training camp. It's difficult on the knee joint. Just talking with Dr. McKenzie before the scrimmage tonight, just reviewing all the players on the list. He had an opportunity to get with a number of those guys before the scrimmage. He thinks Will is going to be fine. This is kind of a normal protocol that particularly a skill position that's a returner, a safety and a corner, the pounding of being on it every day for those long practices, we just have to be smart with him.

(If he can't go, would Brandon Jackson be your kickoff returner at this point?)
Well, that's to be determined. Brandon knows how the kickoff return needs to be ran. It's a little change of philosophy than we've done in the past, and he demonstrated tonight that he can do it the right way. He'll definitely have an opportunity for that.

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