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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Nov. 1


OK, I'll start with two injuries from yesterday's game. Donald Driver had a quad strain. He will probably be questionable for practice this week, and Patrick Lee had an ankle sprain, and I don't think he'll be able to practice. He's probably going to be out for the game. Comments about the game, it's a significant win for our football team. We've been fighting through a tough spot, to go on the road into New York, very pleased with particularly our defense and our special teams. It's definitely something we can build on. Our approach moving forward is it's a seven-day season. We're fully anticipating a very motivated Dallas team coming in here Sunday night, and we'll correct the film here in about an hour with our football team, as we normally do on Mondays and get ready for Dallas. With that I'll take your questions.

(How is Rodgers' ankle?)
Aaron Rodgers had an ankle sprain. I do not foresee him missing any time. They feel that he'll be able to practice at some point this week.

(Did Quarless have a shoulder injury?)
He had a shoulder sprain. They're actually doing some more testing on him now. Dr. McKenzie didn't seem very concerned about it, but I don't have all the information right now.

(Is Donald's quad injury one that can get better over the bye?)
He's had actually two separate injuries to his quad. He initially had a quad bruise and then had a quad strain on top of it. Donald's a fighter. Just the fact, as I've stated before, when he misses practice, it's very unusual. We felt that giving him the time off this week he'd be able to play in the game. He pushed through it last week but was unable to get through the Jet game yesterday. We'll probably take a little more cautious approach with him this week.

(Will Jordy move into the kickoff returner role again with Lee hurt?)
We need to talk through that, because with Donald being injured, Jordy's importance now as a receiver, we'll weigh all those options as we get ready for Dallas.

(Could you expand how you planned for the Jets and they threw some wrenches in during the first half?)
I maybe didn't make myself clear. It's not that we really planned so much. I think it's important when you go through your game-planning to trust your training. They do a very good job. Their defense is very similar to ours. We practice against our defense all through the spring, all through the training camp, and frankly, when we just got back to the things we do, the basics, we were productive. We were just fundamentally not where we needed to be yesterday. I talk to the football team all the team, and I tell them to listen to your language. I think it's very important to understand where your mind is and when we're talking about our second step and our hand placement on run blocking as opposed to just going and knock the son of a gun in the mouth and finish the block, you can tend to get a little too technical and a little more fundamental. We just were not very fundamentally sound as an offense. We anticipated a number of big-play opportunities, we were able to get behind them a few times, didn't convert on any of those. We felt that we just weren't very sharp, whether it was finishing blocks, certain reads, depth of routes and so forth. We need to get back to just playing football the right way and not worrying about what the other side's doing. Made it very loud and clear in the Wednesday team meeting, trust the film. Don't believe the hype. Don't get caught up in … it's always tough going on the road. They're a good football team, they're a healthy football team coming off the bye. But trust the film. Our defense and special teams did. They went out and played with the expectations that we felt going into the game. We did not play to our standard on offense. It's something we can learn from. But it's an excellent, excellent win for us, and it's something that we can build on. We've been going through a tough spot as a team, and I feel it's a seven-day season. We've got a motivated team coming here, and we need to get this one here at home Sunday night and get to the bye. That's our focus.

(I know you like to move on, but can you use this win as a springboard?)
Absolutely. Say it all the time, you need to stack success, and the biggest part of success comes confidence. For as confident that the football team that we beat yesterday was coming into the game, to go into their house, magnificent stadium, on the big stage and to win that game, that's definitely a big shot of confidence you can carry forward. There's no question about it. But it's no different. You need to use it properly. No one picked us to win the game, and I think that stuff's great, and if it helps motivate our guys, super. But we need to keep our eye on the target. We can keep improving. We got healthy in some spots. I thought the defensive staff did a tremendous job last week, had four transactions during the course of the week. Walden all the way up until the game didn't even know if he was going to be up. With the injury to Dimitri, he goes down, he comes up and Dom had a package of nickel defense to get him on the field. Just those types of things that go into a work week and to see it all come together in a pretty big game for a regular-season game. It's very rewarding, something that we'll use to go forward. But hey, we've won two games. We need to get this third one, and that's our focus. We need to stay right on line with that.

(Obviously you are missing starters, so where does yesterday's game rank as far as defensive performances?)
I think the facts clearly tell you what they accomplished as a defense, … I shouldn't say they, us, accomplished as a defense. The fact that it's the first shutout, A, of the year in the National Football League. It's the first shutout on the road for the Green Bay Packers since 1991. I think anytime you can say you did something that hasn't happened for 20 years for the Green Bay Packers, that's obviously significant. But we're a damn good run defense. We led the league in run defense last year. We've been working through some combinations because of the injuries up front. We've been challenged particularly the last two weeks against Miami and Minnesota with them running the football, and that was our focus. Our focus was to go into that game and stop their run game. We had a lot of respect for their run game coming into the game, and our players stepped up. They played at a very high level. If you take out the quarterback scramble and the one other run (by the punter) it was probably a 3.2 average, and that's where we knew we needed to get to, because we felt that the opportunity to take the football away – and that was the whole plan. That was the first two objectives that went up when we talked to the defense was to stop the run and take the football away when we make them go to the passing game. Three takeaways, two stops on fourth down, the punting performance is the finest punting – I can't tell you how good this feels to say this – this is the finest punting performance I've – I'm not exaggerating, I'm not dramatic – the finest punting performance that I've ever been a part of in all my years on both sides of the ball. I can't tell you how happy I am for Tim. It makes me want to cry. I thought he was tremendous. That was, you talk about a field-position game. I thought that was remarkable. He just needs to do it every week now and we'll be fine.

(How do you think you reacted to the fake by Weatherford?)
He was on the highlight tape, I can promise you, during the course of the week. That's not the first time he's done it. We wanted to stay out of six-box returns particularly because of all their deceptives and so forth, and we were in a seven-box. For him to pull it down, I think everybody was a little surprised. But it was something we practiced for and prepared for, and really Anthony Smith makes the play to make it come up short. It was a good challenge, good job by our coaches up top. It's a big play in the game. The field position leads to our first field goal. Huge play for us.

(To clarify something on the PUP guys, you have until three weeks from when they started practicing, correct?)
We have until Monday after the Dallas game would be when their window closes, is my understanding. Because we started them on Tuesday of that week. We had a workout on Tuesday.

(What is your understanding of the ruling on the interceptions by Williams and Woodson, the dual-possession ones?)
To me it's no different than the conversation we had last week with Minnesota in a lot of ways. Is the ball under control? In both cases, just even watching the tape today, when the ball isn't totally controlled by the offense or the defense, it's still in the process, and it's just an excellent job by both Tramon and Charles. The officiating crew obviously felt the ball was not secure to give the catch to the offense, and it's an outstanding job of Charles and Tramon competing all the way to the end to get the football.

(No one was picking you last week, but this week everybody will be picking you. Do you have to remind your team to not take Dallas lightly?)
Oh yeah. We'll talk about it. We'll talk about it today, we'll talk about it Wednesday. We appreciate the negative stories, so if you can keep that up, that's always helpful. It's all part of our business. It's important to stack success. The hardest thing to handle in my opinion in the NFL is handling success, and by no means do I think winning two games is a success, but it's definitely in the right direction, and that will be part of our language this week when we get together as a football team.

(Two penalties last week and three yesterday, has there been more of a concerted effort?)
I believe we do a very good job with our structure. We have officiating crew, none of them are under 70, at our practices – they're a great bunch of guys, I'm just kidding. I get to kid around today because we won I guess. But they do a very good job. A lot of communication during the course of practice. We've always heightened the sense of urgency in the areas that we feel we need to work on. The Chicago game was a black eye for us. We felt that definitely factored in the outcome of that football game. We're working on it. It's a key fundamental. It's a key to winning and losing in this league. The thing I'm most proud of, really, is the turnover ratio. The Jets were leading the league in turnover ratio coming into that game, and we were plus-three and had zero giveaways. That's something that we practice and emphasize every single day, and that's something I'm a big believer in. When you practice it every day, and things that you truly believe in and you emphasize on a daily basis, they have to show up on Sunday. I thought the turnover ratio was obviously a very big factor in the outcome of the game.

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