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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Nov. 25


(Did Pickett have a setback?)
Ryan just got jammed up in a pile-up yesterday. I think he'll be fine. It's not a setback.

(Do you feel the team has good focus even through the holiday and everything?)
I felt the focus was good today. We moved everything up. We cut about 20 minutes out of practice, cut a little meeting time. We'll add the meeting time back to Friday's schedule, so really more opportunity to do a little extra film review. This is a schedule I've used here in the past, it's a schedule I've been part of in the past, and I think it works very good, because everybody is excited. It is a holiday. The work has typically been very good, and I felt good walking off the field today.

(Do you have to do a little extra on Wednesday and Friday to make up for the short day?)
Well, it's really not that short. We have a full game plan that's been installed, so it's not like playing the Thanksgiving Day game where you don't take as much into the game. We actually as a staff spent some time last week preparing for Atlanta, Friday and Saturday, just to make sure that Monday and Tuesday wasn't such a stretch, because obviously Wednesday night was a very hard night for the staff because they had to do the preparation for today and tomorrow, because I want the staff out of here today by 1:30. We've been very organized. There's some reps that we probably cut out in jog-through that we won't be able to make up in our Friday practice. It was padded work today. It was excellent. Had a lot of crowd noise. We had three periods of crowd noise, so I feel very good about the work.

(You've always talked about the importance of family, and that everyone is getting out of here by 1:30 today. Is that a common thing, through your time as an assistant coach?)
Everybody made adjustments, but I've also, … I know how it feels to be the young coach, or the quality control coach that has to do more than the other guys, and if you would take that opportunity to go and have a real Thanksgiving like maybe some of the other people on that staff did, you would get further behind, so you'd be the one in your office. That's something I'm very cognizant of. I've done all those jobs. I know what it's like to come up the ladder the right way. That's why we addressed it as a staff last week, and even with the trainers. I know certain players need more treatment than others, but it's not fair for our trainers to be here too. Everybody in football operations will be out of the building by 1:30.

(I know a lot of the coaches are married, but what do you encourage guys to do so they're not by themselves?)
I think it says a lot about our football team. It's a conversation I've had with Matt Klein and Rob Davis and a couple others. Everybody has somewhere to go. Some players are going to a couple different places. Everybody's opened up their door. You can't just be a family at work. It is Thanksgiving. We all are very blessed. We've acknowledged that, and we make sure everybody has a place to go today.

(If you have to work on Thanksgiving, do you prefer a regular week and practice on Thursday, or is it nice to play on Thanksgiving and then get like a second bye?)
I would say a normal week. I think anytime your football team stays in a seven-day schedule, it's a benefit. I'm a huge believer in regularity. I think it helps you develop consistency and the continuity that you're always striving for as a football team. The Thanksgiving game, it's a tough game to play in because you're always on the road. You're always the opponent. I think it's a big advantage to the home team. But with that, if you're fortunate to win the game, and then it's over you're happy because it's kind of like a mini bye week too. There's definitely benefits from it. And it does happen late enough in the year where you are established as a team and the adjustment is really not as hard as I think some people would think it is.

(Have you talked at all about trying to get that evening Thanksgiving game that's on NFL Network?)
Have not been part of any conversation with that. But heck, I think it would be great to have a Thanksgiving game here at Lambeau, especially at night.

(Do you give Anthony Smith a shot to practice tomorrow?)
Friday is a big day for the injured players. Dr. McKenzie, he looks at the players extensively on Wednesdays and Fridays, so that's probably a better question for tomorrow.

Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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