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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Oct. 11


I apologize for being late. I'll start with the medical report. Nick Barnett is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, and after that surgery is completed, we'll have a time frame for Nick. Jermichael Finley, with his knee, he's scheduled for surgery in the morning, and same as Nick's situation, we'll have a time frame after the surgery is completed there. Donald Lee has a chest sprain, so he may be a couple weeks. Derrick Martin has a knee sprain. Mark Tauscher is gathering more information on his situation, so don't know where he stands yet for this week. Clay Matthews' hamstring strain, it was positive in his meeting with the doctor this morning. It was not as severe as the first time is the information I was given. Ryan Pickett has an ankle sprain. I don't really have a time frame yet on Ryan. Aaron Rodgers has a concussion and he at a minimum will miss some time this week. Brandon Chillar is to start trial practice this week, so that's some positive news. With that I'll take your questions.

(Jermichael had said he thought it was a hamstring tendon after the game. It's more of a knee?)
It's a knee. He's going to have knee surgery in the morning, yes.

(It's not his ACL though?)
I'll have all that information in the morning.

(Will Finley's surgery be season-ending?)
I would be surprised if it's season-ending, but anytime you go in for surgery, obviously it's something you have to take the time to evaluate and once Dr. McKenzie does the surgery, we'll have more information on the time frame.

(Are you optimistic Barnett will be able to come back?)
Nick's operation is really about exactly, … when you're dealing with his particular injury, they really won't know until they get in there. That's really the fact of the matter. So we're holding out hope.

(Will you be able to hold spots on the roster for those guys?)
Anytime you deal with injuries, particularly this time of year, when you get up into the 6 to 8-week mark, those are tough decisions to make. But every injury is different. The fact that individuals are having surgery, we should have a pretty clear-cut view of exactly, based on the individual, the history of the individual, how the medical staff feels and so forth. I really can't speculate if we're going to hold onto one player as opposed to another.

(Do you think Rodgers' concussion might have been sustained earlier?)
The concussion did occur on the last play. That thing was fairly evident, just based on the communication. There was no evidence or even talk of Aaron during the course of the fourth quarter. But he took a helmet-to-helmet blow there on the last play, and if you watch the tape, just the way he reacted and so forth, that's when it did occur.

(What happened that let you know that he had one? Did he say something to Tom Clements?)
When he came off to the sideline, however the mechanics of the medical staff, after that series, when our defense went out on the field, I was told Aaron Rodgers just suffered a concussion and was prepared for going with Matt Flynn on the next series.

(He has to see an independent doctor then?)
There's a protocol, and he'll go through it just like we've always done, and we'll definitely take the proper time and make sure he's fully recovered.

(Is there a guy in town he can see for that or does he have to travel?)
There's a protocol that our medical staff goes through, and yes, there's a doctor that we use.

(Is it possible he could miss the game this week?)
Definitely. It's definitely possible. I know at a minimum he'll miss some practice time.

(Will Derrick Martin's be a couple-week thing?)
Well, I think it probably will be more than a couple week with Derrick. If you watch it on film, you can see it was a pretty significant knee sprain.

*(That was on that punt?) *Correct.

(Should a penalty have been called on the Rodgers play if it was helmet-to-helmet?)
I'm not going to answer those questions. I don't comment on officiating. He suffered a concussion on the last play.**

(Will you send a tape to the league?)
We send a tape in every week to the league, and it will have our comments, and they'll send it back to us with their comments. Normal protocol in our business.

(This seems like an extraordinary number of injuries. Do you have to bring it up with the team?)
Bring up the injuries? I don't think I need to bring it up. I think the most important thing we need to do is be on top of projection with the medical staff, and frankly that is why we started this press conference so late. The medical meeting was a lot longer today than normal. You really don't have a handle on it until probably mid-Tuesday. Once we get all of the information in today, we'll make some projections because it is important you play particularly your younger players. You want to give them the best opportunity to prepare to play the game, and that's what everybody goes through that goes through injuries. Just looking at yesterday's game, because it changes. It changes the way you call the offense, it really affects the special teams. So we'll just gather as much information and we'll look at our projected inactive list like we do every week and we'll just train the different combinations of the players that are healthy and make sure we have a good plan for Miami.

(Do you think Matthews and Pickett will be able to play this week?)
I can't really tell you. I can't really tell you right now.

(Would you have to move Harrell up from the practice squad?)
I don't feel that way today, but that is definitely an option.

(Who would be your emergency quarterback?)
I really wouldn't want to get into our third quarterback because I think it would be pretty clear probably on how we would go about that situation, but we do have a third-quarterback plan that we have been operating with for the last two years.

(Last year when there was a problem with drops, you were able to correct it. What did you do?)
We just need to catch the ball. We practice on catching the ball every single day. I know our perimeter group takes a lot of pride in their ability to catch the football and perform with yards after the catch, and we definitely did not do that to our standard yesterday. They do the ball drills every single day. Pretty much every position group has post-practice drills, and I'm sure they will emphasize it more this week and we'll spend a little more time on the things we need to correct. That is what coaching is all about; it's about fundamentals, trying to maintain the fundamentals that you feel you are on top of, and trying to improve in the areas you feel like you need to improve on. We need to catch the football better after yesterday's performance.

(You lost the turnover battle again yesterday. What can you do to turn that around?)
It's a fundamental, in our view. Fundamentals are blocking, tackling and the football, whether you are trying to take it away or protecting it, and we're not doing that to the standard that we have done it in the past. We'll continue to work on it. We have an emphasis period, it's part of our practice structure and I'm confident that we'll turn that around. But that was two turnovers in the game, the first play and the last play that definitely factored in the outcome of that game.

(Are you concerned that Jennings isn't getting the ball more?)
I don't look at it that way. It's one performance yesterday, I'm concerned that we weren't as efficient in the passing game in the opportunities that were made available to us. That's what we'll do today with the players. We'll correct it. We have moved Greg around; he is playing inside and outside and we'll continue to do so. These are actually good issues to have on your football team when you have a number of players that can be productive with the football. It's really the responsibility of the quarterback just to run the offense and throw it to the open guy. We'll continue to make sure that schematically we are creating enough opportunities for Greg and Donald and the rest of the perimeter.

(When you watched the film, did you think you missed a chance to do more on the ground?)
I think that is convenient. My responsibility is to create opportunities. They played a lot of coverage in the game. I felt we still had good matchups. We did, like we always do, a number of run-pass options at the line of scrimmage that we probably could have taken advantage of a little more. We were very productive on offense as far as moving the ball down the field. Our biggest issues were third down and dropping the football. I think that definitely would have changed our point total if we had been more productive in those two areas.

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