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Mike McCarthy Press Conf. Transcript - Sept. 13


(How's Justin Harrell?)
I'll start off with the two significant injuries that occurred in yesterday's football game. Justin Harrell suffered an ACL injury. He will be placed on IR. Justin will be lost for the season. And Ryan Grant also had a significant ankle injury. We're still in the process of gathering all of the information. I know Ryan will not be available this week against Buffalo. I really do not have a timetable because we're still doing more testing.

(Is this something that might be surgical?)
Don't have all the information. I had a 5-minute conversation with our trainer Pepper Burruss and Dr. McKenzie.

(Yesterday it was called a sprain. When you say significant is it more than an ankle sprain?)
Well, it's a significant injury to the ankle and the ligament involved in the ankle, which has now required more testing, and we'll continue to process all the information throughout the day.

(Have you ever come across a guy more cursed than Justin?)
Justin's had a tough go from a medical standpoint. I've seen players in this league sometimes have injuries in bunches and then they're able to overcome them and go on to have a good career, and I was hoping Justin would fall into that category, and now he has another hurdle that he has to get over.

(Given the situation at halfback, will you bring up a guy from the practice squad or explore other possibilities?)
Really, until we get all the information on Ryan Grant, as far as any roster moves, this is really preliminary. That's an ongoing conversation. Our personnel department, they're always grading tape and making lists and looking at different options.

(How did Brandon Jackson grade out?)
Brandon played well. Brandon Jackson played extremely well in both the run and the protection, and had the two catches. I thought it was a good solid performance for Brandon. Broke a lot of tackles. We had four explosive runs, which is outstanding and that's a big credit to Brandon.

(As much as you count on him as a blitz pickup guy, can he carry the whole load if need be?)
I feel Brandon Jackson carried the load yesterday. I think there's a lot of evidence right there, recent evidence that he's able to play all three downs, and he will have that opportunity this week vs. Buffalo.

(What's your confidence level in John Kuhn? Could you ask more of him as well?)
Absolutely. John's done a very good job with his limited opportunities. Every time you put the ball in John's hand he's been productive, and we feel very good about him. He's our third halfback and now will be our second halfback going into Buffalo. I think that's the obvious, without giving away our whole game plan, but I think that's the way we'll definitely go.

(It's one game, but how refreshing is it to be looking at your special teams performance yesterday as a positive throughout?)
I agree with the first part of your question. It's one game. Very pleased with their performance yesterday. I felt that was a win, when you break down the offense, defense and special teams. It's a lot of time, effort, and I thought the players really stepped up and did the things the way we asked. The first game is tough because there's some unscouted looks and things that on their particular kickoff coverage, they  hit us with something different and I thought we responded and handled it very well the second time. Our kickoff return was extremely productive. Gave the offense excellent field position in the second half there. The punt was very good. I thought Tim had a good day, up until his last punt, and then we went down and covered it very well. Mason with the big field goal. I thought he had a very good day except for the one kick that went out of bounds. So I was very pleased with the overall special teams performance.

(What are the prospects for Mike Neal? Will he be ready this week?)
I hope so. We'll find out really Wednesday to see where he is. With his injury, the type of injury, the ability to torque another player is a little bit of the last hurdle that he has to get over, and he's not quite there yet.

(Is C.J. Wilson ready to help you?)
Absolutely. C.J. will probably have an opportunity this week.

(Will Jenkins continue to play with that cast and do you know how long that will be?)
Yes, Cullen will continue to play with the cast, and if it follows the same protocol that has been used here in the past, I am sure the cast will get smaller by the weeks. But he'll continue to play with the cast.

(Is it similar to guys in the past?)
We have had a couple of them. Brandon Chillar, Nick Barnett had one, yes.

(How tough is it scheme-wise when you only have three linemen like that and will you keep going with just four active linemen?)
It really depends on who we are playing. That was our decision going into the Philadelphia game. We went in with the mindset of being exclusively a sub defense, so we wanted to make sure we carried an extra linebacker, an extra safety defender, whichever way you want to look at it. That will really go week-to-week. That was a game plan decision.

(Any other injuries pop up?)
Desmond Bishop had the hamstring going in. He came out OK. Chad Clifton had some knee swelling, but I think that is more just where Chad is at. Then Cullen Jenkins, that's it.

(How did you think Raji played with the heavy snap count?)
I thought B.J. played very well, especially in the first half. I can't recall, he may have been up 60 or 63 snaps, definitely in the 50s. I think the most he has ever played in a game here was 33, 34 plays, and I thought his production was very good. He got wore down a little bit at the end, which I think is understandable, especially because of our numbers on the defensive line, playing against probably the most mobile quarterback that I have seen in my time in the NFL. So it was a real challenge, but very pleased with B.J.'s performance yesterday.

(Aaron Rodgers said he played terribly yesterday. What was your assessment?)
Aaron is always going to be hard on himself. He has a standard that he has established here and he did not play above that yesterday. It was not his best game here in Green Bay, but he his human. He'll learn from it and we'll definitely play better this coming week at the quarterback position.

(Was it his decision-making that was the problem?)
Really when it comes down to quarterback performance, usually when they don't feel good about it, they missed a couple of throws that they wish they had back. I thought he played a little too fast at the beginning of the game and he missed some throws that he always makes. There were some decisions once he sees the tape and we have a chance to talk about it, I'm sure he'll feel the same in the decision category.

(How did Sam Shields hold up?)
Solid. I thought both of the rookie defensive backs were solid. A little tentative, they felt their way around. I thought it was a good experience. I think it is definitely one that they can build off of. There were some things that happened in the game that really happened exactly the same way in practice. I think anytime you have a chance to build on that, whether you did it right in the game or you didn't, it is a good experience for those guys to go through. I thought they both were solid yesterday.

(Do you remember a game with so many injuries on both sides?)
Right now I do not. I thought it was really one of those games where there was a lot of change in action, a lot going on on the sidelines, a lot of adjustments, some hard injuries too. You could just tell the way the players went down that they were potentially significant injuries, and backup players had to come in and step up. The quarterback change on their side drastically changed the way we were playing. Cullen gets hurt on the second play of the game and then we lose Justin Harrell as early as we did too. I thought it was a gutty performance, like I said yesterday, on both sides, a very physical football game.

(Did you think there was an issue with the field?)
No, I thought the field was in great shape. I don't think so. I think some players just got caught in some bad positions. Just like Justin's injury, the rush came from the other side of him and he got his leg stuck in there and the pile fell on him. Some unfortunate situations.

(On Jackson's 18-yard draw play after Jordy's long return, was that supposed to be a pass play?)
That particular play was a two-way call, run or pass.

(Obviously he made the right decision?)
He made the right decision.

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