Skip to main content

Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 14

(Were you happy with the substitution work at the end of practice? Did it end the way you wanted it to?)

No, it didn't. We had a couple of miscues there. We'll get that cleaned up tomorrow. I appreciate you noticing that though.

(Are you kind of in regular-season mode as far as the competitive portions?)

Yeah, this would classify as a regular season Friday schedule. We are into that mode a week earlier than we have been in the past. We have always gone into the in-season schedule the week of the third preseason game. Once again, playing on Monday night and have to turn around and play on Saturday night has put us in this mode.

(So you don't have any more competitive practices left?)

There will be competitive periods. Like last night we did a two-minute drill competitive, so we'll have competitive periods, but no, we're in the game plan practice structure now.

(What is the reason behind the reasonably extensive amount of game planning for a preseason game?)

Extensive? I don't really think it is extensive. I haven't really shared thoughts with other teams on what they are doing. I've been involved with teams that have done more and I've been involved with teams that have done less. I know early in my career we never game planned the preseason games, not until the third game. The third game was the only time we got into a game plan. I know from my experience here we got into game planning earlier because of the youth of our football team. I thought there was a point in training camp where you have to transfer from an installation phase into a game plan phase because there is structure of things that are involved. You have to run cards. You still want the flow of practice, you still want the tempo of practice, so those are all reasons we go to the in-season mode quicker than we have in the past.

(Are the guys that are out today with injuries likely out for Saturday?)

Most likely, yeah. Most likely.

(Will anyone be held out?)

No. The only people that would be out would be for medical reasons only.

(How is Ruvell Martin?)

He practiced today. He'll be a medical decision, whether he goes on Saturday night. He practiced today. He feels good.

(Can you talk about his performance in camp?)

I think Ruvell Martin is an individual that has improved every year since he has been here. I think he is using his size and strength a lot more, particularly in the red zone. I think he is having an excellent camp.

(Is Josh Sitton still improving?)

He's got a lot of football in front of him. He needs to play. He needs to see all of the stunts and games and three-man games and the tendencies. The game planning schedule will help him because you'll be able to concentrate more on things he is going to see in the games in three days as opposed to competing against the defense and then seeing a whole different defense once he competes. He just needs as many reps as he can get.

(Are you impressed with his mental approach to the game?)

Oh, absolutely. Josh is very bright. He has picked up our system very quickly, which has enabled him to start this past week and we'll give him another opportunity this week.

(What kind of camp is Mark Tauscher having?)

Solid, steady. Best shape he has been in in the three years that I have been here. He is off to an excellent camp. He is healthy and feels good. Mark is just your everyday pro. If there is a guy you want to point to in your program about being the same guy every day, preparing the same way every day, Mark has done a great job of that, as he has always been since I've been here.

(The color cards that you use in practice, is that a quick way to identify the defensive groupings they are in?)

I'd have to kill you if I told you that. Yeah, I think that is your buddy (James) Campen's idea. It's another lineman thing.

(How has James Jones looked?)

I talked about him the other day. I think James has made a big jump from year one to year two. He is a lot more comfortable. Last year he was kind of like Jordy (Nelson) is this year. He is kind of finding his way, but James is out there playing now. He is working on his technique, working on his fundamentals. He has been productive. I think he is using his strength a lot more than he has in the past. He is a very physical receiver. We're seeing more productivity, more of him inside, and we're trying to do some more things in certain situations with him inside.

(How do you feel about your options at the second tight end spot?)

I feel good about it. I think Tory Humphrey has done very well. He just needs to stay healthy. That's really the issue with Tory. He is also someone that is a factor on special teams. I would classify him as a core player on special teams. That's where we had him ranked last year prior to his injury, and he'll be right in the middle of it again this year. Jermichael Finley I think has a huge upside in front of him. He's very young, very raw, but he has picked things up. He is probably the most athletic of a very athletic group of tight ends, particularly in the receiving part of it. I like what Joe (Haynos) has done. It's the most athletic group that I have ever had.

(How much playing time will the starters see on Saturday?)

We're going to try to play a little more. I'm looking probably approximately 30, 30-plus plays is the target I am trying to hit.

(With Aaron Rodgers returning home and playing against the 49ers, do you have to talk to him to make sure he stays even keeled?)

I don't think so. Those are good conversations for after the national anthem on the sideline. He'll be fine. He's excited. He's a captain this week, so I think he is really excited about that.

(He had the opening game on Monday Night Football and now a big game for him with his return home. Is it good to have a couple of preseason games that seem a little more important than a normal preseason game?)

Absolutely. I think the importance of the game is something you can really put in your bank account from quarterback experience. When it is all said and done, these games in the preseason will really help us. I think this particular game has the potential to be the most realistic regular season-type atmosphere that we'll play in. I'm sure the 49ers are looking to improve off of their performance last week and they're going to do some more things than they did in Week 1. We're going to try to play our guys a little longer. It's on the road; that is always great experience for your whole team, let alone your quarterback position. Every team attacks the preseason differently than others. It seems there is a lot more game planning going on. You can tell just based on the film of their game against Oakland, the number of things they are doing that early in the season. These preseason games, I think from the traditional games, are a lot more realistic, a lot closer to the regular season-type games because there is a lot more going on schematically.

(Do the 49ers run mostly 3-4?)

They're a 3-4 with the ability to go to four-man line fronts. That's their base.

{sportsad300}(Is Jason Spitz pretty receptive when he is moved around on the line?)

Absolutely. He's an ultimate team player. Jason has done a great job. He just wants to play. He's done a very good job preparing himself. He hasn't had a lot of snaps on the left side. That's part of the factor in getting him over there. He'll be ready to go. Once again, he was the most consistent lineman we had last year, and he's having a good camp.

(How have you tried to balance the reps with Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn?)

We've kept them the same, as far as going through the installation phase. Brian took the reps of the No. 2 and Matt took the reps of the No. 3. Based on the period, 3-2-1 is the ratio, sometimes it was 4-2-1 as far as the starter. Now, once we got into this in-season schedule, they split the opponent reps, and Brian is still getting a little more work than Matt.

(You talked at the shareholders meeting about how things start with the defense. Is that a general philosophy that you have or are you keying in on certain players?)

It's a general philosophy. It's really a philosophy I've had since day one since coming here. Certain parts of your program don't get to the point that you want them to be probably all in year one or year two. I think our defense has definitely improved from year one until now. I think they have that ability to be a top-three defense in the league, and they have a complete understanding. We have more experience on defense than we have on offense, so I really like the makeup of our players as far as their ability that matches the scheme. I'm really excited about our defense.

(Top three as far as?)

Scoring points. Scoring points, that's what it's all about.

(Do you remember your first conversation with Aaron when you got here? Was it serious or were you kind of laughing?)

Shoot, I don't remember any laughing. I remember dollar signs in his eyes when we talked about it. No, I'm just kidding. I just felt it was appropriate for him and I to talk about it. I think it's only natural that it would be on his mind, because the last time I saw him he was sitting in my office going through an interview, the week or so before the draft. And we've talked about it a number of times, two or three times. But like I told him, just the fact that he was part of the conversation for the No. 1 pick in the draft, I think it speaks volumes. Now, why it happened and why the 49ers went in another direction, that's really another story. But he was definitely one of three guys that were going to be chosen for that pick.

(Do you think it is interesting how it all played out?)

Absolutely. I think it's bigger than all of us. I'm a big believer things happen for a reason. He came to Green Bay for a reason. I think his path when it's all said and done will be the best path for him, and I'm glad he's our quarterback.

(Do you watch what Alex Smith is going through at all as an interested observer?)

I don't follow it real closely. I have a lot of respect for Alex. You have to remember, they were both very young. They were both 20-year-old college players that were coming out early. So they were both very young. I still think Alex has a lot of football in front of him. I think his path has been very difficult, changing coordinators, especially the contrast in philosophy from one guy to the next. But I still do have friends in that organization on the coaching staff. I do hope for those guys to have success, because I think they try to do things the right way out there. I think they're well-coached. I have a lot of respect for a number of coaches on their coaching staff, and I do think he's a talented young man.

(What do you see now in Aaron that maybe you didn't see back when you were with San Francisco? Is it his mobility?)

I've said that before. I didn't have his mobility as far as his play out of the pocket as high as I probably should have. Now, is that because the coaching by Tom Clements has developed him to that point, which I think is a big part of it, or I was just a poor grader at San Francisco, I don't think that was definitely the case. That's the one thing, when I look back on him, he's a lot more athletic than I realized coming out. But recalling his workout at Cal-Berkeley, he had as good a workout that I've seen from a college quarterback. He made all the throws that day, particularly ones rolling to his left and throwing across his body. He had a great workout. That day we had lunch and things, it was OK. He came to San Francisco, down to Santa Clara for a meeting, and him and I spent a lot of time together, put him on the board, and he had a complete understanding of Jeff Tedford's system. Like I said, he was one of three guys that was going to be picked with the first pick in the draft. I think that in itself says a lot.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.