Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 18

(Is Matthews' hamstring injury more serious than initially thought?)

Clay Matthews' hamstring injury, it's a re-occurring injury. That's part of the plan, to give him more time than he probably initially thought that he needed. I think if you talked to Clay, he would prefer to be practicing, but Dr. McKenzie feels this is the third time this specific injury has shown up, so they want to give him extra time to make sure it's healed.

(With the time he missed in OTAs too, is he significantly behind at this point?)

He's not ahead. He's missed a lot of practice. Obviously when he was practicing, at one point he was a starter. So he's done a lot of positive things. We'll see how he comes back when he comes back from this injury.

(Is depth there a concern because of the injuries?)

We want all of our players back, especially the way we're structured on defense. I think Dom has done an excellent job utilizing our players with all the different defensive personnel groups. Especially with the production from the linebacker group, both inside and outside, the ability to be pressure players that they've shown so far, you definitely want to have all of them.

(Is Pat Lee still having back spasms or is it something else?)

Pat Lee is still out because of his back, yes.

(Do you have a timetable on him?)

I do not. I think he's going to be hard-pressed to go this week.

(How about Jolly?)

His ankle. He had some re-occurring swelling in the same ankle. I'm hopeful he'll be able to go either today or Thursday.

(How has Raji looked so far?)

I thought B.J. had a solid day. He looked like a player that was in the first day in pads. We were very limited with his reps yesterday, and he's on a one-a-day schedule. It's just a medical viewpoint of being cautious, just kind of building him up throughout the week and hopefully getting him ready for Buffalo.

(There are reports that Brett Favre will become a Viking. Are you surprised at all?)

I'm not surprised by it. I don't think anybody should be surprised by it.

(Do you look forward to that challenge?)

We always look forward to playing the Vikings. I don't think that will ever change here in Green Bay.

(Does he add any extra juice to it?)

I have no comment about it. We're a football team that's looking to improve. If he's going to play, that's obviously his choice.

(Does he bring an extra challenge for your defense?)

I'm sure we can answer the Viking questions the week of the game. We're preparing for Buffalo right now.

(Getting ready for Buffalo, what do you want to see moving forward?)

I think this will be an excellent challenge for us. Buffalo is playing their third preseason game, so they're a little further ahead in the preseason process than we are. We just want to stack on the successes that we were able to achieve in the Cleveland game, but also we need to correct the things that we need to improve on. You can start with the pre-snap penalties. That's something that we need to do a much better job on. We want to be more mentally sound as far as our mental errors. We want to keep the tempo and an ability to play at a high level, some of the positive things we did. But we need to improve as a football team.

(Do you anticipate Rodgers playing the same amount of snaps as the last game?)

The format that I have followed in the past will be the starting point of our discussion on Friday. We have always played 10-12 plays the first game and you're looking closer 20-25 in the second game, so that's something that we'll look at. The way we practice this week and the health of our football team, all of those factors. It's not really how we play one player in Aaron Rodgers; it's how we combine the groups of the players.

(As a coach who believes in offseason work, would you ever see yourself bringing in a quarterback cold after training camp is almost over?)

I don't think you ever close the door on potential-player acquisition. To me it doesn't matter what time of the year you bring them in. The quarterback position in my view is the most challenging when you bring a player in late because of his responsibility mentally and learning the new language and obviously being the main communicator of that new language. But to me player acquisition is 12 months out of the year.

{sportsad300}(What kind of camp has Brett Swain had so far?)

Brett is doing a really nice job. If you look at him this year compared to last year he has done a great job with the muscle mass that he has added, and it's definitely shown up in his play. It was something last year that he struggled with, particularly with all of the bump-and-run that he was seeing last year. I think he is playing with a lot more confidence. He did a real nice job on special teams in the game against Cleveland. I thought he did an excellent job particularly in the return game coming up on that one punt in all of the traffic. But he is a much improved player. He's had some tough opportunities and we just want to see if he can take that next step.

(With Breno and Barbre splitting reps, what are you looking for there?)

I'm looking for one of those two to jump up and take the job. That's what we are looking for in all of our competitions. Coaches want to plan. They want to prepare. They want to get things in line as you move forward. It's a challenge for everybody involved, the guy that plays next to him. You want Breno or Allen to jump up and take the job and claim the starting position. That's what I am looking for.

(You've talked about the advantages of playing against the 3-4 in practice, but a bunch of your early games are against the 4-3. How do you stay sharp against that?)

We actually worked on some 4-3 today. We'll work the 4-3 again tonight. We'll play the 4-3 this week against Buffalo, so we have a lot of reps in our jog-through and our teaching periods up in the gymnasium throughout the offseason. I feel very confident. Actually I think practicing against the 3-4 really helps us because we play a lot more 3-4 teams this year than we have in the past.

(With this latest setback, are you worried Harrell's career might be on the line?)

Justin is definitely going through a tough spot right now. I think it's really too early to make that claim. I know it's very frustrating, especially low-back injuries to come from. We're just gathering all of the information and trying to get him the best treatment possible and trying to get him healthy. But he's definitely going through a tough stretch here.

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