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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 20

(How did Kabeer look?)

I didn't watch him, but it was good to have him out there. So we'll evaluate the tape and see how he feels tomorrow. It was good to have him out there today.

(How important is this game to sorting out the offensive line?)

It's important for every position. Offensive line is obviously one of them. You'd like to get set, but we have some injuries there, we have some rotations we're looking at. But I'm hopeful we'll have a decision after this game.

(The guys who didn't practice today, are you ruling them out for the game?)

Yeah, right now they're six guys I would rule out. The five who didn't practice today, and ... actually Daniel Muir did not practice today, but I anticipate him going.

(What's Muir's injury?)


(How long do you expect the starters to go?)

We'll go through the first half, probably start the third quarter. Some guys won't come out at halftime. A couple of guys with the injury situations are coming back for the first time, I'll evaluate them at halftime. So there will be a couple different things going on.

(For the final game, will you do it the same as last year, playing the starters only a short time?)

Next week? Yeah, we'll see how the game goes. Every situation is a little different, the health of our football team, how we come out, because coming off of this game against Denver, we go back into another short week. For example, if Kabeer doesn't play against Denver, he'll play probably a little more against the Titans. So the format will be the same, but I'm sure there will be some anomalies just based on our medical situation.

(Some philosophies, like Jeff Fisher's with Tennessee, is to use that last game like the third game, to build momentum. Have you thought about that?)

I've thought about all those things. I'm very comfortable with our format. Actually working against Jeff and the Titans doesn't really match up very well for us, with his emphasis being in the fourth game. Maybe that's something we'll visit in the future. Once again, I've done it this way a long time. I want to say almost every staff that I've been on has done it this way, and I do think it's the best way, and that's why we do do it.

(Where is Rouse in the battle to push for a starting job?)

Aaron, his consistency level early in camp wasn't where it needed to be. I think he's definitely picked it up here probably the last week to 10 days. Hopefully get him some action against Denver in the first half with the first group. I say it all the time, we don't just have 11 starters, we have excellent competition throughout our team. Defensively, we've added personnel groups to try to take advantage of them. But in Aaron's case, I'd like to get him some work in the first half.

(Can you talk about how the backup running backs have seized their opportunities these first couple of games?)

Absolutely. It's all about getting reps, it's all about getting live reps in the game, and Brandon Jackson continues to take full advantage of that. Vernand Morency is healthy. Frankly, I think this is the best he's looked since he's been here. Noah Herron is back from last year, being on IR, he's done a great job, and Lumpkin just keeps improving every opportunity he gets. That's all you can ask for, especially for young players in training camp. We've been unique because we've played young players, and they've improved. But our running back group is a really good example of that.

(Is Wynn facing an uphill battle considering the availability issue?)

DeShawn Wynn and a number of guys that are on an injury list that is short-term is definitely an uphill battle because the cuts are coming up after Denver and then again obviously next week after Tennessee.

(How does having Greg Jennings back make for a more dynamic offense?)

Greg's productivity last year speaks for itself. He is what that whole group needs to look like. That starts with Donald, Greg, and I think Ruvell has done a great job adding to that. James Jones is a year better and I think Jordy is falling in line. Not only are they good players, smart players, but they play every position. They give you the ability to match up and create mismatches across the board when you get into multi-receiver sets. Greg is someone we'll try to utilize even more this year.

(How much does he go Friday? Is he eased back in?)

He'll be one of the guys that I'll evaluate as the game goes on.

(How do you get Matt and Brian enough snaps these last two games and still make sure Aaron gets the work he needs?)

Aaron is the priority and the first-team offense is the priority, so really after that then the quarterback position, just like the other positions, we'll address. I don't know how else to get to it. You have to take care of the first group, make sure you get what you want out of that as far as the information on film to teach off of and make sure we feel good about where they are. Then with Brian and Matt, I've said all along, it's going to be a challenge. To have two rookie quarterbacks, I've never been through it. You just need as many reps as possible and we'll maximize that the best we can.

{sportsad300}(Even if Grant is out, will you get a better feel for where your offense is with Greg and Ruvell back?)

It's still a group thing. No disrespect to Greg or Ruvell or even Ryan Grant, who has not been there, that's why you teach the system of football. We're really not to that part of it yet as far as taking advantage of who is up and who is down. We're not putting the game plan together right now because of our medical report. That is the direction you do go when the season starts if you have players like that that are out. It's really about operating your offense, keeping us in favorable plays, gaining a rhythm, confidence as you move forward. I'm not really concerned about that part of it, that they're not there or that we're missing this and that. That's why we have nine installations. If that was the case, then we would have three installations and tailor everything to just your top players. I don't think you can do that.

(Does the same thing hold true with the defense, particularly at linebacker?)

Yeah, I think it holds true with your whole football team. That's why you teach systems. That's why you have as many personnel groups as possible. A, to take advantage of matchups, and B, you're going to have injuries through the course of the year, so everybody has to be trained accordingly.

(You said you might play KGB more against Tennessee, does the same premise apply to Grant?)

Once again, we can talk about that next week. I've got to evaluate the Denver game. I've got to see where we are from a health standpoint. Am I satisfied with what we have on film? Certain packages, do we feel like we have repped them enough? Kabeer hasn't played one snap in the preseason, so hasn't Ryan. It's important for them to play in a live game before we get into the Minnesota week, because with that I don't how many days it's going to be, 10 days from Tennessee to the Minnesota Viking game.

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