Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 26

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Sunday press conference. Coach McCarthy addressed the media on Hinkle Field following practice. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ www.PackersTrainingCamp.com

(Have you decided how much Brett will play on Thursday?)

We're talking about possibly playing him a couple series. We talked a little bit about it this morning. I'm going to let the week's work kind of dictate how much I play the offense. As far as play time as a whole, the offense will probably play a little more than the defense. You could see the way we practiced today, we have a ton of different combinations. We had a lot of guys working the opponent compared to more guys working the game-plan stuff, and what we're trying to do is make sure everybody gets equal quality of the work just to keep our conditioning up throughout the week. That's why you saw the different combinations of people out there today.

(What did you think of DeShawn Wynn?)

In practice today? It's good to see him back. He's a talented young man. He has very quick feet. He had a full load, so I'm really curious to watch the film. It was good to see him back out there.

(Was it past time for him to get out here?)

Past time? He's been an injured player, so he's healthy now. The timing of it is important because we have one more preseason game left. This is a big week for him.

(Do you have an update on Driver?)

Donald, he's improving. It's a foot sprain, is the classification of the injury. I'm very hopeful that he'll play against Philadelphia. I will not play him this week against Tennessee.

(What's impressed you about Corey White?)

Well, Corey was the young man we wanted to play at both positions and train him there. We actually played him some fullback today, but he's what we refer to as a tweener, and that's important in this offense because a lot of the responsibility as far as what you're reading from the halfback and fullback position are very similar. So you're always looking for a guy who has the durability and ability to play both positions. He's a young man that's done a very nice job. He's had a lot more opportunities at the halfback position than I'm sure he was prepared for, so he's done a good job of that, and now we're going to take a look at him a little bit as a fullback this week.

(How far away is Morency?)

Morency, he's improving. I talked to him today, he felt better today than he did last week. I'm hopeful once again for Philadelphia. He will not play this week.

(Will you hold Spitz out this week?)

I will hold Spitz this week because of his calf, yes.

(Just a strain?)

It's the same injury he had in the spring, a calf strain.

(He looks good for Philadelphia at this point?)

I would hope so, yeah. There's nothing to tell me he wouldn't be there.

(Will Thursday's game decide the safety spot?)

This Thursday's game is very important for that whole defensive backfield. Special teams will factor into a lot of that, but those decisions won't be made until Friday.

(What did you see on film from the running game that wasn't going right?)

They moved around on us a little bit, that we didn't do a very good job adjusting to. Once again, hey, the most important part of running the ball is committing to it for four quarters. There were some things clearly we felt we could do in the passing game, and we executed those. So I'm not as caught up into how much you're running with this group or that group because it's a four-quarter game. Yes, I would have liked to run it better, as far as the execution of it. But we'll continue to commit to it, because it's no different, and I've said this before, is you lose half your passing game when you don't run the football. We'll continue to work at it and we'll continue to make a commitment to running the ball.

(Do you have a run-pass ratio in mind?)

I hope it's 50-50, it'd be great. But it's not going to be. Probably more like 45-55, 56-44, somewhere in there.

(Have you talked with Ted about keeping two kickers?)

Yeah, we continue to talk about keeping the best 53, and the way those two guys are kicking the football, you could make an argument for that. We'll see what happens. There's another job that's not going to be solved until the week concludes on Friday. It's a big week for a lot of people, I'll just say that. Friday morning's conversation will be longer than probably some of the ones I've been part of in the past.

(Are you opposed to keeping one guy as a kickoff specialist?)

I'm not even ready to discuss the mechanics of it. I think you just clearly have to say these two kickers definitely deserve to be on your football team. I don't know how you can argue that. When you lay out a plan for someone, as far as their responsibility by position, I think both of those guys have definitely upheld what you've asked them to do. And that's the way I look at it, and from that we're going to have to make a decision.

(Is Bigby one of the biggest surprises in camp so far?)

Biggest surprise? Athletically, he was a young man that when he broke his hand last year, a lot of people were disappointed because we felt he was making a move in training camp last year, and it was part of the reason we tried to get him up on special teams at the end of the year and then he pulled the hamstring out there in San Francisco. To say he has surprised, I'm never surprised by his ability, it's really the comfort and the continuity you're seeing him playing in that defense. I think his communication has gotten a lot better. That's an important part about that position. But he's definitely always shown the ability. You could see the ability was there, and his big-play ability is something he's done a very good job of. I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I'm very encouraged because he's another direct product of the way we operate here as far as the offseason program and he's a young guy that was here for every offseason session, every workout, and took full advantage of it, and I think he's definitely seeing the rewards of that now.

(When you struggle in the running game like you did, do you get a true evaluation of Brandon Jackson?)

Yeah, because that's not all we're asking him to do. Actually, I thought his decision-making for the most part was good. I think Brandon has improved every week. As far as the run-blocking, it wasn't as good as it needed to be, if I was going to be critical. I'm very comfortable with Brandon Jackson as far as his attempts and the way he's shown progress week in and week out.

(Did he give you a scare there during the 2-minute when he had to come out?)

Yeah, I don't know the extent of it. But anytime a guy lays down like that, that's not a positive sign. Hopefully he'll be OK.

{sportsad300}(The different groupings today, is that a signal of the competition between the 2's and 3's as you go into this final week?)

It's a very strong signal. We're trying to give every player the opportunity to win a spot on this football team, because there's a lot of players that have done everything you've asked, that have performed, and are showing improvement. I think it's aprt of being so young as a football team. You're trying to chase that experience ratio to where they are in their development. That's just where we are. We're just trying to create as many opportunities as possible. I also can't be naïve to the fact that if you do have a starter that's not going to play a lot in this game, it's going to be 17 days before he plays in a football game. So we're making sure they get plenty of work too.

(What are the injuries with Hodge, Havner and Rouse?)

Hodge is the tendonitis in his knee, it flared back up. Havner has a strain in his back. Rouse has a tight hamstring.

(How much will Paul Thompson play?)

Paul will play ... it's how far I take Aaron. Anywhere in the third quarter through the fourth quarter.

(How's he doing in camp so far?)

Up and down. It's important at that position to take full advantage of your reps. He has been up and down a little bit, and that's part of playing with different guys all the time. This is a big week for Paul.

(Is it possible you'd bring Ingle Martin back depending on Thompson's performance?)

It is possible. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ingle come back. We feel that we have a pretty good grasp on where Ingle is in his development. I do not have those answers for Paul Thompson's. That's why, in my view, why we're giving Paul this opportunity because I'm not real sure where Paul is in his development.

(Do you feel comfortable going with just two quarterbacks?)

It's a possibility. I've never done it. With the way our team is structured, particularly on the defensive side where there is some heavy competition, so only two quarterbacks is a definite possibility.

(If you did that and Favre and Rodgers both got hurt, would you be able to throw Holiday out there at quarterback?)

That's something you have to prepare for. That's something that we have discussed. There is a plan for that. We're going to play the percentages. The odds are in our favor.

(Did Blackmon sprain his thumb?)

He has a sprained thumb. He didn't even realize he did it. We found out the next morning. It's a thumb sprain is what I've been told. Guys that are out are the ones that I need to be concerned about. The guys that I'm "aware" of are okay.

(When will you make the final cuts?)

We'll talk Friday morning and go through it throughout the weekend.

(So you have to make one more cut by Tuesday?)

Yes.

(Earlier you were leaning toward not playing Favre on Thursday. Why the shift in thought?)

I didn't realize I was committed to not playing him. My thoughts with the fourth game, and I agree with the philosophy, is to get your ones out of the game and let the guys that are battling for positions battle away and give your younger players experience. We're in a different situation right now. We have a lot of jobs up in the air. Our quarterback has new players that he doesn't have a lot of reps with. Those are all factored in. You still want to be smart and cautious. At the end of the day we're going to do what we think is the best thing for the offense, defense and special teams. That's why I'm at where I'm at.

(With this week's schedule, is this a test for when you play back-to-back Thursdays in the regular season?)

We are on an in-season Wednesday. They acted like it is Sunday but it's an in-season Wednesday today.

(Are you working on the Eagles yet?)

As far as our football team, the players, we're not prepping them. We're giving these guys a chance to get ready for Tennessee. Some of our veteran, older players have moved on to Philadelphia on their own and with their position coaches. I spent yesterday, exclusively in the morning, on Philadelphia. As a team, our structure is going through a game week to get our time clock back on an in-season schedule and we're working on Tennessee.

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