Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 3

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Friday press conference. Coach McCarthy addressed the media on Clarke Hinkle Field following Friday afternoon’s practice.

(Do the tight ends get extra hazard pay around here?)

Extra hazard pay? They need to get healthy, yeah. We're short there. That's why practice was kind of adjusted there at the end. We had to do some more special teams work. We wanted to go a little more red zone. Donald Lee is obviously healthy, Joe Werner practiced today. But Clark Harris has an ankle sprain, and Zac Alcorn has blisters and pig toes, his feet are all screwed up. Bubba's eye is still a problem, so those three guys are out. And obviously we put Tory Humphrey on IR today after the surgery on his ankle. So, a little short.

(He had the surgery?)

Had the surgery. Yesterday. Or two days ago. Two days ago actually.

(Happy with Lee's progress so far in camp?)

I think Donald Lee has had an excellent camp. He's playing with a lot of confidence. I think he's a lot more comfortable with what we're asking him to do. We probably moved him around a little too much last year in hindsight. I think Donald is having an excellent camp.

(What do you think of Allen Barbre so far?)

Allen had a setback with the hamstring injury. He broke his finger yesterday, but he's fine there. He's a rookie. He's getting used to the pace of the practice. He understands what he's asked to do, but just the speed of it and getting the calls, you know. When you look at the line calls and get them out of your mouth and things like that, a lot of times they go without being said. That part of it he has to get accustomed to, and that's more of a progress that he'll have to get to based on where he came from. We're glad he's here. He's everything we thought he was physically. Tough kid. He has a lot of work to do.

(Your nickel corner is on the field half the time?)

Exactly, 50 percent.

(Can you talk about that race a little bit?)

It's really important really for the third corner. If we played today, I'd probably go with Charles in there, as far as the actual nickel position. But that's a battle we'll be talking about frankly all through preseason. I think Bush is off to an excellent start. I hate to be redundant. He really had an exceptional offseason program. That whole DB group as a whole was very good. I think you've really seen his play come up a lot since last year. He's a tough kid, I always liked him, and he just continues to get better. I thought he was one of our better special teams players, so he's off to an excellent start. I think Patrick Dendy is stronger this year, playing with more confidence. Obviously Frank Walker is in the hunt there. And Tramon Williams is a young guy that just keeps getting better. So that group is going to be very competitive, and I don't have an answer for you today.

(Will you have just two tight ends tomorrow and will you have to adjust the scrimmage any?)

I hope not. I'm hoping that Zac and Clark both can be back tomorrow, and hopefully Bubba can be too, but the eye injury is not healing probably as quickly as everybody would like. I couldn't tell you. We'll see what happens. We're going to do what we have to do. We need the work. The football team needs the work, so if we go four wideouts all day, we'll go four wideouts all day. We'll get the work in.

(How much live tackling do you plan to do tomorrow night?)

The scrimmage will be live throughout the offense, defense and two-minute periods. The special team work will be thud.

(How much 1's vs. 1's will we see?)

I'll wait and see. (Horn sounds). It's kind of like at the steel mill, you know, when lunch blows, you know it's coming. We're going to have to see. We meet tonight at 10:00 as a staff. I initially had the 1's going versus the 2's and maybe the 1's going versus the 1's in the two-minute, very similar to last year. But I want to look at the medical report before I make a final decision.

(What are your thoughts on the new rules and regulations?)

I'm glad the refs are here to explain it. We've actually taken our team periods throughout training camp, referred to as a game education segment. We've gone through two different situations every day, sometimes twice a day. I think frankly, in my opinion, the rules don't really change a lot in the National Football League. I think they adjust the emphasis, and I think they do a great job of player safety, conduct, with those types of issues at the forefront. I think all those things are good for the game.

(Were the kickers getting nervous? They weren't too successful today.)

I thought the work within the practice was just OK. It wasn't Dave's best day, but I threw them a curveball there and it was really a reaction to the tight ends, kind of being down to one guy there at the end. They had their tennis shoes on. That was poor planning on my part. But just like anything, especially in preseason, you just want to get the change of personnel and all the different situations in and out as much as possible. So just the fact that it is good work, if a guy does go down, those things happen in a game. That's all part of preseason, and it's always tougher in preseason. The special teams coach has the hardest job in preseason because he's dealing with so many guys and there's so many different combinations of things going down. We had a little bit of work at the end there, but I didn't realize they had changed their shoes. I'm not making excuses for them, but that's why it was ugly there the last four kicks.

(What do you think of Rouse's play?)

I think Rouse looks very good. I'm anxious to see him tomorrow night in live action. I think he's a guy who will definitely compete in the safety slots, and he definitely looks to be a personnel mismatch on special teams. So I'm anxious to see him. I think he's off to an excellent start.

(Will there be any tackling?)

Yeah, we'll be live in the offense vs. defense segments, and in the two-minute segments. But we will not be live in the special teams segments.

(Clifton OK? He limped off.)

Yeah. I wasn't told anything coming over here. I think Cliffy is just getting up there.

(Does Malone's injury look serious?)

I don't think so. They say he's day to day. I really haven't been given an update on him. I'm hoping he'll be back very soon. Hopefully he can go tomorrow night.

(Can you handicap the fullback situation?)

I think Brandon Miree is having a very good camp. I'd like to see him do more on special teams. I think Korey Hall has made the adjustment very well. I think Ryan is a guy, he's struggling a little bit with the pace of it. They're all very conscientious guys. I know over at the dorm they're a group that's always studying, always meeting together. That's one position, just a lot like the line and those interior positions, you learn a lot more in live competition. But I think as far as their understanding and the way they're sorting out the linebackers, particularly in the run schemes, and identifying the declarations. We had a chance to go one-on-one in the pass protection against the linebackers today. I just think they're only going to get better. We can't do enough of that stuff. That's part of being young, and for Korey Hall particularly with his inexperience. I would say Brandon would be the starter today, and I think the young guys are doing an excellent job. You've got Corey White that's kind of going back and forth, and he's definitely a man that has a lot of ability.

{sportsad300}(Who's your best at running back as far as pass-blocking? Is there a big drop-off to the second group, and are you concerned about that?)

I'm not concerned, because I think there's other ways around that. I think we proved that last year. You do what you have to do in pass protection, because the bottom line is to take care of the quarterback. But I'd say Brandon Miree to this point is probably your best fullback in pass protection, with the two young guys that have a lot of ability. Korey Hall is going to be (good), because of his quickness and his explosion, and Corey White is going to be a good pass blocker just because of his natural ability. It's more learning the technique of it. At halfback, I think Noah has definitely improved. We haven't seen a lot of P.J. I think a little of that is new. I don't know how much he has done in the past. He needs to work on second reaction. Mo, I know he has not practiced, I thought he really improved throughout the year last year, and Brandon Jackson, you can see it's new to him, but he's got all that explosion and quickness, so it's just a matter of time before he is a good pass protector. He sticks his nose in there. We've got a lot of ability there, we just have to get them trained and get them experienced.

(Nebraska didn't ask him to do that much?)

Once again, he's a junior coming out. Not that I don't think he was asked to do it, there's some carry-over. Everybody assumes when you run the West Coast offense that you run the same thing. The only thing we have similar with the traditional West Coast offense is more our pass concepts. Our run concepts and protection schemes are totally different. The origin of the protection schemes we use here started with my experience in Kansas City (with) Alex Gibbs, Jimmy Raye and that group there. Once again, it's who you are, what you ask your players to do. You just have to give them the training and experience and he'll be fine. He has the ability.

(But Jackson has to get better at that for you to feel comfortable with him on the field?)

You could say that about anybody. Once again, we're asking him to do everything right now. That's why we're in the installation and fundamental phase of training camp, and that will go on through Wednesday. Once you get into the game-planning part of it, I think it all slows down for those guys and they start fine-tuning their skills and techniques. I think what's going on here, particularly for our young guys, is a very natural progression in training camp.

(Have you done a lot of work with Paul Thompson's delivery between OTAs and now?)

Just subtle things. When you get a quarterback at this level, they all have a natural throwing motion to some point. The things we work with that we want all our guys to be the same at are ball carriage, footwork, and things like that. We have moved his release up a little bit, but mainly the changes we made in Paul are in his footwork and ball carriage.

(Is he a practice squad guy?)

I think Paul is definitely a prospect as far as the ability part of it. He's picked up the scheme very well. I want to see him play in some games before I slot him anywhere.

(How will you split up the carries with the running backs tomorrow?)

We'll do that tonight Tom. Our 10:00 meeting is about the playtime for the scrimmage. I want to get through today's practice and see how the physical part, the medical comes out of it.

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