Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 17

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference on Sunday. Packers.com will post these full transcripts after each of Coach McCarthy’s press conferences during the 2006 season.


OK, I'll start with the injuries from the game. Chad Clifton had a hamstring and a shoulder, but did return. Donald Driver hurt his shoulder again, but did return. Charles Woodson (had the) same thing; he had the shoulder injury again, but did return. Nick Collins also had a shoulder, but did return. David Martin has a rib injury again, did not return. Ahman Green has an ankle and did return.

(Win didn't look pretty, but I'm guessing you'll take it?)

All wins are good wins. We have a number of things we need to clean up, but I thought it was a very impressive performance by our defense. We need to get some things cleaned up on offense. I thought our coverage units and special teams did a very nice job - Drummond is a big-time returner. He was a focus for us this week. (I'm) very pleased with the victory, and our fans definitely deserved it. I thought they were outstanding, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

(Can you talk about the performance of Al Harris in shutting down Roy Williams?)

To take their top weapon on offense and shut him down, and to have the big play in the interception kind of ignited us; I thought his performance was awesome, among others on defense. We had a bunch of individual performances that really stood out, and Al's was definitely one of them.

(Cullen Jenkins one of those?)

Outstanding - three sacks, a fumble recovery. I think it's a career high (in sacks) for him, and he's really taken full advantage of his opportunities, particularly the last two weeks. I'm very happy with the production we're getting with Cullen.

(Does this end the feeling you can't win at home?)

That's up to you. I'm worried about Minnesota, which also happens to be at home. It's an excellent win for us. We needed it, got two in a row and have some momentum. A bunch of guys were injured, nicked, like everybody does this time of year. It's going to be a challenge to get ready for Thursday night, but very excited about the win at home.

(Anticipate Tauscher being back Thursday?)

Yes, I would hope so. He had a good workout today again this morning before the game. He feels good, so we'll know once he goes through a full-blown practice Tuesday. That will be the last hurdle he needs to overcome.

(Just one game out of the wild card - do you allow yourself to think about that?)

With our situation as far as the playoffs, it directly reflects on what we do against Minnesota, so that's our focus.

(Did you relay that to your team?)

I just think where we are as a football team, the path that we've taken throughout the season, it's critical that we take it one day at a time, let alone one game at a time. That has been our focus. I'm very pleased with the way the players prepare week in and week out. They give you great energy, and we're working to get better in a lot of areas. We just have to get the consistency that we're looking for, and that will be our same path this week as we get ready for Minnesota.

(You've had to juggle the wide receiver position - thoughts on how they position is coming along?)

They got in there and competed. We made some mistakes. It was obvious we had some pre-snap penalties, and you can't have that. But, for a guy that's been here two weeks, what can you say about Holiday. He jumps in there and makes some plays, and Chris Francies has done a real nice job, we activated him. All you can ask for is an opportunity, and we've been giving a lot of young guys opportunities this year, and it's paying off. We're in the stretch run, and we just need to be more consistent.

(What went into the decision to give Cullen Jenkins more opportunities?)

He's a problem if you look when he plays inside, he so active, particularly in the pass rush. He has a great motor; he's instinctive. Now you put him outside, he's a problem for the tight end and a guard-covered front. It's a good changeup. Once again, there are other things that factor. Johnny Jolly has done a really good job for us. As a young guy, we're trying to get him on the field. It's really the rotation of Kabeer (Gbaja-Biamila), Cullen (Jenkins), and getting Johnny Jolly involved. We like to even back off a little bit with Aaron Kampman and his reps, so it's really just utilizing the depth at that position.

{sportsad300}(What about Morency's two touchdown runs?)

Outstanding - big plays. He just has the innate ability to make people miss, especially on the second level. He's done that two weeks in a row, and they've resulted in big runs for us. Everbody keeps calling him a 'change-of-pace' back - he's a pretty good running back. He takes full advantage of the opportunities given to him week in and week out, and he's a very productive player for us also on special teams.

(How tough is it to prepare for a game with just four days?)

It's a challenge, but they have to do it too. The Thanksgiving game is something, if you've ever gone through it, gives you the experience to prepare for that. You have to find the common ground between getting the players' bodies back and also having enough time to prepare schematically for the game. Fundamentally, you have to rely on the past week's preparation. With Detroit and Minnesota having similar schemes, particularly on defense, we will have some carry over. We prepared for that this week as we went into the Detroit game, and we increased our volume this week. Maybe that's why we had some of the problems we had on offense. So we tried to prepare ahead of time, but we're going to focus on really getting our bodies back. That's going to be a priority.

(What happened with Favre's interception in the end zone?)

It was third down, and we had a route concept where the tight end has a two-way option on the route. Brett tried to move the mike linebacker and was not able to get that done.

(Less of the double fullback alignment this week - why was that?)

When we go through game-planning, we take a look at what they do, and the alignment of the two fullbacks conceptually is really the same that we've done throughout the year, maybe with different personnel. We use that formation today more in the three-step and the keep game. I think we ran it three or four times if I'm not mistaken.

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