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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 24

(To re-phrase my question from yesterday, has Ryan Grant shown you what you want to see at the second level?)

To support your question, our second-level running has not been as productive as it was last year, and I think that is evident in the explosive gains in our run game. Just to go through specific situations, I thought Ryan had a couple of tough plays in the Chicago game. When you are running through a crease you don't have time to see who is blocked and who is not blocked. There were a couple of occasions where he saw common color on the opposing color, and then all of a sudden that wasn't there anymore. I'm referring to the hits by Mike Brown. I knew they were oohs and aahs and they may have looked different from the stands and so forth but when you watch it on the film, that is a bad spot to be in when you are running through the hole. Because on those two particular plays, you watch his head, he is on to the next one. You don't have time to sit there and check every guy and see if they are blocked when you are running. You've got a crease, he puts his foot down, common color and he's going to attack the point. It's the same thing we talk about with Will Blackmon and the return game. There is always a free hat. If everything is blocked correctly, it's the deepest safety and that is the guy who has to go attack. Now, I'm not going to sit here and go through every specific time you felt he should have broke a tackle and things like that. You always want to challenge your backs to run through arm tackles and so forth. But I understand why you are asking the question. The second-level production has not been what it was last year.

(So it hasn't been blocked quite as well?)

It's not just one thing. It's playing football. I'm answering your question based on what you saw in the Chicago game. I'm sure that's why we are talking about it still here today.

(Are you making changes on the offensive line?)

Yes, we are going to make a change on the offensive line for the game. Tony Moll, we're going to move him out at right tackle and we're going to move Daryn Colledge over to right (tackle). Josh Sitton will play right guard and then Jason (Spitz) will go to left guard.

(Is it specific to right tackle or were you looking to change things up?)

If you watch the way we rep those guys, we have probably too many revolving chairs in the offensive line and that is something we can talk about it in the offseason. It is a rotation that we have worked. It's a rotation, if you go back to the preseason, Josh Sitton was the starting guard when we started the season. That potential, that possibility has always been there since he has been healthy.

(Colledge has been a left-side guy. How big of an adjustment will it be for him to shift to the right?)

That's an excellent question because that's why it's important to get all of the reps. You'll see Daryn work exclusively right side only this week. You are always trying to prepare yourself for different situations in a game, but he needs to work exclusively right side this week because of the time he has spent on the left side.

(With Mark Tauscher's injury and some uncertainty at right tackle, is this a chance to try some things out?)

This really has no factor in Mark Tauscher. We haven't talked about him in a few weeks. We think the world of Mark. This is not a reaction to anything for the future. This is what we feel gives us the best opportunity to beat the Detroit Lions.

(Are you disappointed that Moll didn't grab his opportunity?)

Well, Tony had an excellent opportunity. He did a lot of positive things in the game. I like the way he plays. He's tough, he's competitive, but it wasn't as sharp as we would have liked. Josh has been practicing very well, and like I said, this has been a possibility. This isn't something that is a major change. I know it's probably disappointing for Tony, to speak on his behalf, and I thought he practiced very well today, just watching the way he reacted to all of this. This has been a rotation that has been evident throughout our season.

(How did Rouse do at Chicago?)

We play Detroit this week, don't we? I thought Aaron Rouse, he had productivity. I talked about him a little bit yesterday. There are some things that he needs to correct. He wasn't as clean on some of his angles, and particularly some of the spacing things. I thought he was productive. Just some made some young guy mistakes frankly. I thought the penalty that he had wasn't as clear as it may have looked from the referee. I'm trying to say that obviously the right way. He could have played better.

(So you will stick with him as the starter?)

Aaron will play. Yes, we'll stick with him this week.

(You were happy with Charlie Peprah's play during camp. Could this game be a chance to give him a look?)

We're not having those kind of discussions. We're not looking to give guys looks. There's a fine line and I understand, and I'm not trying to be hypocritical because we changed on the offensive line, but we're lining up to win the game. We're a young football team. We feel we have a lot of information about all of our players, for the most part. There are some younger players that have not played this year, but that is not our mindset at all.

(Do you think your team is under more pressure than normal to win this week?)

Not in the building. I'm fully aware of everything that's going to surround this game, and the position Detroit is in. But that's not going to affect the way we go about preparing for the game, and I don't see it affecting the way we're going to play the game. We look at them as a division opponent. Division games we treat with a different emphasis, regardless of the time of year, regardless of the records and so forth. We expect them to come in here and be a hell of a battle.

(Have you talked to the team about what the reaction would be to losing to an 0-15 team?)

I don't ever talk about losing.

(Do you ignore the talk about the 0-15 team or do you discuss it with the team?)

I've talked about this before in here. When we have team meetings, we have different segments of our team meeting. We have team business, and anytime there's something that happens on our football team, player acquisition and so forth, we address it just to make sure everybody's on the same page. You never want to see someone sitting there and no one knows their name or anything. We also have media topics for the week, and that was one of the media topics. It's really a conversation I think our players will have with the media, and that's about as far as we're interested in taking part in it.

(How is James Jones doing?)

How is he doing? He practiced today. It's the re-occurring injury with his knee. Every time he bangs it a certain way, there's a negative reaction to it. It's something he's just going to have to fight through one more week.

(Is that something he will have to have surgery to correct?)


(Do you think you will have Brandon Jackson this week?)

He practiced better today than I thought he would. But I would put him in the category of questionable right now if I had to put him in a category.

(Are you satisfied with what you got out of DeShawn Wynn?)

Yes. I think DeShawn, particularly on the fourth down, his play ... yes, I'm pleased with DeShawn Wynn and I thought he had a heck of a practice today. I look for him to maybe get some more opportunities on Sunday.

(Since you were down a running back and fullback at Chicago, did you have to throw anything out of the game plan?)

No, we were fine. We were a heavy one-back personnel going into the game. Joe Porter was the fourth back.

{sportsad300}(Did you feel your tight ends did a good job when they had to line up in the backfield?)

Based on what we asked them to do, absolutely.

(How do you look at an 0-15 like any other team?)

That's the beauty of the coaches' tape. When you turn it on, there's no volume, there's no commentating, there's no records on it. That's why you sit in a dark room on Mondays and Tuesdays and evaluate the film. You have to do that. You have to look at every individual, how they're playing. Do you think they're playing better than they were before? They've got some new faces, so we've spent a little more time on their personnel. But you have to go through the procedure of game-planning week in and week out, and that's the way we approach the game.

(From a personnel standpoint they have changed a lot from the first meeting. Do you have to familiarize yourself with that?)

Last week being Monday Night Football, and we had the opportunity to spend more time on Detroit at the end of the week. Particularly for the offense, there's a lot of carry-over from Chicago's defense to their defense. We were able to spend a little more time this morning with the players on the new personnel.

(Any concern you won't have Driver or Jennings on Sunday?)

I had a chance to speak to both of those guys at practice, and I think they'll be fine Sunday.

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