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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 25

(Did Harrell have a setback in practice?)

It's probably pretty consistent just the way it's gone the last few weeks. He goes through the treatment, he's feeling like he's making progress, and then I think once he gets to the team stuff and the drill work it still bothers him. I know he's frustrated with it.

(You've sent him to a ton of specialists, right? They can't seem to pinpoint what it is?)

It's something that's been going on, and I'm sure as we move past this week we'll re-evaluate and have a plan to get Justin back as fast as we can. I know he's very frustrated with it.

(He doesn't actually have an event that happens in practice, where he's re-injuring it every time, right?)

The specifics of it I think you should probably have a conversation with Justin, but he's not making any progress moving forward with his situation. You can go through the specifics with him.

(After what happened on special teams last game, are you doing anything different in those parts of practice this week?)

Those are things that are being emphasized more in the meeting and in a different practice structure this week. Coming off a Monday night football game, it's normal not to have a padded practice on a short week. But everything I can promise you was corrected in our initial meeting and is being worked on as we move forward through the week.

(Are the players off now or will they go over practice stuff?)

Today? Yeah, the players are done today after practice. We're going to spend more time, we've extended our day tomorrow as far as meeting time and so forth, just to give us more time to review the film. It really works out pretty much the same as far as the amount of time we're putting in for a normal workweek.

(Did the players just come in to practice today?)

We had meetings. We had a team meeting at noon, and then we met offense and defensively until 1:30.

(The glamorous life in the NFL on the holidays, huh?)

Well, it depends on how you want to look at it. We're all very thankful from a personal standpoint to have an opportunity to be out of the building by 4 o'clock yesterday on Christmas Eve, spend the evening with your family, and also wake up and do the things you traditionally do on Christmas Day. I think this year's schedule is completely opposite of last year's schedule. I never worked on a schedule in all my years in the NFL where you had Thanksgiving and Christmas off. And this year has been a challenge. We've had both Thanksgiving and Christmas after away Monday night games. I think they did a very good job with it. They came in at noon, they're done by 4, and they're home for Christmas dinner.

(I think the Lions worked on Tuesday. If you hadn't had the Monday night game, would you have gone to that schedule?)

A lot of people do that. That's an option. That's an option.

{sportsad300}(So would you do that or maybe not?)

It's an option. There's a lot of other factors, particularly when you get this late in the season. I don't set the schedule for the whole season in stone. I think once you get past the bye week, you have winter schedules, and also there's other elements involved in how you practice, number one being the health of your football team. Those things are all constantly looked at. Matt Klein is the one that kind of heads that up for me, and he does a very good job.

(I just wondered as you get close to a game if you wouldn't want to have Thursday as an off day.)

Yeah, that's a concern.

(Have you heard anything about your field?)

I know Mike Stock and the specialists went out there today. I haven't had a chance to visit with Mike yet. They're probably still out there.

(What did you think of the field in Chicago?)

I was pleased with it frankly. I thought the middle of the field was better than I expected. I know there was some concern in earlier games. My understanding is they re-sodded it. The middle of the field was in better shape there. Their sideline outside the numbers was frozen, it was harder than our sideline ... no, actually their sideline was in better shape than our sideline. That's all part of the playing conditions. But it was better than I anticipated.

(Your field is usually pretty even from sideline to sideline?)

You mean as far as ...

(How hard it is?)

Yes. We obviously have the heating system. Ours is pretty consistent. I know the two games we've been out there so far this year I've been very impressed with our field, the condition it's been in. Having the opportunity to work here in the past, knowing how it used to be.

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