Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 27

(Will you try to get Jennings to practice tomorrow?)

We'll just see how he feels in his rehab. He's getting better. He's confident he can play, but we'll see how he feels tomorrow.

(You said it was more of a kick or bruise. Is that still the case?)

They classify it as a mild sprain. It's clearly not at the level that he suffered last year against Miami.

(Is there any real reason to play him, do you think?)

That's something you consider. We do want to have the opportunity to play one more time before we play the second round. Those are all things we talk about. But to answer the question, as far as the health, that's something I'll always caution to. I've said that all week.

(How has Jones played lately?)

James Jones? He's been solid. He hasn't had the opportunities he had earlier in the season. The ball really hasn't come his way, but I think he's improved in his blocking. He has picked that up. He's a young player that had some instant success in the beginning and the middle of the season. He really hasn't had the opportunities he had in the beginning of the year.

(Has his rookie season sort of tracked Jennings' from last year?)

I think the way their seasons went at the end was different based on Greg was injured. That's the way the ball bounces sometimes.

(How have Clifton and Tauscher responded to the evolution of this offense?)

I think they've been very consistent. I think Chad is clearly one of the better left tackles in football, in pass protection. I think Mark Tauscher is just a very consistent football player. You get the same player day in and day out, and that's something you can definitely work with. I think Mark has done a good job of playing to our scheme, with the primary zones, and he does a good job stretching the front side. He's very crafty in pass protection, does a good job with recognition. I think they both have been very, very consistent.

(Is he all the way back from that ankle?)

I think he's close. He hasn't complained about it. It looks like he's moving better than he was in the prior weeks. I would say he's close.

(Could you comment on the progress of Justin Harrell so far?)

I would say Justin Harrell is improving week to week. He did some good things in the Chicago game, but really as a defense our pad level was too high, and he was part of that. But I think he's improving, and the opportunities to play a lot last week helped him, and I look for him to play a lot against Detroit too.

(There was a story on NFL.com about Nick Barnett filing a grievance over the incident with the official. Is this something you've talked to Nick about?)

As far as the grievance, I'm aware just from conversations with Jeff. But the actual filing of the grievance and the procedure, I'm not aware of anything like that from the league office.

(What would it mean if Grant gets to 1,000 yards?)

I think it's a benchmark for a runner. Really the fullbacks are talking about it probably more than anybody. It's something that running back group takes a lot of pride in. It's definitely a benchmark that you try to hit on a yearly basis. And just for Ryan Grant to accomplish that after becoming the starter after Denver I think would be a credit to the run game and to him personally.

(Does that affect your decision on how long he'll play Sunday?)

No it doesn't, unfortunately.

{sportsad300}(Last year Jennings missed that last game when his child was born, and Ruvell Martin had a big game. Do you see a similar scenario this year of another player getting a big opportunity?)

I could see that scenario unfolding, and I hope it does. We were very productive in that contest last year where some players were given opportunities they had not had to that point in the season. That's definitely something you'd like to see some of our players take advantage of.

(How important has Scott Wells been to the offensive line this year?)

Number one, the center and quarterback have the most responsibility in our offense, as far as directing every run-blocking scheme, every pass-protection scheme. And Scott has been very consistent in that. He grades out at a high level pretty much week in and week out. He's doing a much better job in our scheme. He plays with great balance and leverage. I would say he's had a very consistent year.

(How's Ryan Pickett doing? Is he another guy where it may be smarter just to hold him out?)

Going into yesterday, I felt a lot stronger about playing him. Practice was just OK for him, and really I'm curious to see how he feels after today. Really the morning, like we always talk about, will be the biggest indication on the progress that he's making with his injury. We'll be smart with Ryan. I would like to see him play. I think he'd like to play just because he didn't play last week, but once again, health will make those decisions.

(Is Hall on track to come back for the playoffs?)

Talking to Korey, Korey would like to practice this week. I watched him in the rehab today. He ran very well. He feels a lot better this week. I have no doubt that he'll be ready to go for the playoffs.

(How's the condition of the field?)

Lambeau? I was out there last week when he pulled the tarp off. I walked out there. He was working on the paint. It actually looked like it was in pretty good shape. I don't foresee the field being a problem.

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