Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 29

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Friday press conference. 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 injury report. Everybody practiced today except for Donald Driver. He's still probable with the shoulder. I anticipate him going. We held Scott Wells (out) today, but he's probable -- he will also go Sunday night -- with a shoulder. With that, I will take your questions.

(When did Scott hurt his shoulder?)

It's something that's just been lingering, and frankly just to get the other young guys work. With the extra day of practice, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, I thought it was smart on our part.

(Who's your backup there?)

Center? Jason Spitz.

(You usually want guys to practice on Friday. Is everything OK with Driver?)

It's a combination, just giving Donald extra time to get ready, and to rep the younger guys, because we do have a lot of youth there with Carlyle and Chris Francies and so forth.

(Are you worried about Driver getting knocked out of the game with the shoulder?)

I'm not. He's fought through it for a month now. As we all know Donald, we anticipate him going and playing well, and finishing the game.

(Is his shoulder different than Charles Woodson's shoulder injury?)

I frankly don't know the specifics of each individual's joint, whose is worse or whose is the same. But they both have shoulder injuries.

(How did Pickett move today?)

Good. He had some orthotics done yesterday, and he's going to be fine.

(Do you sense the guys are ready to get after the Bears regardless of the circumstances?)

My feeling is they're anxious to play. First of all, I think that's normal when you go through a week where you have an extra day, and it feels like an eternity since we played, because we've come off a Thursday night game. So they're anxious about playing again, and frankly anytime you play the Bears, there's extra emotion that goes into that game. So I definitely anticipate our guys are ready to play regardless of what the situation is come Sunday night.

(When you look at the match-ups that affect you, how do you feel about your chances of playing for a playoff berth on Sunday night?)

It's all hypothetical. If you sit there last week and watch the way that unfolded, I don't have any control of it. In today's NFL, particularly the last eight, 10 years, anything can happen. We really are just trying stay focused as best we can on the Bears, and see what happens. The percentages, I really don't get caught up in that.

(How tuned in will you be to those other games?)

Personally, I won't watch the Giants game. I may check in on the score and so forth. I have things I routinely do Saturday night before a game, as far as preparing to call the game. I know I won't sit there and watch it. I really don't want to be bouncing off the walls cheering (against) the Giants. But I'll be aware of what the score is.

(Will the schedule be the same for a Monday night game? Anything to make the day go by faster?)

We have a night schedule, so we won't do anything differently. We just basically moved our Saturday night team meeting to Sunday, just to break up the day, but this is the schedule we've been on before for the night game, so we'll just follow that. As far as traveling times and so forth, if that's what you're getting to, everything stays exactly the same.

(Last time against the Bears, you had a hard time getting anything going offensively? How much of that was due to the rookies on the line, the new coaching staff, new system and all that, and how much better do you feel you are now?)

{sportsad300}As I view Week 1's performance, as we've had the opportunity to go back and look at it over and over again this past week, the biggest breakdown on offense was our situational offense, starting with the third down. I thought we ran the ball particularly well early in the game, and that was the course we intended on taking going into that game, and the short-yardage was our breakdown there in the first half. We had the one big-play opportunity there on it was either the first or second series, on the post throw that was dropped. So it's like anything, you can overanalyze it, but there are positive things regardless of what the score is that happened in that first game. As far as coaching staff, young players, frankly, once again I just think those are excuses. We're a better football team than we were back then. I think that's evident. We'll have a plan and we'll exercise that plan and stay the course, and hopefully play better in the key situations.

(Do you have any idea how long the Bears will play their starters?)

I really don't know, because I think in my opinion based on the way their season went last year, the plan they took in their last game will affect the way they do it this year. That's what I anticipate. Does that mean they'll play one quarter, one half? I really don't know. I think it's common. You talk to other people who have been in that situation, there's no exact science what you do with that game before the bye week. I've participated in two of those, and that's an ongoing discussion. You really have to do what's best for your football team. We really don't know the health of those linebackers, there's so many other factors involved. Who's playing behind them, where those guys are at. So to me, all those pieces to the puzzle, we really don't have the information to that. Only their coaching staff has that. I'm not worried about it. It's going to sort out and we're just going to play the game and adjust to it just no differently than we would in any other game if a guy went down and the next guy came in.

(How did the work on the red zone offense go this week?)

We took more snaps in yesterday's practice and dedicated that to the red zone work. Yesterday's practice as a whole was about as good a Thursday practice as we've had throughout the year. No pre-snap penalties, no penalties whatsoever. I thought we threw the ball and caught the ball as well as we have all year. I think the defense has been really good, particularly the last month in their preparation. So I thought it was a very good practice, and part of that was the red zone was very efficient and very sharp, so I was happy with what we got out of that.

(Have you spent any more time on special teams this week with how good they are on special teams?)

As far as our allotment of time, we spent the same amount of time. But that's another challenge we'll be facing, particularly with their returners. But no, we did not add any extra time. We had the extra day, so I guess we did have extra time, Tuesday.

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