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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 4

(What factored into the decision to bring in Craig Nall?)

It was really our plan all along, at this point in the season, to add a third quarterback. Just getting ready for the playoff run. It was something we really planned all along, to answer your question, as far as the makeup of our roster.

(What does Nall give you over some other options?)

Veteran quarterback, has an idea of the system. He was here before. He's played in games, and we just felt he was the best fit for our stretch right here.

(What were your impressions of Mark Murphy?)

Very impressed with Mark Murphy in the time I was able to spend with him. I thought he was a very down-to-earth individual. We had a nice visit. I was very impressed with him. I'm looking forward to working with him.

(How did Brett's elbow progress and what's the plan for him?)

Well, the medical staff would like to hold him until Thursday, Brett would like to practice tomorrow. I'll see how he feels in the morning. He's in New York this evening for the Sportsman of the Year award banquet, and he'll be getting back late tonight. I'll make that call tomorrow.

(Is that precautionary?)

Precaution, yes. Talking with Brett again today, he would like to practice Wednesday.

(How about Woodson and Kabeer?)

Woodson, we tested him a little bit today, I'll have the feedback when I go inside. I'm going to be extremely cautious with Charles as we move forward. And Kabeer was supposed to test today, possibly tomorrow.

(How about Rouse?)

Aaron will be ready to go.

(Do you see him splitting time at safety, or what will be his role?)

We'll see how practice goes.

(Are you considering him as a starter vs. Collins?)

That's not something that we're talking about today. But I'll just say this. As far as our football team, we have a number of positions, a lot like the offensive line, a lot like the corners, where you have players that are very similar as far as where they are in their experience and what level they're playing at. We just want to keep it competitive. I thought Aaron Rouse did a very nice job in his (three) opportunities as a starter, and Atari and Nick knew it was not their best outing at safety, along with a number of people. That was not our best game in Dallas. But we had the chance to go through the Dallas tape today, the time down at practice today was a self-scout format for us, going through the corrections and so forth. We'll just practice hard like we always do, and everybody will be ready to go.

(Could Rouse play either safety spot? Are those interchangeable?)

The safety positions are interchangeable.

(Is it too late in the year to throw those positions open?)

I don't view it the way, I think the way you all view it. We have people that have been playing those, I mean it isn't like we just all of a sudden started to play somebody new. Aaron Rouse has played there. Jason Spitz, Junius Coston, Daryn Colledge, they've all played their position. These are competitions that have been going on for some time, and you need all your players down the stretch. And I think it's very healthy. I think it's a very healthy situation to have a competitive situation at every position. Now, we want the continuity, there's no doubt about that. But until we get the performance at the level that we want, then we'll keep it competitive.

(Against Washington, the team was a little sluggish coming off that first loss to Chicago. Any concerns coming off the Dallas game?)

No, I don't think so. I think every game is its own travel, you have a path that you need to take to victory each week. The Oakland Raiders are a totally different football team than the Washington Redskins. The challenges are different. I'm not concerned about that. I think today was an excellent opportunity to reinforce some of the basic fundamental techniques that we need to do a better job of. We were not very fundamentally sound in Dallas, for whatever reason. I was pleased with the amount of work we were able to get done today, and I feel confident that we'll be ready to go. I'm not concerned about that.

(Did the extra couple days off help?)

Oh absolutely. I think the energy that the players brought back into the meeting room was evident from our first meeting. We had our team picture today, so that was fun. And then we spent a lot of time just going through self-scout with Dallas, and had a chance to go down and work for about an hour and 10 minutes down below at the Hutson Center. So it always helps. And I think it really helps us, A, from a health standpoint, but B, we could have used the break after the scheduling format that we've been on the last four to five weeks.

(Are you going to photoshop Favre into the picture then?)

He was here.

(After going through this strange schedule the past couple of weeks, what are your feelings about it?)

I think everybody has to go through it. I don't want to sound cocky or confident, but I think as you're successful in this league, you're going to have scheduling difficulties as you more forward. You start playing more night games and national TV games, so I think everybody at some level has these different schedules that you go on. I thought we fared pretty well. I thought the players handled it from a preparation standpoint fairly well, and it's something that we can learn from and something I can learn from as we move forward with schedules.

(Would you have done a self-scout if you didn't have to possibly play Dallas again?)

Well, we self-scout every week, but I just felt, to answer your question, no. Today's practice was originally scheduled for Oakland, prior to the Dallas game. But we had 21 mental errors in the football game. We hadn't had over nine mental errors in quite some time as a football team, so that's something that needed to be identified, as a group and individually. So we did that. I just felt it was necessary to clean our house. It was a little sloppy. You talk about, it's about you, you are who you are, and all those types of things. I thought it was very important that we're focused on what we're doing, not as much on what our opponent is doing.

(In your experience, down the line will this help if you have to play them again?)

I think more importantly it will help us this week, because you don't sit there on Mondays and talk about what the other team did. You talk about the things that you did well and the things you didn't do so well. We can never lose focus of that. That's our mindset week in and week out. Now to have an opportunity to take a day and to do correction periods and things like that, I think it's very valuable. It was totally about fundamentals today.

(After a game that's out of character with the mental errors, do you take the pulse of any players, particularly the veterans?)

I think that's a little bit of what you do all the time. Did I do more of it this week, to answer your question, no. But I just addressed what I felt was the pulse of the football team. We talk about loose. Well, identify what is loose. What does loose mean. Is that loud music in the locker room? Does that affect the way you play on the field? So I just thought it was time for everybody to check their punch card, and to make sure that we're doing the things that we need to do. Because when you have that many mental errors, you need to check your preparation. I'm talking about coaches and players alike, and that was really the theme of today.

(When's the last time you had more than nine mental errors?)

I couldn't tell you off the top of my head, but it's been quite some time that we've had that many mental errors in a football game.

{sportsad300}(Have you decided what to do at left guard and right guard?)

We'll take the week, continue to work Daryn there and Junius. Junius' ankle was bothering him a little bit today. It doesn't sound like he's totally out of the woods there yet. Jason Spitz has played well at both right guard and his limited time at left guard, so we need to also give him more practice reps at left guard, because he hasn't had them. So we'll rotate those three guys throughout the week.

(Do you think you'll have Bubba or Jolly?)

Bubba feels better today than he did last week, and Johnny, we're running some tests on him. I'll have some more information on him as we move forward. Probably tomorrow.

(Is Blackmon more in the mix now?)

Blackmon is doing well. He had a good week. Recovered well. Doesn't have the soreness, and his opportunities in practice will increase.

(Is Jolly out of the woods as far as not being out for the season?)

I'll have more information probably tomorrow, or the next day.

(Did Tauscher's ankle regress?)

Tauscher was in rehab today. I'm going to practice him probably Thursday. Tauscher and Tracy White are very similar, just being smart with them. They have the ankle sprains. Just trying to get out in front of it. All for the injury report going out tomorrow, huh?

(Will Nall split the scout team stuff this week?)

We'll see how that goes. I'd like to keep Aaron get as many reps as possible. I don't know Craig, so I'd like to see him work.

(You've said before you'd prefer to wait until after the season for a contract extension. Do you still feel that way?)

As a focus for our football team, it's not an issue for me right now. I go back to the question I was asked earlier. We just hired a new president, and that's an important move for our future, and I think it's important for us as an organization to get behind our new president in Mark Murphy, and push forward. And that's why, as far as focus, I'm not even interested in talking about my contract. I've been approached yes, but it is something I'd prefer to deal with after the season. If it happens that way, it does. If it doesn't, it will not be a distraction.

(You can control whether or not it's a distraction to you, right?)

I just don't talk about it. I'm not really interested in discussing my contract. Ted is in the process of talking to Bob Harlan and that's great.

(Woodson wanted to play against Dallas. With this week being the Raiders, will it be tough to hold him out?)

I would think so. But we're going to make the right decision. I haven't had that conversation with him, but I would think he'd want to play this week.

(When you said the nine mental errors, do you have to go back to last year for the highest number?)

I answered that earlier. I don't recall what was the highest number, but that's the highest number we've had in quite some time. It was 21 as a team.

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