Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 5

(What are your thoughts on Chillar at this point?)

Brandon, we're going to take the weekend. He strained his groin. He's making progress, so I won't have a decision until gameday on Brandon Chillar.

(Same on Thompson then?)

Correct, yes.

(Are you encouraged by the work from Scott Wells today?)

Yes, Scott took all the snaps and the post-practice report from Pepper I have not had. But he looked to go through the work fine. He was cleared this morning by Dr. Gray, so I think we're OK there.

(Your thinking is he'll make the start then?)

If everything checks out, he'll make the start.

(How did Grant look to you, especially with holding the ball?)

Good. I thought Ryan Grant did well throughout the week. You just watch him go through the ball-security drills, particularly the one drill that they do early in practice. The ability to hold onto the ball, yeah, when they're tugging at it. So that's a good sign. When I saw that on Wednesday I wasn't as concerned about it as we were in the game against Carolina.

(You see him getting his normal complement of carries?)

I would anticipate that, yes.

(Is the plan for him to wear that splint?)

That will be determined Sunday.

(What have you seen from Andre Johnson on film?)

Very physical, productive receiver and really has been for some time. He can do it all. He's a big target, he's their premier target as far as their passing game from a perimeter standpoint, and he'll definitely be a focus for our secondary.

(You had a non-football injury early in practice. Any update on that?)

Have not had the chance to talk to Pepper. I know they contacted Dr. McKenzie on it. I haven't heard the results of that yet.

(What happened? Did you see?)

No. Tim was behind me, so I did not see exactly what happened.

(Who did it involve?)

Tim Odea, equipment manager.

(What happened?)

He fell. It's either a sprain of his Achilles or ankle. They took him up to check him out.

(Woodson has played hurt much of his time here, he's played safety this year. Did you have any pre-conceived notion about him? His reputation seemed to be that he wasn't as unselfish as he is.)

Charles has played safety in his past. He played safety in Oakland, and I can't speak for Tampa Bay, but I think that was one of the considerations when they were talking to him, was the safety position. We knew all that when he came in, his flexibility of playing corner, nickel and safety. Did we think that we would get to that spot here? That wasn't the initial thought. But it's also common too that when corners do get up in age, some have the ability to transition to safety. I'm not saying that's why he's back there, but it's definitely a great option to have.

(He played at a Pro Bowl level for 11 games at corner. Do you see him going back to that position eventually?)

I think he's played at a Pro Bowl level the last two years, frankly. I think he's played some tremendous football for us, and I see him continuing to do so. He's very smart, instinctive, tough. His route recognition and his ability to get his hands on the football is extraordinary.

(With him playing that well at corner, what made it worth moving him to safety?)

The decision wasn't just about how he was playing at corner. There's other factors that were involved. The conversation started with the injuries to safety, the performance of Tramon Williams throughout this year and really last year. I think Tramon really took another step when he had his opportunity to play for Al Harris. So it was really the combination of all those factors involved and getting your best players on the field.

(Is there a decent chance you'll finish out the season like that now?)

We'll take it one week at a time. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes that way the rest of the year. But we'll take that one week at a time.

(You would or wouldn't be surprised?)

I wouldn't be surprised, but we're going to take it one week at a time, and all the factors we just talked about, we'll continue to take a look at that.

(Your relationship with him got off to a rocky start. What changed?)

I think it's probably normal with veterans and first-year head coaches. I'm sure that's probably not the first time that's happened. He was in one place for a long time, had some opinions. We were going in a direction that he might not have been accustomed to. Just things like that. But I never looked at it as, ... I thought it was probably a normal transition. It was my first year as a head coach, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. I'm sure anytime you have a group of people, that many different personalities. I went through it as a coordinator, so maybe it's half the team. I've had issues with players. But at the end of the day it's all about respect one another. It's OK to disagree but you need to move forward and not be disagreeable. That's really what some of our issues were about.

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