Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 10

(There's a report in the Biloxi Sun-Herald that all indications are Favre is coming back for another season. What's your reaction?)

Jeff just told me about it as I walked in here. I'll try not to laugh, but I have not been part of any conversation with Brett on that topic, and I think we just need to move on and focus on Seattle. Because that's what we're focused on, I'm sure that's what he's focused on. I don't know anything about it, and I think it's just someone trying to distract my quarterback.

(The way he's playing, is there any reason to think he'd even consider retiring?)

Brett's playing at a very high level, and we're preparing for him to play on another higher level this weekend. That's our focus, and once again, I haven't been part of any conversation on that matter.

(You plan to sit down with him at the end of the year?)

After the season is over, just like we did last year.

(What happened with Nick Barnett?)

I wouldn't classify it as an injury. He was sore, we were just being smart, so we just limited him today. We've had a lot of work over the last 10 days, so. Nick will be fine. He's fine.

(Similar to what happened to the receivers yesterday?)

Everybody is going to be fine. I don't see us having any issues.

(How's Woodson coming along?)

We'll give you the full report tomorrow and everybody's fine. We're healthy as hell and we're ready to go.

(Including Blackmon?)

We'll give you the full report tomorrow, but we're feeling really good about our football team. He's the one that's not doing as well.

(Woodson is a guy who can be hard to talk to. Would you describe him as mysterious?)

I'd say Charles is really focused. He had two very good practices Friday and Saturday, and the Wednesday practice, the Wednesday format on Tuesday. He just had some swelling in the knee. We're just being cautious with Charles. He was here late last night meeting with Lionel Washington and Eric Lewis, putting extra time in the film room. I would classify Charles Woodson as very focused for this game.

(Is that his preparation every week, always doing his homework?)

There's a very good reason why he's clearly in my experience the most instinctive, one of the smarter defensive players, as far as route-recognition, the ability to steal routes, route-recognition and technique. He has a very good structure of studying and preparing on a weekly basis.

(What are your thoughts on Shaun Alexander and the season he's had?)

Shaun has played at an MVP level in this league, and I definitely feel that counts for something as we prepare for Shaun and the rest of the running backs. We've looked at them as a group. He had a big night against us last year and if I recall that was his first week back after having some time off on an injury. He's an instinctive runner. I think he's deceivingly strong, slips out of tackles. So we need to make sure that we're focused on all the fundamentals of the run game, like we are every week, and we have a lot of respect for him.

(With or without Blackmon, how do you feel about your nickel and potentially dime versus Seattle?)

I feel good, and I can really attribute (that) to the number of players we've been playing over the last four to five weeks. We feel very comfortable with every one of those guys. Tramon has done an excellent job, Frank Walker has done a good job when he's in there. Jarrett Bush is healthy again, so he finally looks like himself here last week and throughout the practice this week. We feel very good about our secondary.

(How did the guys handle this week?)

Based on the information just from the PR department, I think they've done a very good job handling the extra responsibilities, as far as dealing with the media and all the other things that surround the football game. I'm pleased with the practice preparation that we've had. It's refreshing to see players putting in extra time. We've had the extra day this week. I feel good about the way we prepared for this game, and we'll complete our preparation tomorrow and be ready to go.

(What do you attribute Hasselbeck's low interception total to? Is it the scheme, his decision-making, or just his accuracy?)

I think you have to look at both aspects. I think, No. 1, the player and the scheme, the way he's coached. I think Matt's a very good decision-maker. He doesn't get outside the offense very often. He's accurate. That's a big part of it. I think the scheme definitely helps him. It's a quarterback-friendly offensive system, and he's been in it his whole career. I clearly think Matt is one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League.

(Can you talk about the Big 5 package and how Brett really thrives in that?)

Our receiver group and really our whole perimeter group as a whole have done a very good job with the ball in their hands. That's something we tried to maximize coming off of last year's production, and they've really taken the bit and have run with it. No. 1, we have the protection unit that can handle it. The five-man protection, and the quarterback does an excellent job. So does Scott Wells, as far as the protection aspect of it, and it gives our receivers an opportunity to be in one-on-one situations, to win the routes, catch the ball and make plays. It's just a very basic philosophy of trying to spread the defense out.

(What have you seen from Jennings? Is there more of a trust factor between him and Brett?)

Experience, the ability to play together in their second year. I was very impressed with Greg from Day 1, from the day he arrived after we drafted him. He was very mature as far as his route-running, understanding what the defense is giving you, how they're trying to attack you, and you can just see the connection between Brett and Greg is definitely a lot stronger than it was last year.

{sportsad300}(When you talk about the pulse of the team, can you sense when guys might be too hyped up and thinking or playing too fast and getting out of position?)

Definitely, and I think the one experience from a negative viewpoint, you look at the Dallas game. We had some things where we weren't looking at the right things, our eyes weren't in the right place. Our pad level may have been high. And that's an experience that we've talked about a lot. There's a lot of positive things that came out of our game down there in Dallas, but there were some negative things that we needed to learn from. So those are things you continue to coach, continue to talk about with the players. But I feel very good about the week of preparation. They're excited. I think their confidence is real. To be honest with you, we're ready to play a game. It seems like a month, we haven't played a game in a month. They're tired of practicing, I'm tired of practicing them too. They're ready to go.

(What will be your message to the team the night before the game?)

What will be the message the night before the game? I'll probably go back and talk about a number of the things that I hit on Wednesday, and the biggest part of it is staying within who we are. We're not trying to create anything, and just the approach of taking this football game one play at a time. We can play this game anywhere. We're fortunate to be playing it here, at home, at Lambeau. But we need to go play Green Bay Packer football. That will be the primary focus.

(Brett Favre has his consecutive games streak, and Al Harris has a pretty good one, too. How much of a luxury is that to know guys like that will always be there for you?)

I think the No. 1 responsibility that you can ask of a player is availability, and we talk about availability and accountability all the time. And when you have a quarterback that's played every game for 17 years, that is the best formula for consistency that you can ever have. And the same thing with Al Harris. When they show up and play every day, and also practice most of the time, that's very important. It gives you an opportunity to have individual consistency, you have the connection with the player within the scheme and the players around them. I can't say enough about players that are available every day.

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