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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - March 12

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference Friday during Fan Fest.

(How do you feel going forward with Brad Jones in Kampman's spot?)

Brad Jones I thought did a nice job in his opportunity, and definitely he'll have film that he can learn from. He definitely has the versatility that we're looking for in that position. It will be big for Brad and the rest of the rookie class and the second-year players to have a big offseason. That's what our blueprint has been with our football team. The ability for our younger players to grow and learn, the individual improvement that goes on March, April, May and June, no different than I've stood up here the last couple years talking about, and I think Brad Jones definitely has to be one of those players when we finish our OTAs at the end of June, that we definitely see take a big step.

(It's rare for a seventh-round guy to start and do so well. When did you notice you had something there?)

We were excited about Brad frankly when we drafted him. I know there was another team that was very interested in him, and I got an immediate text as soon as we did draft him. We definitely were excited about the ability. He had a rough start there in training camp, with the issues he was having that kept him out of training camp. Really, the ability to get him ready, and also being a rookie was concerning, no doubt about it at the start of the season. But I think it speaks volumes of Brad's ability to catch up. Kevin Greene, the extra time he spent with him, and he did a lot of nice things down the stretch for us.

(What are your thoughts on losing Aaron Kampman, the character and leadership from the locker room?)

Aaron Kampman, you definitely want to wish him the best. He was an excellent representative of the Green Bay Packers both on and off the field. You never know, you may have an opportunity to work with him again someday. That's the type of outlook that I have when you lose a person like Aaron. He was a joy to coach, a very productive player on the field, but even a better person in the community and among his teammates in the locker room. We do wish him the best, but this is a part of our business.

(How big a priority was it to keep Clifton, and are you making efforts with Tauscher at all?)

We're glad to get Chad back. Really, the priority was to sign all of our free agents back. That did not change. I know just the way ... it wasn't everybody take a number, one through five or anything like that ... so we had the opportunity to try to sign everybody back. We were able to get Chad done. I feel Mark Tauscher is definitely not too far away, and hopefully we'll have some news for you there shortly, and no different with Ryan Pickett. We're focused on bringing our own free agents back, getting better as a football team, starting internally, and then we'll add another draft class to this group. We like where we are today, but the importance of the offseason program and keeping your own players has been our focus, and that time is upon us now.

(Are you talking to Tauscher? You feel like things are going OK?)

Absolutely. All of our free agents, yes. Feel good about where we are.

(Is he in Australia or something?)

I don't want to put Mark's personal business out there, but yes, he has been traveling, and that was one of his destinations. He'll be in town next week.

(How much gas in the tank does Clifton have left?)

I anticipate Chad will be better this year physically than he was last year, because you can't discount the fact that he had a number of surgeries and the rehab that he went through at this time last year. The ability that he'll have to get into his training, increase his training at a higher rate earlier in the offseason I think will definitely help him. I know coming out of the season he definitely feels better this year than he did two years ago. The surgeries definitely gave him some relief, and we look for him to be a very productive player for us this year.

(How do you feel collectively about your offensive line now?)

Well, I like the depth and I like the competition that we have on the offensive line. I think if you go through it, and having a chance to evaluate it, I think the best performances, I know the best two performances that I've seen on our offensive line were Scott Wells at center and Josh Sitton at the right guard. I was very pleased with the years that they had from start to finish. Mark Tauscher definitely came in, and once he got back into the rhythm played good football there at the end. Chad Clifton battled the injuries all year. Allen Barbre definitely will learn from his experience, and you just go on down the line. I think there's definitely more depth this time of the year than we've ever had in my time here in Green Bay, so I look for that group to get a year better.

{sportsad300}(What's the focus going to be for the offseason program and how do you expect attendance to be?)

I expect the attendance to be high. You can't deny that the situation with the CBA and the restricted free agents, their position from a business standpoint, may affect their attendance. We will acknowledge that, and that's part of the business landscape that we're going through right now, so we'll deal with that accordingly. But we look to improve our offseason program every single year, whether it's from a facilities standpoint. We've made some improvements in the weight room. Mark Lovat has taken the helm of the strength and conditioning, and I know a lot of people are excited about that. He'll bring some creativity that wasn't evident in the past in the way we train our players. We've changed the schedule some. We've built in some more rest and recovery, which the more you spend time with the medical people, it's important this time of year. There's some evidence of overtraining in our program last year. So all those things have been looked at and addressed, and it will be exciting to get back in the room Monday and get started.

(Have you been busy with bringing in free agents for visits?)

Um, no.

(Less than usual this time of year?)

I haven't kept track.

(Were you disappointed to hear Daryn Colledge might hold out of offseason workouts?)

Daryn Colledge and every member of our football team understands the importance of the offseason program. But once again, there's a business side of this, and we respect what everybody has to do at this time.

(Does the playoff loss still motivate you now? How much do you still think about it?)

I think it about it very often. Wednesday, Dom Capers and I had a chance to go back and watch the game, and spend some time going back through some corrections in the scheme evaluation summary that the defensive staff went through this spring. Yeah, it's fresh on my mind, and it always will. It's a learning experience. The most frustrating part for me as the head coach is you play 16 games, you create an identity as a football team, and then the biggest game you play in that year, you don't play to your identity in segments of the game. It's something we have to learn from, and it's something we'll take a close look at, because everybody is going to look at the Arizona game and everybody is going to look at the Pittsburgh game from our defense's perspective, and those are the types of things that I have to make sure that are applied to our training as we go into the offseason program and into training camp to make sure that we're prepared for those type of games.

(When you play quarterbacks like Warner, there are two schools of thought. You either throw even more at them, or you play coverage because they've seen it all. You seemed to play coverage in that game. Should you have turned it loose more in that game?)

I didn't have a problem with the way things were called, and if you've ever called a game at this level, there's other factors involved than just staying in one or two schools of thought. Down-and-distance plays in to it, what's going on in the other two phases around you plays into it. How your particular unit is playing. Are they making mistakes or are there injuries that have occurred. There's so many other factors that are involved in that. These are games that are in our past, but they're definitely games that we need to learn from, because anytime you have repeated mistakes or repeated experiences that happen again, to me that falls under my category of trying to make sure, I have to look and make sure I have enough training involved in our offseasons and our training camps and make sure our players are ready for those type of situations.

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