Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 16

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference Monday from the Lambeau Field media auditorium.

OK, I'll start with the injuries from the game. Cullen Jenkins had some ankle swelling. He'll probably miss some practice time this week. Desmond Bishop also had an ankle sprain. He'll probably miss some practice time. Greg Jennings had a knee contusion. He'll miss some practice time. And John Kuhn had a broken hand, and we'll see what he'll be able to do this week. With that, I'll take your questions.

(Will Kuhn need surgery like Chillar did?)

No, it's a different break than Brandon's. We're going to see what he can do with the splint that they put on him. We'll see how it works out in practice. But he does not need surgery at this point.

(Where's Aaron Kampman right now in his recovery?)

I think Aaron will be ready to go. Obviously Wednesday's practice will be the final hurdle that he'll get over. I know he's doing a lot better.

(What about Tauscher?)

We're going to work him tomorrow. He's going to go through some testing tomorrow and see how he responds and hopefully participate in some practice time Wednesday. But it will be really how he comes out of tomorrow's workout.

(What did you see from Brad Jones on film?)

I thought he played well. I thought he played very well for a young man playing in his first game, against that opponent, and the number of defensive calls that were called in the game, particularly the multiple pressure schemes and everything. I thought Brad did a very nice job.

(But Kampman's still far and away your guy there if he's healthy?)

Aaron Kampman is a starter, yeah. He'll return as a starter.

(Will you explore ways to work Jones into certain packages?)

I'll let you know after the 49er game, but that's definitely an option. Definitely. I think he's warranted an opportunity to play. I was very pleased with his performance, his ability to get off blocks, some of the plays he made. He's done a nice job. He's really been coming on in special teams, has been productive there, and had a productive evening yesterday. He's definitely warranted that opportunity.

(How did Lang hold up at right tackle?)

Played well. I thought he played well. He graded out very well, and physically he seemed to come out of the game OK. It was good to see him. I think he's a little more comfortable on the right side than the left side, which I think everybody can understand that. That's more of a position he feels most comfortable at.

(Can you keep him at one spot?)

Like to. I feel like I've been answering this question for two years. We'd like to line up with five offensive linemen in the same spots and gain some continuity and consistency. So we'll continue to work for that goal.

(Where's Finley at?)

Jermichael will practice Wednesday. I anticipate he'll be back if he gets through the week of practice.

(Did Lang do enough you'd consider starting him even if you have Tauscher?)

We'll take the week to figure that out.

(Guys talked about the back-to-the-wall mentality. How do you carry that over from one week to the next?)

The best example is your own performance. To capture what we accomplished yesterday, but also be realistic and make the corrections as you prepare for San Francisco. That's what you have to do. Motivation comes in different forms and fashions throughout the course of a season, and that's definitely something in that victory yesterday that we can carry forward into our preparation for San Francisco, because there were obviously a lot of positives to come off the field yesterday.

(The pressure defense, is that more what you want to be or was that a one-game, game-planning thing?)

Every game is different. Our numbers were higher yesterday than prior weeks, and really the flow of the game and how things go have a lot to do with that. Defensive signal-callers and offensive signal-callers call it the same way. You have an intention of how you want to play every single game, but sometimes the game takes you down a different path. It was very effective yesterday, and I really liked the way Dom just kept his foot on the gas and kept coming.

(Last year you beat Indianapolis for a big win but you lost the next two. How do you guard against that happening again?)

We're focused on the San Francisco 49ers. That doesn't even enter our thought process. We had a very positive experience yesterday as a team. It's well-documented what's gone on the last two weeks. We were able to learn from that, carry it forward to our game yesterday, and we need to take that forward to San Francisco. That's what we're looking at.

(When you look at the NFC, is that evidence you have to avoid those swings? You're down after the loss to Tampa Bay but you beat Dallas and you're right back in it.)

That's my responsibility. I'm focused on winning and improving. You're probably tired of hearing about it. But that's the way we operate, so I'm not going to try to sit here and say it in different words and different statements. We need to win football games and we need to improve along the way, because you want to be playing your best football at the end of the year. The National Football League is very competitive. I understand the passion that our fans have and the importance of winning. But as far as what people think and their opinions, I can't really concern myself with that. My concern and focus is on our football team.

(Did you think the guys were improving even in the losses to Minnesota and Tampa Bay?)

There's definitely some areas for improvement. There's positives in those losses. The one loss that probably stands out where you felt like you took a step back was at Tampa. Because when you have a game that you're going up and down and you have an 11-point lead at that point in the fourth quarter, and you don't finish the game, that's a lesson we can learn from that experience.

(Are you still comfortable with the punter?)

He needs to punt better. Jeremy needs to punt better, he knows that. He's a young man that does a very good job throughout the week and just needs to be more consistent on gameday.

(Is Woodson playing his best football for you right now?)

I thought he played one of his best games yesterday. You're impressed with it walking off the field, and then you have a chance to watch it on film. Just a very, very impressive body of work yesterday, and he played at an extremely high level. I thought Nick Barnett played at a very high level. Clay Matthews played at a high level. I thought Nick Collins was very productive. We had our hands on the ball probably four or five times. Just as a whole, the pace and the tempo part of it with the pressure calls and so forth, I thought our defense flew around. Three or four bodies around the ball time and time again. I thought it was a very impressive performance. But definitely Charles, that's the best I think I've seen him play since he's been here.

(Do you buy into the theory that some guys just have a knack for the ball, or is that partly coaches putting him in position to be where the football is?)

I'm sure a lot of coaches would like to take credit for Charles' instincts, but he's a very intelligent player, very instinctive player. He has the physical skill set that goes along with all that, and he's a tough physical football player. I think he had nine or 10 tackles in the game. He has the ability to come down and play tight ends, bounce back outside and play the 1 or 2 receiver. We're trying to utilize him as much as we can.

(The changes you made on offense, is that who you have to be now with the sack issues?)

Each week will answer that. I think our challenge this week is going to be very similar to the Dallas defense. We had a lot of respect for Dallas' defense and San Francisco's defense is definitely one of the better defenses that we will play to this point. So exactly how we go about it and the adjustments and the things that we do, I don't have those answers for you. I'm not that far along in the game planning.

(Are you surprised how well Barnett is playing coming off the knee injury and considering he missed some of the defensive installs?)

Nick is a veteran player for our football team. He's doing a very good job. I thought it was very important with the way we started the season with Nick coming off of the major knee surgery to take 30-40 reps the first four games of the year. I think it has helped him. I think he has really hit his stride now. He's very comfortable. He is the signal caller in there and I think he is having one of his better years.

(What's been your impression of Raji over these past few games? It seems he's getting more snaps each week. Is there a reason for that?)

I think B.J., number one, is getting healthy. He was clearly a different player the first four or five weeks of the season with the ankle sprain, and now he is getting more familiar with the defense and the exact techniques and things that he is supposed to do. We're playing so much more sub than base right now, so I think Mike Trgovac has done a very good job with the rotation as a whole with all of our defensive linemen. So there are more situations that really determine how many snaps those guys get. We're trying to keep those guys fresh and keep those guys healthy, and I think we've got a very good rotation now with B.J.'s snaps that have increased the way they have here the last couple of weeks.

(What was your thinking in keeping Chillar up, and is he clear this week?)

To be honest with you, we anticipated having Brandon down throughout the week. We really, I don't to say we didn't have enough healthy bodies for the 45, but we got to a point there later in the week where you didn't know what was going to happen to Brady and so forth. Our numbers, we've been carrying eight or nine linebackers each week and we were down to six. So having Brandon up as a backup was really the thought process of putting him up for the game. Him and I talked about it Friday out there on the field and then he had a doctor's appointment Friday afternoon and they cleared him. He felt confident that he was going to be able to play with the club so we took him into the game as a backup.

(What about this week?)

I think he'll definitely be back in the flow this week. He wants to practice with that. He's never played with one, get used to the club and everything. I think after three days of practice he'll feel a lot better than he was last week.

(When you made the defensive switch, did you have any idea Barnett was such a good blitzer?)

Yeah, Nick Barnett, he blitzed in our prior scheme. He did a lot of the similar cross dogs or however you want to describe the inside pressures, the inside fire zones. I always felt Nick was a good pressure player. He's very explosive, has the ability to get off blocks, and plays with a lot of energy.

{sportsad300}(Why did you pass with 3:47 left in the game?)

I was trying to get a first down. We were in four-minute offense based on what they were playing. The prior two snaps, that's why we took the shot there.

(Has Hawk done anything different with Chillar out?)

He's played winning football the last couple of weeks. I think A.J. is, as you said, very sound, plays with a lot of toughness. He's a physical player and I think just like the rest of the defense, I think they have improved each week, and I think A.J. is definitely playing better with the increase of reps that he has had.

(Has he done enough that if you have Chillar back this week ...)

Those are questions that will be answered through the week's work. We don't have 11 starters on offense or defense, so we try to utilize these guys the best we can. And it's tough, you've got to make certain decisions based on packages and so forth.

(Who received the game balls?)

I haven't told the team yet, but I'm sure it will stay in the room. Charles Woodson on defense, Nick Barnett on defense, Josh Sitton on offense, Spencer Havner on special teams and also Desmond Bishop on special teams.

(The five holding calls, was your technique bad or were they just calling it tight?)

Officiating is something I'm not really going to talk about. We need to do a better job. The penalties are obviously very high. We'll look at all of them today and make the corrections.

(Is there a protocol or chain of command for the challenges?)

Yes. The one with Nelson, the first one was with Tramon. That was both upstairs and the ability to watch it on the field. The second one with Jordy to be honest with you was a time clock issue. When Jordy went in there into the goal line, it was close. They started the 40-second clock. There was a lot of jumping around, and I didn't feel that I would be able to get the play call (in) because the ball has to get spotted. Was it on the 1? There is a difference sometimes in your call between the 1-yard line and the 6-inch yard line, and that's the facts. So with all of that going on, once we got below 20 seconds, I just was looking at the board and listening to what they had upstairs, to see if he was in and then once it got below 10 I was going to have take the timeout anyways. That's why I though the challenge. Sometimes emotion gets involved in your decisions as far as the people telling you, because all of the players were jumping around that he was in, he was in, he was in. But in hindsight, from a challenge standpoint, you probably don't want to do that because we are first and inches at the goal line and then obviously things worked out. I had a play like that, I think it was about two or three years back, that we ended up taking the timeout instead of taking the challenge.

(Should you have taken a timeout instead?)

Hindsight is 20/20. I just told you why I did. I was going to take a timeout anyway so I took a shot with the challenge. Because the angle I saw, to be honest with you, the angle I saw on the field, I thought Jordy crossed the goal line.

(Did you know you were supposed to get a 15-yard penalty for trying a third challenge?)

I made a mistake on the third one. That's all I've got to say about it. I know what the rules are.

(Are you surprised they didn't penalize you?)

Hey, that's the way the game is played. We're in charge of coaching, the players play and the officials officiate.

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