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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 20

(Were you healthier today than you expected to be?)

A little healthier. It was a cut down practice so we did a lot of job-through.

(How long did you go with the team part?)

We went through the normal team periods. I cut out a 7-on-7 and I cut out base run and pass, play-action pass team drill than a normal practice, about 25 minutes of a normal (practice).

(Is tomorrow basically a jog-through only?)

More of a walk-through. It's a travel day for us. We'll work on a Friday schedule. We'll meet in the morning. Then we'll have a walk-through in the gymnasium. Then we'll go down below and refer to it as a jog-through, but it's more of jog-through with the offense. The defense is more of a walk-through. So we'll do that. Come up and have lunch. Then go get on the plane.

(Has Grant been able to put all of his weight on that ankle?)

He went through the jog-through segment of today's practice.

(Do you feel pretty good about him?)

He feels pretty good.

(How did Spitz grade out, and are you likely to go with the same offensive line?)

That is likely. I thought Jason played well the last two weeks. That's likely the way we'll go.

(You've talked before about Packer people. Does Donald Lee fit that mold?)

I definitely think Donald Lee fits in that category, very hard worker, selfless player. It's been expressed in both parties as far as his future here in Green Bay. He is a prime example of a guy that put in the extra time through the offseason. He's taken advantage of the opportunity that he's been given. With the injury to Bubba, he's really stepped up for us and has played big week-in and week-out.

(Did you see this coming?)

The ability was always there. The year before I arrived, statistically he put up some good numbers. Really, the whole tight end group has been asked to do some things differently than they have been done before. So there was a little bit of an adjustment period last year as far as what their responsibilities were with protection. Now we're more open as far as displacing the tight end. They're more involved in the passing game and that's a direct reflection of their productivity. I think Donald has done an excellent job so far.

(Has Ben McAdoo been a big part of his development at that position?)

Ben is an excellent young coach. He spends a lot of extra time with his players. I go back to the off-season program, the emphasis on individual improvement. Donald Lee is a perfect example of that. You have to credit Ben for spending that extra time with those guys.

(Do you think the league is going to come down on you for this money incentives thing?)

I haven't spoken to the league personally. I know Ted Thompson spent yesterday talking to the National Football League office about the situation. It's really in their hands.

(Do you think your guys knew they were doing something wrong?)

It's a miscommunication. That's Ted's and my responsibility. I don't think the players thought that they were doing anything wrong.

(Do you draw a distinction between a 'bounty' and rewarding players for doing their jobs, so to speak?)

We're not even going to go there today. Because what you're implying isn't what even happened. There was a lack of communication. It's a lack of communication from the head coach to the players. It's being resolved between our organization and the NFL.

(What is your approach against Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson?)

They're impressive. You can see, watching the games, a number of people have tried to take them away. It doesn't really stop there. I've been impressed with their whole perimeter group. They challenge you from a match-up standpoint. Both of those guys can take the ball to the end zone and make the big catch in the end zone area. That will be a challenge for our corners. I was impressed last year in our meetings with Roy Williams. Watching Johnson come out in the draft and watching him play, he has a very bright future. I think that's obvious to everybody. That's a big part of what they do. They spread you out. They challenge you with formations. They challenge conceptually in the passing game. It'll be an excellent contest Thursday.

(Is Johnson as big as he looks?)

He's very impressive. A lot of times as a professional coach, your first exposure to the college players is at the NFL Combine. I can recall him coming in for the height and weight. He's an impressive athlete.

(Did you have a lot of guys come in yesterday?)

We had our whole team in yesterday. Everybody was required to work out with strength and conditioning and start on the game tape.

{sportsad300}(Are the Lions harder to prepare for because they're so streaky?)

I wouldn't say they're tougher to prepare for but if you look at the games that they're in, the constant statistic that shows up is the turnover ratio. Their defense is No. 1 in the league in taking the ball away. They've generated turnovers in every single one of their football games. That's impressive from a defensive standpoint. They've also turned the ball over. I think there's only been one game where they haven't turned it over. That is a big factor in the outcome of their games in my opinion. That's one of the things we emphasized today in the team meeting.

(How do they get those turnovers?)

They do an excellent job of stripping the ball, it's a technique. They spend a lot of time on it. That's the backbone to that defense. They play with vision to the quarterback, vision to the football. They do an excellent job in pursuit. They play fast. They're a much faster team at home than on the road. That's something else we talked about as a football team. They do a very good job stripping the football.

(That play with Donald Driver at quarterback, did you get what you wanted out of that?)

I wish we had blocked it better. It had a chance. We had a block that broke down and Brandon Jackson had to clean it up. We were able to get the defense we thought we would in that situation.

(How did you go about selecting Driver as the quarterback on that?)

Donald is very good with the football in his hand. It was just another opportunity for him to get the football in space.

(So we shouldn't expect Brett to be running pass patterns out of that formation?)

You never know.

(Do you know anything more on Jolly?)

It's going to take a couple of weeks, talking to Pat yesterday and again this morning. As I stated Monday, he has a lot of swelling in the shoulder in the whole joint. So it's going to take some time.

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