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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 20

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Monday news conference. will post these full transcripts after each of Coach McCarthy’s press conferences during the 2006 season.


(What is the status of both of your quarterbacks?)

We'll start with Aaron (Rodgers). Aaron has a broken foot which will require surgery. He'll be out for the season. Brett's elbow I think is going to be fine. He's been in for treatment for both the elbow and the groin, and we'll reevaluate him Wednesday. He doesn't seem very concerned about it.

(Does he have the strength back?)

He's got the strength pretty much back, but it's not all the way back. He's got 48 hours. We'll know more Wednesday as far as whether he'll practice or not. I really don't have a classification for him yet.

(Is there pain there or was it just numb?)

What I noticed was weakness. That was the whole discussion from the time of the injury, through halftime and into the third quarter was that the strength wasn't there, the feeling in the hand. As far as the pain, I'm not sure about the pain.

(Did Bruschi's hit cause the injury?)

It looked more like it (his elbow) hit the ground than anything. I didn't sit there and study it, but my thought was that his elbow hit the ground rather than the helmet, which we originally thought.

(Anything with the nerves that the doctors are concerned about?)

No. I just got done with the doctors, and what I just told you was what they told me. He took a shot on the elbow and didn't get into the specifics of the nerve and everything. They think he is going to be fine. He's not very worried about it, which to them is a clear indication because he's been through this, and they trust his judgment based on their history with him.

(Do you have to sign a third quarterback this week?)

Correct. Yes, we are working on that now. We're trying to get some prospects in here tonight and be knocking that out in the next 24 hours.

(Looking for a young guy or veteran, 2nd QB or third string?)

We're looking at both scenarios - a potential veteran or a potential practice squad (player). We're looking at every scenario out there now.

(When did Rodgers hurt his foot?)

I'm not 100% sure. In talking to him last night, I don't think he's real sure either. After watching the film, I think it was on the scramble. That'd be my best guess. You can't really tell. You can see he starts limping after that point in the game. Based on the way his body was and the torque he put on his foot, that would be my guess. I'm not sure. I haven't seen Aaron today, so when we watch film today with the quarterbacks, I'm sure we'll figure it out. It was a scramble on their sideline - not sure about which down it was.

(Played with it the rest of the way?)

He played the whole fourth quarter with it, yeah. It affected his footwork and some things later. He got it taped right about that point and played the whole fourth quarter with it.

(When will he have surgery?)

We haven't scheduled it yet, but sooner rather than later.

(Will he be ready to begin work with the regular offseason injury?)

Yeah, but until he has the operation, that's all. Until they get in there and see exactly what it is, we haven't even discussed it yet.

(Is it like Blackmon's broken foot?)

It's similar to Will's.

* (Could have lost both quarterbacks - Where are you emotionally?)*

Injuries, I say it over and over again and with the quarterback situation, it maybe changes the flight of your vision for your football team as you move forward, but I can't control injuries. As far as when we talk about them, I feel bad for the individual. As far as the football team, that's part of our season. Everyone has them, and everyone experiences it as some point with the quarterback. We've been blessed here in Green Bay with Brett's situation. We just plow forward and make sure we ask the players to do the things they're capable of doing regardless of who the quarterback is. If that means playing with Ingle Martin, then we'll play with Ingle Martin. No excuses - I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. Everybody gets paid, it's a great game, tough business, but everyone has a responsibility. We'll just move forward.

(Was Favre just off or did his injuries bother him?)

We haven't watched the film together yet. He has not communicated that to me, but that's something I'll know more of when we get in there at 1 o'clock. I haven't talked to him about the specifics about each play. We'll go through it like we normally do.

(Have you ever seen him that inaccurate?)

Ball accuracy was an issue. I don't recall the passing game being so poor, and that goes back to the preparation. I'm just disappointed clearly in our offensive performance, really the team performance as a whole, but in the offense the primary focus was the passing game. We need to get that fixed. We've been pretty good. I don't know what our ranking is in the league, but we're up there. That was supposed to be the strength of our game planning, the strength of our attack yesterday, and it wasn't.

(Like to see Rodgers remain active in meetings and around the team?)

Absolutely, I mean he's a young quarterback. Every time he's in that room, watching film, a part of that conversation, taking in the practice reps, I mean that position is such an education and the process of going through it. Especially with a veteran quarterback like Brett Favre, it'd be foolish for him not to expose himself (to it). The plan is to keep him involved. On a personal level, you feel terrible for him because he's a guy that's been here since March 20. He's been here everyday going through the quarterback school, was getting ready to be potentially the starter for our football team, and then he finally gets an opportunity to play and that happens to him. You feel bad for him on a personal level, but professionally, he still has an opportunity to grow as a quarterback, so that will be the plan with him.

(How much does this hinder his development?)

I mean it's a setback. The ultimate point of development for him right now is that he needs to play. If he misses the opportunity to play again, then that's an opportunity wasted. We'll move on. He's young, and it's something that won't be career threatening or anything like that. It's just a setback for him personally.

(Do you force feed Ingle Martin some practice reps now?)

Well, you have to balance that. Our starter is a veteran, someone who has had more practice reps than anyone in the league. He still needs his reps during the week, and Ingle's will go up. We'll do all the individual things that we can with extra meeting time with Tom (Clements) and post-practice drills, things like that. We'll do as much as we can.

(Do you want to sign someone who has been in a camp or looking at someone who has been away from the game for a year or two?)

Well, we're going to look at all of our options. I don't have criteria as far as where they are. We're not going to resurrect I don't think, but we're looking at all of our options.

(Have you seen development out of Martin since training camp?)

Yeah, I think so. Particularly in the opponent squad, he's getting the ball out quicker; the game is slowing down for him. That's normal. You see that in young quarterbacks. The speed of the game is always usually too much for them at first. He's doing a better job with his limited opportunities. Aaron still took reps with the opponent (squad), but he's improving.

(Other injuries?)

Let me go down the list here. We have Aaron Rodgers with the foot, we talked about him. Nick Barnett has a hand fracture. We're going to try to play him with a club. Ahman will go through his normal rehab on Wednesday. Cullen Jenkins, he has an ankle, we're going to test him today. It's the same ankle, just bothering him a little more than prior to the week. David Martin has a number of things, he's got the quad and the ribs, so we're looking at him today with some tests. Mark Tauscher is the same. We'll learn more about him. Ben Taylor has a hamstring. We're going to test him also today. And Charles Woodson has a shoulder, and we'll test him today.

{sportsad300}(How did Barnett break his hand?)

Right near the end of the game. I'm trying to remember what the play was. It was on a run play right there at the end of the game.

(Jags said after the game he was going to watch film. Is that something you normally do right after the game?)

I don't usually watch the film the night after. I did not watch it with him last night, so that must be something he did on his own.

(Manuel said after the game you guys got 'outcoached.' How do you feel about comments like that from a player?)

That's probably something him and I need to talk bout. That's nothing positive that can come from coming in here and talking about other people's comments. If that's the way he feels, then we need to have a conversation. I don't converse through the media.

(How do you feel about Manuel's play at safety so far?)

He's been put in some tough spots. But on the positive side of it, he's a very knowledgeable player. I think he's clearly the best communicator back there. It has been an adjustment coming from the scheme he came from to here. But there are some plays we need to get fixed. It's not just always one guy. If it's always one thing, I think we would have fixed it by now. Just in reference, everyone wants to talk about that play. We don't have cover schemes in our coverage design that put guys on an island where the two-way goes. There's other factors involved in that. We just have to keep coaching it, recognizing it, and we have to play it better. And we'll continue to get it fixed. And we're going to continue to see it. You look at the game yesterday, they had 17 attempts in their passing game at us vertically, and they hit on two or three of them. So we have to make sure we're 17-for-17, not 14-for-17, and that's kind of where we are right now, and it's going to keep coming. It will come in bunches until we fix it. That's the way this league works.

(Is he expected to carry that receiver into the other half?)

It's all based on leverage. One guy has inside leverage, one guy has outside leverage. You go through every coverage scheme when you talk about zones, and you get into man-to-man schemes, you're playing with inside leverage because you're factoring the pressure. Then you have fire zones. This a game of leverage, being in position, recognizing route combinations, and we just have to continue to work on it and get better at it.

(What is Brett's pain threshold compared to other QBs?)

I think his record for starts answers that question. I don't think it really was a pain issue yesterday. I think it was more of a strength issue because he was having a hard time controlling the football. The conversation that we had coming out at halftime is they were throwing it here inside, and he couldn't control the ball very well. I don't think it was a pain issue.

(How bruising was this entire experience?)

The score, you know, 35-nothing, my goodness, at home, that's a poor performance, and as a head coach I take full responsibility. Really for me, it starts with the preparation we had. And that's something we've talked a lot about as a staff since then. Because I was not comfortable with some of the adjustments we made during the course of the week. Without getting into all the specifics, because there were a number of them as far as handling the health of our football team, the way we practiced on Wednesday, decisions we made based on health of individuals, because a number of those things factored in the game. It's not an excuse, because there's a lot of other things we need to do better. But that's the reality of what happened this week. And hey, I thought New England played an excellent football game. They put their players in good position, I thought they out-executed us and so forth. I take responsibility for not having that team ready for that football game. Those are the things I'm focused on. And with that, just like I told the team afterwards, it's reality. That is one loss. The roller coaster is there, you guys are passing out the tickets, and I told them the same thing yesterday, we're not getting on it. We have to get ready for Seattle. Now we will get in there and we will talk about accountability and we'll talk about availability. And we'll talk about coaches teaching and demanding, we'll talk about players preparing and performing. Because that's their job, that's what we're about, that's the way we'll approach it. Yes, we're disappointed. I'm disappointed and we need to learn from it, because this is a negative that this team has encountered at this point in the season. No one ever wants to go through this, especially this late in the season, but this is something that we can learn from, this is something that we can build off of, and I think anytime you encounter situations like that, a lot of good things will come out of it. And that's what we need to accomplish today as a football team.

(Would you change anything in how you practiced last week?)

In hindsight, you can over-react to things like that. I think Wednesday's practice I would change. We're a young football team. A lot of problems we encountered yesterday were technical, they were not schematic. When I left the field yesterday, I thought we had made a number of mental errors. The information we had on the boundary and discussions we had on the boundary there yesterday were not accurate on the film, and that's not good, so we need to get that fixed. But a lot of our things were technical, and that's what happens to football teams at this point in the year. Your pad level gets high because you're not in pads as much. You're trying to find that common ground between protecting your players and the health of your football team because of the grind here in the second half, and also maintaining your fundamentals and things like that. So we just have to get back to the fundamentals. All the things that went wrong yesterday, the good news is they're all fixable, and we'll focus on that.

(After an emotional victory in Minnesota, was this a letdown?)

Well, that's something you need to make sure is not part of it. That's a common thought process that happens to teams. I think it would be convenient to say that happened to us.

We have to make sure that is not the case. Once again, I don't think we were ... I hope we weren't fat and happy because we were 4-5 last week. We felt pretty good about ourselves coming out of that win, and rightfully so. That was a big game. To win up there in that environment, that's a tough place to play. But this league is one week at a time. This past week was New England and we did not take care of business, and that starts with me. I need to do a better job.

(What was the thinking with regards to Brett in the second half?)

Frankly I told the quarterbacks regardless of who's in there, we're going. I could have slowed that game down, could have made the wound not as bad. I've been around that before. I don't believe in it, and that's a product of it. We kept the gas on the pedal. We didn't go very far, but we tried, and I think that's why the game got out of hand quite frankly. I could have prevented some of that. It's probably not fair to Aaron, but that's where we are as a football team. I am not going to line up and try to keep it close. I refuse to do that, right or wrong or indifferent. I know there's spots in the game, there are games where it happens to go that way and you do it. But as a general mindset, that's not my interest right now. When we came out of the locker room, regardless of who the quarterback was, we stayed aggressive in everything we did, we tried to emphasize the pass as the primary attack, and we did not get it done.

(Will you be in pads this week?)

We were in pads last week. We took the pads off on Wednesday because of the number of guys out. But we'll stick to our (schedule). We'll be in pads Wednesday and (Friday).

(Did Favre lobby to get back in the game?)

I just told Pepper and those guys to give me an update on how he was doing, and he did not regain his strength.

(Will you practice every day this week?)

We're going to be off Thursday because of the extra day. Trust me, we'll get our work done.

(What do you mean by conversations on the boundary?)

Sometimes what happens is, a guy gets kicked in the calf and he says he got kicked but he has a torn Achilles. That's a common practice. It's no different when a guy gets beat on a block and says this is what they're doing to me. You get pictures but they don't always tell the whole story. They only tell one frame of the story. And you're over there correcting and trying to make proper adjustments, then you watch the film the next day and that's not what happened. We need to be better at communication is what it is. That happens unfortunately. And we've been very good about it. We've been very good about it. It's a small part of it, and we need to get it fixed.

(As a head coach, do you feel you need to get more involved with the defense?)

I'm on the line the whole time they're out on the field. I'm not involved in every single one of their adjustments like I am on offense. You can only do so much. I'm comfortable with our structure.

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