Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 22

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


(Can you tell us a little about Bouman?)

I've had the opportunity to work with Todd in the past. He has a pretty clear understanding of the offense. Some of the terminology, which is normal as you move from team to team, changes a little bit, so that won't be a huge adjustment for him. He took most of the reps today, him and Ingle, took the reps today in the team period with the first offense. Strong arm, good athlete, he'll be able to do everything we want in the movement phase of it. He's a good football player.

(Is Todd your No. 2 guy going into Monday or is that to be determined?)

To be determined. We will go through the week and create packages for both Ingle and Todd and just make sure we're prepared accordingly.

(How different is your offense now compared to when you were in New Orleans?)

Conceptually the passing game and the protection schemes are very similar. The run game is different, so two of the three areas he doesn't need to focus on.

(If you had brought in a guy you weren't familiar with, would Ingle have been the No. 2? Does this give you some flexibility that way?)

I think it gives us flexibility, yes.

(Did Favre do any team drills?)

We're just playing the high side of caution with him. He's still having some effects from the elbow injury, as far as strength and feelings. With today and being off tomorrow, we'll re-evaluate Friday morning.

(Do you think there's a good chance he'll go Friday, or how late in the week can you wait?)

I think with Brett's experience, just the way we structured the week, Friday is going to be a Thursday for us in a normal week, and so forth. Saturday would be probably a key day.

(How good was your offensive practice with the two backup quarterbacks?)

I'll say this, it was better than last week's, which was important. We started practice over, frankly, after the team run, just to make sure we got that done right. Todd I thought was solid. His huddle command and everything was fine, but I think it's normal when you bring a guy in on his first day, the speed of it and the timing with receivers wasn't in tact like you'd see with Brett. I thought Ingle practiced well with his opportunities. It was a spirited practice. The energy was excellent. Defense had an excellent practice. I'd say it was a solid practice for us on a Wednesday.

(Are you able to work on everything with this game plan, or do you have to wait until Brett comes back?)

We worked on everything. Just the way we structure practice, we hit everything that's in on first, second and third down today, and then red zone, short yardage and goal line and two-minute, which would be the Thursday structure on Friday. The way we do the practice structure, we had the jog-through and everything, so just by Brett going through the jog-through, he was able to hit everything he would have practiced if he had taken the team drills. So we got everything that will be in this game for first down, second down, third down.

(Are the throws in the jog-through significant?)

I think they are. The timing, the speed of it isn't. But it's the fact that he's able to get out there and throw the ball around. I'm not a big fan of walk-throughs and step-and-point drills, so this just increases the tempo of it, guys running routes, just spacing and depth relationships and things like that. As far as getting reps, as far as timing, no, it has no significance.

(Could you tell by how he was throwing where he is?)

I've been saying all along, just with his track record, I'll be surprised if he doesn't go Monday.

(Seattle is getting a lot of guys back. How does that change what you'll see?)

It doesn't really change anything with what we'll see, because I think they're very systematic in their offensive and defensive approach. They're going to run their schemes and put those players, particularly their prime-time players, in positions to be successful. So we will set our plans, we're anticipating all the guys coming off injury to be back, and that's the way we've set our plans.

(Will there be more of a focus on going after the quarterback with Hasselbeck back?)

I really don't want to get into how we're going to attack their quarterback, but we're anticipating that they're going to play Matt Hasselbeck.

(Is Barnett more doubtful today than you thought he would be on Monday?)

I think so, and I think that's probably normal. It's just very sore. He has a broken bone in his hand, so it's very sore. Our conversation has been he wants to play and says he will play. With the extra day this week, I think it's smart to wait until Friday to put him in the club and we'll see what he can do.

(How much does a player give up wearing a club like that, particularly at his position?)

Your hands are very important, particularly at linebacker. Obviously he gives up something, just the hand placement, beating second reaction, re-direction of receivers on route concepts and things like that. Those are things he'll have to adjust with.

(Would Hodge start in his place if he can't go?)

Hodge worked at that spot today, yes.

(Any more word on Tauscher?)

Mark's very optimistic. His view is different than the doctors'. I think Friday it will be something we'll talk more about. He feels like it's coming along. It's just a matter of, I'm trying to recall exactly how to describe it, it's a pull that needs to strengthen as he moves forward. As far as which week, it's really going to depend on Mark. He's better this week than last week, but he just needs to work on getting it stronger.

(How ready is Ingle Martin if he had to play last Sunday?)

He's on our 53-man roster. He goes through practice and game-plan meetings just like the other quarterbacks. I say it all the time with the quarterback position, it's important for the second and third quarterback to prepare more than the starter, because the starter gets all the reps. The backup quarterbacks' preparation is a lot more in depth from an emphasis standpoint because once again, they have to do the job without the reps, and they're one, possibly two plays away from being in there.

(Have you seen a lot of development with him from the beginning of the year?)

I think he's progressed throughout the year. He's getting more comfortable with the speed of the game. The timing with the same receivers, and the particular receiver group he's been throwing to has been pretty much the same most of the year, and I thought he practiced better today.

(Have you seen enough of Aaron Rodgers to know if he's the quarterback for this team down the line?)

Physically, I have no questions at all about Aaron's ability. I think he has plenty of physical ability to be a top quarterback in this league. Mentally he's very bright, so from a systematic, volume, understanding, decision-making, I think he would grade out very high there. The one thing you never know is if they can lead them, and if they can handle the everyday grind of it. Durability, that's something I'm sure is a hurdle he'll have to overcome as he moves forward. I think it's just an individual event. If you look at his bone structure and body structure, I don't classify him as an injury guy. But until he gets in there and does it on an everyday basis, that's when you really know, but I'm glad he's here. I'll say that. I'm glad he's a Green Bay Packer, and I look forward to moving forward with him in the future.

(What's your relationship with Mike Holmgren?)

It's cordial. I've only been around Coach Holmgren a very few times. He was very genuine when I saw him at the owners' meeting, congratulating me on the job opportunity here in Green Bay. But like everybody, I have a lot of respect for him. Followed his staff here in Green Bay and have a pretty good understanding of how they play offense and the ins and outs of what they do offensively, and I have a great respect for his success over such a long period of time.

(With all the issues you've had on the offensive line, do you feel you've gotten everything out of Ahman Green that's there?)

I'd say the last two games I don't think I've gotten the opportunities to him that he needs. From an opportunitistic standpoint, equating to his productivity, I'm very pleased with Ahman Green. He's an exciting running back. His ability to score from long distances, he proved that in Miami. He's very powerful, puts his shoulder down and makes all the tough runs. He's a one-cut runner, which is important in our run scheme. He just needs more opportunities, so I'm very pleased with him to this point.

(Have you really missed Miree in the run game?)

I think there's a reason why Miree was in there. He has a pretty good feel for the lead zone schemes. Also, I think William Henderson has done a nice job compared to where he was in the beginning of the season. I think William has a lot better understanding now. You have to give the opponent a little bit of credit. I don't think you give them too much, but we've played against two pretty good run defenses the last two weeks too. And part of that has to do with the attempts going down, but part of it has to do with our productivity.

{sportsad300}(How do you recover from the setback?)

I think any team, period, can have a setback. It just goes to show you, if you don't go out and play your best football, and the other team plays their best football or very good football, you can be embarrassed, and that's frankly what happened to us this past week. But more importantly, it's a past experience and I've said it over and over again, we need to learn from it, and frankly just need to make a decision which way we're going to go from this. That's what we need to do as a football team, coaches, everybody involved. I thought today's work was very good. We laid it on the table and we need to do something with this opportunity. We're talking about two football teams meeting Monday night that don't feel very good about their last game. So they're going to be charged up. We're playing in a hostile environment. I played up there last year, it's louder than I recalled playing up there the first year the stadium opened, so that combined with being on Monday night, we're going to be going into a very hostile environment that will be very loud so we'll have to deal with that. I think it will be a very energetic, emotional football game, and we're going to have to put our best foot forward and play damn good football to win this game.

(What makes Shaun Alexander such a good running back?)

I just think, watching him live, you really see when you see him live how strong he is, his leg strength. He has the ability to break tackles, set defenders and break tackles. That was the thing I was so impressed with, watching him live last year. He's a very smart runner, has an understanding of the leverages of the defenses, big-time cutback player. So our leverage and run-gap discipline will have to be in tact because he's the type of back that can expose you.

(Is there more to Seattle's home-field advantage than the noise?)

They're a good football team, No. 1, they played in the Super Bowl last year. I was just talking about what we're preparing for with what we can control here. We'll go through noise with our practices and things like that, but they're the defending NFC champions. A very good football team, a football team that has been together for quite some time in the same system. You can see there's a lot of familiarity with the players and the scheme, particularly on offense, that's a group that's on the same page. I know Matt is coming back this week. So they have a lot of positive things going for them.

(How do you evaluate their offensive line after losing Hutchinson?)

Watching them play last year, I thought they had the best left side in football that I saw live, in the games that I participated in last year. I don't think it's the same this year. They've moved some guys around. As we know and we've experienced to a point, when you don't have the continuity and the consistency of seeing guys playing together over and over again week in and week out, it affects your consistency, and I think they're going through a little bit of that. But they're also getting their center back this week, and I think he's definitely the guy that runs the show up there. He handles all the declarations, a very bright player. I think they'll definitely try to get back in that rhythm, and hopefully it won't be this week.

(What more have you seen from Jennings 10 weeks into the season?)

He's battling through adversity right now, just like the rest of his teammates. He probably learned a lesson or two this week, when things are down, don't press and try to make a play, just run the offense. We had a number of things in the game, particularly in the second half, when we were in adverse situations, and you try to make a play, you tend to get outside the box a little bit. You might run the route a little deeper or run the route a little quicker, and the timing between you and the quarterback is not the same. So I think he's kind of learning some of those lessons as he moves forward.

(How has Matt Hasselbeck changed since '99?)

I had the chance to be around Matt the one year, and he's a very bright young man. I think he has an outstanding work ethic. He's a football guy, he grew up in a football family, he's all about football. I think he's done a great job physically with his body. I think he's put on probably 10 to 15 pounds of muscle mass. He's really changed his body from the time that we were here together. He's played in an excellent system his whole career and he's taken full advantage of it, and he's been very successful. On a personal note, I'm very happy for him, because you get an opportunity to be around young men like that, that have a clear vision of what they want to be, and they do the work that's necessary to do that and have success, I think that's a positive. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, and I just hope he doesn't have any success this week, but I'm happy for what he's done so far.

(How important is this extra day to prepare for Seattle from a mental standpoint with what happened last week?)

I think this extra day is probably more important for us from a physical standpoint, because we do have a number of guys that are nicked and injured. But mentally, I wish we had probably two days shorter so we could get out there and go play again. But this extra day will really help us to get the health of our football team in better shape.

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