Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 23

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

I'll start off with the medical report. We have a number of players that are seeing Dr. McKenzie as we speak, so I'm not exactly sure who will or will not practice for tomorrow. We'll release that later today. We just got the confirmation on both Al Harris and Aaron Kampman's results, and both individuals will have season-ending knee surgery. It will be a big challenge for our football team. Both Aaron and Al have meant a lot to us and our football team. Both have over 100-plus starts. Just thinking about it walking down here after visiting with Aaron, not seeing 74 and 31 in the huddle, it's going to be different. But it's a challenge that our younger players, they're going to have to step up and get ready on a short week for Detroit. It's been confirmed, both players will have season-ending surgery. With that I'll take your questions.

(You spoke with Aaron and Al or just Aaron?)

Correct. I just saw Aaron. Spoke with Al last night. Al's results just came in, just right before I came in here.

(How are they?)

I guess they're as good as to be expected. They're both professionals. We have a lot of confidence both will respond very well. They're both in great shape. Both take great care of their bodies. They've got a rehab road ahead of them, and I'm sure they're looking at all their options.

(It's season-ending regardless, but did they find more than just the ACLs in there?)

I don't ever talk about specifics of injuries. That's really up to the players. It's what we feared when we came off the field yesterday and it has been confirmed.

(Given Aaron's situation becoming a free agent, do you fear he's played his last game as a Packer?)

I would hope not. But those are all questions for the future. Right now, we want to make sure that they get the best care, just like we do for all of our players, and just make sure that we're part of their decisions and help them the best that we can. They've meant a lot to our organization. Like I said, they've played a lot of football and have been great representatives of the Green Bay Packers, and we want to make sure they're taken care of.

(It didn't look like either one had much contact. Is there anything anyone is going to look into - cleats, the field, anything?)

I think every individual injury is obviously different. I don't think it was anything to do with the equipment or the field. I think our field is definitely one of the best, or best fields that we've played on so far this year. So I don't see that as part of the reason.

(If you go with Tramon for Al, what do you do at the linebacker spot?)

Well, Tramon is the natural move. As far as moving forward at Aaron's position, that's really what we'll spend today going through. Obviously the game plan for the Detroit Lions will factor into a lot of our decisions in who plays and where they play.

(What about nickel and dime? Do you go the way you finished the game?)

I don't have those for you today.

(Is Derrick Martin an option at corner for you?)

I don't think so, not today. But that's definitely an option. He has that ability. We talked about a number of different options, and I don't think that's the way we'll go.

(Do you need veterans at both positions to replace the guys you lost or can you do it with practice squad players?)

It's part of the conversation that I was involved with Ted this morning and the personnel department. We're looking at all of our options. We will not make any roster move today. That's probably very evident, but we're looking at all of our options.

(Do you expect to be back at 53 by the Detroit game?)

Possibly. It depends on what happens in the next couple days. There's no absolutes as I stand here in front of you.

(Yesterday you said you're a realist, so what do you tell your team about this?)

It's the National Football League. Really our hurt right now is for the individual because of what Aaron and Al have been ... just like all the players that are hurt. You don't ever want to see the individual go through this. But it's part of the game. You have to overcome injuries. It's something you can't control. We will step up. We're going to play the game just like we always play the game against Detroit. We're going to play to win. Our coaches need to be creative. These are challenges you don't always prepare for, from week to week, but this is what your offseason program, and this is what your menu that you set -- offense, defense and special teams -- that give you flexibility to overcome these types of situations. This is a challenge that we'll meet. This is a challenge that we're working on today, and we'll be ready for Detroit. It's the National Football League. You lose good players, but really you don't want to see the individual go through it. But as far as our football team, trust me, they're in here today, they're getting treatment, they've worked out, they're watching film, and we'll be ready for Detroit.

(Is there anybody else right now who might be a question mark for the game?)

We may have some guys that may miss some practice time, but really our practices the next two days are not going to be...we won't be in pads. So I don't have all of that for you right now. We've got a bunch of bumps and bruises like you always do on Monday. I don't have the information yet for you. A lot of guys are still in the training room right now.

(What do you try to get out of practice this week in such a short time? You've done this before.)

It's a challenge when you play a team, like for our offensive coaches, San Francisco ran the 3-4 defense. Obviously Detroit runs a 4-3, so how much can you carry over from one week to the next is what you are looking for. So our volume was a little higher going into San Francisco than it has been because the things that we can carry over, we will carry over, and it's no different for defense and special teams. You try to go a little heavier the week before a Thursday game in my experience to take it into the next game. Our coaches have been here Thursday, Friday, Saturday and after the game Sunday getting ready for Detroit. So we'll finalize our game-planning throughout the day and really tomorrow, Tuesday, will be more like a combination of Wednesday and Thursday for us and we'll have a good plan for the Detroit Lions.

{sportsad300}(You've played a fair number of Thursday games, so what have you taken from those experiences that helps you this week?)

The challenge is really today and tomorrow. The course of the week is always the challenge that you have to meet as far as your preparation, so when you squeeze five days into two, that's a challenge. Frankly on Wednesday I think everybody will be excited to get on that plane because the fun part is playing the games. So when the plane ride happens, you can see the light of getting ready to play again. You just have to get your work done. There is a lot of prep planning really from the support staff and the coaching staff that we feel like we're way ahead. Like I said, we had assistant coaches really start their game-planning late Friday and Saturday after our meetings.

(You had an early bye week, so if you win this game Thursday, what does that do for you with a daunting final five games ahead?)

This is a target that we've been keeping our eye on, definitely, being 7-4 with another bye week. A chance to regroup, get healthy, that's what you're looking for. Thursday games, it's a national TV game, it's the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to play up there a couple of years ago so we're excited about that. But definitely, I think both teams would echo a second bye week will definitely help you before your final run.

(How did Brad Jones play yesterday?)

Frankly, I did not watch the film. I will watch the film this evening. The coaches have graded the film, so I would just be going off of what they told me. I will watch our film tonight. We've been game-planning for Detroit.

(Is Chillar an option at outside linebacker?)

Athletically, and he could play there mentally too, but I think we're fine with the guys we have there.

(How do you feel about where your offense is at? With the injuries on defense, but getting a couple of key guys back on offense, can you outscore people if you have to?)

Our goal is to outscore them every week. We have that ability. The most important thing for us offensively is to stay balanced, and I felt for the most part we were balanced in yesterday's football game. Because when you have the ability to run the football and the things that come off of the run game, everything improves. It improves your play-action pass and it improves your pass protection and we feel our perimeter is as good as anybody in the league. So we feel very confident that we can play whatever game we need to play, and that's really offense, defense and special teams. We're still going to be aggressive on defense. Once again, we will meet the challenge. Our younger players will step up and we will keep this thing going.

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