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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 6

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


(Update on Collins? Were you concerned about kidney damage?)

Collins had the MRI for the back bruise, and everything looks to be fine. I think he'll be ready to go this week. There was some concern at halftime, which is why we had to test him.

(What about Jennings?)

He's sore. He's been in this morning, but he'll probably miss some practice time again. We'll know more by the end of the week, but we're hopeful he'll go. He's questionable.

(Did his ankle get worse as the game wore on?)

He hurt it on the play where he got tackled, I don't know if you saw it. It was clearly aggravated when he came up from that. Frankly, the ankle got torqued exactly the way it did when he was injured. Unfortunate, but that's where he re-injured it. I think he just had to rehab it on the sideline, and then he felt better. He went back in right before halftime. They talked about re-taping it going back in, but he just worked it out. We limited him in the second half to the sub-groups.

(Any second thoughts on the first-and-goal decision?)

Play calling, it's amazing. If you ever have the opportunity to call plays, you second-guess yourself more than you guys and gals do. It's a long night when you go through a game like that, and frankly I think I have proven the fact how important running the football is to our football team and the success of our football team. I'm of the belief that if you can't knock it in four times from the 1-yard line, you don't deserve to score a touchdown. I think I've proven that too already this year. When you call plays, a lot of times it's part of the thought process. My intention at that time was I felt we really had them on their heels, they already called two timeouts due to defensive substitution, and our tempo was the best it's been all year. I think we had six or seven times the whole game when we didn't have 24 seconds or more at the line of scrimmage - that's excellent, and that's what we're trying to do. I know it's a pass that was called, but really it's a transition play. We were trying to catch them in a personnel substitution. The mechanics of it could have been better, getting to the line quicker, catching them in transition. They were not in transition when the ball was snapped, and Clements made a good play on it. It's easy for me to sit there and say, 'Gosh, I wish I ran that thing in.' I do believe if we ran it, we would have had a great opportunity to get it in on first, second, or third down. After seeing it on the film, my job is to put the players in a position to be successful. A run is a safer call, but there's nothing wrong with the call. I probably won't call it again. It's a play I've won a game with, and a play that potentially cost us a game.

(Is that the danger with that play - such a small window for success?)

I don't think you want to go and line up against the defense, let them get set, and then throw a one-step slant. We refer to it as a 'speed break' - the element of catching the defense in transition of substitution is a big part of that play. We didn't accomplish that. Clearly, a run is a safer call. There are some of those in every game, and frankly when you win, they don't even come up in these discussions. If it would have worked, it was a great call, and if it didn't, it was a bad call. That's why we're talking about it today.

(Do you look back on the play after Marquand was hurt and second-guess no timeout called with the confusion?)

I don't because being involved in it, Marquand was injured with the air knocked out of him, and there was communication going on the whole time he was down. The call was made. Going through the clips, some of the comments in the paper and what's on the film are not accurate. We will get that worked out today with the defense on exactly what happened. Frankly, last week I'm standing in front of you, and we used five of six timeouts on things that had nothing to do with the game schematically. This week, we used all six of our timeouts schematically the way you're supposed to use them. I'm comfortable with the decision not to call the timeout there.

(Were you trying to switch coverages?)

We were just going to play a soft cover-2 on second-and 20. Just keep it in front of us with the way our defensive line was playing. I'm comfortable with the call. It was Bob's (Sanders) decision. It was his call that was talked about on the boundary as Marquand was down on the field. Lionel (Washington) talked it over with the DBs, and then the miscommunication occurred out on the field. We need to get everybody in the room and go through that.

(Were you in transition from a nickel coverage?)

I'm trying to recall what we were in on first down. The adjustment was to put Charles back at safety. Bob and Lionel had all those guys circled around there, and it was a communication error. I clearly heard Bob's call, so it's just a matter of getting everyone in a room and making sure we're all on the same page. That was a big play in the game for Buffalo. We were in base on second down.

(Referencing the clips, are you talking about what the players said?)

I would think it would fall under miscommunication. We're not all on the same page, and that starts with us as coaches. The players are accountable for what's called and carrying it out. Once we all sit down and watch the film and go through it, we'll get it ironed out.

(Was there a late switch to a quarters coverage? Is that the correct call?)

There was some communication on that, yes. Like I talked about yesterday in the press conference, it went from cover-2 to quarters. That's part of what they need to talk about. The call from the boundary was cover-2. That's not what was played.

(Is that a call by the guys on the field?)

We have things that go throughout the defense, and Bob refers to it in his coverage where quarters can go to cover-2 and vice versa. That's part of the communication and making sure everyone is on the same page.

(Does either safety make that call as the quarterback back there?)

Safeties, motions, all different kinds of factors of game-planning go into that. We're getting way too in depth here. Once again, it's a miscommunication we need to work through.

(Has Bubba Franks become a less reliable target than David Martin?)

I wouldn't say that. Bubba is kind of fighting through a wrist injury, but it's just the way we're using him. Bubba has shown a lot of versatility, particularly in pass protection. He's a good play-side blocker and things like that. A lot of the keeps and the underneath stuff really hasn't been there. We went a little more vertical this past week against Buffalo, which frankly resulted in some more quarterback hits than we've had. So I think it's more opportunities. But we are creating more opportunities for David. I think that is obvious. David has clearly progressed and taken advantage of his opportunities and has been a very good down-the-field and intermediate pass receiver for us.

(Did you have Bubba for two drops? Is he struggling with his role?)

Yeah, I think the one was tipped though. It looked on film like the one was tipped.

I haven't had any communication from him or his coach to any of that. Those are good problems to have, when you have a tight end group as versatile as we have. I think that's just the way it kind of falls. I think the big years he had here in the past, he was primarily the guy. We're doing more with different personnel groups, we're doing more in pass protection, and I think he's adjusted well. I think he's been very unselfish in his role. Everybody wants to grade tight ends by pass receptions, and that's not how we grade them here.

(Did Brett take a step backward in terms of his decision-making and taking care of the ball?)

I don't think so. He had the one bad decision on the first interception. The second interception, really, the mechanics of the play, and it was a bad play call too, I'm sure, resulted in that. So I don't fault him. I thought the throw was a plus throw. We graded it as a plus throw. The quarterback-center exchange, I hate to sound like a broken record, but that's poor communication. That's the first drill we do every day. There's no reason for that, especially at this point in the season, to be having quarterback-center exchange problems. I actually felt like he played in there, took a bunch of hits and threw the ball accurately and was productive, other than the plays I just talked about.

(Did the pass protection take a step backwards?)

Yes, the pass protection took a step backwards. I thought on offense, they played at a higher level than we did in the first half. I was not pleased with the way we started that game. The running game, we hung with it, and it did start coming out in the second half, and that's usually how it goes in my experience. They played a little different level than we did up front here early, but then I really thought our guys got command of the game in the second half.

(What happened on the first bad snap?)

The first one, I think the snap was short. Talking about the one out there on the 50? I thought the center was short with the ball, from the communication I got.

(It wasn't due to snap count or anything like that?)

No, the second one was. The one down on the 5-yard line was the snap count.

{sportsad300}(Do you prefer going to a silent count?)

I prefer silent, I have a lot of history with silent count. Really, to me, it's the relationship between the center and the quarterback. The guys that need to determine it are the guys out on the field in my experience. I used to try to regulate it, but you're not out there. You have to have a veteran quarterback or a veteran center, and they elected not to go with it. That's their choice. You go up to Minnesota, we're going to need it this week, that's for sure. Buffalo, I've been there in the past, I recall it being a louder stadium, particularly in the end zones. I didn't think it was very loud yesterday. Obviously we had a lot of fans there, too, I'm sure that helped. But we didn't see the noise and the communication on the boundary, it was not a problem.

(With what other teams did, this was a missed opportunity in the standings. How disappointing is that?)

It's disappointing as a football game we had a number of opportunities to win. Our focus was to get to 4-4, because the second half of the season in my opinion is where all the slotting starts to occur. Hey, we're 3-5, we're not where we want to be, but we still have a great opportunity this week. I know our guys are excited about playing in Minnesota, and they'll be ready to play. It's a disappointing loss. You don't sleep after losses, that's the norm, especially one like that that gets away from you. To be down 10-nothing after that first half I thought was a real credit to our defense, keeping us in that game, and then we got rolling on offense. But you have to move on. That's why we came in here today. We'll learn from our failures yesterday and we'll apply them to the future.

(What's been the key to the defensive turnaround?)

I think the D-line is really starting to, it starts up front. I think the pass coverage, Charles and Al and the communication of the safeties, you're seeing a group that's really come together. I just think there's so much more coordinated, the bump-and-run corner mentality we want to play with, we're doing a good job with that, and we're mixing it up with pressure and zone behind that. But frankly, I think on both sides of the ball, it starts up front. I think our defensive line has taken command of that line of scrimmage the last two weeks.

(How are Morency and Miree doing?)

Mo is getting better, but they're both doubtful. Brandon still, his range of motion isn't quite where it needs to be, but they'll both be doubtful. But they are improving.

(How did Henderson do?)

Solid game. I thought William played a solid game. We did a couple things schematically, changed it up, he handled it very well, and I thought he had a very solid performance.

(Any other injuries?)

Charles, but he came out OK. We'll probably take a similar approach with him this week that we did last week. And Ahman, we'll be smart with him on Wednesday. Those will probably be the guys on our report.

(The margin between teams in the NFC is so small. Do you think back on a couple of these games and wonder where you might be?)

I think those are conversations for the end of the year, but I'm not going to lie to you. When we lost to the Rams and lost to New Orleans, those are NFC teams, you kind of wonder that, gosh, I hope this doesn't come back and bite you. I've had it happen to me in the past, but you need to look forward. The only thing I can control is what happens this week. We need to go to Minnesota and win, and that's our focus. We let one get away from us yesterday that we potentially could have won, and we need to learn from that because that's three times this year. I'm just hopeful and I do believe that you just keep banging away, we're coming together as a football team, we're playing the style of football we want to play, and we are improving and eventually the ball will start bouncing our way a little bit. But until we take care of the obvious, when you're making the same mistakes over and over, that's a problem. And the one constant with our football team right now from an offensive standpoint is giveaways, and we need to get that fixed. To go minus-4 and win a football game, that's not realistic. To even be minus-3 and have an opportunity to win a game I think once again is a tribute to how well our defense played in that game. We need to get that corrected, because defensively we had problems earlier in the year, and our guys have seemed to correct that the last two or three weeks. So we're improving there. Special teams, we need to pick it up there too, these last two weeks is not cutting it. So we just have to stay focused on the future and keep working to improve. But the one constant error of this football team is ball security, and we need to get that fixed.

(Are you glad they didn't move the Patriots game to a night game?)

I don't concern myself with that. I don't have any control over it.

(Did you make some adjustments with the running game at halftime?)

Not really. We had the looks that we anticipated. Frankly, we over-reached a few times inside. We had good angles, the looks we anticipated. We really just stayed the course, and frankly that's how it goes sometimes. You'd like to come out and start ripping 10, 11 and 12-yard runs, but it usually doesn't work that way, and that's why I think it's important to commit to the run, and we did. But a lot of the same looks we had in the second half were the same ones we had in the first half.

(Are you sticking with the same starters on the offensive line?)

Yes, we're fine. No changes.

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