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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 9

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

OK, I'll start with the injuries. Mark Tauscher had a knee sprain to the same knee that he had surgery on. Pat doesn't think it's a serious, long-term injury. He'll have a slight chance to play this week. At most it would be a couple-week injury. Aaron Kampman suffered a concussion, and as far as his availability for this week's work, it's still up in the air. With that I'll take your questions.

(If Tauscher's not ready, do you go the same way you finished yesterday?)

That's something that after we look at the film today, we'll look at all of our options. I am not committed to a starting five today.

(Is this going to be a week where you have to work it out?)

I would say that's accurate. I would say it's very similar to the last two weeks. It's unfortunate that we strive for continuity of building a starting five with the offensive line, we haven't been able to accomplish that. Injuries are part of the game, once again. So it will take the full week's work to sort that out.

(There were times Aaron had time to throw. Have you seen what the problem is there?)

Our passing game was not productive, or as productive as it's been in the past. They played a lot of man-under, match coverage, or however you want to refer to it as. We had a number of opportunities for one-on-ones, and for whatever reason, we did not get that accomplished. I thought time and time again, particularly in the first three quarters, we had ample time. Really our biggest pass protection breakdowns were in the fourth quarter.

(Are you OK with the pass Aaron threw that was picked off at the goal line, the decision there?)

I was OK with the decision based on the matchup of who Greg was going to the post on. They played what we refer to as quarters coverage. We were looking for our two-deep scheme there - quarters is a form of two-deep - and the ability to get Greg or Donald matched up on their safeties. I thought Aaron gave Greg a catchable ball. It was obviously a tight coverage throw, but as far as a shot play, which that is described as, I was comfortable with the decision.

(To go back to the other question, so guys had trouble getting open?)

We were challenged by their secondary. So you can take that for what it's worth. They won the game. They did a good job against our passing game. We felt that our passing game would have been a strength versus their secondary, and if we played them again tomorrow, we would go right back at their secondary. But they did a good job.

(Will this week challenge you to keep the team together after these two tough losses?)

This is definitely a challenge. There's no question about it. Year four, you look at the different things you've experienced in the past, this will be a challenging day. It always is when you lose, even moreso when you lose two in a row, even moreso when you lose in the fashion that we did in Tampa. It was a game we expected to win. It's a game that we didn't do some of the necessary things in spots of the game. Yes, this will definitely be a challenge.

(The kick-coverage breakdowns, are there common threads from the last two games?)

Well, the timing of it is the biggest common thread. To take the lead, to have momentum in the game at that point, 11-point lead and what was it, 11 minutes left in the game, and for them to come right back with the return, it's disappointing. It's lane integrity. It's nothing more than that. We had used kick away was the kick call, and Mason did a very good job with that prior to that kick, by kicking the ball deep in the end zone. But we did a poor job with our lane integrity, and that was obviously a big play in the game.

(Is lane integrity more a mental mistake than a guy not winning one-on-one?)

You can classify it as technical, mental, recognition of what's going on in front of you. It's all part of the game.

(When you re-made the roster for the 3-4, you talked about more body types for special teams. Are you surprised you're not better in that area?)

I'm disappointed in the way we played on special teams the last two weeks. There's no question about that. I thought our coverage units had played very well up until the last two weeks. We've had some injuries to key core players, but it's no different than what we're going through with the rest of our team, and it's important for individuals that step up in those positions to do their job. It's something we need to make sure we're ready for Dallas, because it's definitely factored in the last two weeks. The momentum swings, the field positions swings that we've had two weeks in a row has definitely factored in the outcome of the game.

(Have you thought about switching any responsibilities in the coaching staff to help oversee the offensive line or special teams?)

I'm very confident in our structure, our job responsibility, job description of every position. Offensive line, the way we're built, structured on staff is by design. We have four individuals on our offensive staff that I'd be very confident in coaching the offensive line, so I feel we have a high level of expertise on that side of the ball. Special teams, I think Shawn Slocum has done a good job in putting his print on what we're trying to do philosophically compared to the prior three years. But our problems to me aren't teaching and scheme, they do not fall in that area.

(But to be talking about the same stuff every Monday, it seems the message is getting lost. Is there value to having a new voice in the room?)

There is structure. To have a new message or a new messenger, I'm confident that's not what our football team needs right now. They have a very loud, direct, clear message in the team meetings day in and day out. So there is no question or uncertainty of what we are asking everybody to do, coaches and players, and the accountability of what needs to be done. Hey, we're disappointed and we're 4-4. We're at the halfway point of our season. I'm very disappointed, but that's our work to this point. I take full responsibility. I'm at the point of this football team. I have all the confidence in this team that we'll get ready and we'll move on and win a big game here at home against Dallas.

(Do you have any other options at punt returner?)

I think Tramon has done some good things. I think you need to look at A, what he is doing with the football and B, the opportunities that are presented to himself. He's been put in some tough spots. Also he has the ability to go back and do the kickoff return too. I'm comfortable with Tramon back there.

(With giving up so many sacks, are you open to talking to other coaches or friends for other suggestions, or do you believe in your philosophy of correcting in practice?)

I think anytime you are in problem solving, it's about applying solutions. It's obvious what has gone on in our particular failures in that area. There are other options as we move forward, and those are some of the things we'll look to in certain situations. We don't need wholesale change. We may need to adjust some things and that will be our focus. But as far as going outside the building, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I have all the answers, but I'm very confident in the issues that we've had in pass protection, that they are correctable.

{sportsad300}(On a few different occasions, you've said the team had a good week of practice, yet they fall flat on Sunday. Any reason for that?)

I don't look at our football team as falling apart or being flat. We have lost four contests but I do believe that the practice structure does carry over. And I'll stand by what I said yesterday after the game: if there was an error that was made leading up to this game it was probably too, too much work this week. That's something I am always very critical of myself as far as the scheduling and everything that goes into preparing your team week in and week out. There is a way to measure practice. Ultimately what you do on film is the clear-cut indicator of what you are able to get done, both on the practice field and the playing field. I think we all fully understand that you have to line up on Sundays and play the game. I felt in the fourth quarter that our energy level wasn't what it was in the first three quarters, and that's something that I have to take a very close look at because they had a good week of work. That's the facts. Now, what happened on Sunday was there was a lot of production. We had a lot of production yesterday. The impact plays against us is what cost us the game, and that's the reality of the way the game went. To have as much production on offense as we did in the first three quarters, and then...the last two series on offense and defense and the long kick return to me are huge indicators of what happened yesterday. We need to play our best football in the fourth quarter. We have a tremendous amount of time that has been spent in our training in two-minute, both offense and defense, and we didn't answer the bell. Those are the things we'll look at today. Those are the things that we'll address as players and coaches and we'll move on to Dallas.

(Do Goode and Jones have as much culpability as Kuhn on the blocked punt?)

It was a mental error, OK. Just like I do every week when I come in here, we'll watch the film and we'll correct it with the players. But it was clearly a mental error. It was a look at that we refer to as a '4-4' and it was a blown assignment. We're not going to ever let someone run up through the 'A' gap and block the...he didn't block the punt. Everybody saw how quickly he was there.

(Did Kampman have the concussion early in the game, or was that a planned rotation to get Thompson in there?)

We had planned on rotating some players, just for a number of different reasons. You're playing in the heat in Tampa, coming from the north. I think that's obvious, and also you're getting to the point in the season where you start watching the reps of your players and so forth. Up until this game, Aaron Kampman has taken every snap on defense, so that's something that I was concerned about with a couple of our players for different reasons, whether it's medical, the number of reps preparing for a fourth quarter-type game, and also looking down the road with these three games coming up here in a short period of time.

(The defense's starting point is to stop the run, and you've done a good job there, but can you survive if you don't start getting to the passer more?)

To me you have to stop the run first to get to the passer, and we have accomplished the first part over the first half of the season. That was one of my reasons that was on the checklist of making the change to this particular defense, so we have accomplished that. I thought our pass rush the first three quarters was good. We didn't do a very good job of getting the quarterback on the ground when we got to him. He's obviously a very big man. We could have done a better good job with that, but I though the pressure for the first three quarters was what it needed to be. But in the fourth quarter we did not apply the pressure.

(Will you try Lang at some other positions to get him into the starting lineup?)

I think T.J. has warranted that. I think that is a good observation. But yeah, I'm a little concerned about the musical chairs that once again we have played on our offensive line. I think that's not a positive. I think it's been a deterrent of trying to gain continuity of getting five guys in there starting together. It's definitely something that we talked about this morning and it's definitely something that we'll look at.

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