Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 9

(Have you decided on your starting guards?)

Well, Juice Coston's availability was not what we had hoped. So if we had played the game today, it would be Spitz and Colledge. But I'm going to give Juice the next 48 hours to see where he is.

(How did Colledge respond to the challenge this week?)

He responded the way you want to. Daryn is a man's man. He understands everything that we're concerned about. It's not just something that just popped up. This has been going on for a couple weeks, and we're just looking for some consistency from himself and from the whole line in particular in the run-blocking phase. I think they've done a very good job in the pass protection.

(If you see what you'd like to see from Coston, how would that change things?)

I'm not going to go there. The medical part of it is something you can't control. Junius is not 100 percent right now. But it did factor into how we repped them these last three days, and it will probably affect the way we decide to go on Sunday.

(Even if you end up going with the same two guards, did you accomplish something by making it clear they need to step up their games?)

I would say it's always been clear, what we need to improve on, what our positives are, what we need to build on. But once again, we're in Week 9 of our season. We tend from an NFL schedule standpoint, it's important for us to be hitting on all cylinders as we move forward. The challenges ahead are going to get tougher, not easier. We talk about every aspect of our football team on a daily basis, and that's one area we feel we need to improve on.

(Do you have Moll back at tackle now?)

Really, when you're getting your reps as a backup, his primary position will be right tackle. That's where Tony is more natural. But for him to be the sixth or seventh lineman on Sundays, he needs to be able to work both the guard and tackle position.

(What's the plan at running back behind Grant?)

Same rotation as last week. Ryan Grant will be the starter, Brandon will be the backup and play special teams, and Vernand will be the situational player and special teams.

(With the ball security issues last time against Minnesota, have you spent more time on that this week?)

The two turnovers in the game were big plays for Minnesota, especially Donald Lee down there, I think it was on the first series. You guys are at practice every day. We work on it every single day. Fumbles is more of a technical, fundamental practice that we're doing a better job of. We're a lot more conscious of it. That's something I think they do a good job of, a couple of their players on the back end. I think Darren Sharper and Smith are both good at stripping the football. But yeah, that's something that always factors into the game. I want to say they're plus-6 in the turnover ratio, we're plus-1. That's something we want to improve as a football team. I think it's no secret with New England and Indianapolis being plus-11 leading the league that definitely is a big part of why they are where they are as a football team.

(Do you have a better feeling how long Collins will be out?)

He's still on crutches. Pat said he's making progress, but it's going to be in the 3-to-4 week range is what they tell me.

(What would it take for an offensive lineman to receive a game ball?)

They actually received the game ball versus San Diego. We gave it to the whole offensive line that week. Jason Spitz won the game ball two weeks ago against Denver, when he played center. So we look at everybody.

(Does Wells look like he's back to himself?)

I would say so. I think he's had a very good week of practice. The padded practice yesterday was an indication of where a number of guys who are nicked up are at, so we feel good. I think Scott's back close to 100 percent.

(Do you ever reach a point where you drop the pads for the whole week?)

I just watch the football team. I have what I refer to as the winter schedule. Once daylight savings time kicks in, we have cut back probably 15 minutes, 20 minutes of our day from the normal week, and over a week's period of time it kind of adds up. But as far as just taking the total pads off, there are weeks for that. Thanksgiving is a week you have to do that. The thing that dictates that for our football team is the medical report and really where we are. We're a young football team, so I'm not naïve to the fact that the individual drills are very important. I'd like to be in pads every Wednesday and Thursday, but it's not the best thing for our football team. So that's something you juggle back and forth.

(With the schedule compressed coming up on Thanksgiving, have you started to look at Dallas yet?)

You mean game-plan wise? I personally haven't studied Dallas, but our assistants do a really good job of staying a week ahead. When I go upstairs after this, there will be guys looking at Carolina. Your quality control guys have already started earlier in the week. The assistant coaches are spending their Fridays and Saturdays a week ahead, and we'll probably spend a lot more time on Detroit because that's such a short week. But Dallas to me, from preparation, isn't as big a concern because you have the full seven days. Detroit is a common opponent as far as our study in the offseason, but they have a new defensive coordinator and you're interested in seeing what they're doing so well. We'll start looking at those guys at the end of next week.

{sportsad300}(Is there any way you can make guys feel on the road when they're at home, considering your road record?)

I think it would make for a great story. We need to play better at home, that's the bottom line. You hear so many people talk about the difference of the road and home. Some people feel the home is tougher because you have more pressure at home. Home crowds boo you now when things don't go right. I think we have an incredible environment to play in at Lambeau Field, second to none. We have no excuse with our record being better on the road than home. We just need to play better, start fast and just do the fundamental things it takes to win a football game. We've had some tough games at home last year, but we'll play better at home.

(Does Mike Eayrs look at any trends at home, see any common denominators?)

Nothing worth changing our approach to the game at home. We've talked about the hot tubs and the nice locker room and those types of things. I think it's just the maturity of our football team. I think really what happens to teams in Year 2 of your program, ... in Year 1 you're so concerned of where to line up, what to do and how I'm going to do it. Now when they walk in here on Wednesdays, they know where to line up, they know how to do it, they just need to know what we're doing this week. I think we're a better football team this year than we were last year, and it's as simple as that.

(If things don't go with the guards the way you want at the start, will there be any hesitation to make a change?)

That's a little different position to start alternating people. We're going to line up and play, and I'm thinking positive. Every one of these guys has played before. I'm not trying to hold a guillotine over their head or anything like that. That's not the purpose. We need to play better, and we're looking for the right combination.

(If things had gone better last week, would you have preferred to give Wells another week off?)

Really my plan was hopeful just to get to halftime without him, because I didn't think he was ready for a full game. He thought so. And if you would have talked to Scott after the game, I don't know if you did or not, but half game was about right for him. It really worked out probably in his individual situation best. But he's got his strength back and he feels much better. But I was hopeful he wouldn't have to play more, ... I would have liked for him not to have to play at all. That's why I went about the game in the manner that I did. But I was hopeful we could get to halftime before we were even talking about Scott Wells.

(Is it your plan to have Barbre sort of 'redshirt' this year and learn?)

Allen to me is no different than our rookie linemen last year. He just needs an opportunity to play and that's how he'll improve. There's some things he does very well, and there's some things he just needs to work on. He's a typical young football player coming from a Division II school that has a little more in front of him than most guys. But I think he's going to be a good football player. I like the way he plays. I think he's tough. The opportunities he's had, he has been physical. He just needs an opportunity to play.

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