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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 16

(What's the outlook at center with both of the guys questionable?)

I think they both just need the next 48 hours to get ready, frankly. I would be surprised if they do not go.

(Who would get the nod if both can go?)

Jason Spitz would get the nod.

(Was Quinn Johnson out there today?)

No. Quinn has a personal situation. He had to travel to Louisiana. He'll be back tomorrow.

(Are you confident Jackson can give you what you need as the second running back with Wynn out?)

Yeah, I think so. No reason to think not. Brandon has been here a long time. He knows our offense. The only thing you want for Brandon is to get back into the live action, and that will be the case Sunday. But I think he's done everything we've asked leading up to this, from a preparation standpoint, so he's ready to go.

(With his receiving skills, how big an asset is that to have back?)

Brandon does a good job for us. He does a nice job coming out of the backfield, and we'll look for him to do primarily some of the third-down things that DeShawn Wynn has done for us the last couple weeks.

(Would you like to get the first catch for Driver out of the way right away?)

I think those things usually just take care of themselves. I think if you put too much into it ... that's not what Donald wants. Really, Donald is going to have opportunities to catch the ball in this game. I'm pretty confident in that.

(Is there anything ceremonial that's going to happen after he catches one?)

That's a good question. That's really more a question for Jeff. Why don't we give Jeff that question.

(How significant is that record when you look at it?)

Oh, my gosh. I think anytime you say all-time in the history of the Green Bay Packers, regardless of the category, I think that speaks volumes. The tradition and the history of the Green Bay Packers, the players that have played before the players that are here, I think it speaks volumes about Donald's performance, and even moreso as a person, the way he goes about his business.

(Did you interact much with him in '99?)

Who Donald? Yeah, we talk about those days. He's a lot bigger. That's what I remember, how light he was when he came in. But boy was he gifted. The thing I remember about Donald in '99 was his ability to go get the football. He had incredible leaping ability. I know he was a high-jumper, and that's the thing that really stuck out. He had a huge heart. He was definitely undersized, but what he's done with his body and just to play at the level he has throughout his career, it's been really fun to come back and be part of it.

(Do you feel good about where Clifton is at after three days?)

I think so. I think Chad's ready. He had an opportunity to go in the jog-through today, and everybody feels good. I think clearly he'll need the next 48 hours to get ready. That will help him.


Same. I think Chad and Atari are pretty much in the same boat. These next 48 hours will be important for them.

(When you put together your 45, would you normally like to have all three running backs up?)

Really, those decisions come down more to special teams. You can play the chess game all you want, because defensively and offensively you never want to be one player away from being out of a personnel group that you feel is going to play a primary part of that game plan. So that's all part of your planning on Monday and Tuesday. Really the determining factor the way we do it is special teams. Injuries play a big part into that, and it gets tougher and tougher each week.

(Speaking of special teams, do you think Underwood is ready to help you there?)

Yes I do. I think this month of being inactive and working on all the different teams and really having an opportunity to be introduced to pro football at a slower rate I think has really helped him. I really like the progress that he's made on the field. I know Joe Whitt and everybody feels he's really making progress in the classroom. I think he'll definitely contribute.

(It sounds like Calvin Johnson didn't practice again today. He's had some big games against you. How different are the Lions without him?)

Calvin Johnson is a very talented football player. He's got everything you look for in a receiver. I'm sure they'll adjust accordingly.

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