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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 19

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

OK, I'll start with the injuries from the game. Jordy Nelson had a knee sprain. It may be a couple weeks for Jordy. Chad Clifton, the ankle sprain. They feel it's not as bad as the original injury. And B.J. Raji also had an ankle sprain. He'll probably be limited a little bit this week in practice. With that I'll take your questions.

(Is it the same ankle with Raji, just an aggravation?)

Correct. Same injury.

(Any hope for Clifton this week?)

They don't know. They're not sure. I don't think he'll practice Wednesday, but if he can go at the end of the week, we'll give him a chance.

(Would you go with Lang most likely?)

I think that's probably the way we'll go, yes.

(What do you like about T.J. in that spot as opposed to Daryn sliding over?)

I think it helps us on a number of fronts. Number one, just from an individual standpoint, T.J. has gone in there and played well. When he had the opportunity to play in Minnesota, that's a difficult situation to go into a big game like that on the road, Monday Night Football and the team's behind, you're in a 2-minute drill and you're pass-blocking a damn good pass rusher. I was very pleased with what I saw in Minnesota, and he stepped in there yesterday and played well. So he's responded very well, and I think every time he gets an opportunity to practice one position for the whole week it's only going to help him. He's aggressive. You see the things that he's coached to do on film. I thought he played very fundamentally sound in his time in there yesterday. I think he had about 16, 17 snaps.

(You worked Moll behind Clifton all training camp. Did you view T.J. as a possible left tackle or did you have him in mind as a right tackle or guard?)

Didn't really know, to be honest with you. And if you look at the history of a number of our draft picks, a number of them have left tackle or tackle experience. Part of that falls into the evaluation of the body type that you're looking for. We really weren't quite sure how he would fit, and it's like anything. It's hard for the rookie players, particularly on the line, to place them into a rotation because, A, you want to find where they fit and let them train there, but the reality of the player being on the 53-man roster and then being on the 45-man roster, how do you get the individual up on the 45? That's a challenge. That's the challenge that we've had upon us ever since Daryn Colledge, Tony Moll, Jason Spitz the first year. You have to try to find the right combinations. You learn as you go. Hopefully you can limit it to two spots as opposed to three spots. But injuries play a big part of it. Our linemen have missed games due to injury, and you play all the different combinations.

(What did it come down to with Spitz yesterday?)

Jason has low back spasms. He was responding during the course of the week, and it just got to the point where he didn't think he'd be able to make it through the game. It's communication like that that you appreciate, because every player wants to play. But the ability to go with seven offensive linemen as opposed to going with eight offensive linemen, that's what we were looking at all the way up to Sunday at 10:30, and the fact that we didn't feel he could potentially make it through the game is why we made the decision. But he's still having some discomfort with his lower back.

(What will it take to rid yourselves of the penalty problems?)

Well, penalties are unfortunately part of the game. Nobody is happy about it. More importantly, I'm not happy about it. You work on it, you address every single one, you look at the film. Trust me, it's addressed, but it is part of the game. There are some judgment calls in some of these penalties. The pre-snap penalties I have no time for. They're totally unacceptable. I don't care who you are, what time of the game or so forth. You cannot play like that. Those are the things that we have in our system and the way we address them and so forth. But some of these judgment calls, you continue to work on it. We do an excellent job I feel as far as the training and education of the players on the rules and so forth, but the number was definitely way too high yesterday. No doubt about it.

(You've yanked players out of practice for penalties. Any thought about doing it in a game?)

Yes I have. Recently.

(Have you thought about acting on that?)

Well, we'll see. Hopefully we won't have to.

(What do you really have at your disposal to get the message through?)

It's part of the game. It's part of the mechanics of playing football. It's the things you work on, you train, and some of them come down to focus. Some of them come down to the fundamentals of having your body in the right position. You get yourself in a bad spot as far as the movement through a particular play on either side of the ball, or with the special teams. We have a couple of guys that have made some mistakes probably in situations they don't have a lot of experience in. That's part of it too. You just continue to work through them. We're very well aware of the numbers, but it's important for us to address exactly what's on the film, make sure we're training it the right way, and keep working on it. We're looking to improve in all areas, especially the ones the numbers don't look the way they're supposed to look right now.

(The one on Brady, where he slips and falls, I get that he didn't do that on purpose. But as a coach you don't think your guys are undisciplined, do you?)

Our players don't play outside the rules. I don't see our players trying to play outside the rules to gain an advantage. To answer your question, I don't think we're not disciplined. We're probably not as clean as what we need to be, and that's what we're working to improve on. We just have to keep working at it, and working on improving in that area, no doubt.

(Do you think the penalties and sloppy play reflect poorly on you and your staff?)

I think anytime you have to come into this room or when you play a game and you have to sit here and talk about the one negative of the game, I don't think it reflects positively on what's going on. But it is part of our business and the way it's evaluated. I can trust in everybody involved, it's something that we're trying to improve on. They're very well-coached, they're very coachable players. I think they definitely try to play within the rules, and that's the way we go about it.

(What did you see on Jordy's kickoff return? Was the penalty on Dietrich-Smith?)

It was a good call. It was a good call.

(Was that on Clay Matthews, though?)

It was on Dietrich-Smith. The communication I had on the sideline and viewing the film this morning, I thought it was a good call. He was restricting the player.

(What do you think happened with Chad on the false starts and the one play he was late coming off the ball?)

I haven't spoken to him personally about it, so I can't really answer that. They're pre-snap penalties. He's played a lot of football here. He was cheating the line of scrimmage in pass situations and got himself in trouble on the illegal formations. Was it close? Yeah, I'm sure it was close. The film showed it. But you can't have four pre-snap penalties. He's been out for a couple of weeks, and hopefully he'll learn from this. I couldn't answer your question. I haven't talked to him specifically.

(He wasn't one guy you considered taking out because of penalties yesterday, was he?)

I didn't say anything about taking anybody out yesterday. That's definitely part of the ... that's an option. I'm not happy about the penalties, they'll be addressed, and we're working to improve them.

(What grade did you give the running game? Did the running back get all the yards he could have or was there more out there for him?)

That's a little bit of a loaded question. You always want to get more yards, and I'm sure Ryan Grant and Brandon would jump up here and say the same thing. I thought we ran the ball very well in the four-minute. I felt early in the game with the way they were playing us defensively, we went a different direction for matchup reasons. But I thought the run game was productive. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. You're always looking to improve. But I thought when we put our foot down to run the football, I thought we ran it very well.

(How comfortable are you with James Jones, now that you'll need him more extensively with Jordy out?)

James Jones? Absolutely. The only real negative James ever had was the injury last year. He's been playing about 30 plays a game, and had some opportunities yesterday, and he definitely cashed in on them. I thought both his receptions, one for a touchdown and the other was for a first down. He's even trying to play a little more on special teams. I think James is improving and we have all the confidence in the world in James.

(Who do you think you'll use on punts and kicks?)

We'll work through that. We obviously have Charles and Tramon (that) have done it, but we also have worked Brett Swain back there. So we'll probably take these next two days and make that decision.

(Is it dangerous to have Charles back there?)

It depends on how you want to look at it. He's a positive back there. He handles the football very well. I think he does an excellent job of managing the wind game and so forth. I'm very impressed with Tramon back there also. I thought Tramon's return was excellent, just the way he put his foot down and the cut that he made up in the middle of the field and then bounced it to the right. So we feel like we have two very qualified returners there, but they are also both starters with Tramon playing on the sub defense and Charles. Injuries put you in those situations.

(Are there any common threads on the three sacks you gave up in the red zone?)

Our biggest issue yesterday in the sack area was just communication. We had some protection adjustments that the communication in the protection unit was not intact. They are not supposed to run through our 'A' gap and sack the quarterback, which has been different from what we have done in the prior weeks where I actually felt the pass protection was very good yesterday as far as the time Aaron had and the rhythm and the time clock that he was able to play into. We have actually handled pressure defense very well, but we made some mistakes in that area yesterday.

(Is that between the line and the quarterback?)

They are all involved. The whole protection unit, the line, the quarterback, the running back, they are all involved. It's all tied together.

(What about the one where the guy went by Barbre unblocked?)

That's more technique. That falls in the category of a protection adjustment. There are certain fronts, certain looks, certain combinations of pressures that you handle differently than a normal four-man rush. We classify it as a protection adjustment. There is a name for that particular look that sack occurred on, and it's something that I can't tell you how many times it's practiced. It's one of the first ones we practice, too, in the slide protections. The execution part of it was not clean.

(What are you thinking with Tauscher? Would you like to rotate him in a little this week?)

I just had a chance to talk to the medical staff before coming in here. They feel Mark is going to need at least another week to get ready. That was the consensus coming off of last week's work. At what point we put him in the team periods, that's really going to be their decision and obviously the communication from Mark will play a big part in that. He's got a body of work that he has to go through this week, so I don't think we're ready for that yet.

(Is that strength in his knee or movement?)

It's everything. You classify 'football shape.' There is a reason why you go to training camp, just the whole neurological process of your whole body getting beaten on and the stress on his legs. They just don't feel it's very smart to put him in there right now. It's no different than what you did with Nick Barnett coming back from his injury. It's the same process.

(If Clay Matthews plays like he did yesterday, how does that change your defense?)

I was very pleased with Clay and really the whole defense. I think we had 100 percent across the board as far as winning performances, and Clay was obviously one of the players that had a lot of productivity. I thought as a defense we clearly played the most sound game plan all season, and that's what you are looking for. Because when everything is in tune like that and everybody is where they are supposed to be and doing the things they are supposed and it's clean like that, it gives you the opportunity for a lot of productivity. I thought Clay had an excellent day from an individual standpoint, but a big part of it was just the way it was all tied together. Anytime you shut out an opponent, that says a lot in the National Football League, so I thought our defense had a big day yesterday.

(Most of his big plays came in the first 22 minutes. Did they adjust to him or is his conditioning an issue?)

I think his conditioning is fine. He looked like he played at a high level on the tape this morning all four quarters. It was just the way the game goes too. The way we started the game with those plays that he had early were more base snaps. I think the defense had what, 50 plays, 48 plays, and I want to say only probably what, 10 or 11 of them were really our base Okie and our Big Okie. We played primarily 40 snaps in sub.

{sportsad300}(You've mentioned the game balls before. Who got them this week?)

Well, I haven't even shared them with the team yet, but I guess I haven't in the past either? True. OK, so I'll be consistent. Offense will be Donald Driver, defense was Clay Matthews and Al Harris, special teams was Derrick Martin, and then we had the big hit award will be Brett Swain.

(Kampman's play yesterday, is that what he needed from a confidence standpoint?)

Not just to single out Aaron, I thought the whole defense. That's the way you want to play, especially at home. You play dominant defense at home. I think the Chicago game, if you take out a handful of plays there, that was close to being a dominant performance at home. Cincinnati we had some things that we could have done better, and then Detroit. You want to play great defense all the time, no doubt, but to play great defense at home is definitely a big part of your success of winning home games. I think the defense as a whole got a lot of confidence from yesterday, especially the way the game started. Detroit has started very well in every game they have played in as far as their opening drives and their first quarters keeping defenses off balance. So for us to come out and there and establish the game those first four plays the way we did, for Aaron Kampman and everybody, I thought it was a big boost of confidence for our defense.

(I asked you last week about games you're supposed to win. That's what you're supposed to do, right, against a team without its best offensive player, you have to impose your will on them?)

Really it's however you want to view it. I don't want to say spin it, but really, we really do, and I know I do, we really work at it, we look at it based on how we are going to play in the game. We anticipate how they are going to play and we just stay true to our performance. You're talking about the same team and a lot of the same players that played Pittsburgh tough the week before. What do you want to take out of that? Every game is a new game for a reason. That's why you play the games. There is a lot of analysis out there, there is a lot of statistics out there, but when that ball is kicked off they really don't apply. You have to go out and that's why you play the game. It's the ultimate team game and you have to tie all 11 players together on each play. That's really the way I view it.

(Do you anticipate Ted making any moves before the trading deadline?)

I don't know. We really haven't talked about anything, but I know they are always talking and working players out and so forth. They are always very active. It's a year-round process. We're always looking to get better.

(On the interception, was there a window open quickly or was that a force?)

Yeah, without having the opportunity to correct even Aaron on it, it's a throw he wished he had back.

(Do you think just by refocusing that the penalties will get solved? It's not a recent problem ...)

I understand what your point is with the numbers, but it's the game of football. There are positives that you continue to build on and there are some negative things that you have to look at, and penalties obviously fall into that category. We're not going out and making the same mistakes every week. I'd have a true issue with that, but they do fall under the category of penalties. How you want to classify them and so forth, that's all part of it. We educate our players and once again, our players attempt to play within the rules. You see that. I don't see a bunch of flagrant, undisciplined individuals. You go through the process with the league. You send the plays in, you have the conversations, you evaluate it, and sometimes it goes you way and sometimes it doesn't. It hasn't gone our way and the numbers will reflect that, but we'll continue to work to improve in that area.

(Are you sending a lot in to the league?)

To be honest with you, we are probably a lot more selective than we have been in the past. It's an administrative procedure that you have to go through, and I think to get the proper communication, sending 40 plays in is not going to solve anything. We're pretty selective on what we send in to the league.

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