Skip to main content

Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 27

(Congratulations on the new family addition. What's it like going back 17 years?)

Thank you. Just the birth of a child, it's unbelievable. I can't say enough about the experience. It's been a long time since the birth of my daughter Alex, and just to go through it again, you talk about toughness of your football team, there's nothing that compares to what Jessica and what women go through to have a child. It was just a remarkable miracle and I enjoyed every second of it.

(How are you sleeping?)


(Do football games keep you up more, or babies?)

It's totally different. Bad calls keep you up for the wrong reasons. Babies keep you up for the right reasons.

(With the self-scouting, any time to do the work you wanted to?)

Absolutely. She's sleeping four hours, so you get four-hour cracks at self-scouting. No, I had an opportunity to get in here every day. It was actually, from a professional standpoint, it really worked out well for me, because everybody was off throughout the weekend. I had some quality time in the building by myself going through really the self-scout of every aspect of our program. Had time to spend with the doctors and some things we feel we can do better in that area, as far as the medical part, and strength and conditioning. Offense, defense and special teams went through their weekly self-scouts a lot more in depth. I thought we got some quality work out of it. It's always good to go through and clean your house in a sense a little more thoroughly than you do on a weekly basis, so that's really what we'll apply to today's practice. It's like anything. It's staying in tune with the identity of your football team. Smart, tough, fundamentally sound, and we'll focus more on the fundamentals today in pads.

(You've talked about the importance of family and giving guys time off when warranted. Last time you had a baby in the house you were working your way up the coaching food chain. How challenging will this be for you? Do you view it as you're just going to be overtired and a little grumpy sometimes in meetings?)

It probably would help. I don't think it hurts to be grumpy as the head coach. No, I really don't. We have an excellent support group, Jessica and I, that's in place. We've prepared for this. The challenge at home, it doesn't affect me at all professionally. I would say it's a lot easier now than it was 17 years ago. I'm capable of doing more things in a different place in my particular life. But there's nothing like adding to your family.

(What did Dr. McKenzie tell you about the various injured guys?)

We have a number of guys who will be back. The four guys who won't practice today - Jason Hunter, he tested out yesterday, he's still a little ways off. He may be ready by Wednesday. Danny Lansanah had a hamstring strain in the game. He's in the same category. Hopefully he will re-test tomorrow, Tuesday. Aaron we're just going to be smart with his reps as we move through the week. And Charles Woodson still, with the foot. Everybody else will practice.

(Is James Jones back?)

Trial return is the category we put him under. This is a good practice for him to come back. It's padded, fundamentals, a lot of individual route-running, things like that. This will be a good practice for him to come back on.

(Is Al under any restrictions?)

I'd put him in the same category, trial return. One thing when you come back off the progression of the injury, his injury is obviously significant because it's an internal injury, and the ability to get into football shape, and do it in a progressive time frame, which would work out very well for us, because today's practice will be like that, as far as a lot of individual work, and he'll get more into the group work on Wednesday.

(In the injury self-scout, did you determine anything about the hamstring injuries?)

We looked at all of them and I think it's important, anytime you have a statistic that stands out like that one does, to go through the different categories that each injury falls into. Sometimes it's just the trauma of being extended and so forth, and then there's other things that factor into it. We can only control what we can control from a structure standpoint. We've extended our stretch from six to 10 minutes. We're going to do a more extensive warm-up with the players. It's continuing education really, just to make sure that we're getting our core temperature up, keeping it up, staying stretched. Our problems really aren't at practice, all of our injuries have come in games. Different players playing different reps, different segments of the game, special teams responsibilities increasing, decreasing, all those types of things. There's so many different things that factored into that, it was not just one thing we could say hey, we need to fix that. I actually addressed it all in the team meeting. I took a good 15 minutes, went through the whole medical history of where we've been in the past, where we are today, and I just look at it as a minor adjustment that we need to make.

(Are those changes for before a game or practice or both?)

I'm going to treat them both the same. It's being more pro-active with your approach and keeping that core temperature warm.

(You had said you wanted to look at penalties, but in the last game you had no offensive penalties at all and they were all on defense. Do you accept those as part of physical play, or do you still want to work on those?)

You have pre-snap penalties, that's the category we feel it's a mental mistake, mental error, however you want to classify it. Those are unacceptable, and that's part of our practice structure. And then you have combative penalties, and you really look at them two different ways. Is it poor judgment, was it improper technique, or was it a judgment call? That's the way we look at them, and we correct them accordingly. That's something that's really done on a weekly basis.

(What else did you learn in the self-scout? Any tendencies that jumped off the page you need to fix?)

Nothing major. Nothing that you really weren't aware of. This is really a time, it can be a problem too for you as a coach. It's a little extra time to be more creative. We've done a very good job of being 50-50 in this area, maybe it's time for this next variation to come in, things like that. That's really probably the major emphasis of our conversations. There really wasn't a lot of throw this out, or we can't do this, can't do that. It's the things we need to do better, and keep doing the things that we do well, even better. I think it's important to stay in tune with the positives, because one thing about the positive things of your football team, you want to keep doing those and you want to keep doing those at a high level and even improve on those too. So those are the things we focused on.

(In certain formations, like two tight end, fullback, halfback and receiver, is it OK that sends a message that you're probably going to run?)

I think you have to take it a step further. You have personnel groups, and then you have personnel groups per situation. You guys need to increase your computer categories when you break us down.

(I'm not Mike Eayrs...)

Well, I just gave you a formula to get better.

(How much do you watch the Tennessee game tonight or do you just wait for the coaches tape?)

I tell you, I really get a lot out of watching a game on TV. There's things on TV you can't really see on the coaches tape, and vice versa. We'll get the coaches tape tomorrow probably around 2 o'clock, I would think. So we'll go back and look at that from a schematic standpoint, just really check the things we're looking to do based on the work we have done now. But watching the game tonight, there's things you can pick up in the game that you watch. I'll sit down and watch the game live tonight and then watch it again tomorrow when it comes in.

(Have you addressed the team yet?)


(In that talk, did you speak in terms of the second half of the season or do you break it down week-by-week?)

We broke it down into quarters, and we talked about that we're entering the third quarter of our season. That was part of my talk today.

(What was the schedule for today?)

They had lifting this morning. The rookies had a conduct management meeting, also this morning. And then we got together as a team at 12 o'clock, and we broke up special teams and quarterbacks, and then went offense, defense after that.

(It's good to get healthy, but is there any sense with the game you played before the bye week that you got this group together but now there are more changes to go through?)

There's merit in that. There's no question about it. I think anytime you get into a rhythm, you get into where you're playing well, you just want to keep going. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off against Indianapolis. But like I said last week standing here, I thought this was a very good time for a bye week for us. Because we needed to get healthy, and it looks like we've achieved that on most fronts. Being here throughout the weekend, I thought the guys, every time I came in they were in here getting treatment and so forth. I thought Pepper Burruss and his staff did a great job getting those guys the extra time in the training room. They took full advantage of it.

(What's the plan with Rodgers this week?)

I really want to see how he is today, because we have tomorrow as their normal day off, so I want to get them back on the schedule. If I could get him to throw two days, I think that would be probably best. But I'm going to let Dr. McKenzie drive that car. We just have to be smart. But definitely the time off really helped Aaron.

(You've been pro-active in talking to the team. With the investigations going on regarding banned substances, do you trust the system you have in place or do you take any extra steps now?)

I think...I know continuing education is really one of the primary factors of my job. Today when I addressed the team, we have a segment called team business. Anytime something happens with our football team that falls in that category, we also have a media category, that's always a very positive segment of our team meetings, and we address the things that will be asked of the players. Mike Eayrs speaks to the team every Thursday. Mike's message is usually pretty much in line with the head coach's message as we continue. We're always trying to continue to educate our players, because it's a game that's forever changing, but always the same, if that makes sense. The way you win football games is the same, but just the different things that are around our game and our business, you have to be aware of those things out there.

(So you would bring this up in a team meeting? Like how one of the former players here was mentioned as possibly being investigated...)

I don't get into he-said, she-said stuff. I just get into the facts. I get into the things that are important to the locker room. I never get away from that. I don't get caught up in the drama part of it. We experienced it more than any other team in the league this year in training camp. I just stay true to the facts, because it's important for them. I think it's very important to keep the message clean and clear. And that's what I stay focused on.

{sportsad300}(What would Justin Harrell have to show you this week in order to be activated?)

I just want him to make progress. This will be a good day for him. We're going to do a lot as far as run-game fundamentals, and things that apply to how we're going to move forward against Tennessee. So he just needs to put together a good string of practices.

(The bye week counts in the PUP thing, so do you have to make a decision this week?)

Three weeks, yeah.

(With Al, if the doctors clear him to play, is it possible you wouldn't start him because of his football shape or would you start him right away?)

The week's work will answer that question. It's important, number one, to get Al back on the practice field, just to see where he is, and get him back to football shape, and there's no substitute for that. Every player goes through it. You can condition with the best of them, and you still have to get out there and tug and pull and do the things that are required to get you in football shape. We'll answer that question at the end of the week. It's an option, though. Hey, it would be great to have Al out there starting, but I'm only going to put him out there when he's ready.

(Has Tramon afforded you more options because of how he's played?)

Absolutely. I think Tramon Williams played very well. Will Blackmon played very well against Indianapolis. I'm very happy with the opportunities our young players have been given and what they've done with them.

(You made a comment about Favre on your weekly radio show. Will you be glad to see him live happily ever after out there and never have to hear about him from us the rest of the season?)

I'll just say this. It's an unfortunate enough thing for everybody involved. No disrespect to the national media, but I think every time that I get involved in a conversation on a certain topic, there's always an angle that wants to go back to Brett or to what happened. It's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is. I don't think it's fair to him, I don't think it's fair to the Jets. My focus is simple. I don't want it in my locker room. I don't want our players to feel like they have to answer questions that first of all, they're not educated on, because they don't know exactly what so-and-so said, and this and that. We just want to stay above it and just don't want to deal with it, because it doesn't help us beat Tennessee, and that's the truth. I don't want to get into who said what or who did that because we don't want any part of it. It's something that's in the past. We have moved forward.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content