Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 3

Read the transcript of Mike McCarthy’s Tuesday press conference. Packers.com will post these full transcripts following each of Coach McCarthy’s press conferences throughout the 2006 season.

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OK, I'll start with the injuries. Donald Driver, he had a rib and hip. He's questionable. Brett, he's probable with the head and the stinger. Robert Ferguson is doubtful with his foot. Abdul Hodge is doubtful with a knee. Donald Lee and Ben Taylor are both questionable as we move on to tomorrow. Lee was a knee. Taylor is a hamstring.

(Do you know what happened to Hodge?)

I don't know the specifics of it because he came in late after the game. So he played through it. I have not seen the special teams or the defensive tape yet, so I don't know exactly what play it happened on yet.

(Where is Favre at, did you see him today?)

I haven't personally seen him, but I think it will be fine.

(That was on that last hit?)

On the third down play, his last play in the game.

(He got a stinger, and maybe a concussion?)

He got hit in the head, and it's a slight stinger. I don't think it's a serious injury.

(Did Ferguson break anything?)

Not that I'm aware of, no.

(How did the decision to cut Ahmad Carroll come together? What led to that?)

We talk personnel every day pretty much. Meeting with Ted and the personnel department and the coaches, we felt it was time to go in another direction. We're going to give Jarrett Bush and Patrick Dendy an opportunity. We wish Ahmad luck. On a personal level it may be in his best interest as he moves on to another NFL venue.

(What kind of progress did you think he was making both as a player and in terms of his maturity this year?)

I think he was making progress. Prior to my arrival here, he's one that's been challenged, particularly the way people go after him with the deep ball. I think he's improved in his special teams, I think he's improved on his bump-and-run, particularly on releases. I think he's a young, improving player. He's a junior to come out of college, and sometimes it takes those guys a little longer to adjust. But we're going to go in another direction, so we're going to give our young guys an opportunity. Once again, I can't say enough, that we appreciate his time here and we wish him luck as he moves on.

(What kind of message in terms of accountability does this move send to the rest of the locker room?)

I think it's important that we all stay on the same page with what's expected of every player and coach and their role on this football team. Whether it's a message or however they want to perceive it, we have a vision of what this football team needs to look like, how they prepare, and how they play. We're keeping our eye on the target as we move forward to make sure it looks that way.

(What have you seen in practice with Bush?)

I think he's getting more comfortable, coming from a different scheme. I had a chance to watch him in the preseason. I thought he was physical in the preseason, exerted himself a little more than you've seen since he's been here. But I think you're starting to see that now, I think he's getting comfortable. He's got good size. He can run. I'd like to see him be more physical like I've seen him at Carolina in the preseason.

(Are you aware on Smith's catch in the second quarter down toward the corner you only had 10 men on the field?)

Correct. It happened twice. We actually had two instances in the game with personnel substitutions. It's problems with the no huddle, that's why a lot of people do it, switching personnel groups. Culver went on, which was the appropriate personnel group. The communication for him to come back off was inaccurate, and that's what he did. We were going through what we refer to as our 47 group, and that was the miscommunication there.

(Is that the player's fault or the defensive coach's fault?)

It's all of our faults. It's game management is what it comes under. We had two in the game, that's not what we're looking for obviously, and we need to get it fixed.

(What did you think of what Rodgers did?)

I thought Aaron did a nice job. I thought he went in there and managed the run game. He made a couple of checks at the line, did a nice job with that. The third down throw was a good read and good decision, good throw. I'm sure he'd like to have the opportunity to score on the 1-yard line, but I felt otherwise on the play selection. But I thought he did a nice job, moved the football team right down the field, that's what you're looking for.

(What about Morency?)

I thought he did a good job, thought he took advantage of his opportunity. He made good reads in the run game, his decisions. The only negative I have is the fumble. He had an opportunity to have a 100-yard plus game, and he was close. For his first time out of the gate handling the load, he touched the ball 30-plus times, I thought he did a nice job.

(What do you think happened on the fumble? It looked from where we were that he saw a huge hole and just got anxious.)

He got a little excited and reached for the football.

(On the goal line, those three plays, just too high from the center over on the left side?)

I wouldn't say that. I felt we had an opportunity on two of the four to get it in there. I thought it was a good hard run on the first one to get it down there. The second one, I don't recall who it was, someone lost at the point of attack, and that defender was eaten up by the fullback's block, so we didn't get the lead block. The third one, I thought we had a chance to get it in there. Mo is not the biggest guy in the world, but I thought we had a chance on the third one. The fourth one, you don't want to cut that ball back, particularly with a free linebacker back there. I actually felt the run blocking unit gave the runner a chance down there on the goal line.

(Are you going with Spitz and Colledge as your guards from here on out?)

It's really three to play two. We'll talk about that when I get back upstairs. We were in the run game planning when I left. I thought Jason came back and played strong, and I thought Tony did a nice job too. He competed. I feel very good about Daryn, Tony and Jason as a group. That's what you're looking for, you're looking for players to improve. I think our run blocking and pass protection units have improved, and they're a big part of it.

(Can you assess Al Harris' performance last night?)

The information I have about Al Harris, I thought he played well, just speaking in an overview with the defensive coaches this morning. They felt the calls were iffy, and they felt he played well, particularly on the point, as they refer to the releases. They thought he was very physical in the game.

(Who was supposed to follow Lewis across the field on his second touchdown?)

I don't know the exact of every breakdown as far as coverage and everything. Like I said, I have not seen the film.

(Have you talked to Carroll?)

Not yet. I will when I leave here.

(How did the fullback block?)

I thought he did well. The biggest thing with the fullback, particularly the way we ran the football, I thought he made good decisions. He has a good feel for that and he has a history in the lead zone blocking schemes. He needs to work on the pad level, keeping it down, I thought they got underneath him a few times, but I was pleased with Brandon's performance.

(You've had 38 explosive plays in four games on defense. In general, do you feel it's scheme, technique, personnel?)

Not to keep answering the question the same way every time, but I don't think it's just one thing. I thought they threw and caught the ball fairly well. There were some tight, competitive throws and frankly those do not bother me. That's part of the game. When they throw it and we tackle them, that's part of the game. But like the play where we had a guy running free based on communication, that's a problem. That's the stuff we have to get fixed. People going downfield because we play bump-and-run, that's how we play. So the competitive ones to me are part of the football game. But the numbers are high, no doubt about it. But on the other side of the ball, we had opportunities to make big plays in that game too and we did not, particularly in the second half. Our big play production on offense needs to improve because big plays equal points.

(Did Bush play much bump-and-run at Carolina?)

They're more of what I refer to as a Charlie team, but as far as getting their hands on receivers and things like that. But it's limited film, so it's not like he played a whole lot. We really liked him when he came out of college.

(On the Carroll touchdown, the 45-yarder, was Collins supposed to be deep there as a center fielder?)

Was it the three deep? I'm trying to think which side we're on. If it's three deep, yes, to answer your question. If it's the one I'm thinking of, I thought Nick could have broke a little quicker. But I'm going off what I saw in the game, I haven't watched the film.

(Why do you think things just didn't work out for Carroll?)

I don't have the complete history. But based on the information, I do believe, I've been around a number of juniors that come out. That first year is hard on those guys, and I'm sure it was for him. Being in the starting role right away probably didn't help him either. It could help him, depends on the individual. But as far as our experience together, we're looking for improvement. I keep going back to, without going into all the specifics of every day evaluation of personnel, what I'm looking for it to look like. That's why I just think it's time we move on and give our young guys a chance. That's it in a nutshell.

(It looked like there were times this year he made several good plays, but then ...?)

He's played well. Both defensive back coaches feel that he's improving. There's things he's doing a lot better, particularly on the bump and run, on his releases and things like that. But he struggles with the ball downfield. It's been a problem for him, and people will continue to challenge him until he stops it. But there are certain parts of his game that are improving. I think he's improved his special teams. He was a major contributor for us on special teams also.

(Why does he have so much trouble on the deep ball? He's not slow, he's very fast.)

From a technique standpoint, crowding the receiver is one thing you look to work on. Confidence with tracking the ball flights is another thing. Those are the types of things you continue to coach as far as playing the deep ball.

(Is this a decision that had been rattling around your personnel meetings for a while?)

I'll say this, as far as working with Ted Thompson. Everything we've done to this point has been thought out. These things aren't easy, especially when you get to the personal side of it because he is a young man, a talented young man, but this is a decision we made that we feel is in the best interest of our football team.

(Did Wells have a good game?)

I thought he played well. Our protection unit I thought played well again, two weeks in a row. We have a lot on Scott's plate as far as the declarations and some of the things we did. They came after us just a few times, and I think part of it was they couldn't get to us, and that's a credit to Scott as far as setting the declaration. The lead zone schemes are to his strength. He's another young player that's improving, and I was happy with his performance.

(Those two plays with Driver, on the slant and for the touchdown, did you think those were drops?)

I think those two balls were drops, yes. I agree with his assessment of that. I don't think that was Donald's best game so far this season. But he took a wicked hit there on the pepper, on the double post, and I think that may have affected him from that point on.

(On the slant, would he have gone all the way or would he have had to make the safety miss?)

He would have had to make the safety miss. We were on about the 40. The safety was standing about the 30, so he would have been one-on-one with the safety. It was a 10-yard gain at least.

(If he makes the safety miss, is it a possible touchdown?)

Potentially yes. I can't speak for the backside safety, for his angle.

(It's 9-7 at halftime...do you take some positives out of this, or does the second half wash that all away?)

I think there's a lot of positives to come out of this game. I thought our football team up to halftime and through halftime made some strides, particularly the way they handled halftime. I think our team, from a confidence standpoint, we're not peaking right there, and I think that's part of our problems. But I was really happy when we came off the field, because we went out there to be physical, take the game to them. It was an extremely physical football game, and our injury report reflects that. I was very pleased with that and at halftime they were really into it. That's as emotional as I've seen our group all year. But we came out and frankly we didn't respond. It starts with me and I have to look in the mirror. You have to get that momentum switched, and I was unable to do that. They made the big plays, we didn't. We turned the ball over, they didn't in the second half. Those were the two big factors. You're on the road and it's hard to win on the road in the NFL. The momentum swings, I thought we countered them every time in the first half, and we didn't in the second half. We need to learn from that.

(Was this game a step forward or a step back for your team?)

I'm not going to say it's a step back because I think there's things to learn from. But I think to step forward you need success, you need to win. I think any human in any industry gets tired of looking for little successes. Our business is about winning and losing, so we need to win football games to move forward.

(How crucial is this week going into the bye with how your players look at the rest of the season?)

I don't really use words like crucial, must. I think it's important to keep your eye on the target. Right now we're game-planning today, and we need to make sure we take it in timely fashion, correct the things from Monday night on Wednesday and get our team ready to play St. Louis. We'll continue to take it one game at a time. You need to learn from the past, but you can't carry the past into the football game. No different than when we won against Detroit. That win against Detroit was important, because we were able to win as a football team. But the Philadelphia experience was a whole different experience, a whole different course of action as far as how the game was going to go, and it will be the same way this week. We're playing a totally different football team, and our challenges are going to be different in all three phases. We need to focus on that and get ready to beat the Rams.

(Will Favre practice tomorrow?)

Yes, I would assume so.

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