Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 30

(How's James Jones doing this week?)

James has done a good job. He looks like he's running well. It's good to have him back out there. He needs to be more involved in special teams, so we're trying to get him more reps there. He looks like he's healthy. It's good to have him back out there.

(Is he all the way back then?)

Health-wise, absolutely.

(What does that do to your offense now?)

He's another playmaker. I thought James played very well for a rookie last year and his contributions. He was clearly was probably having one of the better training camps where you really saw the development from year one to year two. It's unfortunate he got hurt in the preseason game up there in Denver, but it's good to have him back. He gives us another big, physical receiver.

(Any particular reason you went outside?)

Why I went outside? Well, it was gorgeous, if you watched the news this morning. It was absolutely gorgeous. A little more than 10 to 15 mile-an-hour wind, I would say. We went inside actually because of the wind for the second half of the practice, and the crowd noise.

(You said James needs to be involved on special teams. Has he done much of that?)

More in a backup role, but yeah, he's taken reps throughout training camp and will continue to do so.

(Do you need him to do more than a backup role? He might be more active there?)

It's all about opportunities. We don't just train 11 guys in the special teams area. You're always cross-training those guys.

(When do you plan to make a decision on Harrell?)

Probably after tomorrow's practice. We'll collect all the information and really just talk to the defensive coaches again, just see where he is. He's definitely progressing. This is a little bit like training camp for him. He has some of the soreness that you experience in training camp. So we'll take the whole week's work and make a call.

(Did Rodgers stay on the same pitch count as yesterday?)

No, he threw more today. I thought he threw the ball very well. Had some big-time throws down there today. I thought he practiced well and threw the ball as well as he's thrown it during the course of the week since his injury. This was clearly his best day throwing the ball.

(What happens tomorrow then? Pat looks at him and ...)

Exactly right. He'll look at him tomorrow morning and then we'll set the plan for tomorrow. It will be light. It's going to be light work because the more rest prior to the game is the target they want to hit as much as possible.

(Are you more inclined to ease Al Harris into his game reps or throw him in there right away?)

If he practices again tomorrow like he did today, he looks like he is ready to go. I had a chance to visit with Al after practice today. He said he feels great. His work has been very good. Same way, we'll take the full week's work and we'll make a decision. He looks great.

(Is there any upside to playing him only in nickel?)

I don't think so. Al has played a lot of football now. You're talking about a guy that has played in a lot of football games. He is experienced. He's got a lot of experience in this system, so his in my view is clearly a medical decision.

(Is it a tough adjustment, having all these guys available for practice?)

That's the way it is supposed to be. Your team has the opportunity to improve during the course of the year. I say it all the time, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, it's important to A, win games, and B, improve as the year goes on. I felt like we have accomplished that the first two years and that will always be our goal as we go through. The best way to improve is to have your team practice, so I thought today's practice was a very good Thursday practice. We had the two padded practices to build into it. I really like the way the week has gone so far.

(You have four linebackers who can play, three safeties and probably four cornerbacks ...)

So you want to play goal-line defense all day? Is that where you are going? Where are you going?

(Coaches say that's a good problem to have. Is it, or does it create challenges for you?)

It's a great problem to have. We come in here every day and you guys champ at the bit, and ladies, about the medical report. You cannot have enough good football players. Those are great problems to have. The medical condition of your football team is probably talked about more than anything. I know I stand up here, sprains and strains and fractures, it's important. Just to have them available is great.

(But guys always want to play. So how do you deal with that? Like A.J. is probably not thrilled with not playing in the nickel ...)

The problem with players that want to play, (they are) good problems. I don't look at them as problems. If they didn't want to play then you've got the wrong guy in the locker room. These are all healthy situations we have on our football team. These are healthy aspects of our football team. I don't view them as problems.

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