Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 30

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

OK, I'll start with the injuries. Scott Wells, he'll probably be limited this week in practice. He's still sick with the illness. Koren Robinson, I'll probably limit him this week because of his knee, and DeShawn Wynn we placed on IR with a significant shoulder injury.

(What does that mean, significant shoulder injury?)

Significant enough where we didn't think he could make it back in time for this season. They compared it probably worse than Tony Moll's injury, and we all know how much time he missed.

(But that's a nerve-type thing, not an AC joint?)


(Did Grant give you anything different than the others or was it just the all-around performance?)

I think with the whole performance, starting with Ryan Grant ... I thought Ryan Grant made very good decisions. I thought his course work was very good. There's a couple things we need to clean up in his draw footwork and things like that, but he hasn't had a lot of opportunities to rep that in practice. But I thought our fits up front were the best they've been all year, and I thought it was a good run-game performance. Very happy with the way Ryan took advantage of his opportunity, and he will be in the No. 1 slot when we go to Kansas City.

(What was the key on Grant's 24-yard run?)

I haven't seen the film. I went through the offensive film very quickly. We haven't watched it as a staff. We moved on to Kansas City. I'm trying to recall which play ... Mostly his runs, he had the outside zones and the inside zones. For the most part, I thought up front the guards and center did an excellent job of establishing the line of scrimmage. I thought the front-side tackle stretched it like it needs to be stretched. And Mark Tauscher had an exceptional day on the back side. I think he had seven or eight cut-blocks himself. With that, we got up on the second level of receivers, did a good job of blocking support on the back side. He ran hard, he made good decisions, got his pads down, I was very happy with the way he performed.

(Did you use all zone yesterday or mix in a little power?)

A couple draws. We just had the one power play that was not productive. But yeah, we were primarily inside and outside zone.

(How nice is it for that to finally click?)

We talk about it here all the time. Number one, we got the attempts close to where it needs to be. Twenty-seven attempts. When you run the football, you like to be in the 30s, so I think it starts there. I thought our fits up front were the best they've been all year. It's a performance we can build off of.

(Does Grant run harder and more decisively, or were the plays blocked so well it just looked that way?)

They're all different as far as the running style. His body type where he's taller, he has longer leverage than the other running backs. He runs with a natural forward lean. He doesn't waste steps. He had that running style before he arrived here, and that's a big part of being successful in the zone schemes. The other guys are built differently, have different running styles.

(On the aborted play, was that a mistake by Grant, going the wrong direction?)

That was a mistake by Brett.

(So what was supposed to happen there?)

He's supposed to hand the ball off the way the line and Ryan went. We had the initial play called. He changed it to the opposite side, which is a basic thing that we do, and he went back to the original play.

(How is Pickett with the knee?)

I think he's going to be fine. He actually was hit on it two different times. I talked to Ryan after the game. I haven't seen him today, but I know on the list here they have him as limited reps. We'll know more tomorrow.

(Is Koren's knee the one he had surgery on?)

Correct, yes.

(What does the doc tell you, that it's just soreness that's going to come from not playing for so long?)

I think so. It's the first, as close to live action that he's had, the ability to practice. We had five practices last week. That's a lot of work for someone that's just coming here for the first time. Maybe take a couple weeks to get that under control. It's just something you have to watch and see.

(Is he going to be an end-of-the-week decision then?)

As far as being on the 45? Yes.

(Is DeShawn Wynn just unlucky?)

Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. I think you look at DeShawn Wynn, and I'm very pleased for what he's accomplished in the short time he's been here. He's a seventh-round pick. He had to fight like hell at the end of training camp the last week. He missed training camp with a significant injury, and heck, he was our starting running back at one point. I think he has a very bright future. It's unfortunate that he has to go down on IR, but we're excited about DeShawn's future here. Because he has all the ability. He can be as good as he wants to be.

(Did fatigue have anything to do with the tackling down the stretch on that last drive?)

You can say that. Our defense was gassed there at the end. We had a number of guys that were treated after the game for that. It's tough. Really, both sides of the ball, there were a number of long drives in that game, like I said on both sides, and you could see the fatigue that was evident on both sides of the football.

(Did the altitude play into that at all?)

Yes, that's what we're referring to.

(Can you comment on the large number of penalties?)

Without seeing the defensive film and the special teams, just the conversations I've had with the coaches, number one, the pre-snap penalties, we were down there in the louder end, the closed end zone, but still that's no excuse. The opportunity to score touchdowns down there and we have to kick field goals, disappointed with that. Then we had a number of combative penalties that were just poor judgment. Kicking the football, the late hit. There's no excuse for that, so we need to clean that up, because I don't know what was it, six first downs in the game that were given up because of penalties, and that factored into their drives that they got points out of.

(Why do you think you handle the road as well as your team does?)

I think we focus, your focus is tighter on the road. I think the way we're structured as far as scheme and how we play helps us, both offensively and defensively. It's just really a credit to the football team and our boundary operation. I'm very happy with the start we've had this year on the road, obviously, we've won them all.

(Is this one of the more difficult install weeks, to go on the road right away again?)

It's a challenge. Short weeks are always a challenge. Then you're playing a football team that's coming off their bye week. That plays into it. Number one, you have to take care of the bodies. We'll be smart with their bodies from a scheduling standpoint, because there's no need to try to win a game physically Wednesday and Thursday. That's always built into our schedule. We've spent a lot of time with that, so they'll be ready physically. And schematically, this is really the most work that I've ever done on a Monday night game, because I never like to look ahead as far as games and so forth, with calling games. But we worked Friday and Saturday as a staff, so we feel good about where we are in the normal down-and-distance game-planning. We have a late night tonight, but we're not bringing the players in until later tomorrow, so we'll be ready to go.

(How did you feel going into overtime, considering it was Monday night and in Denver?)

How did it feel? Well, number one, to win the coin toss, because just looking at our defense, especially for how long they'd been out on the field prior to the overtime. So that was probably about as big a decision that was made all night, Greg Jennings calling heads on the coin toss. I think you should go tails, and he told me he was going heads, and I'm glad I didn't say what I wanted to say. But that was huge, getting the ball back. Good play design, excellent execution, and it ended up there on one play. It's a great win. It's a great win we can build off of, but more importantly it's a short week and we need to move on for Kansas City.

(Did that play call come into your head right away, to take a shot?)

Yeah, we talked about it on the sideline. Because actually when we installed the play during the week we originally put it in for cover-two, and we were getting more three-deep shell there to our zebra set later in the second half, and I thought he would be playing me for run on first down there. So we made the adjustment just to leave it on regardless of the coverage that we would get. Once again, I thought the protection was outstanding, Brett did a great job with the throw, and the route. The route is almost picture-perfect. Greg does a great job, stacking receiver, the ball is right on the money. A well-executed play.

{sportsad300}(How nice is it to show the world that Brett Favre hasn't lost anything on his fastball?)

Are you talking about his arm strength? Anytime you prove the media wrong, it's a positive thing.

(Did you have any measure of concern after the way he threw the deep balls against Washington?)

No, because really there's more to throwing the football than just picking one up and seeing how far you can throw it. He can still do that with the best of them. He still has plenty of arm strength. Throwing the football, a big part of it is your footwork and legs. The timing on his throws against Washington were as much at fault as the throw. I'm thinking of a couple, the one early in the game, like he said he just underthrew it. So you have to throw with the proper timing, that has a lot to do with it. I think he shows over and over again that he has plenty of arm strength. I was surprised a little bit that that came up as far as an angle for criticism. But no, as far as the way he performed against Washington, it wasn't his best game.

(He made the comment both of the deep balls came off play-action. How much better does that make things for the quarterback and play-caller to be able to run the ball and work off of it?)

We talked about this a little bit coming off the bye week. When you have a chance to go back through, we actually did it again this morning before we started game-planning ... but with the run game lacking productivity, it's no accident that also your play-action pass and your quarterback movement phase of your passing game was the least productive. It all fits together. It's important. That's why you do it. That's why you spend the time designing run plays that also are complemented by the same play-action or the same quarterback movement or the same fake or however you categorize your passing game. It all fits together.

(Looking back at the extra week, how much extra time did you spend trying to get the running game going?)

Extra time? I talked about it here the other day. I want to say we did some more team run offensively. I think we had 14 shots of team run that we normally don't do, three days last week, so that's 42 snaps, and I increased the individual time from 10 to 15 minutes in every practice last week. So that's another 25 minutes of individual time. Now to sit here and say that was all applied to the run game, that wouldn't be accurate. But most of it was.

(Is there a scenario where Wells might not be able to play again this week?)

It might not. He's struggling to get over the illness, and he doesn't have a lot of strength. I always play the high end of those as far as caution. We'll see how his week goes.

(Is the sinus infection a function of the fracture by the bridge of his nose in any way?)

They initially thought there would be some correlation, but from all the tests that they ran, I would say no.

(Are you comfortable with three backs on the 53 for now?)

We have five running backs, two fullbacks and three halfbacks. And actually John Kuhn has experience as a one-back runner in his past, so we'll start to work him in some of our one-back packages. And Corey (White) has done an excellent job on practice squad.

(Your philosophy on the road, where does that come from, and were the Red Sox a distraction at all?)

I think like every decision that's made, very rarely do you come up with something that's totally genuine to your profession. It's clearly based on the experiences that I've had in the past, the different organizations I've worked with, the different head coaches I've been around. Everything we do from a schedule standpoint, game-plan standpoint, is all based on past experiences. And the Red Sox, with them being at the same hotel, we didn't feel that was a distraction at all. The big band playing had a heck of a time from what the security guys told me. We had very little interaction. I went down to get a coffee the next day at Starbucks and I saw a number of their players that were catching the bus or getting ready to leave. They looked like they had a great time, and they should have. But it wasn't a distraction.

(So it wasn't loud or anything in the building?)

I'll tell you what, there was a ton of energy just in the city altogether. There were Rockies fans, Boston had a tremendous turnout as far as their fans in the city. There was great energy. It was obviously special.

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