Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 4

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


(Was Favre able to do anything other than individual stuff?)

No, he just went through the jog through, and we sat him down for the rest of the practice.

(Do you expect him to be able to come back tomorrow?)

I'm hopeful he'll go tomorrow. He's just sore today.

(Is Koren not here today?)

Koren is not here today.

(Is that because of his legal situation?)


(With the short week, is he still going to be able to prepare for Sunday?)

Yes, we anticipate so. Yes.

(Will he be back tomorrow?)

Hopeful, yes.

(Do you know when you'll get word on his future?)

I don't have any information as far as the decision being made. We'll know more when he gets back.

(What led to Kenderick Allen going on IR?)

My understanding based on the test is they had to wait a week or two to see the separation to the structure, and it did occur, so it's worse than we thought.

(Was it a break?)

No, it's not a break. There's a medical term for it, something to do with a separation.

(Like a muscle or tendon?)

I don't know exactly. It's worse than they anticipated.

(Is it surgical?)

Possibly surgery.

(Did you see how he might be able to help you down the road?)

I think he fits what we're trying to do. I thought the injury was unfortunate with the timing. He's in a very competitive situation there with the interior, but I think he was progressing. I had an opportunity to be around him his rookie year in New Orleans, and I think he's in much better physical shape now, a lot more mature. I was happy with his participation to this point.

(Brett talked about trying to find an offensive identity today. What do you want to be ideally on offense?)

Well I think when people talk about identity, I think that term can get stretched. I'm not sure what his comments were. But our identity as far as our starting point is running the football, and all the positive things that come off of running the football. That's something that needs to be a constant in your offense. Statistically, we've thrown the ball more than I would have liked, but you're going to have games like that, and you have to do whatever you need to do to win the game. The offense's responsibility is to put points on the board. So our starting point will always be running the football.

(Did Green go today?)

He didn't go. He just went through the jog through.

(Is it both hamstrings with him, or just the one?)

It's just the other one right now. The first one seems to be OK.

(How far away is Blackmon?)

I'm hopeful after the bye. But his setback has been unfortunate and it's unusual. So we'll have to see what happens. It's kind of a week-to-week thing.

(What exactly was the setback?)

It was a reaction to the rehab he was having on his foot. Without getting into all the medical terms because I am not rehearsed in that area, but it's something that's unusual and he's just working through to get the strength back.

(It wasn't directly related to the break?)

No, it had to do with the rehab and the treatment of it.

(What do you see for Morency and his role?)

I'd like to think we have a healthy one-two punch. I thought Mo did an excellent job taking advantage of his opportunity. I thought he played well. The turnover is the black eye in his performance, but he put his foot down and ran and made good decisions. He bounced the ball a couple of times when the opportunity presented itself. But you can see him, he wasn't totally comfortable in some spots, but I thought he ran tough, I thought he played hard. He stuck his nose in there in pass protection, so we'll continue to roll him in there.

(Is Green's hamstring going to be OK Sunday?)

I'd be surprised, frankly I was surprised he didn't play Monday night. I'll be surprised if he doesn't go this week. But my experience with players who come off major injuries, you're going to have things like this happen. I think it's just a product of coming off a major injury. You're going to have the side injuries that come off that. I think that's really just what he's going through.

(What kind of challenges does Bulger create for your defense?)

Marc is a good quarterback. I think he's about as good an anticipator as I've been around. I spent a short time with him in New Orleans. He has good ball accuracy. He can manage a football game. He's played in a wide open offense, he's playing more game management. He's a bright young man, so we're going to have to be sharp. He's not turning the ball over, and I think he's doing a good job running their new offense, running the football, being smart with the football. I've been impressed with him.

(Do you like him because he's from the old neighborhood?)

I hate to say he's a good kid, because he's not a kid anymore. Our time together was brief in New Orleans. We were smart enough to draft him, we just weren't smart enough to keep him. But he's done very well for himself, and he's a good football player, a good person.

(How different are the Rams on offense this year?)

Just in their approach. They're running the football, giving the ball to the big back. They're being smart. I think they're doing a better job creating matchups for the receivers. They were hitting on all cylinders versus Detroit.

(Is the schedule for the bye week different if you win on Sunday?)

No. We're going to stay with the way ... we're a young football team, so there's some things we need to accomplish during the bye week.

(Do you think you'll get Ferguson and Hodge back after the bye week?)

That's a good question. I'd be speculating. I'm hopeful.

(How ready is Koren Robinson to step into Ferguson's position?)

I think he could play. Just in the game, we ran a couple plays he had not run in practice. He's still going through the terminology change, the language change, however you want to view it. I would say another healthy week, particularly after the bye week, he'll have complete comfort and understanding of the offense.

(Is there any advantage to continuing what you did with the guards in this game, or now that Spitz is healthy do you pick two and go with them?)

I go back to what we talked about in training camp, you always want that continuity, and that's part of the reason why we made the decision when we did. But I also need to be in touch with the development of all three players. That group is improving. I'm pleased with the growth of the offensive line. If there's a position on our football team that's improving week to week, it's definitely the offensive line, so with that in mind, we are looking at rotating Tony and Jason.

(How did the young guys do in the secondary today?)

I thought the young guys for the most part, ... I spend most of my time on the offense and with the opponent offense, but I thought they did a nice job. Those guys are excited about their opportunity, and like anything else, they need to do something with it. We had a good, crisp practice today. We took a long period, we extended our jog through period, just because of the health of our football team. Didn't do a whole lot of team drills and things like that. But it was sharp. It was a good, crisp Wednesday practice.

(When you talk with Sanders, how does he reassure you there's progress being made with the defense?)

It's like anything, I have the benefit of being here every day, being involved in the meetings and film study, which people outside the building are not. I have no doubts about how we go about our plan. I have no doubts about our plan and the way they work. We're just not taking care of the big play. It's a re-occuring problem that needs to be corrected. I'm not saying that I'm putting a band-aid on it. I think coaching is teaching and demanding. When something is wrong, you have to find different ways to emphasize it and keep emphasizing it until we get it corrected. More importantly, if the players see it, they know it too. A lot of conversations, a lot of communication. I have seen them do it. I've seen them do it with my own eyes, I'm not asking anybody to do anything they're not capable of doing, and we'll continue to work at it until we get it 100 percent.

(What can you do about big plays in practice, as far as drills to attack problems?)

You need to define it. Is it communication from a scheme standpoint, or is it a technical breakdown? Is it the technique of playing the long ball, communication between inside leverage and outside leverage? Those are things you continue to walk through and continue to break down the pass concepts, the tendencies week in, week out because every team is different. You just have to keep going through it and going through it. They see it, and it's teaching progression. It goes back to when you're doing your program. They see it in the classroom, they see it in the walk-through, they see it on the practice field, and now we need to get it up in the game film for 60 minutes. We're on the final hurdle, we just need to do a better job of it.

(Favre said he thinks Robinson can be a vertical threat. What have you seen from him?)

I think he's more of a long-strider. He has the ability to get behind people. I think what Brett is referring to is the competitiveness and the big target to go up and get the football. So that's something he's done in the past and shown the ability to do.

(Are you confident you'll have him for a while?)

I anticipate having him for this week's game, and that's my focus.

(Is Sanders using the same coverages the defense did last year?)

The core is the same. He's added some terminology and communication variables to help with the switching and the matching and things like that, but the core is the same.

(What's your evaluation of the no-huddle, and are the guys getting the play off fast enough?)

Absolutely. Actually with Philadelphia, we have some of the charts with what time the play goes in, when we break the huddle, when we get to the line and when the ball is snapped, and actually Philadelphia was the quickest we've been all year, which surprised me because I thought we were quicker earlier in the year. But it's a pace, tempo focus, how the game is going. Our guys are good at it, particularly the quarterback because he manages it very well. It's just an up-tempo, doing basic things we would do even if we were calling the play in the huddle. It's really just to change the pace and the tempo of the football game.

(Is the nickel job wide open between Dendy and Bush?)

Yeah, we're looking at both of those guys. Tomorrow's practice will be a big indicator which way we go, because Friday we'd like to give the individual most of the reps.

(Is the Ahmad Carroll decision the ultimate in accountability, and what other ways do you hold guys accountable?)

Well, job security is a pretty good form of accountability. You don't have too many other things to lean on. Since the day I arrived here, I think it's important we have a plan to make sure you get it the way you want it to look, without getting into the details of each position and things like that. And that's important. The football team is not quite the way it needs to look right now. We're working to get to that, and I think we're close in a lot of areas, I really do. I think there's much more positives than negatives to build on. The problem is we're 1-3, and that's really the bottom line. We'll just continue to work to make sure the players, the coaches, everybody involved, that we're all on the same page, accountable for the plan, and getting it to look the way it needs to look.

(Talk about what kind of challenge Holt and Bruce give you?)

It's really the two receivers and the quarterback. One thing that's extremely noticeable when you watch them on film is the timing. Marc's throwing the ball before they're even coming out of their breaks. There's an excellent time clock between those guys, and they're very good route runners. They have a very good understanding of how the defense is trying to attack them and so forth. I think with their run game, they're doing a good job getting one-on-ones for those guys too, because you need to have the extra hat in the box sometimes for the big back, Jackson. So, it's an excellent challenge. This is a good football team. Frankly, they're a better football team than I thought they were going to be. I played against them twice last year. I think they did an excellent job upgrading their talent level through player acquisition, and defensively they're doing a lot of pressure and blitzing, and you need to account for that, and they're running the football. Their special teams is actually playing with a lot more energy, so I'm very impressed with the Rams, and I think that speaks to where they are with their record right now. This is an excellent challenge for us.

(How does the chess match change when it's against a guy you know very well and who knows you very well?)

I think at the end of the day it's something you look back on, but especially coming off the Monday night game, I haven't really thought much about him versus I, it's been more watching his defense and a lot of things you've seen before, things he's done in New Orleans. But I think he's done a really good job actually using their players. I think Will Witherspoon is a really good addition, I've always like Pisa, the other linebacker, and La'Roi Glover, I've been around him before. And Jim is doing a good job of playing with those guys wide open. It's going to be a good challenge for us. I know his personality and how he likes to play the game, and we'll just roll the ball out there and see what happens.

(You're a year separated working with him, but do you have to change anything at all in terms of the calls and audibles?)

It really has changed just through the migration from New Orleans to San Francisco to here. There are things in the language that were done here before, that were used and things like that. I'm not concerned at all about the audibles or anything like that, the protection adjustments. As he probably views our film, it's different than the way we played in New Orleans. Our talent makeup was different in New Orleans than where we are here. It's different than when I was in San Francisco. So I'm not concerned with that. It really comes down to execution.

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