Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 8

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Monday press conference from Lambeau Field. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Bears Game Center

OK, I'll start with the injuries. We have a number of guys that are banged up, but the one injury of significance - Scott Wells has a fractured eye orbit, and he most likely won't be able to go this week. He'll probably be ready after the bye. So with that I'll take your questions.

(What's Jennings' status?)

Jennings had a shoulder sprain. I think he's going to be fine. I'll probably take caution with his hamstring a lot like I did last week. That's something I'll decide Wednesday once have our Wednesday morning doctor evaluation. But his shoulder, his sprain, he feels pretty good.

(Is Spitz the guy you want at center then?)

We'll probably go that direction, yes.

(It's been 10 months since you talked to the team about a loss. How are things different this week?)

Really, I don't think it will be much different. I stood here last week and we won a football game. We had a number of positive things that happened in that game, and a number of negative things. It's no different as I stand here today. We're disappointed because we lost the game, but the disappointment for myself and for the team will come on how we lost the game and why we lost the game. Today will probably not be much different than a number of Mondays that we've had. I think it's important to keep your eye on the target. We need to improve in a number of areas. We're making the same mistakes two weeks in a row, you can't have that. Ball security jumps off the chart at you, just the way we've been careless with the football the last two weeks. You cannot win football games that way. And we just have a number of technical, fundamental things we need to continue to work. Our meeting today will be very similar to probably last week's meeting.

(What was the better view on Williams' penalty, the still photo or the film?)

Well, the still photo on the sideline supports what you saw on film. It's a conversation that Mike Perreira and I need to have because I don't think we're all on the same page. This has been discussed obviously last night, and we had that situation, I think it was the San Diego game, it came up again. So we just need to get that clarified, because obviously that was a big play in the game.

(So did he line up the way he's taught to line up?)

He's been lining up that way for a year and five games.

(Was Wynn sick yesterday?)

No. He wasn't sick. He dehydrated.

(How does a guy cramp up in the first quarter?)

Well, there's a number of things that can happen and we really haven't gotten to the bottom of it. He was sweating pretty good there in pre-game. I'm sure he was excited because he was going to receive most of the opportunities on first and second down. The young man is from Flroida, you wouldn't think that would happen, but it did, and we need to learn from it. He was off to a strong start and was never really right again. He took the IV until the third quarter. That's a new experience for me after one series.

(At halftime when you were up 10, what were you thinking about what you wanted to do on offense?)

We really stayed with our plan coming out of the first half. The biggest negative with our football team offensively in the first half was the turnovers. You go to practice, we have a drill every single day for ball security. So we re-emphasized that at halftime. I want to say play No. 26, somewhere there in the game, when we hit the touchdown to Greg was the last snap of 3-deep we saw in the game. They played one defense the whole second half. They played us Cover-2. We had an excellent opportunity to run the football based on what they were playing on defense and what we had called, and we did not get that done. I'm disappointed in that. The penalties factored into playing uphill, down-and-distance wise, also did not help us. And the field position, really by game plan of kicking away from Hester, also factored into the game. But the biggest thing is they survive with turnovers. It's a big part of what they do and the success of their football team. They do an excellent job of it, but that's still no excuse. We need to take care of the football.

(You showed trust in the running game in the second half, but are they ready for that?)

I think it's important when they're right in front of you, you have good angles, the job of the play-caller is to put players in position to be successful. I think we did that. I've told you this before, you don't really sleep after games when you call games, because you think about this play and that play. Watching the film this morning, we had a lot of opportunities to run the football, and I don't regret that, because you have to run the football. I'm not interested, I don't want to be a no-back guy or a passing guy. That's not in the best interests of our football team. We moved the ball when we did it in spurts last night. But we came out of the gate running the football in the first quarter, that doesn't happen very often, and for us not to run the ball in the second half was, like I've already said, very disappointing.

(Did losing Wells affect the offense at all?)

I don't want to say ... Jason Spitz I thought did a good job with the declaration and the calls. But I'm not naïve to the fact that the timing is probably not exactly the same and so forth. But by no means was it because of the way he played. I thought the interior needs to do a much better job. We just did not execute very well.

(How did Wells get hurt?)

It was on a run play there on third down. You can't really tell. I can see based on his reaction when it happened. They say he got poked in the eye, so I don't know who did it, or if it was the noseguard or something. It was in the heat of the competition.

(What do you do with Jones? Does he stay the No. 3 receiver?)

We'll talk about that as we move forward, but I'm not going to make any changes today. That's why you get back together tonight. We have an opportunity to watch the film with the players. We'll have a team meeting, and then we'll make sure everything is loud and clear on where we're at. We'll start game-planning tonight and we'll have our personnel meeting with the coordinators, and do that tomorrow. I don't see any big lineup changes happening, but those are things you discuss.

(Both of those strips came just after he caught the ball and was trying to pull it in. Is he slow or lax in that area, or were those just good plays by Tillman?)

I think it depends what side of the fence you're on. They're coaching it down there to get the ball out, and we're coaching it up here to put the thing away. And we didn't put it away fast enough. Both of the balls that were stripped, the carriage was low, and he was in the process of bringing it in. They talk about high and tight, and that's what they mean by it. You can't have the ball down there at the belt level. You're asking for trouble.

(Do you have to bench a guy when he does that?)

Do you have to bench him? I think you have to look at what's going on. It's different. Everybody has a different philosophy. I've worked with a coach, he didn't care who you were, he pulled you out of the game. But also, I think what's going on in the game, how it happened, you have to factor that in. I just felt the way it happened back-to-back, the same exact scenario. It's common mistakes that I don't have a lot of tolerance for. People make mistakes. They're competing. I thought our guys came out with tremendous energy. That's the best start of a game that I've been part of since I've been here. And then for that to happen, two mistakes over and over, you can't have that.

(How do you think his confidence will be? How will he respond?)

I think James Jones is a big-time competitor. He'd definitely grade out very high as far as taking tough coaching and being competitive. I fully anticipate that he'll learn from this experience, and hopefully it won't happen again to him.

(With their Cover-2 in the second half, were they coming up on the receivers more than they had been early on?)

Really the biggest adjustment they were trying, they had two different ways to disguise it. Their safeties were more aggressive than their normal (Cover) 2. But they didn't do anything different from the corner slot.

(It seemed you had a good matchup there early, was it something you couldn't exploit in the second half?)

Most of the opportunities that came out on the edge early were in three-shell defenses.

(Did Favre's interception to Urlacher completely change the game?)

I think it was a big play for their defense. The way I viewed the second half, and it was confirmed when I watched the film, there were a number of big plays in that game in the second half. The problem was they made most of them. They came out the second half and took a drive down the field, kicked a field goal. We came out and ran the ball right down the field. They played Cover-2 every snap, went right down the field, and third-and-1 we make a very basic fundamental error on a combination block, and we don't convert third-and-1 and we kick a field goal. And then after that, Brett's interception, they had the fumble on Charles' return, their tight ends made two, three tough catches with competitive good coverage on them, man-to-man. There were a number of big plays in the second half. The problem was they made them, we didn't.

(Could you tell where that pass was going?)

I can't recall who was running the runaway, it's a shallow cross route was coming across. It was a third-and-3 I think was the call. That's where he was trying to go with the ball.

(Did he seem like he was past those kinds of mistakes? It didn't seem in character with the way he played the first four games.)

He's played very well. He's played very well this year. He's had the four interceptions, and that would fall in the category of a minus decision. Frankly, he had a couple of things as far as the run game and the mechanics of that, but I thought he played extremely well in the first half. I thought he played like he did in the last two games. But that was probably his one big error in the game.

(After your kickoffs they were starting near the 40. Are you OK with how you handled those kickoffs?)

The goal was to not let Hester factor in the football game, so we accomplished that. We felt we would be able to move the football in this game. We accomplished that in the first half. And we felt good about our matchup of our defense versus their offense. So that was really the overall plan. You never want to give up that type of field position. That's something we'll re-visit when we play them again in December, because they had almost 200 yards of field position in that game. Our first four weeks of the season we had been averaging plus-130 a game, and that's obviously a factor. But too many explosive gains, their offense versus our defense, and the field position, it did factor. Especially when we started getting the penalties on offense, and we had six penalties on special teams too. You play in those long down-and-distances, that's not a fun game to call.

(On the Clark TD and the Peterson reception, is Collins supposed to help on the tight end and have Peterson on that dump-off?)

Collins had Peterson on that. We were in a trail blitz, it's called a trailer, because he's the trailer and if the back stays we have two-on-one in the pressure. If he goes out, he needs to swing off and pick him up. If Nick was in better position he could have helped on the tight end. But really that touchdown started, we didn't get the bang release on him from the end and the recognition of the coverage didn't happen fast enough.

(Why would he chase the guy in the flat on that last TD?)

Well, I think he's reacting to what he saw. The down-and-distance, they actually hit a couple of those on us in the game. But I haven't talked to him about it so I can't give you an exact reason why, or what he saw.

{sportsad300}(On Olsen's TD where Bigby forced him out, do you think without the force-out that he would have come down in bounds?)

Do I think he would have come down? Shoot, I don't know. You could sit there and say he pushed him, you could say all kinds of things. I thought the coverage was good, I thought Atari was in good position. I thought Olsen jumped up and made a big-time play. I thought it was a good catch by him. Whether he got his second foot down, I could see why you could say he didn't. It would have been close. I thought it was a nice play by Olsen.

(If Wells had been at center in the 2-minute drill at the end, would the snaps have come quicker?)

Our mechanics as far as the time for the snaps was not where it needed to be. The communication as far as the set-up, we actually did take a lot more time than you would have liked. I'd like to think we could have had another opportunity or two. We were not as crisp as we've been there.

(With Morency, what was your plan with him?)

Our intent was to go with DeShawn Wynn, give him the bulk of it, and Vernand was going to play the third down in selected situations, and Ryan Grant was going to focus more on certain packages and special teams. But obviously we had to adjust after DeShawn got dehydrated after that first series.

(Is it a situation where Morency will play more of a role now?)

I think with Vernand we have to keep just bringing him along. He's sore again today. I have to see how he feels Wednesday. Last week was the first time he took three days of practice in a row, and in hindsight he may not be ready for that. His is more of a medical issue.

(Do you have to question the availability with Wynn and what kind of package you can give him?)

That's what today is for. We'll get in here, we'll talk to each player. I don't really have any history of him having this in his past. But this is part of having some young players. You go through different experiences with them the first time, and we'll definitely learn from it. I thought he was off to an excellent start, and frankly I thought he was going to have a big night.

(With the fumbles, how do you balance teaching the young players a lesson but knowing you're going to need them down the road?)

Well, we're a football team, and everyone in that room is accountable to one another, regardless of your age. I'm not asking one man in that room to do something that he's not capable of doing, and I'm not asking anybody to do anything that they haven't done in the past. He needs to hold onto the ball just like everybody else. When you have the football you're accountable to the whole football team. Turning the ball over five times, frankly, you're fortunate to even be in the game. If we weren't as productive as we were in the first half on offense, it's probably a whole different game. Everybody in the National Football League, everybody coaching football I'm sure preaches ball security. But I'm a big believer, if you state things that need to be a foundation of how you're going to win games, you need to practice them every day, and they need to show up on Sunday. Now, we practice it every single day, and the last two weeks it hasn't shown up on Sunday. I have a problem with that, and we need to get that fixed.

(Where's Jackson at?)

Yeah, we tested him on Friday. Pat McKenzie feels he's much improved from last week, so we'll decide Wednesday to see if he can go. He's making a lot of improvement.

(Did Cole still have residual effects from that concussion, or did you just want to give Harrell a chance?)

We've been rolling Justin, frankly, about the last couple weeks he's been getting his share of reps there. Just with Colin missing two days of practice, it gave Justin the opportunity to play.

(You mentioned before the interior of the line. Are you now happy with Juice and Daryn then?)

I know you guys want to run up and pin stuff on guys, and it's important to your evaluation. But the run-blocking unit did not practice very well, and we kind of took turns in there. When one linebacker has 16 tackles, there's a problem with that. The individual that had the opportunity to block him, whatever play it was, was not getting it done. The defense they played was a defense they put in in the first installation, and the runs that we ran were the ones we put in in our first installation. So that game was about execution, and they executed better than we did.

(When you reviewed the final 2 minutes, did the Bears take away the sideline passes? Did you take too much time moving down the middle?)

Really, the 2-minute, we had the one opportunity to get out of bounds and we didn't. That was a fault. But part of playing Cover-2 is you do take away, and particularly the Tampa-2, because the safeties are wide. The sideline routes are really not your best option there.

(What else can you beat Cover-2 with?)

Cover-2 passes. It's based on who's the middle runner. When you get in slot, the corner is now the middle runner. The traditional Tampa-2, the mike linebacker is the middle runner. They'll also walk the will, their will linebacker, 92 out on the Z. If you get in slot, he could be the middle runner. There's different variations of it, and you try to take advantage of matchups. Hey, it's a good win for Chicago based on where they were as a football team coming in here as far as their record. We did a lot of positive things coming into this game, but we didn't take care of business, and that's why we lost the game. I'm sure they feel good about themselves. I fully understand how this works. We were glorified for four weeks, and now they get it this week, and they deserve it. But we need to clean our own house right now. It's sloppy and we need to get it cleaned up.

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