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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 1

(How would you categorize what the camp atmosphere was like out here with the new facility?)

From an environment standpoint, it's clearly our best training camp, with the new facility, the fan interaction, just creating a stadium-like atmosphere with the lights and so forth. That's a credit to the organization. I hope the fans enjoyed it. I just want to thank them for coming out, even this week. You wouldn't think you'd have the numbers that you've had in the earlier weeks, and they were great again this week. It's been a great environment to practice in.

(Have you ruled anybody out for Thursday?)

Yeah, who do you want to know about?

(Matt Flynn?)

Matt will go. He'll primarily do the holding. We'll see where he is in pre-game, but I don't anticipate him playing. He will do the holding.

(T.J. Lang?)

T.J. is going to go. His scan was negative, so he's going to go. He practiced today.

(Brandon Jackson?)

Brandon Jackson will not go.

(Desmond Bishop?)

Desmond is going to go. He practiced today.

(Was that the toe again with him?)

Correct, yes.

(Are you going to hold Kampman out this game?)

Kampman, no. Aaron is going to go. Our starters will probably play the beginning of the game, whether it's a series or two, we'll determine that. But Aaron will go.

(Al and Charles won't play though, will they?)

Al and Charles will not play.

(Peprah, Blackmon and Rouse?)

Peprah, Blackmon, Rouse are all out, correct. And Justin Harrell, yes.

(For evaluation purposes, what do you expect to see from Tennessee?)

Tennessee has a game in seven days from our contest Thursday night, so I would think they'd probably be a little more conservative in their approach compared to prior years. We're going to just play the game straight and let our young guys play, because we have a number of players we want to see play a lot of action, whether it's offense, defense and special teams. We're just going to play it straight and let these guys go.

(Will it be easier for Brian to relax knowing he's got pretty much the whole game?)

Relaxed? I don't know if I'd say relaxed. I think he'd be excited. I think he's going to be excited about the opportunity of all the reps, no different than last week. He was able to get more playing time. You can't buy those live reps at any position, and especially quarterback. I know he's excited about the bulk of time he's going to get.

(Any other healthy veterans going to sit out?)

Greg Jennings is the other one who will not make the trip because of his medical situation. But Al Harris and Charles Woodson are coaches' decisions, and will be held from the game.

(Are those the only two then?)


(Do they not travel either?)

It's optional.

(Do you still have a lot of evaluating to do?)

Oh yeah, I think we have a lot of evaluating to do, especially the special teams part of it. We're trying to make sure we have all the different combinations for our special teams, and once again, I talked about this I think yesterday, you have a menu that you spend the whole offseason putting together for your offense and defense, and you want to make sure you have the ability to move in and out of those personnel groups and those concepts. It really is difficult. A lot of times you don't take the 53 most talented players. There's some projection involved, but there's also some projection of who you're playing and how you want to play teams. That's the chess match of this whole deal is the final evaluation and cutting from 75 to 53.

(Does Barnett have to show you something Thursday night or are you confident he'll be a starter when the season starts?)

Really, Nick just needs to show us where he is as far as where he is at as far as coming back. He's coming back from major surgery. This is his first live action. There are targets that you hit in the rehab and you go through the practice part of it. Everybody knows the schedule that we put him on, and he's been full padded practices for two weeks now. We'll really see where he is as far as the speed of the game and from a technical standpoint in live action. This is really just to find out where Nick's level of play is and how he fits as we move forward to Chicago.

{sportsad300}(Are you confident Blackmon will be healthy for the regular season or is that going to compound some roster decisions?)

I don't have a decision either way, or a comment on Will's medical. It hasn't gone the way that we probably anticipated initially from the doctor's standpoint, but to project how he is going to do the next seven days, I'd be guessing. We've got a few players that are injured that you've got to look at and decide and project if they A, have earned a right to be on the 53, or if they are a part of the plan as you move into the season.

(Are there other guys you want to look at on kickoff return?)

Sutton, DeShawn Wynn, we'll definitely look at him. Those are primarily the two guys that we'll use.

(On special teams, how do you feel about the progress relative to last year?)

I think our fundamentals are clearly the improvement that we have made on special teams. It was an emphasis throughout the spring. That's the one area where Shawn Slocum felt we could make the most improvement. We have gone about it differently schematically, and that always happens when you change coordinators. So there was a little more standardization to what we're doing schematically and I think it's helped us. I think clearly an improvement throughout all of the phases is the extra work that we spent on fundamentals, and it needs to continue to show up in the games.

(Is one of the toughest decisions coming at fullback?)

Our fullback situation is probably the best in the league, in my opinion. We have a young player that we're excited about that has a lot of development in front of him, and we've got two solid vets that are playing their best football since they have been here. That's definitely a position that has a lot of depth.

(Next week will you be on a normal schedule for the Bears?)

We're going to work them Monday. We're going to get our football team on an in-season schedule starting Monday. I did not want to wait until Wednesday to do that, so we'll bring them in early like we always do, lifting weights at 6:45, 7:30 will be the first meeting. We're an up-early, blue-collar type of environment as far as our scheduling. We did that really the last two weeks, but it's really different once the regular season starts. We'll start that Monday, then they'll be off Tuesday, and then we'll go to a normal Wednesday.

(Will you practice Monday?)

We'll practice Monday.

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