Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 10

Read the transcript of Mike McCarthy’s press conference following his first regular season game as the Packers’ head coach. Packers.com will post these full transcripts following each of Coach McCarthy’s press conferences throughout the 2006 season.

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Mike McCarthy

(How frustrating is this for you?)

It's disappointing. It's not the way you want to start the season, not the way you want to start your home opener. It's a division opponent. It's disappointing.

(Time of possession in the first half - seems like you guys just couldn't get the ball)

Well, they gave us the ball. I thought really the way the game started for both sides directly played into how the whole game went. They came out, converted their third downs and we didn't. We were in third and short the first three times and we don't convert, even with the fourth and inches. That's a whole extra set of downs. It was our gameplan going in, and one out of nine on third down, you're not going to generate a lot of points that way.

(How close were you to challenge the spot on Ahman's third down carry?)

Did not have enough information to challenge the spot there.

(Any other words to describe the loss?)

Anytime you compete in the NFL arena and you get shut out, that's not a good feeling. I'm not diving on the sword. We're 0-1 right now. We have some work to do as a football team. We will continue to work as a football team and have a lot better days ahead of us.

(Ahman one of the bright spots?)

I think there are positives in everything you do. You take Ahman's performance - I think it's clear that he's back, coming back from the injury that occurred to him last year. The defense in the red zone was a positive. I thought we put them in bad field position most of the day. Frankly, our young guys got to play. They find out what it's all about. We have to start fast. Those are things we've tried to address throughout the preseason and it got us again today. The biggest thing is you have an opportunity, whether it's positive or negative, you have an opportunity to grow from it. We will grow from this experience.

(Assess Favre's performance)

Well, really the second half, you don't want to play that way against that defense. You don't want to play behind two or three touchdowns. Clearly, you're playing uphill at that point. I thought he managed the game as far as all the checks he had, particularly early. The two interceptions - one looked like him and Greg were not on the same page as far as coming out of the break where the ball was thrown - and the second one we were trying to generate a play off the movement and protection. He needs to set his feet to make that throw. We did have a chance on the route, but other than that I really didn't give him the opportunities, from a protection standpoint, to play. I thought when he had time to throw, I thought he was fine.

(Did you call the sneak on fourth down?)

Yes, I called that play.

(What happened with the coverage on the first touchdown pass?)

It was Quarters, and it looked like the safety jumped on the play action. We'll know more when we see the film, but from my information that I got, he jumped on the play action and the corner was a little too far outside leverage.

(Consider putting Aaron Rodgers in it all?)

No I didn't. Though about it, didn't consider it though.

(How was the first game for you as a head coach?)

Well, there was extra anxiety just because of everything leading up to this point. I was thrilled once the ball was kicked off. Football games are football games, frankly, and being involved in the play calling on offense is not extraordinarily different for me. I have a focus, but with that, we do have a structure in place for the game management. I thought it was kind of normal, well I'll say abnormal because of the result, but I felt comfortable out there.

(What did you say to the team after this?)

Pretty much what I just spoke about. It was an opportunity that we did not take advantage of. We need to focus on what's asked of us, doing it the way it's asked to be done and doing it with the energy needed to get it done. We will learn from this experience. It was a negative experience, and we will move on and grow from it.

(Process of challenging the Herron fumble?)

From my viewpoint, my probability was extremely low because you could see the knee was not down, but I took a shot. At that point in the game, with the score and everything, if they would have returned it, I would have definitely taken it.

(Some plays late, was Favre was off target or receiver running the wrong route?)

There was a couple when we were on the other boundary, I don't know exactly what it was. Once again, you're playing into a soft Cover 2 element, and we moved the pocket a few times. I'd be reaching. I couldn't tell you exactly whose fault (it was).

(Why not consider Rodgers when the game is out of reach?)

It's a decision I made. That's where we are, we're in game one of our football season.

(How'd interior of your line do?)

Well, obviously the film will give a better assessment of that. They struggled at times. Jason (Spitz) stepped on Brett's foot on the first third down sack. There were a few other problems they encountered, but I thought they battled like I knew they would. I thought they did a good job in the run game. It's good to get them out there and get the experience. They're going to be good players.

(Lot of two and three tight end sets -but just one catch at the position)

Well, just because they're on the field doesn't mean we're throwing the ball. I think it was evident in the way we started the football game, our emphasis was on running the football today and keeping it in third and short, third and manageable situations. We didn't convert our third downs. Really, the opportunity to get into the action game off the run game didn't occur because of the lack of production on third down.

(After a strong camp, can you assess Jennings performance?)

I'm not fully aware of all the opportunities had, so I'd be reaching there. My sense was it wasn't too big for him. He was in there, he competed. Trying to think of some of the opportunities had, I thought he was okay.

(Did you get enough in the run game off the two, three tight end sets?)

I think we got enough out of it because once again, it kept us in third and short. We're third and one, third and one goes to fourth and inches, and I can't recall the first one but it was a three step drop that Brett catches his foot on. That's a favorable down and distance for the offense in my viewpoint. To say that the run game and the multi-tight end package were ineffective, I don't agree with it.

(How much was self-inflicted vs. playing a good team?)

I think most of it was self-inflicted. You can go through all the plays - we don't design plays for punts to go back for touchdowns. We don't design plays for sacks to occur and things like that. The majority are self-inflicted wounds.

(Comment on special teams?)

I thought they covered well early, and then they (Chicago) had a big play on the touchdown and the fumble, point generation there. Two big plays in the special teams, that's not what we're looking for.

(What do you want the young guys to learn from this?)

You have to get in there and look at the whole game. Look at every play, because every play is an investment in their experience, and obviously it's low right now so we need to build on that. My experience in the game of football, you learn more from the negative things that occur to you than the positives. My biggest challenge, as I told the team the first day I stood in front of them, will be handling the success of this football team. These guys are men of great pride. If they don't learn from their mistakes, they won't be in there anymore. They will learn from their mistakes and will be better. As I look down the road, our biggest challenge will be handling the success. That's been my experience.

(Injuries of any consequence?)

No injuries of any consequence. I learned it on my way in here.

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