Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 14

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

(What's the prognosis on Bigby and his knee?)

Atari is going through some testing as we speak. We don't have the results. But the early diagnosis is it's a knee sprain, and Pat McKenzie will have more information as we move forward.

(A minimum couple of weeks?)

Don't have enough information. Obviously he's here today going through treatment. Pat feels good about it, but he hasn't given me one week or day-to-day or anything yet.

(If he couldn't go, would Rouse be the starter?)

I would say so. Yeah, I thought Aaron did a nice job when he was in there. Aaron has had an excellent spring, and he's clearly one of our better communicators on the defensive side of the ball. He's done a good job. I know Dom Capers and Darren Perry feel good about Aaron, so he'll be ready to go.

(How quickly could Martin be up to speed on defense if you needed him?)

Pretty quickly. A lot of carry-over for Derrick from Baltimore. It's a little different language, like all systems are, but a lot of carry-over. I know Darren has been very impressed with how fast he has picked everything up, and I thought he did a heck of a job on special teams last night.

(Last year there was a lot of concern about Aaron and not getting wins in the fourth quarter. What did it do for him to make a throw like that in that situation?)

It's a big-time play in a key part of the game. That gives the quarterback obviously a lot of confidence. It gives your team confidence. It's what you're looking for. We spent a lot of time in the two-minute drill on both sides of the ball, and I thought both sides stepped up last night and played a big part in the victory.

(Would you consider that play on fourth-and-1?)

Could call it on fourth-and-1. Was it not good enough for you on third-and-1? I guess I can be gutsy today.

(What made you change your mind after the timeout?)

Well, a lot of times you do have two calls, and we had a very similar play out of the personnel group that we put on the first time when Greg lined up on the wrong side. So that was one of my two calls in that particular personnel groups, so I switched personnel groups and then took the shot.

(Did you come close to making a change at right tackle during the game?)

We were frustrated, but I think that goes for anytime things don't go well, and everybody wants to pin it on one person. That's why you need to look at the film. I thought the communication was good. The things that were discussed on the boundary, also the conversations at halftime, Allen Barbre's performance actually improved in the second half, so that's a positive we'll take forward. But I'll say this about Allen. He wasn't the only one who didn't play very well up front. Our protection unit did not play well, and that was a major cause for our frustration and our inability to move the football. The Bears defensive line did a very good job getting after our front last night, and we did not handle it very well.

(Are you happy with what you saw from Cullen Jenkins, not only coming off the injury but showing he fits the 3-4 scheme?)

I'll just tell you, Cullen Jenkins, he hasn't heard this yet, but he'll get a game ball today, along with Johnny Jolly and Brandon Chillar on defense. I think that in itself tells you what kind of football game played, and how he fits in our new scheme. I thought he played with tremendous passion like he always does, very disruptive. He gives us the ability to move him around, still. I know we played him inside and outside in the old scheme, and there's still a lot of those same variables in place.

(How did the linebacker rotation work out?)

I thought it worked out very well. Probably played Clay Matthews a little more than we anticipated because of the snaps in sub defense and special teams. But I thought Nick Barnett was up around 40 plays, and that's what I was looking for, between 30 and 40 plays, and I thought Nick played well. It's a great asset to have, to have that many playmakers. We really have to find a way to get Desmond Bishop involved too. He played a heck of a game on special teams. He's actually the game-ball winner for the special teams unit.

(Will you move forward with that type of rotation?)

Really, I think the game plans will dictate that. Also health always factors in. It's an excellent asset to have, to have that type of flexibility.

(How do you think Matthews played?)

I thought he played solid. He did some good things. There's definitely some technique minuses that he'll learn from, but for his first NFL game and going through the training camp he went through with all the time that he's missed, I thought he responded very well.

(So you're not going to make any changes on the offensive line?)

We've got work to do. That's what we're going to do here at 12:30.

(You thought the defensive linemen were causing most of the problems. It wasn't the blitzers, or was that a problem as well?)

That's why I refer to it ... you're talking about the passing game? I refer to it as the protection unit, because it all fits together. We don't just block men. When we talk protections, we have a man, we have an area, we have a fit, and everybody has help. We were not coordinated very well last night. They did some different things, which you get in the first game, but they're not pressures that we haven't seen or haven't worked on conceptually. We did not do a very good job.

(Was the defensive film as good as it looked on the field?)

I would say the defensive film and the special teams film looked as good as we thought it did when we walked off the field. Now there's always technique issues that you're always looking to improve on, and that's probably more specific to individuals. But as a whole, I thought the energy, the aggressiveness that the defense played, starting with stopping the run. I thought we were very productive, the takeaways, particularly in the red zone. I mean, the play Johnny Jolly makes, I don't know how many other defensive linemen can make that play. It's a great play by Johnny there in a crucial time to keep points off the board. We had the four takeaways and we had our hands on a couple other balls too. So we had a lot of opportunities. I was very impressed with the way our defense played, and I was very impressed with the way our special teams played.

(What does it mean to get that kind of effort right out of the gates with the 3-4 transition?)

I've never had an issue with the effort of our football team. I think they have always played with great effort, but now playing with this pace and this tempo and now to stack some confidence on it, that's what you're looking for. We were able to win a game. We made a number of mistakes. We were able to overcome those mistakes as a football team. We'll learn from those mistakes today and we'll get ready to go at 3:00 today and move on to Cincinnati.

(Are these the good kind of wins for a coach or teacher, where you win but there's a lot to learn from?)

Absolutely. It's always a better environment to teach and correct and demand at a harder level when you win. There is no doubt about it. In this business, the highs and the lows in the National Football League, it's vast and you have to stay off of that rollercoaster, but it's tough. I'm sure Chicago doesn't feel very good today. They had an opportunity where they probably felt like they were going to win that game, but that's our business. The reality is we're 1-0 and that's the way we look at it. It was an important game, an exciting game, and it was a great rivalry game. We're 1-0 and we've got to correct our mistakes and we've got to get those things fixed because Cincinnati will challenge the things that they saw in that game, and that will be our approach.

(Were the problems up front more assignment errors or physical breakdowns?)

Technical, technique. There wasn't a whole lot of we didn't know who to block. It was more how we were doing it. But we did have some mental errors. Actually the touchdown play, it's a great play and everything, but we blocked it wrong. We had one guy that was free. Aaron did a great job stepping up and making a great throw. Aaron and Greg made that play. The protection was a minus.

(On the Hester TD, what did you see there?)

We were in a half coverage over there, and that was about the same time I think Nick Collins was experiencing the cramps and Hester beat us down the sideline in a half coverage.

(What happened on the safety?)

They brought pressure. We didn't do a very good job recognizing it and we need to get the ball out of the quarterback's hand in that situation.

(That's the only thing you can do there, right? Finley has a pass route and he's not able to stay in?)

Or block them. It depends on the play call, but that particular play, there are adjustments that you are able to make to take away the pressure with protection or throw the ball. We didn't do either.

(They really timed that blitz well. Is that a bigger challenge when the timing is so good?)

That's the game of football. We work on those types of things every day. If we're in position schematically to block him, I expect us to block that nickel coming off the slot. If we're not blocking him and he's free, you have to handle it another way and we didn't do that.

(So you're committed to keeping Barbre in the starting lineup for Sunday?)

Allen Barbre will start this Sunday, yes. The whole offensive line needs to improve from today to Sunday. That will be one of the objectives when we go in and make the corrections.

{sportsad300}(The tight ends weren't really involved. Was that something the Bears were doing schematically?)

I think it has to do with the 12 long down and distances we were in. We were in second and 10-plus six times I think and we were in third and 11-plus six times. As a play caller, hard game to call. Were they involved in the passing game? Yes, they were, but you've got to pass protect before you throw it. We didn't have very much rhythm through the night. I thought when we lined up and committed to the run I thought we did a solid job, but our ability offensively to be at our best is when we play both run and pass, and we didn't get that done last night.

(How different a game is it for a play-caller when you have to keep a tight end in or chip with a back versus not having to worry about that?)

I think it is simple math. Your quarterback is better when he can have three receivers off the line of scrimmage right now as opposed to two, or have four released right now as opposed to three. That's just the ability to stretch and attack the coverage element admittedly on the snap of the ball. It obviously gives you the opportunity for better production throwing the football.

(Were Raji and Blackmon close to ready, and you just decided to give them one more week?)

Yeah, I think they're close. They both worked out today. They feel great, but we'll see how they do Wednesday at practice. Dr. McKenzie looks at the players today. He will visit with those guys again Wednesday morning. At that time we'll set a practice plan for both of those guys.

(Neither had a setback on Friday or anything?)

No, I just didn't think they were ready. At the end of the day we gave them the 55 hours to get ready and I just felt that the preparation that the other players had put into that point was the better option.

(Do you know how many snaps Jenkins and Jolly took?)

Probably in the 50s if I remember correctly.

(I'm guessing that's not what you would prefer?)

Snaps? It varies by games. You have to watch those types of things. When you put together your defensive plan you do it by personnel groupings. So when you get heavy in one personnel grouping compared to another, then you obviously substitute and roll players. Mike Montgomery played, Jarius Wynn played. That's why those guys are up.

(Why were you so effective at stopping Forté?)

We wanted to stop the run, make them one-dimensional and try to disrupt Jay Cutler. That was the plan from a defensive standpoint. I thought we did a very good job committing and stopping the run, and for the most part they got away from the run game and went back to it in the second half. On the flip side of it, they were still able to run it I think 31 times. Sometimes from an offensive standpoint when you have the ability still to run it that many times you still have the ability to get some play-action passes and some things off of that. But I thought we did a very good job stopping the run as a whole.

(How did you think you handled the bubble screens, the quick hitches?)

They had two big plays off it. That will be something that we emphasize this week. They did a good job with that.

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