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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 16

(When did Crosby get hurt and will that limit him this week?)

It started bothering Mason yesterday during the weight training, so we're just going to back off of him this week. Based on the communication from the medical staff and the coaching staff, I anticipate that he will go on Sunday. It's just something that needs some rest.

(What do you remember about Marvin Lewis from your time together at Pittsburgh?)

I think Marvin is an excellent football coach, a dynamic personality. It seems like only yesterday Marvin and Peggy, their family back there at Pitt, that he moved on right across the street to the Steelers. Very fond of Marvin. I think he does a great job and has been very successful in his years in the National Football League with the ring there in Baltimore. I have a lot of respect for Marvin.

(Back then did you ever think you two would both be head coaches in the NFL going against each other?)

No, I don't think so. I was just trying to keep my head above water, to be honest with you. Being a graduate assistant in the old days was a little different than probably it is today. It was a great experience. I look at that staff that we were on, Marvin Lewis, Jon Gruden and Scott O'Brien, I think practically the whole staff coached at one time or is still in the NFL. It was just a great group of people to be around, especially as a first-year coach. You could tell right away though that Marvin was unique. He had a certain way with his players, a very good communicator. It is no surprise to me that he is an NFL head coach.

(What were your impressions of Aaron Rouse on Sunday night?)

I thought Aaron played well on Sunday night and he'll have an opportunity to start this week. Atari Bigby had a significant injury. We're looking at a time frame of at least four weeks, so Aaron will have the opportunity this week against the Bengals.

(Not sure if you watched the Bengals on HBO's Hard Knocks this summer, but do you see any value to that other than entertainment?)

Value to our team?

(Just in general)

I've never really sat down and watched it. We did have our video department tape it frankly just in case there was something on there. I was told the Bengals did a very good job. It was entertaining, very insightful. That doesn't surprise me. I know a lot of coaches on that staff. I have worked with a number of those guys. I think they are good coaches, good people, good personalities too and I heard some of it was entertaining too, which doesn't surprise me. We were asked to do it a few years back. I didn't think it was good for our team being so young. We still have a great hold on being young so I think we won't be doing it again here in the near future.

(Do you gain any competitive advantage from watching it?)

I don't know for sure, but I'm sure there is some type of editing rights. There has to be I would think, that you don't put yourself at a competitive disadvantage. I would think that is in place. I don't know. I don't know enough about it. I have never experienced it; I don't know if it would benefit you or not frankly.

(As the team gets older, would you consider doing it?)

I'm not going to consider it for this year. I'm worried about the Bengals, to be honest with you. No disrespect to Hard Knocks, it's not on my radar screen.

(Was one of the reasons you would be reluctant to do it is that you have to release players in front of the camera?)

I'll say just from my experience going through the process, I would not be comfortable having a camera in the room at that particular time. It's a very personal time, and that's something personally I would not be willing to share with a camera frankly.

(With Blackmon and Raji being full participation today, does that mean they are past any problem areas now?)

I hope so. I think tomorrow will be a big indicator. It's one thing to go through the rehab workouts and I know they both participated on Friday, but tomorrow is our heavy-lifting day. It's a padded practice, our most demanding practice of the week because we hit all of the different situations. To answer your question directly, I want to see them go through a whole week of practice, but they both were full participants today.

(How did Nelson grade out as a kick returner and is it possible he could hold on to that spot?)Jordy did a good job, did a very good job with the particular returns that we used against the Bears. I thought he did a nice job pouring it up in there and hitting the crease. That's his style, he's been productive in that position, but I would not have any problem going with Jordy in the future. Will Blackmon is our starting returner, and when he is healthy he'll be in there.

(Way back there was some doubt about the current defensive players fitting this scheme and body types..)

You going to apologize now? No, I'm just curious. I don't have a problem with it. I think so, and it was really part of the interview process because when you do go through that process you do talk about the utilization of your current players because those are the individuals that you know are going to be on your team. I was very confident in our players fitting the scheme back then, no different than I am today. I was right about that one. I think you have to give me that one.

(Was the whole body-type question overrated?)

Well, it depends what you're trying to do. There's just not one type of 3-4, and you have to tailor the techniques and the scheme around your players. I think Dom has done an excellent job with that.

(Any reason to think Jennings' wrist injury will limit him on Sunday?)

I don't think so. They're just being smart with him during practice this week. He wore a brace and a particular type of taping. But he'll be fine.

(Did Chillar do a lot to get better this offseason or is this defense just a better fit for him?)

This defense is very similar to the one he played in St. Louis, so his ability to play in the sub-packages from the different positions and different angles and the multiple responsibilities I think is really tailored to his game. I think Brandon is better suited, well, I thought he was an excellent player in the sub-packages in the other scheme too. You're just seeing more of him because of the way he's being utilized also.

(Ochocinco said he will do a Lambeau Leap if he scores on Sunday. Are flamboyant guys like him fun to coach?)

I had a great time coaching in New Orleans, but when people pull out cell phones and things like that, it is challenging. Those are some of the relationships you look back on, I'm talking about Joe Horn. Joe Horn was probably one of my favorite players to coach, but you do spend a lot of time talking about a lot of different things, and I don't really know about Marvin and, what, is it Ocho? I want to make sure I call him the right name. They bring a lot to the table. He's an exciting player. Chad Johnson is an exciting player. He's a dynamic football player. You watch him run routes, you watch him play with the ball in his hands, he's a big-time football player, and that's really what our focus is on. All that other stuff, it's great for TV and that's why we're talking about it. But we watch the film, and he's a heck of a football player.

{sportsad300}(After watching the film, were you able to pinpoint why the offense couldn't get in a groove on Sunday?)

The negative plays, frankly, and why, I think we've already discussed that Monday why we had so many negative plays. It's just, when you talk about being a balanced offense, balanced doesn't mean being 50-50 run, it means the ability to run it and throw it, and our down and distances were so unbalanced. We had so many second-and-longs and third-and-longs and just the inability to play a favorable down-and-distance game was a big part of it. The second biggest part was the quarterback getting hit. You can't have your quarterback take that many hits. That's not the way we're designed and that's not the way we're going to play.

(With someone like Barbre, can you tell if a guy is over a tough game on Wednesday or do you have to wait until the next game?)

I think you put the most salt into your evaluation of the way they perform, and I would say today's practice would be an indication if he's over it. I felt he was over it watching him practice today. Allen Barbre is a very tough individual. He's a first-year starter, he made some mistakes. He wasn't alone. This is not Allen Barbre's fault. I thought I made that clear Monday. We had a number of players on offense that did not have a winning performance. They've been corrected, and we expect them all to move on, and as an offense, we need to play a lot better than we did Sunday.

(Cincinnati lost a tough game Sunday and you lost several tough ones last season. How hard are those to get over and what do you take out of them?)

Well, just in our experience, Mondays are very difficult when you do lose. I think that goes for everybody. I think it probably gets harder the further into the year, because the importance of winning and where you are in your record. But it's still the beginning of the season. Everyone wants to start fast, and that's still obviously available in Week 2 regardless of what you did in Week 1. The beginning of the season, the first three or four games in my view is so different, because you're still going to see unscouted looks. We're going to see things from their defense and from their offense that we haven't seen in our film study that we did, because we worked on these guys in the offseason, because it's an uncommon opponent, the things they did in the preseason, the things they did last week. So you still have that factor coming into this game. That's really all part of those first four games.

(Do you think guys drew from those experiences in Sunday's win?)

I'd like to say yes to that because I think anytime you have failure in your past, as coaches you create those situations over and over again, and you emphasize two-minute, both offense and defense. You emphasize penalties and the things you felt that held you back in the past, and you hope it applies to the future. We changed our training camp snaps based on things we need to work on. If you have 32 percent of your snaps that go towards third down and you're not very good on third down, maybe you need to go 36 percent of your snaps, those types of things. That's really what's involved in all the planning. Problem-solving is emphasizing, and as coaches you have to find as many different ways to emphasize the solutions to your problems as many different ways as you can.

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