Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 19

(How did Wells look this week?)

I thought Scott had a very good week. Haven't talked to him since we broke practice, but he looked like his old self out there today. He came out of Wednesday's and Thursday's practice pain-free. We'll see how Scott is in the morning and we'll move forward accordingly.

(What's your thought process there? If he's good to go, do you start him, or not necessarily?)

One of the options, clearly. It's something we've talked about all week as a staff, and we just said we'll talk Friday after we watch the film. So it's either start him, or he'll be the backup. Those are the two options.

(If you did start him, would Spitz be back at right guard?)

There's a good chance of that. I don't think it's going to shock anybody if that happened.

(How do you feel about Spitz if he has to move again? He's done that a lot these last few months.)

That's the way he was repped when Scott was in there, so it's all part of our practice plan, and playing all the different rotations.

(Grant said this would be the last week he'll be held out of two practices. Is that just a player wanting to do more, or is that what he's hearing from you and the medical staff?)

Well, a lot of how he feels is a big part of the input that Pat McKenzie, Dr. McKenzie uses to make decisions. You can look at scans and all the different things, the rehab, but the feedback is important. We hope that's the case, and that's the same conversation I was part of in the medical meeting. But how he comes out of the game will be the biggest test.

(How did he look today?)

Looked good. He did. He looked good. I thought he had more bounce in his step. I thought he looked better this week than last week.

(When you're limiting a guy's snaps like that, but last week he got the ball most of the snaps he was in there, how do you avoid making that so predictable?)

That's a good question. That's no different than any other self-scout tendency that you go through. That's something that we have to continue to watch. Every personnel grouping in the game is also tagged by who the runner is. So we're conscious of that. I don't think it's a huge factor because we've only played two games, and also the fact that he has been limited. I'm not as concerned about it as we move into this game.

(How much better equipped is Rouse to handle starting compared to when he filled in as a starter last year?)

The big thing for young players is to get those quality reps, whether it's during the week and ultimately in the game. With his ability to get the first-unit reps this week, that in itself will really help him. He played well in Week 1, he had some things he didn't do so well in Week 2. The one thing about Aaron is he's been very productive with the opportunities he's had, so we have full confidence in him.

(Is his ankle a factor?)

I don't think so, and I can only go off the communication of what he has said and how the doctors feel. On the flip side of it, Charlie Peprah has had a very good week of work, and it's great to have him back for special teams. So we feel good about both those young guys.

(What's this game Sunday night going to boil down to?)

Actually I talked about this today as a team. I think the game of football doesn't ever change, I just think it adjusts. I think the guy that's standing up here 20 years from now will be talking about turnover ratio, pad level, footwork, and tackling and all those types of things. Those are key components in the game. As far as the way both teams match up Sunday, I think there's going to be incredible energy and emotion. They've illustrated that in both their games this year, and particularly having the opportunity to watch Monday Night Football with them playing the Eagles, I was impressed with both teams, the level they played at. That will be part of it. But I think this game is going to come back to who did the fundamental things at the highest rate of efficiency, and big plays will also factor in this game.

(Chillar's abilities in pass coverage were a big selling point in signing him. What kind of role might he have Sunday against Witten?)

Brandon, Brady, the whole linebackers, ... the reason why we've had six linebackers up the last two games, I think they gave us excellent flexibility throughout our defensive personnel groups. Brandon has done a very good job adapting to our scheme. Very, very athletic, whether it's in the base or the sub. Also special teams, I think his special teams play has been very good. He was potentially a game-ball nominee this past week. I think he's really come in here and done a very good job of fitting in schematically, and really personally I know he's a popular guy in the locker room.

(Was this one of the game's you pinpointed in looking to upgrade in that area?)

I wouldn't say just one game. I think anytime you make a personnel decision, in my experience in the past, you may have done it because of a division opponent that you were playing twice a year. But to say you go make a free-agent signing based on one game, I don't think that would be accurate. We wanted to improve the overall linebacking group, and then we felt that he was the type of person and the type of player that we wanted to add to that group. I'm very pleased with the whole linebacker group. I can't say enough about those guys, because it's a group from Year 1 to Year 3 that's improved from every aspect. The starters, the depth and their ability to play special teams, their ability to play the number of different defensive personnel groups that we have. I'm very pleased with that whole group.

(Based on your prime-time study, have you adjusted anything to deal with the day itself, just how long the day is waiting for the game?)

You mean the schedule? No, we're pretty similar. The one adjustment that we did make - I guess we did make an adjustment - we moved the walk-through up to earlier in the morning, and I think that was a good change for the players and the coaches. The Radisson hotel, they do a great job with us staying there, but instead of being there until 11:30 in the morning and having a walk-through, and then letting them go to their homes or to the stadium, we moved it up to 10 o'clock. So that's a minor adjustment we made in our night schedule.

(Did you get a visit from John McCain?)

No we didn't.

{sportsad300}(Why didn't Kabeer practice?)

It's just really the schedule that the medical staff felt that he should be on. If you asked Kabeer, I think he'd like to practice more. They're concerned about the swelling in the knee. That's the schedule we went into the season with, and we really wanted to give it a three- or four-week period and we'll see how he handles it, and if he can do more as we move forward. But it's just purely pro-active.

(Do you think he's playing?)


(Is Woodson playing?)

I think so, yes. I'd be surprised if he doesn't.

(Have you ever been around any player at any position who could do what he's doing?)

No, not at the level he plays. To do it off the film study and the meetings and the walk-throughs and things like that, I haven't seen anybody perform at that level. Now, he's also experienced too. He has a ton of experience and is a very smart football player. But the ability to pull it all together and then deal with the pain threshold and things like that, I think it's very unique what he's been able to do.

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