Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 19

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Wednesday press conference. Coach McCarthy answered questions in the media auditorium following practice. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Chargers Game Center

I have the injuries for you. We have a bunch of names for you: Chad Clifton, ankle, limited participation; Bubba Franks had a knee, did not participate; Al Harris, back, did not participate; Cullen Jenkins, wrist, limited participation; Greg Jennings, hamstring, did not participate; Johnny Jolly, heel, limited participation; Aaron Kampman, rib, limited participation; Tony Moll, neck, limited participation; Mike Montgomery, knee, he's out; Vernand Morency, knee, limited participation; Tony Palmer, neck, out; Aaron Rouse, hamstring, limited participation; Jason Spitz, calf, limited participation, Corey Williams, ankle, did not participate; and Charles Woodson, hip, did not participate. With that I'll take your questions.

(Do you have enough numbers to get something done?)

We got some work done. We had an extended jog-through. We cut the reps down. We had a good workout today actually.

(Is that why you went without pads today?)

Yes, because of the medical report.

(Is it a concern on a Wednesday, not to go with pads?)

No, I haven't been in this situation this early in the season that I can recall, even as an assistant. But that's where we are.

(What kind of test does LT pose for the defense?)

He was the MVP of the league. He has the ability to get the ball to the edge. He breaks a lot of tackles. I think his vision is exceptional. They're a downhill, power football team. He's a special player and they'll be a big challenge for us on defense.

(What are your thoughts on preparing for the San Diego defense?)

Very talented defense, when you look at them in all three phases what stands out is that they have a number of individuals with big-play ability. Starting with special teams, you have to be ready for Sproles, Turner and Osgood. Their offense you talk Tomlinson and Gates, Philip is a Pro Bowl quarterback. Then you look at their defense, probably the most talented of the three areas. It starts with their pass rushers. I think the key to the whole defense is the nose guard. Jamal Williams makes it go. He's a dominant player inside. It's like the other Williamses (in Minnesota). Williams is kind of a tough name around here. Castillo is an excellent player. I think their front is excellent. It will be a big challenge for us. They're a 3-4 scheme. You don't see that all the time. We have to make that adjustment. Going into the offseason we prepared for our first three games because once we get to Minnesota next week we feel like we know them a little better. Some offseason preparation has gone into that. We have to trust that as we move into this week.

(How different is it to prepare for a 3-4?)

It's different. In my opinion there are two types of a 3-4. There's a pressure package 3-4 with the Pittsburgh type and this 3-4 is more of a traditional, with the bigger linebackers. You have some adjustments but to me that's all a part of your offensive system. That's what you spend the offseason on. You make sure all your roles are in place. You have your base roles, your 3-4 roles and so on and so forth. You have to lean that way. We're prepared but we haven't used this stuff since the Pittsburgh game in preseason.

(The power plays in the run game last week, were those specific to the Giants or will you incorporate them more?)

We have run concepts. Game-planning dictates what goes with them. If you're asking me what my preference is, I'd run power 50 times a game. It's a play I've had success with. It's a play I believe in. But just the way we're built right now and our opponent drives some of those decisions. That's why you have run game concepts, passing protection game concepts and pass perimeter concepts. We will use the concepts that we feel will give our players the best chance to be successful.

(Do you see yourself going in that direction?)

Power is still a primary run in our offense. You guys make a bigger deal out of the lead zone stuff than we do. We have four primary concepts in our offense. Power is one of them.

(If you were forced to start him, are you comfortable with Wynn in a starting role?)

I'd be comfortable with any of the guys. I think if we got to the point their preparation for that game would put them in position to be ready. DeShawn has done a very good job with his opportunities. I'm giving you all the same quotes. He's smart. He identifies defenses. He's an instinctive runner. He's really picked up our system quickly, especially for the amount of time he missed in training camp.

(Is it fair to say he's made more plays than Jackson so far?)

Is it fair? He's been put in some better positions but if you look statistically he's probably made more plays. I think it would hold true statistically but I think he's been in put into position to make better plays.

(How hard did you push Morency? Same as last week?)

Exact same, he went most of the practice. I know we put him as limited participation but we worked him as much as we could. We're trying to get the other three guys ready too. Tomorrow morning's medical review will be a factor as to whether he goes this week or not.

(Do you envision an expanded role for Grant in the near future?)

We'll prepare all three of those guys. We try to be selective with what we do with them but they're all prepared to do the whole thing. Unfortunately, the medical report I just read is part of our game. Any of the three will be prepared to do the whole thing. He's getting better. He's been here the shortest. He's going on his third week. DeShawn is on four. Brandon is the vet because he went through camp. We're getting all three ready.

(The Giants were high on him. How has he progressed?)

He's an excellent addition to our football team. He's a body type that I've had in the past. He's a big target in our passing game too. I think he has a bright future and I'm glad he's here.

(Aside from the guys who have already missed games, is there anybody on the injury report you're really concerned about not being able to go?)

I'll probably have a better answer tomorrow. All of them, they wanted to push them. The ones that did not participate were going to be pushed in their rehab. Tomorrow morning will probably be my most accurate indication of who is or isn't going to play.

(Will you wait until Friday to practice Jennings?)

Friday, yes. We're going to test him tomorrow.

(What do you know about Palmer now?)

They're going to put him in a brace for six weeks and then re-evaluate. Because of the location of the injury we're going to move forward cautiously. We're going to sit him down for six weeks and re-evaluate him.

(Does that seem like an IR case?)

Potentially but we're going to re-evaluate after six weeks. He has a neck brace.

(Is Williams more decisive on kick returns now than he was in preseason?)

He's been productive the last two weeks. The big return got us started in the second half for that first series. He's a talented young man. Like a lot of our players, he just doesn't have a ton of experience. It's nice to see the young players get better with their opportunities. I think he's definitely more comfortable.

{sportsad300}(How do you break down the mental errors on the offensive line?)

Mental errors as a whole, we had too many as a football team on offense, on defense and special teams that shouldn't occur. That's a major point of emphasis this week. To me, we shouldn't have mental errors. That's coaching and player preparation. That's something we have to nip. The mental errors and the run game production on both sides of the ball is a major emphasis for us as a football team. Our procedure for correcting that is that we come in Monday. Special teams meet, we go through every play. It's graded, corrected, communicated to me. We do the same thing with offense and defense. The coordinator addresses the group, gives the overview, goes over all the mental errors and what they were. The position coaches break out. They watch the film. It's clearly detailed and identified. I have the team meeting last. I want them to see the film before I talk to them. It's something that we had too much of last week.

(With the offensive line, were there more mental errors than just the three plays with guys in the backfield?)

Their mistakes were in the run-blocking. Their pass protection was a win. We felt that we won that phase of the game. It was the run-blocking, particularly in the third quarter.

(Is run defense against a guy like Tomlinson an all-11-guy thing?)

Run game period to me is a team thing. That's an attitude. That's a common thread that needs to run through the football team. I talk about it all the time. When you talk about running the football, I'm talking about offense and defense. When they watch us on the film and say, 'they run the ball, we need to stop the run'. That's why I talk about the offensive and defensive line being the foundation of how we're building this football team because that's where it starts. That's a weekly focus. That's a primary goal as a football team. The defensive line, I refer to them as the run-blocking unit. That's a primary focus. We talk about that every week. That's something as a team goal I talk about. It's not just an offensive or defensive focus.

(You were talking about a fast start since March. Is it gratifying to see something you emphasized actually come to pass?)

That's our job. A big part of coaching is when you have something you want to show up on game day you have to emphasize it. You have to emphasize it in the practice structure. I felt that we built in into our schedule, how we handle the offseason, how we handle training camp. Then you see the dividends occur on game day. That's the ultimate. Like ball security, we didn't do a good enough job last year. That's why we practice it every single day. It has to show up on Sunday. You can sit there and talk about it all the time and say I'm emphasizing it. A smart coach once told me that you have to find as many ways to emphasize the same thing over and over again. That's a clear focus of mine. We started fast in the first two games but we have way too many guys on IR and way too many guys on the injury report. Rest and recovery, I'm not going to give any more rest I can tell you that. We need to recover better. It's gratifying because that was the plan. We're off to a good start but we need to get healthy. That's the only thing that I'm concerned about with our football team is our health.

(Is there an equivalent record for quarterbacks to Hank Aaron's home run record?)

I think you can parallel the touchdowns. I think that's fair. The thing that's most impressive about Brett Favre to me is that you're almost immune to the fact that he plays every day. You don't even think about how tough he is because he's out there every day. To me, that's a credit because availability is the key statistic. We talk about it as a football team and as an individual. He is the model of availability. No one's done it better. The individual records that he's accomplished are significant. The two biggest things that impress me with Brett is how many games he's won and his ability to be available. I think that is the true mark of a quarterback. Because when he runs out of the tunnel everybody in the stadium knows that the Packers have an outstanding chance to win the game. That is impressive.

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