Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 22

OK, I'd like to start with the injuries here from last night's game. Kregg Lumpkin had a hamstring strain. Charles Woodson seemed to come out with the toe OK. Nick Barnett had an elbow strain. Nick Collins had a low back contusion. Al Harris, they're actually still doing tests on him right now. And James Jones, he had the knee sprain but they're also looking at his wrist right now. With that I'll take your questions.

(Is it the same knee Jones injured in the preseason?)


(What are they testing Al for?)

They're just doing scans. They're checking for everything I'm sure.

(Rodgers had been getting outside the pocket, but Dallas did a good job containing him. How do you counter that now?)

Pass rush is something that you encounter every week. Some teams do a better job of setting the edge than others, and that's why we play the game. It's not like the first two teams didn't want to try to keep him in the pocket. It's a combination of getting the ends at the right locations and getting the pressure inside and playing with vision in there. We're going to still pass protect the same. We declare where the pocket is, where the launching point of the quarterback is, how often we want to move it and so forth. That's just football.

(Do you go back to Wells this week?)

That's something we'll talk about tonight and tomorrow. We had an opportunity to grade the film, look at everything as far as the grades. Tony did some good things but struggled in some things, so that's something that we'll start tonight when we get to the game-planning.

(Is Lumpkin's hamstring as severe as Grant's was?)

I'm not sure of that. It's just something that kind of grabbed onto him, tightened up on him. I hope not. I would think not.

(How did Aaron Rouse grade out and do you expect him to be back there?)

Aaron had a lot of production, but I think his performance was a lot like our football team's. The thing that was disappointing from a coaching standpoint, and we have to take accountability for it, was we just weren't as detailed and as clean in some areas as we needed to be. I thought our football team played with tremendous energy. There was a lot of positive plays on the field, but the mistakes that were made, they definitely capitalized on them. We have an alignment, two guys line up wrong, and it results in a long touchdown run. You can't do that against good football teams, and we made too many mistakes.

(In a big-picture sense, how much value do you place on this game?)

I think you need to put value on every football game. That's how you learn about your football team. Everybody wants to ask you after you lose a game, is this a measuring stick for your football team. I think you measure your football team every time you compete. I measure it every time we go to practice. That's part of demanding from your football team that's done right. We did not do the things necessary to win this football game, in all three phases. So we need to do a better job of that. We're here for a reason. We're here to win, and along the way we need to improve, and we did not improve from Week 2 to Week 3. We need to take the information that was learned on the film, and we're going to correct it today as a football team, and we'll apply it to our work week for Tampa.

(On the inside zone runs, was there not much room again?)

Are you talking about offense or defense? We only ran probably one or two inside zones against Dallas, so can you give me more what you're looking for?

(Were you running more power then inside?)

No, most of our runs would fall under the category of an outside zone. The thing about running the football, and I don't want to be redundant, I think we had 21 carries. Our goal was to be up around the 30 mark for this particular game, and we didn't accomplish that. We had four yards per carry, but the third-down conversions hurt us. We had some favorable third downs that we didn't convert, third-and-2, third-and-4. I thought the running game was effective, I thought it was OK, if you're looking for a grade, but we had zero explosive gains, so that's not what you're looking for there. We thought we'd have some opportunities for the ball to come out.

(Did not being detailed on defense carry over to the offense in the red zone?)

I'm talking about being detailed as a football team. I'm talking about detailed on offense, defense and special teams. Most of our problems encountered not doing the little things. Not being in the proper leverage, not playing to your help, not finishing a block. Just all the fundamentals, and that's what coaching is about, and we need to do a better job getting it out of our players.

(Was it discipline in the run defense or what did you see there?)

Absolutely. We had some gap control problems, and that's when the ball came out. Anytime a team puts those kind of numbers up on you, it's definitely a red flag. They all count. I've been on both sides of the conversation. You can't sit there and say well, we did a great job except for these four runs. Well, hell, it still equals over 200 yards. It's the same thing on offense. We had zero explosive gains in the run game. Clearly they won the explosive gain area, and that equates to points, that equates to field position. We were minus-174, somewhere in that area, in field position, so they played with a lot smaller field. Really, probably 50-60 yards of that really happens on the onside kick, but still over 100 yards. Just the base fundamentals of the game that we feel the way our team is built. We're talking about defense, playing solid defense, playing good special teams, playing with a short field. Controlled passing game was not a positive for us. I thought we'd do a better job in that area. We've got a lot to learn from, that's for sure.

(Can you talk about not being able to get the ball into the end zone?)

Very important. Red zone and third down are two critical situations in a game, and offensively we didn't play very well in the red zone and we didn't play very well in third down. They had a blitz, we practiced it a number of times this week and both times we didn't get it picked up and it resulted in hits and sacks on third down there. That's what I'm talking about detailing your work. So it wasn't no big exotic scheme that we were surprised by. It was base fundamental football that we need to do a better job.

(Those two sacks by Henry, is he supposed to be picked up or does the quarterback have to account for him?)

We were in a six-man protection, yes.

(Do you give Bigby much chance this week?)

I don't know. You know how hamstrings are. It's different with all of them. You can scan them, you can look at them, and get all of the information. Every one of them is different, so we'll see how he responds. He's been a quick healer in the past, so hopefully.

(How much do you think you missed him? He seemed to be off to a good start.)

I think Atari has played very well the first two games. He's definitely the starter back there for a reason. Aaron Rouse has a lot of upside and we'll continue to work him, but he definitely factors when he plays.

(Will you look at other punting options or do you stick with Derrick despite his struggles the last two weeks?)

He needs to do a better job. There is no doubt about that. You look at the net and the numbers are OK, but as far as ball placement inside the 20, we need to do a better job of that.

(Do you give him another week then?)

Well, player acquisition, I'm not...we're always looking. We're looking at every position.

(You pride yourself on being a physical team. How did you match the physicality of the Cowboys?)

Up front, you watch them run out on the field. That's the way they play. That's the way we like to play. But to sit here after, you look statistically, it definitely supports your question. Your team gives up five sacks and they run for over 200 yards, you go, my goodness. There is a technical part of it. I think we have a very good balance of size and athletic ability, and that's something that goes back when you're trying to build your football team so you can be a power team, you can be a zone team. You have the ability to play in different areas. But we need to do a better job of getting off the blocks, the fits, and everything. We are clearly a physical football team. They did a better job of it last night.

{sportsad300}(The alignment problems, is that the safeties who are supposed to help get guys lined up?)

It's not just always the safety telling a guy where to line up. There is a difference between...I mean I'll give you an example, sometimes the safeties may have to be at 12 and sometimes they need to be at eight. It's based on the call. It all fits together, and there is a reason for it. There is a reason you talk about gap control. One guy is pushing it to the next guy, so it's all about creating a free hat for the defense on the ball carrier. So those are the things I am referring to.

(Where is Grant now? Is his hamstring still bothering him, and is it possible you'll hold him out a game or two?)

Just the communication that I have been given, he is further ahead, and I said this again last night and going into the game, he is further ahead this week than he was last week. Hopefully we can get some more work during the week and he can get into a rhythm, get his carries up.

(The touchdown on Tramon Williams, he reacted to the refs. On tape, did it look like a push off or was it a clean play?)

Two guys competing. Yeah, everybody is pushing. That's football. It's a competitive play and they converted and we didn't.

(The move to Chillar, was that specific to this game for Witten or will you go that way for a while?)

Just using that linebacker group. I thought Brandon actually played very well in the game. Brady played very well in his snaps and did some very good things on special teams. It's just really utilizing your personnel because you don't want to have your full linebacker group up, just from a planning standpoint, they are up there for a reason. Brandon brings a talent to our team and it's definitely the way he plays in space. But we talk all the time about trying to get to those other linebacker groups that you guys have seen in training camp, and that's really what the focus is.

(Will you learn how your team deals with adversity after this first loss?)

Well, I'll say this. Adversity is something that you saw throughout last night, and I thought the adverse moments during the game, I thought we dealt with it pretty well as far as battling back. We just made too many mistakes to that point. You look at Will Blackmon, his turnover gives us another chance and then the ability to keep fighting there to the end. I don't think that this is the most adverse situation that we're going to encounter this year. I hope it is, because I think it will be really good days for the Green Bay Packers.

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