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Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 24

(Any word on Al Harris?)

As far as Al Harris, number one, it's a serious injury. I think that's obvious to everybody, and really as we move forward, it's a different type of injury. We will take a cautious approach. Everything we'll do is in his best interests. We're talking about an internal injury. It's not a hamstring or something that's different based on the individual. He will be out this weekend against Tampa. His schedule for the week, he really can't do anything for seven days, and as of today, we're still gathering information on the second and third opinion to try to create a timeline of what's appropriate as far as the proper time frame. We have a couple different opinions so far. We'll get all the information and then we'll move on from there.

(Is surgery still an option or has that been ruled out?)

To speculate on that, I'm not a doctor. I think we're possibly, ... a good chance we'll avoid surgery.

(Is there some hope he could be back this year?)

If Al was standing here, he'd tell you he wants to play this week. That's kind of how he feels. But once again, it's not a normal ... it's a different type of injury, and we're getting as much information as possible. I'm hopeful that he'll be back. The time frame just hasn't been established yet.

(How's Wells coming along?)

Scotty did well. He had a full week of practice last week and had a good day today. Looks good.

(Do you expect him to start Sunday?)

Scott Wells, he will start at center. Jason Spitz will go to right guard, and that's the lineup we'll go with.

(With Harris, can you have a guy like that who's not on the 45 and go a couple of months without putting him on IR?)

I just think it's really too early to get into that. I can only go based off the information, and I'm hopeful that it won't be that long. Once we get all the information in and let the experts, because we're dealing with experts right now in other cities, so I'm hopeful it won't be that long.

(Do you see a scenario on the offensive line where you'll start rotating guys in a game, like in Detroit when you worked in Barbre?)

There's some merit to it. Everyone wants to go out and play with the iron five approach, for the continuity. I think that's what everybody seeks. But I think our situation is such that we've had some guys bumped and bruised and we've had some things that have caused us to make sure we're having six, seven, eight of our guys ready to go. I don't want to stop the development or the flexibility of that, so if we do do it, it would be in a very limited sense.

(Can you talk about Tramon Williams' development and him assuming the starting role?)

Tramon has been a great surprise for us. Starting back when he was acquired in Year 1 and jut the way he developed from Year 1 to Year 2 in the offseason. He's a true testament to hard work, the offseason program. He had a good year last year, and we feel very comfortable letting him step in there and play. I'm excited for him, and we won't even blink with him in there.

(Did you try to convince Haynos to stay here?)

I spoke to Joe. I had a long conversation with Joe before he left. It's unfortunate. You never want to lose a good, young prospect. I thought he had a very bright future here. But he made the decision to go to Miami, and I just wished him the best.

(Facing the Tampa 2 defense, how different will it be this week compared to the Dallas game?)

What's different about the Tampa 2 is Monte's not playing a whole lot of it, actually. He's changed a bit with some of the things he's doing schematically. Good changes, challenging changes. But it's the staple of their defense, and what they're noted for and they've had a lot of success. It's a defense we get a lot of work on. Our three opponents in our division play a similar defense, so we do have some carryover there, and in particular situations that we've anticipated, and I think we'll definitely be prepared.

(What's he doing more of that's not Tampa 2?)

He's adjusting his fronts, different coverages. Playing more three-deep.

(Would Blackmon be the nickel, and with the problems at safety do you need to keep Bush there?)

We'll work all those combinations this week. It's important for us to go down there, and I'll tell you what I told the team, it's important for all 45 of us to be ready to play. It's that type of game. It's going to be a physical contest, a competitive contest, anytime a north team goes to the south. We're aware of that. So as far as Blackmon playing nickel or even dime, and Bush, they will all take reps in those positions this week.

(How big a factor is the weather if it's hot down there?)

It wasn't cold out there today. I haven't heard the projected forecast for Sunday, but I know the weather, it's not too far off. It's supposed to be 83 here tomorrow, I was told. My weatherman is probably not as good as your guys' weatherman. We'll see what happens. We addressed it Monday, just being conscientious about the fluids and those types of things. We're aware of it. We have a very positive experience that we went through Miami two years ago, caught a very hot day down there, I think it was in early November. So we'll be ready.

(With Tramon, did he even take you by surprise a little?)

He really has come out of nowhere in a sense compared to the normal path. He came in the free agent path, and you could see the ability. I think that was clearly evident since the day he arrived and then playing on the opponent teams and even playing some wide receiver. You could always see the talent, but the work ethic and he has the long arms. He has all of the characteristics and attributes you're looking for our style of play and his work ethic has just been tremendous. So it's a credit to him and his coaches and now he gets the opportunity that every young player is looking for.

(How concerned are you with the safety situation?)

I like the depth there. I like the depth of our safety positions. I feel we have four very good players there, and Jarrett Bush is natural back there frankly. We're going to rotate all of those guys in and make sure they are ready. Everybody deals with it. Injuries come in different forms and different times of the year, so that's kind of where we are.

(The long opening period at practice, was that all corrections from Sunday?)

That was all Tampa. I just adjusted the practice just because of the number of guys that we had nicked.

(Are you satisfied with what you're getting in receiving from your tight ends? You've put them in the backfield a lot.)

I think it's a little early for that. We've played three games. I think Donald Lee has played at a very high level. He's done a much better job blocking this year than he did last year. You've got to look at the opportunities that they're given. Yeah, I'm pleased with the production of the tight ends. Our completion percentage wasn't where it needed to be Sunday night in that Dallas game, but other than that I think based on, once again the opportunities they have been given, I am pleased with their production.

(Is the blocking part of it for max protect or are you using them instead of running backs now?)

It's part of it, and there is other part of it too. It's the body type that we've gone to at the position, creating better angles for them to do their job and trying to do as many different things out of the same look. Everybody strives for that on offense. So it's really just about playing with better angles to take advantage of their athletic ability.

(Grant is not on the injury report at all. Has he taken a step?)

Full participant today. He was a little rough today. I'm not going to deny that. He needs a full week of work, but we've got to be smart too. We'll take it day-to-day.

(What will your approach be with him tomorrow?)

He'll be full participation. I anticipate it, unless I am told differently in the morning.

{sportsad300}(When Gruden left Pitt for here, did you get promoted then?)

Yeah, actually Jon was the receivers coach and I was promoted to the receivers (coach).

(Do you have much of a relationship with him?)

Oh yeah, Jon is a good man. We had a lot of fun of the year we spent together. I'm not going to tell any stories about him so don't ask.

(They threw a lot last week. If they do that again in the heat, what kind of challenge is that?)

That's something we talked about. They went no-huddle up in Chicago and it was effective for them. I'm sure that's something that you try to do to a team from the north. I know in New Orleans we used to do it and take the same approach. We have to play our game, and it always starts up front. You always try to make the team one-dimensional and that won't change for us this week. More importantly, I'll go back to what I said earlier. It's important for every man on the 45-man roster to be ready to go.

(What do you see when you look at their offense? Their skill guys don't get as much attention as Dallas' guys?)

The thing about their whole team, in particular on offense, there is a lot of experience there. You look at the individuals they have on the offense, so with that the scheme is a challenge. There is going to be a lot of shifting and there is going to be a lot of motioning. There is going to be the attempt to make us adjust where we are on our heels a little bit, and that has kind of been a staple of how Jon operates on offense. Personnel-wise, I think he does a good job of utilizing his personnel. Just look at I think the big two-point in the Chicago game, the way he formationed that and got the matchup that he wanted. Those are the challenges that you look at in game planning.

(Is there any value in watching Griese play against you from last year?)

Sure. I'm sure we will during the course of the week. We're focused on what Tampa is doing too, but I think any time you play a quarterback, particularly one you played against in the past as near as last season, you definitely from a players' perspective, the point of release of the quarterback, where his eyes and things like that, rush lanes.

(How ready is Pat Lee to contribute if you need him to?)

We'll find out. He's going to be up, so he'll definitely play on special teams. We'll look for him to contribute there. I can't comment on how well he did today at practice, but he'll be ready to go.

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