Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 25

(What have you seen from Grant and how encouraged are you by his progress?)

It's encouraging to see Ryan Grant out there taking all his reps. I think he's put together two solid practices. He needs reps just like everybody else. It's been great to have him healthy and feeling good the next day, so we'll continue to proceed tomorrow the same way, as long as he feels well in the morning.

(Can you get by with only two halfbacks on the 45?)

Might have no choice. That's kind of where we are. Kregg Lumpkin is obviously suffering from his hamstring injury, but we'll make do with what we have.

(If disaster struck, who would you give the ball to if both Grant and Jackson went down?)

John Kuhn has done our one-back stuff throughout training camp and he gets a couple snaps each week. So it's nothing new to go to John in the one-back. John was a one-back in college.

(Of the guys who have sat out two days, will you test any of them tomorrow?)

Yeah, that's the normal process. That's usually how we try to give them two days here to go through the rehab part of it, and test them, A, to see if they can play, but more importantly to see how close they are, too. That will stay the same.

(Are you encouraged by Rouse and Collins, that you'll have those two?)

I thought Aaron did OK today, just from watching him as much as I did. He went throughout the whole practice. He's obviously feeling better. Nick is still sore, so that's why he was limited today.

(How do veteran guys like Clifton and Woodson perform like they do when they're so limited in practice?)

I think you have to tap into their experience level. You're talking about two football players that have played a lot of football and played it at a high level. We've always had Chad since my time here on a certain schedule because of his knees, and we've stuck to that. Actually last year was much better than the first year, if you recall, and he seems to be doing hopefully the same this year. I think the Wednesdays where he is a limited participant and then goes full on Thursday really helps him, and then we're smart with him on Fridays. Charles is a different story. I don't think I've ever seen someone play with the pain tolerance and some of the things that he does. Like most veteran players, he has a way of preparing as far as the film study and the understanding. You don't really worry about Charles, but it's the people with Charles. But he has done a great job of handling that and being able to perform on Sundays.

(The first three weeks, have you been juggling practice around more than normal because of the injuries?)

This week I did the first time for injuries. We came off the Monday night game so your Wednesday practice was abbreviated. Then we had the Sunday night game in Week 3 and coming out of that we had a number of injuries. I adjusted Wednesday's practice. I guess after the Detroit week we had a normal Wednesday. To answer your question, we've had three different Wednesday practices, but Thursdays and Fridays have been exactly like they have always been from a rep standpoint.

(How did Josh Sitton look?)

It was good to see Josh Sitton get a full number of reps today, particularly on the opponent. I think any time somebody comes back from a knee sprain, sometimes we refer to it as short-stepping, just kind of keeping his feet underneath him. I saw some of that last week and he seems to be getting more comfortable and has his balance back, so I thought he definitely took a step yesterday. When we watch the film today, I'm sure we'll feel the same. He has a chance to be active this week.

(Will you definitely test Bigby tomorrow?)

He went inside today and wanted to push it. He went inside in his rehab today, so really the a.m. examination is always a big deal on Friday morning. So we'll see how he feels, how he responds from this workout, and then we'll go from there. There is definitely a sense of urgency with Atari. He wants to get back out there.

(Could you see at some point rotating Sitton in for a series or two like you did with Barbre?)

Time will answer that. I think on the board as they say, ideally, philosophically, those are all things you'd like to do. But we're in the mode of winning games, so the continuity of the front five is the priority. Now, if we feel we can do that and it doesn't disrupt that flow, that would be a nice option to have. But it's something that Joe Philbin, James Campen, Jerry Fontenot, and myself have really talked about on a weekly basis because I've never really done it. In the same breath, we've kept our eye on the fact that Allen Barbre and those guys are making steps forward and we want to keep letting them progress because that only helps our overall line. I can't say enough for the guys that have really been stressed from that standpoint. I think Daryn Colledge has had a fabulous training camp and has done a great job of adjusting and moving him around he has played well. Jason Spitz, the same way and it's good to have Scott back and Tony Moll has definitely taken advantage of his opportunity.

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