Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 28

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Friday press conference from Lambeau Field. - More Audio | Video | Watch ’The Mike McCarthy Show’ Packers-Vikings Game Center

(How did Morency do and how's his progress?)

Vernand had an excellent day today. He went through all the reps. He looks like he has his bounce back. It was just good to see him out there knocking the rust off. I thought he had a good day today, and he put together three full days of work.

(He hasn't had any contact, will that limit how you use him?)

I'm not worried about the contact. I thought Wednesday's practice, we didn't go live, but I thought we had a very spirited, physical practice Wednesday. Thursday same thing with the team run and blitz. I'm not concerned about that. But we're the same course of action with the running back group. So as far as who does what, time will tell, but he's not prepared nor is he going to be asked to take all the snaps.

(Does Brandon's shin make the odd-man-out decision for you?)

His shin has gotten worse. He feels worse today than he did yesterday. We rehabbed him today and I'll get more information on Brandon when I get back inside. I'm just glad Vernand also feels good.

(How did that happen in the Chargers game?)

I don't know exactly what play it happened on, but it happened in the first half and we x-rayed him at halftime. He fought through it and played the whole second half of the game with it, and felt that he was fine to go Wednesday, and it flared up again on him Wednesday in the individual drills.

(When did Harrell and Wells get hurt?)

Scott strained his hamstring yesterday, and who was the second one, Harrell? Actually Justin hurt his knee Wednesday at practice and he went full yesterday, and it actually has gotten worse also.

(What kind of injury does Harrell have with that knee?)

I'm not sure. They just classify it as a knee sprain.

(Brandon's shin, is that a bone or muscle injury?)

Shin strain is the description Dr. McKenzie and Pepper have given me.

(Who's your starter at running back?)

We don't have a starter at running back. You guys ask me this every week. We're a running-back-by-committee team, and I foresee us being that way every week. So whoever runs out, you guys can make a big deal out of it on the first play and let me know, OK?

(It's been 8 weeks since Vernand's injury, how important was it to slowly work him back?)

Very important. I think that's really why Pat McKenzie went about it the way he did. We have a couple other injuries that hopefully won't fall into the same category of being up one week and back down for two weeks. The ability for Vernand to be back 100 percent is important for him, because if he did re-injure it we'd probably end up losing him for a longer period of time. So this was the best way to go for the player, and it's obviously the best way to go for our football team.

(Do you have a ballpark number of plays you'd like to use him Sunday?)

I don't, because just the way we're organized as far as which back will do what package. With that being detailed the way it is, it should work itself out.

(Jennings hasn't practiced but is still probable?)

Yeah, he practiced Wednesday and was sore, and he felt a little something yesterday. So I just shut him down today, and we're kind of in that same week progression we were in last week. I'm hopeful he'll be 100 percent Sunday.

(Is it the same hamstring?)

Same injury, same thing.

(Do you think he might be back to where he was a couple of weeks ago?)

I hope not. He felt better Wednesday than he did at this time last week. But then he didn't feel so good yesterday. It feels better today, and I'm just hopeful that in 48 hours he'll be ready to go.

(Is he the type of player you don't worry about limited practice time?)

I'll say this, there's very few players that I've been around that can play with very limited or no practice time. Charles Woodson is the best one I've seen, as far as not practicing on Wednesday or Thursday, going out and getting what he needs on Friday, and then playing at a high level. Quarterbacks, regardless of who you are, it's hard to keep your edge when you don't practice. And I think it's true of perimeter players too, because there's such a timing to when the ball is thrown, getting in and out of your breaks and so forth. So that's why we practice. It helps him to practice, he is a young player. But from the mental part of it he's very bright, has a clear understanding of what we're doing, can play all three positions, so I don't really worry about him in the mental aspect of knowing what to do. It's just being sharp in the fundamentals of route-running and the timing with the quarterback. That's where you see drop-offs when perimeter players don't practice.

{sportsad300}(How big a concern is Wells?)

I'm concerned. Anytime you lose a veteran player, particularly a center, and he's a key decision-maker in our run-blocking schemes and our pass-protection schemes, and has probably been one of our most consistent offensive linemen last year and this year. I'm just hopeful he'll have a good 48 hours and be ready to go.

(When did Muir get hurt?)

He's been fighting it all week. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday with it. I don't know exactly what day it was. I want to say Wednesday.

(How has Al looked in practice? Is he like Woodson in that regard?)

Al is more comfortable when he does practice. A lot of people are creatures of habit. He actually practiced well today. He feels a lot better than he did Tuesday and Wednesday, that's for sure. So I look for him to be ready. He had a good day at practice today.

(Did Woodson move alright?)

Woodson had a good day at practice today, yes.

(What's your assessment of Kelly Holcomb?)

Experienced football player. I look for him to be a lot more comfortable in their offense this week than he was last week. He's been productive. You look back and he's played in playoff games, so. They're going to run their offense, and I think their offense is really built around the back, in my opinion. He's the key target that we have. I think he's an up-and-coming, exceptional young talent. Tough guy. A strong, physical player that, when he gets to the second level, can change a game. I think Kelly will probably manage the offense. It's going to be a great challenge for us.

(Any final word from the league on recognition of Favre's 421st touchdown?)

Actually, Jeff and all the people with the important office doors up there are handling that. I don't really know the specifics. I know that between the networks and the league, they have a plan. I don't even know if it's been finalized.

(Did you see on the film [equipment manager] Red [Batty] going into the pile to get that ball [No. 420]?)

We actually have a highlight tape that we show the players every Saturday night, and I was reviewing it this morning. I had not seen it. I guess it was on TV, but I had not seen it. That particular play was on the highlight tape, and I didn't catch it. Chris Kirby is the one who puts the highlight tape together, and I was like "What the hell is Red Batty doing in there?" That was the ball that tied the record. So it's pretty funny. I'm sure they'll all get a charge out of that Saturday night. It's pretty comical.

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