Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 4

(Are you encouraged by where A.J. Hawk is at and has he hit his marks medically?)

I thought he looked good just from watching him on the field today. I have not watched the film yet, but he looked like his normal self. He was flying around at practice and he is a very physical player, so it was good to have him back out there.

(Is his danger more with contact or just reaching and movement that could aggravate the injury?)

It is like a number of these injuries that are sprains. Any time that a player is injured, you have a medical report where they may feel there is a certain period of time that the player has to go through. Then you have the individual, and we knew that A.J. was going to rehab at a rapid pace, and in his mind he feels he has been ready for quite some time. So it is a combination of the individual and it is a combination of the doctor's report. As far the movement and so forth, I think he is really past all of those stages, whether it's pushing, reaching, pulling. It's just a matter of Pat McKenzie, our doctor, clearing him to play.

(Did you bang him around out there or was he in a red jersey?)

Oh no, he was right in the middle of it.

(What did the tests reveal with Scott Wells?)

I talked to Scott and briefly talking to Pepper (Burruss) before practice, they feel they may have a handle on it. Scott is going to get some treatment I think today, and it could be one day or it could be a couple of weeks. I talked to him right before practice. He was very encouraged with his visit, and we'll see how he feels in the morning.

(Are you encouraged by the way Ryan Grant has picked up after missing so much time during camp?)

Ryan just needs to get some work, get some days of work. He missed a day earlier in the week. It's good to have him out there today taking the full number of reps. It is a long week and we need to get him ready and ready to play. It's always a little concerning when you go into live action for the first time when it's for real. He's in great shape and I'm not concerned about his conditioning or anything like that. He just needs to get out there and get in some live action.

(Is it strictly precautionary with Chad Clifton?)

Just being cautious with Chad. I'll probably hold him tomorrow. We'll take him through an extensive workout tomorrow, and he'll practice Saturday.

(Are you concerned at all that he already is a little nicked up before the season has even started?)

I think it's a reflection of kind of where we are right now in a couple of spots. It's part of the game.

(You have talked about the importance of pressuring the quarterback, but do you have any concern with Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila's ability to make an early impact since he is rusty?)

I'll tell you, you can only trust what is on film. I thought he practiced extremely well earlier in the week and I thought he looked very explosive out there today. Now, we haven't watched the film yet, but just standing behind the quarterback in the opponent work, he was definitely getting off the ball and applying pressure like he normally does. It's just a situation where he has had some swelling, and we're just trying to help him with that.

(With Charles Woodson, is that a new category when you rest a guy?)

Yeah, that's just more of a soreness. He'll practice tomorrow.

(So it's not personal?)

Correct. Medical.

{sportsad300}(How has the addition of Jared Allen changed the dynamic on Minnesota's defensive line and defense overall?)

I think they have definitely improved their play from both defensive end positions. That is evident in the preseason. That is a talented defensive front. That is the strength of their defense in my opinion. Jared Allen is a Pro Bowl player. Well documented what he accomplished last year, so we're planning accordingly and it will be an excellent challenge for us.

(How do you think you matched up with him last year in Kansas City?)

I thought Chad Clifton played well. It was a big game down there in Kansas City, tough environment to play, particularly for an offensive line with the crowd noise at Arrowhead Stadium. But he's definitely a front-line player. He's a top defensive end in our game currently, and he looks like he's playing at a high level as far as the snaps we saw in preseason. It will be an excellent challenge for Chad.

(What do you know about Artis Hicks?)

I haven't watched a whole lot of him. But I'm sure they feel very confident, just based off the comments and things that have come out of there. But I don't have a whole lot of history or knowledge of Artis.

(The offense struggled in San Francisco in the preseason but bounced back at Denver. How much of a difference-maker is Greg Jennings?)

I think Greg Jennings showed his ability to be a difference-maker last year. Greg has the ability to score touchdowns, and anytime that comment is next to your name, I think it illustrates the productivity. He's a big-play receiver, but I also think he's done a very good job with his route-running and building the cohesiveness with Aaron Rodgers. Greg Jennings definitely makes a difference when he's out there.

(What are your words of advice for the defense with Adrian Peterson and will he be the best back you face?)

Time will answer that question. I think Adrian Peterson is an exceptional running back, just the way he blasted onto the scene last year, and having the opportunity to be around him at the Pro Bowl. He's an impressive young man. But run defense is what it is, as they say. It's gap control, attitude, the ability to separate and tackle. He's definitely someone that has the ability to bounce the football and make you pay when you're not in your proper gaps.

(From a preparation standpoint, do you like Monday night games?)

It's great to be on TV. Mondays from a scheduling standpoint, I think everybody knows how I feel about scheduling and continuity. We're looking forward to establishing some continuity this year, from a scheduling aspect. It's great to play in front of your peers. I'm trying to think of all the things I'm supposed to say here. National TV, big for the NFL. It's great to play on Monday Night Football. I'm looking forward to putting this football team in a little more of a routine.

(How do you balance the emphasis of the first game being very important but also remembering that it is just one game?)

It's important to address your opponent. It's important to address the type of game that you're in, national TV game, it's a home opener. All those things are of significance, don't get me wrong. But it's our first football game. I'm more concerned about our football team. I'm more concerned with how we practiced Monday, Tuesday, the things that we corrected Monday, Tuesday. They had a day off yesterday. The way we practiced today, I thought our practice today was excellent. I thought we looked like a football team that was preparing properly for a big game. It's a big-game environment that we're playing in because it is on national TV, and you have to take that into account. There's tendencies of things that happen in big games, so you address those things with your team. We've actually addressed those types of statistical breakdowns throughout the preseason, and so forth. Having the opportunity to play on Monday Night Football against the Bengals was an opportunity for our team to compare, this is Monday Night Football, how we're going to start the season. So those are all things you look for from your training environment, and we've addressed that. But the bottom line is how we play, and I know one thing for sure, how you practice usually illustrates how well you play. That's really what our focus is on. I thought today was a good day of work for our football team, and we have two more days to make sure we've got things cleaned up and revved up and ready to go. Because we've got a big game Monday night and we turn around and have a short week and go up to Detroit.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content