Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 8

Read the transcript of Mike McCarthy’s Friday press conference as he prepares to take on the Chicago Bears for the first time as a head coach. Packers.com will post these full transcripts following each of Coach McCarthy’s press conferences throughout the 2006 season.

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(Bears' rookie punt returner, can one play on special teams make big impact?)

I think the play on special teams will have a big impact in the game. The field position battle will be one of the determining factors in how this game is won. He's an exciting young man. 20 plus average going through the preseason, and he's definitely someone we need to stop.

(How did William get through the week?)

OK. He's still questionable. He'll be a game-day decision.

* (Did he do much team work during the week?)*

A little bit.

* (Did Clifton practice today?)*

No he didn't. He's sick. He'll be probable. I anticipate him playing.

* (What do you think of the state of your return game right now?)*

I think we have some very capable returners. Charles Woodson has done it in this league and been a very productive player. Greg Jennings, the opportunity he had he shows he definitely has ability. Robert Ferguson has the ability to go back there, probably moreso in the kickoff return. It's not a concern.

* (Which back will be in the game after Ahman Green?)*

It depends what we're doing. We'll play to Samkon's strengths and Noah's strengths. Some people use running back by committee, it will be based on what we're doing.

* (Will Gado and Herron both play?)*

I anticipate them both playing, yes.

* (If William can't go, are you leaning more toward Vonta or the tight ends?)*

They'll be game-day decisions. I don't really want to get into who's up and who's down.

* (Assess how Jon Ryan has done so far?)*

Jon obviously won the job through camp. He's very talented, young powerful punter, he's had a good week of practice, and you look for Jon to go out there and perform Sunday afterenoon.

* (Is soreness still an issue with William?)*

I don't think so, no. He's been out of it for a couple weeks.

* (Has anybody won the job opposite Pickett?)*

I know everybody wants to know, frankly I don't know who's running out there for the introductions. We're very fortunate there. We have a number of guys we can roll in the middle. At first Colin Cole was more consistent, and I thought Cullen (Jenkins) has come on the last couple weeks. Corey (Williams) does everything well, Kenderick (Allen) has been a real anchor. They're all going to play there.

* (Junius Coston, how soon will he be back?)*

I'm hoping in the next couple weeks. He has a knee, and when you're dealing with that kind of injury, the individual has a lot to do with how fast they come back.

* (What kind of things do you do to get young guys to embrace the Lambeau advantage?)*

I don't think I have to convince anybody to buy into the Lambeau advantage. The Lambeau advantage for the new individuals involved, I think they got a little taste of it just when they ran out there on Family Night. I can recall walking out on the field on Family Night and had schedules and things going through my mind and seeing Greg Jennings and Noah Herron out there just bouncing off the wall, thanking me for the opportunity to be at Lambeau Field. I'm sure that's the first impression for all our young people. I know it was for me in 1999, how special a place Lambeau Field is. I think throughout the preseason they have an understanding of what it's going to be like on gameday.

* (Will team stay at hotel night before home games? What's your thinking on that?)*

We still stay at the hotel the night before. I've done it both ways. In Kansas City, we were a very effective football team, we stayed at home, we never stayed in a hotel. In those days we were more of a veteran football team. My view on why you stay in a hotel has to do with the makeup of your football team. We're a young football team, so we're going to stay at the hotel because I think it's important for us to be together the night before the game and get into a routine. This is a long season. Most of these guys have not played more than 12 games in a season. It's more structure in their week, shutting them down, taking them away from potential distractions that could occur. That's why we stay in the hotel.

* (With youth of team, consider a fast start even more important in terms of confidence?)*

I think it's very important if you are young or if you're not. For our particular situation, I think our guys need to have success, and that will start with the first play. They've been told about the speed of the game, and there's some natural anxiety that goes with that, and I understand that. I think just the way we start the game is important. I think if we start the game strong, we're going to be fine. That's been my experience, particularly dealing with young players.

* (What's your normal Saturday routine?)*

We'll start an hour later at 8:30. We'll be in meetings probably up until about 11:30, noon.

* (What time do you go on the field tomorrow?)*

We don't go on the field on Saturdays. We extended our Friday practice. Basically, from a time management, it's very similar to what's done throughout the league, and what's done here in the past, which is irrelevant. But I don't believe in going out and practicing on Saturday. I believe in the 48-hour rule. When they walked off the field today, they have 48 hours to get their bodies ready for this game. That will be the common thing we'll do every Friday. Our structure tomorrow is all meetings, and frankly we won't have meetings tomorrow night at the hotel either. All of our night meetings will be part of our meetings tomorrow. I think sometimes because of history, so and so did it this way and he was successful, you can really drag out the week and it becomes cumbersome. I know as an assistant coach, I used to sit there in Saturday night meetings, and Saturday night is not the time to be going over your first 15. We'll know what we're going to do long before Saturday night, what's expected for Sunday afternoon. When we leave here tomorrow at noon, our football team from an organization meeting structure standpoint will be ready to play.

* (Where did you pick up the 48-hour rule?)*

It's really my observation of being in the league. I felt that in New Orleans, particularly when you coach a quarterback, you can really wear them out mentally. I've done that as an assistant coach. I've gone through the 50-60 play walk-throughs on Saturday, and I've found in the short term, it's productive, but over the course of a season, I think it's counterproductive. That's my opinion, just my opinion. It goes back to training camp. We had the same conversation when we talk about training camp. When you go to the practice field, it's time to practice. I'm not into walk ... we have what we call a jog-through. Walking around on the practice field, to me that's a conflict of what you're down there for. That's why we go to the practice field once. We go down there and practice and come back. We were down there a little longer? Yes. I don't want to go down to the practice field, walk through something, come back and go back. I don't think that's good time management. Everything we do conceptually as far as how we structure the classroom, the practice environment, and the gameday environment, it's all the same, whether it's training camp, in the spring, and more importantly in season.

* (Still meet tomorrow night?)*

We'll have a team meeting. We'll have chapel tomorrow night, and then I will speak at the team meeting.

* (Players eat together on Saturday night before home game?)*

We have a team snack after the team meeting. (Dinner time) they can eat wherever they want. The pre-game meal is four hours before kickoff. That's typical, standard throughout the league.

* (No walk-throughs on Wednesday or Thursday morning on the practice field?)*

We have walk-throughs that are built into our meeting structure, in the gym.

* (What was the very first NFL game you ever attended? Do you remember?)*

It was obviously a Steeler game. I can't. I was young. My neighborhood, we lived real close to the stadium. I'm sure it was a scalped ticket and I was very young. I do not recall.

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