Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 9

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference Tuesday afternoon from the Lambeau Field auditorium.

OK, I'll start with the injuries just to add to your list. Atari Bigby came in, he had a bicep strain. Charles Woodson had a toe injury, and Ruvell Martin had a finger injury. Questions, please.

(Is that the same toe with Woodson as last year?)

No. Different one.

(Can you talk about the job Clifton did on Allen?)

I did not personally watch the film, but just the communication with the line coaches. We had a rough start, really, as an offense, and Chad did also with that first or second series, but after that point we thought he played very well.

(How come you didn't watch the film today?)

Detroit. We moved right on to Detroit this morning.

(Will you not watch it at all?)

Oh, I'll watch it. I'll probably watch it before I get out of here tonight.

(When you look back, what impressed you the most about Aaron?)

I just thought he went out and played the way he was coached to play and the way he knows how to play. He didn't take any chances. He managed the game very well. Just talking with Tom Clements, Tom watched the game. He graded out very high on his decision-making. He was smart with his feet, as far as when he did run. Ball accuracy was good. Just thought he managed the game at a very high level.

(How many times did he check out of a play at the line of scrimmage and what was his success rate?)

For the most part. He had a couple decisions you'd like to have back, but he graded out very high in that particular area of the run-pass options.

(Did he do it a lot?)

Not a whole lot. I wouldn't say we had a whole lot in this game.

(Did you preach any more to him about staying within yourself, being conservative?)

That's a daily focus, but maybe a little more this week. That's probably fair. I know we talked about it, just right before the game. It's just important for him to focus on playing football, because of the landscape that's been created here with his opportunity to play quarterback now for the Packers. We're aware of it. I can't say it enough. Aaron, really our whole football team, we just need to stay focused on what we can control, and that's our next opponent.

(The TD to Driver that wasn't, was that a run-pass check Aaron made?)

Pretty much, yes.

(It looked like Moll was run-blocking. Does that absolve him somewhat of the penalty or is it just something you can't do anything about?)

No, we'll absolve him. I think anytime something like that happens, you have to look at the communication involved. But there's another aspect of it that we can do a better job, in that particular instance. That's really an excellent reflection of our football game. We found a way to win the game, and that's important. I thought all three phases played very well, but all three phases had a number of mistakes that we were able to overcome. You go to special teams, had the blocked field goal. Defense, we struggled getting off the field on third down, but played huge at the end to seal the victory. And offense, the way we played, started with all the penalties, and were able to overcome that and generate point production. That's the thing I was most impressed with our football team because they continued to find ways to play at the level to win the game, and that's the bottom line. We have a lot of work to do. I say it all the time, and I mean it. We'll correct it with the players tomorrow. It's important to get it corrected. We don't ever sweep anything under the rug around here. That will never change, because we feel like we're going to go into a hornet's nest up there in Detroit with their home opener.

(Are you less concerned about Aaron going on the road now after everything he went through for this home opener?)

See, I apologize, because I don't think of that stuff like you people do. I didn't say that properly. I don't think that way. I don't worry about Aaron Rodgers' mindset based on everything that goes on outside the building. I'm aware of it. It's a secondary focus. Dealing with the media is a secondary focus. I don't want to insult anybody, but we're here to play football, and that's what we focus on. We have to deal with it. I shouldn't say deal with it, it's part of our job. Media access is great. We love being around everybody, and it's hunky-dory sometimes, not lately. It's important. But I understand the pressure that's trying to be applied to him, and we're going to have a day where the pressure may increase, and I'm aware of that and he's aware of it. But we just need to stay focused on what we can control.

(What do you worry about with him, or is there anything?)

I want him to improve. I want him to work to improve every day. I want everybody on our football team to work to improve every day. I'm talking about the coaches, trainers, everybody, and most importantly the players. We won a football game, against a very good opponent. It was a rivalry game, Monday Night Football, lot of added pressure from different angles. That was all part of the landscape that's been created around here. But we need to focus on improvement, and that's our focus. That will never change. We have a blueprint in place that's worked for us the last two years. Both teams improved throughout the course of the year, and that's what I'm holding this team accountable to. We need to improve. We've played one game. We're 1-0, and we have a lot of work to do.

(The way Aaron managed the game, is that the blueprint for him as he goes on, or does he do more, take more chances?)

I'm not promoting taking more chances. I want him to run the offense, and he probably ran last night a little more than we would like, but he was smart with that. We played a very good defensive front that was definitely a challenge. But each game is a new challenge, and that's why we play the game. Every game takes on a new meaning. There's going to be an experience in the next game that he probably hasn't encountered before, so he'll deal with that, learn from that. Every game plan is different. No different this week against Detroit, especially when you play division opponents. It's a common opponent. There's a lot of history there. We're both in the third year of our program. They've been playing the same defense. Their offensive scheme there has changed this year, so there's a little bit of uncertainty there. But we just need to work to improve, and he can handle whatever we ask him to do. He does not apply any limits to our offense at all.

(How many snaps did Grant end up playing?)

I don't have it here with me, not off the top of my head.

(Was it roughly what you were shooting for with him?)

I think it's realistic how much he played. He was very sore at halftime. It affected him on the long run. It's just something that we're being cautious with. It's unfortunate for him. I know he's a little frustrated with it, but he was not at full strength last night. I thought he did a very good job of giving us what he could.

(When you say sore, his hamstring was sore or he was sore from getting hit?)


(What do you do to clean up the penalties?)

Any time we make a mistake we identify it, and it's no different with penalties. You have pre-snap penalties, the mental penalties are unacceptable. Combative penalties, you can break those down. There are combative penalties you learn from and there are combative penalties that you have to do without when it has poor judgment involved. We'll go through all of that with the football team and we'll address it. We did a study in the offseason, the anatomy of a prime-time game. We took the games last year that we played in that we considered prime-time football games, and the four areas that we needed to improve on, one of them was penalties. That's unfortunate because we identified it, we have talked about it a few times during the course of training camp, and we have officials at every practice. But we definitely need to fix that because that is a common mistake that we have made. Maybe I need to take a look at my part. Maybe I had them too pumped up for this one or something. I don't know. We need to do a better job with the penalties.

(What's that leverage penalty? Is that the same thing with Corey Williams last year and the way he lined up?)

I didn't see it. I haven't talked to him about it. I don't know if it was the alignment leverage part of it for the protection of the center or you can't jump over leveraging the opponent.

(The Kabeer offsides, did anybody talk to you about that? He got a sack on that play.)

Yeah, he did. Yeah, we talked about it, but I'm not a referee. I don't referee the referees. It's part of the game.

(What feedback have you gotten from Campen and the O-line guys about the way Moll played?)

Tony did OK. I would say he had a solid performance. Everybody had rough spots. When you get into a grading of the football game, and we'll do that at the end of the week, there will be some minuses there, both technique, the penalties, and so forth. He'll improve from that, but the pass protection and keeping the quarterback clean, a definite positive for the whole protection unit, and Tony is obviously a part of that. So I would say he had a solid performance.

{sportsad300}(Do you have any medical info on the guys you didn't have last night, like Wells?)

Scott, we're looking for him to practice this week, and that's really the next hurdle we need to get over.


I think James will be ready to go tomorrow.

(Sitton's going to be a while still?)

Sitton, he's close. We'll see what he can do tomorrow in his rehab.

(Hawk didn't have any setbacks?)

He came out clean. We had a good night. We're getting healthy. That's a positive.

(You have to be happy with the performance of your punter...)

Very happy with the punt unit. The first one, I wish he could kick them all like that. That's my kind of punt right there. First time here, just the whole operation, I thought was excellent and the coverage units played very well in both the kickoff and the punt. I felt really the only negative of the evening for the special teams was the blocked field goal.

(That was a low kick?)

Low kick, correct.

(Just a low kick, not a bad snap or anything like that?)

Yes, low kick.

(Are you frustrated you got so nicked up in training camp, that your schedule didn't work as well as it did before as far as the health?)

I would say our training camp structure, health is part of it. You can't control the health of your team. This is a violent game. Injuries are part of our game. Everybody goes through it every week. Just look what happened in Week 1 in the National Football League. I think it speaks for itself. I'm not having a training camp structure based on trying to just be healthy. You can create an environment that gives you a better chance of being healthy, and I think some of that you can apply to it. Our training camp structure is part of the success we are having in the offseason program. I look at it in very simple terms and these are the same terms that I communicate to the football team. We have this much work to do, so we can do this much work in the offseason and that much in training camp, or we can do this much in the offseason and that much in training camp. That's the one choice they get to make as far as how the offseason program is organized and how the training camp is organized. If we're getting done in the offseason, if we're hitting the targets that we need to hit as a football team, then our training camp schedule will reflect that. So it's all by getting the work done and getting your team ready to play.

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