Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media Monday following his team's 23-14 win over Minnesota. Here are some highlights from his news conference:
How’d Don Barclay look after seeing film?
“I thought he did a nice job. Pretty much what I thought last night when I left here. He went into the game, we tried to protect him a little bit there in the 2-minute drive. Then really at halftime we made some protection adjustments, not really adjustments, which way we were going to lean in the second half. I thought in the run game he was physical, that’s a trait that we really like in Don. I thought the pass protection, a lot of his things were technical. I thought he did a solid job. When a rookie comes in for his first time in game action and you’re able to keep playing throughout your gameplan, I think that’s a big credit to him.
Can you keep him at RT and send Lang back to LG?
“Obviously you’re always evaluating every position. And in Don’s case, we are looking at him at right tackle. I don’t really know what T.J.’s case is going to be. That’s one of the individuals where we’re still gathering information. I don’t have a feel if T.J.’s going to be ready for this week. Probably getting a little ahead of ourselves. That’s probably a question better asked on Wednesday.”
Make a roster move if unsure about Lang?
“When my day starts and ends with a lot of conversation with Ted Thompson, obviously we have a lot going on on our active roster. We’re juggling a number of things right now.”
How’s TJ Lang and Jordy Nelson doing?
“I would say T.J. Lang and Jordy Nelson’s injuries are not of serious nature. I don’t know how many weeks Jordy would be out. I think he would be pressed hard to play this week. Once we get past the initial couple days and see what he can do on the practice field, those questions will be answered. And T.J., I feel probably a little bit better about T.J. than I do about Jordy.”
Concern it’s the same hamstring for Nelson?
“Jordy actually felt something in pregame, so he went back into the training room and then tried to play through it. It’s part of where we are in our season. Our roster has been stressed. The receivers, some of their numbers are up as far as the reps they’re playing. Jordy is a very durable player. But I’m not concerned about it. It’s kind of the way our season has gone so far.”
Talk to Greg Jennings today?
“ I have not spoken to Greg. I think he played 51 plays in the game. That was more than you probably would have liked coming out of the situation. He communicated throughout the game and I’m sure he's sore, is really from the little bit that I talked to Pepper and those guys. He was sore coming out of the game, which I think would be expected.”
Could Woodson play this week? Matthews?
“Charles is probably, I would think maybe next week would be my guess there. If you ask Charles, he’s probably pushing to play this week. There’s some more testing that you have to do to make sure he’s cleared. He’s not been cleared yet. I know Clay worked out today. I have not got the results of that yet down in the Hutson Center.”
On Mason Crosby’s 47-yard field goal:
“Anytime they’re cheering, I think that’s a good thing. I’m not going to complain about it. I think it tells you what the confidence level is in Mason. Obviously, he missed the one there right before half. I thought our team was effective by the end of the second quarter as far as the touchdown by the Vikings, going up 14-10. We had a couple injuries, but I thought Aaron did an excellent job in the two-minute drive just with the conservative nature we went about it. Mason missing that field goal was a letdown going into the locker room. Coming out in the second half, our first two plays definitely weren’t exemplary with kicking it out of bounds and a long run, but I thought Morgan Burnett changed that game around with the interception. Frankly, I’m not worried about Mason. He needs to make kicks. He needs to make the long kick. I expect him to make that kick before the half, but we’re just going to keep swinging because we’re going to need Mason to make big kicks down the stretch here. We’re in the fourth quarter of our season. He’ll be a big part of our success.”
Were you really going to go for it on fourth-and-seven?)
“I had a play called. We had a play called. We had a good play call. They were in transition. Obviously, I think they had 12 guys on the field. Once they called timeout, the situation changes it, so that’s why I decided to go for the field goal.”
Do you give the run defense a break considering you were playing Adrian Peterson:
“No. I think that’s a terrible mindset to get in. I think we’ve been glowing for the respect we have for Adrian Peterson and rightfully so, he’s earned it in this league. I don’t care who’s in the backfield. You can’t go out and give up 200 yards rushing and say we stopped them 18, 19 times, but on these three runs he had 160. It doesn’t work that way. They all count, they all count. When you correct it, that’s part of the correction, that’s part of the classroom, that’s part of the lesson, but we were double-digits missed tackles and that’s not cutting it. Our season will be judged obviously over the whole season and we’ve definitely increased our tackling production, but yesterday was not where need to be. We had a couple times where we had two, three missed tackles on a play and we have to do a better job there.”
Plan to split running backs going forward:
“We’ll stay the course probably. As we game plan, we’re going to stay the course the way we’ve gone, but if you feel one’s going a little better than the other maybe we’ll lean that way. I leaned that way a little bit with James. I thought Alex running the ball did a very good job. He graded out a little better on video than I might have been aware of during the game, but I thought James ran the ball very hard yesterday.”
Run the danger of defenses knowing when you run certain guys?
“That’s what self-scout’s for. Really, the complement is the balance we have with those guys. If we can keep them both around 12-15 (carries) that’s a good day. Anytime you run the ball over 30 attempts, good things happen. We’ll kind of head that way and the game dictates that, too – production, what they’re doing, things we feel they do, but there’s a lot of different components that are involved in that thought process.”
Run plays are up percentage-wise from last year:
“Every game is different, every year is different. You encounter things during the season that make you play one way versus the other. Your opponent has something to do with it at times. You do want to play to your ability. I like the way our team looked as far as the run-pass ratio. At the end of the day, it’s about scoring points. We didn’t score enough points yesterday. That’s something we’ll continue to push. We have very talented personnel to score points, too, so we always keep that in mind when we game plan.”