Post-practice McCarthy: Planning for Barclay

Dec. 7, 2012

Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media following practice on Friday. Here are some highlights from his news conference:

On T.J. Lang:
He looked OK. He’s questionable. I wasn’t expecting him to practice. I don’t have a feeling one way or the other. He did very little today.

On if Don Barclay will start at right tackle:
Well, that’s the way we’ve planned. Today, we went through a jog-through practice out of necessity because of our injury situation. But that’s the way we’ve prepared all week.

On forecast for Sunday:
Well, we live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so snow’s going to happen. I hope it does snow. I think it’d be great. It’s a great setting. Personally, I think snow’s fun to play in, so I think our players will enjoy it.

On if they'd make personnel changes based on weather:
Well, that’s part of your game plan. But we’re really not in a position to make any changes, personnel-wise, based on the weather. Right now, we’re hoping we have 46 here in the next 48 hours. So that’s where our focus is. But as far as how are we going to play the game based on how much it snows, we’re prepared to do that.

On Calvin Johnson:
I think he’s very well-rehearsed in pretty much the intermediate and deep balls, but they do throw him the quick game. I would say he’s a polished receiver. I would not classify him as just a deep receiver. His skill set is unique. Just the size, strength, speed, quickness, he’s got the whole deal, and I think the thing he does best is he goes up and gets the football.

On any possible changes to offensive and defensive line:
Well, if you look at the roster, it’s something that I don’t like to do but sometimes you do, last week we were 20 defensive players and 23 on offense, so you don’t want to make a regular habit of that. So that’s something we do look at, and that’ll factor into the decision if we have to make that move tomorrow.

On Mike Neal's shoulder:
Well, the news was good news, based on what your fear. But he’s not doing very well today as far as testing. We’re going to give both T.J. and Mike Neal every chance to play in the game. We’ll probably know more tomorrow, and obviously we’ll have to react to that tomorrow to make the roster move if needed.

On how close Lions have been playing teams:
We’re going out to win the game. Really, what they’ve done in the past has no bearing on the way we view this game. They have personnel strengths. There’s matchups that are clearly evident that we need to get after, obviously just look at our first game. You look at the improvements you need to make from the first time we played ’em to the second one. There will be some strategy that changes anytime you play a division game. It’s really something you prepare for in the offseason leading up to the second contest. So we’re doing everything we need to do to win this game.

On Clay Matthews' status:
Well, I’ve told you he’s been close every week. Closer? Closest? We’re getting close. He feels good about it. But I think it’s very important for Clay, no different with Charles, that when we do bring those guys back it’s not potentially just a one-week situation. So we’re trying to do everything we can medically, and ultimately you’re talking about veteran players that know their bodies better than anybody. So we’re conscious of the long term here.

On Ryan Grant's role Sunday:
Well, he plays well in the snow. History would tell you that. I’m comfortable with Ryan Grant. But we’re going to start with Alex Green. Ryan will play in the game. I’ve thought he’s had a good week of practice. Today’s practice was more of a review, just really because of the state of our football team. I thought yesterday’s practice was excellent. Just to practice in the elements of the padded practice, we extended it with the plan on what we were doing today. So that was very good for Ryan to get back into that padded environment, and I thought he did a nice job.

On how well Morgan Burnett is playing:
Well, you’ve really seen it going on for the last couple of years. Just the way he communicates, he knows the defense as well as or better than anybody. You’re seeing more of his personality. I think that’s a normal path you see with young guys. He’s always been very talented. He’s a great fit for not only the position but with what we ask him to do. He gives us versatility. He’s making more plays. We’ve been blessed, obviously, with big-play production from our safety position. I really see Morgan Burnett developing into one of our leaders.

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