Highlights of Mike McCarthy's news conference

Feb. 22, 2013
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy answers a question during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy answers a question during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. / Michael Conroy/AP

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon.

On the run game last season:
When I evaluate this year’s run game, obviously there’s definitely room for improvement. We talk repeatedly as a staff and an offense, the ability to run the football smart, and I’m not just talking about scheme, talking about decision making, the attitude that carries over from two-back schemes to one-back schemes and those types of things. There were periods of this season that we ran the ball better. Our attempts improved. I think we can still run it more than we have the last two years. It’s an area of focus for our offense. We definitely need to do a better job.

On striking balance between run and pass:
I don’t pay a lot of creed to the fact that you need to run it as many times as you throw it, particularly with our quarterback. Our quarterback, aaron rodgers, gives us the ability to do a number of different things at the line of scrimmage. So with that it’s really the production. If you look at the history of our offense as long as long as aaron’s been playing, the number of attempts, the rushing attempts, is a pretty good indicator of the success of his productivity, when you tie those two together. Those are the numbers I really pay attention to, because when you don’t hit the targets. The attempts are the body blows, then obviously the quality then counts. Quality obviously helps the quantity to get to where it needs to be. But as far as being 55-45, things like that, I don’t really operate like that, which I did early in my career.

On how loss of woodson and Driver affects locker room:
No. 1, donald driver, charles woodson, we’ll see what happens with greg jennings, greg obviously is in a business situation, you don’t replace charles woodson, you don’t just go out and replace donald driver. I’ve talked about the type of people they are. Locker room is culture is something that I wouldn’t say is a moving target but it’s something that’s either growing or not growing. So it’s important for the leaders and particularly our young guys, leadership’s not always designated by how many years you’ve been in the league or how good a player you are, there’s leadership opportunities for every man in that locker room. It’s important for our leadership to grow, for out culture, we have a very healthy culture in our locker room it’s something we pay close attention to, it’s part of the process here in indianapolis, gather as much information as you can about the people you’re going to bring in to that locker room. Charles and donald are special people, special players, so it’s not trying to replace them. it’s really putting the energy, the effort, the focus, the education, on the individuals now there for that locker room to grow.

On what playlers need to assume larger leadership roles:
Every one of them. I look for the youngest guy to the oldest guy. I know you look at our team, aaron rodgers now is the longest tenured Packer, that’s something he’s very conscious of, embraces the leadership role, embraces the role of being the face of the franchise, it’s not all about aaron being more of a leader than he is today, he needs to grow just like we all do. but it’s all those guys, whether it’s a young guy like morgan burnett to continue to grow, BJ raji is definitely a guy, TJ Lang, josh sitton, bryan bulaga when he’s healthy, we have a bunch of guys, jordy nelson, randall cobb really took a big step in a leadership role as a young player last year, so he’s definitely an example I’d use as a young man in his second year. You don’t have to wait until your fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth year, to be classified as a leader. Leadership is from the top to bottom, and we need to do a better job of that as a football team.

On practicing against the read-option:
Our practice reps during the week are really focused on the individual (opponent). Definitely there’s a lot of conversation about the read option – rightfully so. 579, that’s a number that will stick in our focus as a defense throughout the offseason. We’re studying the read option, the teams that are doing it in the NFL. We’re even going to the college ranks, we’ll have a couple college coaches come in, spend some time with our staff. Actually, our defensive staff is going to take a trip to Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin is someone I have great respect for and with his ability to share from both the offensive side and the defensive side his experience in the read option. It’s something from an education, preparation standpoint that we will grow as a staff and be better prepared for in the future.

On regretting not preparing more for read-option:
I don’t regret anything about the last season. That’s really what this time of year is for. Regret is something I think is an excuse. I don’t really live in that mindset. We’ve looked at our preparation, we’ve looked at our performance, we evaluate every aspect of our performance, you look at the communication – player-to-player, player-to-coach, coach-to-coach – you look at the relationships – coach-to-coach, player-to-player, all the way through – the teaching, the demand of the coaches. We go through an extensive evaluation every year. There’s more things in certain areas than there were in the past, there’s not as many things in certain areas as there were in the past. So it’s about getting better, it’s about improvement, and we need to do a better job stopping the read-option. That’s definitely something we’re focused on.

On what the team is looking for:
Well, we’re looking for what we look for every year. We’re look for good football players that definitely add to the culture of the Green Bay Packers. And that never changes. Our personnel staff had the ability to stack the board in the pre-draft meetings, pre-Indy Combine meetings, 17 days before, so we have that board and we’re down here gathering all that information that we possibly can, the interviews are very important and we’ll stay true to our system.

On if he'll continue calling plays:
To answer the first part of your question, I’ll continue to call the plays. There’s advantages of any type of responsibility, whether you do or you don’t. Coaches call plays or call defenses probably because it’s in the best interest of their football team. And there are coaches who don’t call plays, manage the game, it’s probably in the best interest of their football team. That’s why head coaches are head coaches. That part of it won’t change.

On needing to surpass San Francisco:
Well, you take a hard look at the two games that we played. San Francisco, they beat us twice last year. You look at the difference in the first game and the second game, and obviously the glaring statistic and the information in the second game was obviously the production of their quarterback. So you evaluate the scheme, you evaluate the fundamentals, we need to improve No. 1 as a football team, that won’t change, we’ll put tremendous emphasis on our younger players, particularly the rookies, to take a big step in year 2. That’s something we talk about every single year, the players have bought into that. We’re really focused on ourselves and obviously player acquisition is a big part of improving and those guys can come in and add competition to our football team. San Francisco had a great year; like I said they beat us twice, and that’ll definitely be a focus of our offseason.

On if the read-option is a fad:
It’s a scheme. Anytime – I know when I go through experiences like this I remember a conversation with a coach I had great respect for, Jimmy Raye, I think he’s coached in this league for 100 years, played in the league. I remember he told me in 1993, ‘Football is a cycle. You’re going to see things go in this league or out of this league and in college football.’ It’s very important to stay on the front side of that cycle. The teams that do, like San Francisco had the success this year, they obviously benefit from it. You stay true to your preparation and obviously we’ll spend a lot of time on the run-option defensively. We won’t run it with our quarterback if that’s what you’re concerned about. That’s just the way you go about it.”

On Derek Sherrod's progress:
“Sherrod is there every day. I see him in the training room every, single day. The surgery he feels is a success and what he needed. As far as a timetable, I haven’t done very well trying to speculate on what guys are coming back or not. I hope he can work during the OTAs.”

On his health determining if the Packers need to draft another offensive lineman:
Well, but he’s in the injury category. I know it’s magnified because of where Derek was drafted, but the reality is he’s coming through an injury. Yes, we’d like to get him on the field, but there are people who are playing, Marshall Newhouse. He needs to get back out there and compete, but he can’t do that until he gets healthy. It’s unfortunate. I understand once again where he was drafted brings magnitude to the focus, but I still have a lot of confidence that when he does have the opportunity he’ll be a productive player for us.”

On prognosis for Jerel Worthy's torn ACL:
Yeah, Jerel Worthy. I think training camp is definitely going to be a stretch just because of the timing of his injury. Once again, he has to go through the rehab process and get healthy. I like a lot of the things he did. He brings a lot of energy. There’s a lot of things he can improve on and I definitely think he can be one of those players who makes a jump in year two.”

On John Dorsey:
“We all definitely are fond of John Dorsey in Green Bay. It was kind of funny being in the interview meetings last night. John always has the – I refer to him as Paul Harvey – just the way he’d ask his questions and even though you’re in there 30 interviews-in-a-row having John in there always made it a little amusing at some points. He’s a grinder, a hard-worker. He really does a great job in the office as far as communication and the relationships, which are so important in the offseason. I know he enjoys being on the road. I don’t know how he’s going to structure that being in Kansas City. He always had great passion for college football and evaluating college guys. When he’d come back to town it would always be I saw so-and-so here, so he has a lot of passion, great work ethic, excellent family man. He’s a great fit for the Kansas City Chiefs.”

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