Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Monday afternoon following Sundayís 31-13 win over Cleveland. Here are some of the highlights of his press conference:
♦ (Tight end) Jermichael Finley suffered a significant injury. Spent evening in hospital. The injury, specifics of it, thereís a lot more studies going on and opinions to be heard. Premature to comment on it. Heís up and performing daily activities. Heís in good spirits.
♦ I saw him last night.
♦ Jermichael is very upbeat, very positive. He always has a smile on his face. Heís focused on whatís most important and thatís the health and his family. Heís still at the hospital.
♦ We donít have enough information for a timeline. This is something that needs to be seen by more than one doctor. Itís important to do your due diligence. At the end of the day, weíre going to do whatís in the best interest of Jermichael Finley.
♦ Looking at the hit before we left, I watched the TV copy. I donít know what you can do. It just seemed like one of those situations where it just went that way. Obviously, Jermichael is being tackled from behind. Heís going to the ground and timing and angle of the hit. Didnít think it was a dirty play. I didnít see anything Ė I donít know what else the players couldíve done differently.
♦ The mood on a personal level, nobody wants to level the field that way. Thatís a common fear for anyone who has played the game. Itís hard to watch. Itís hard to look at. Itís hard to see one of your guys on the field. The team is obviously behind him. He has a lot of support and love. We had opportunity to correct the video. We feel good about what we accomplished and know we can improve.
♦ This is our job responsibility. Itís important to stay focused. Weíre going to have 46 guys line up at the Metrodome and win. Jermichaelís situation is like the others Ė itís personal, but we have a team goal.
♦ Based on what Iím told today, we have a lot better chance of not going into Friday and Saturday with 44 (healthy players).
♦ Hope (wide receiver) James Jones has a chance (to play Sunday night). Weíll see Wednesday. They thought (he'd be out) two, possibly three weeks. Heís genetically gifted.
♦ We view Chris Harper as a wide receiver due to arriving at noon on Saturday. We'll see how we feel about him through a week of preparation.
♦ Itís important to find roles for our (backup tight ends). You never want to put too much on a young guyís plate. We wonít ask them to do things Jermichael Finley did. Ryan Taylor is pushing and coming back strong, weíll see what he gives us potentially this week.
♦ (Rookie linebackers) Nate Palmer and Andy Mulumba were solid. They were assignment sound. The impact probably wasnít what they wanted. They definitely took a step forward.
♦ (Outside linebacker) Mike Neal, as game went on, he felt stronger and stronger.
♦ Our big guys are where it starts. We talked about it earlier. We talked about it Saturday night at the team meeting. Weíre going to lean on our big dogs.
♦ You have to give credit to the players. They are the ones out there performing. They have history here now. This plan of the next guy stepping up, weíve been successful at it. That helps. Excuses, I think are a waste of time and energy. We donít deal in that mindset. I think as a young player, it was refreshing to know that. We donít just coach the 53(-man roster), we coach all 61 (players).
♦ (Injuries are) a challenge that we accept and a challenge that everyone in this league goes through. Hopefully, this challenge will come to an end and we can continue on as a football team.
♦ Personally, coaching 61 players has always been a philosophy of mine. I always look for those players who had the gym-rat type mentality. There always around. The smartest player is always equated to a better player. We have extra meetings. We have time committed to these younger players in training camp. Itís definitely a primary focus of our training.
♦ The development of your game plan is something you do throughout your week. Personally, as I build the call sheet. Itís been a big challenge the last couple weeks with the no-huddle operation. Itíll be probably an even bigger challenge this week. Thatís where we are. Our quarterback and our line give us a chance to stay this way. Our mental execution was the best yesterday than itís been all year. Iím excited about that. When you see that from your team, thatís always been a pretty good indicator youíre taking a step forward.
♦ I think (defensive coordinator) Dom (Capers) has done a very good job and the defensive staff tailoring it to the players who would be available. We didnít know Mike Neal was going to play until Saturday night. We always go through these challenges. Ours have just come in bunches the last couple weeks.