Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media following Saturday's final practice. Here are some highlights from his news conference:
Injury Report: PROBABLE Ė LB Brad Jones (hamstring), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), CB Sam Shields (toes). QUESTIONABLE Ė WR James Jones (knee). DOUBTFUL Ė Nick Perry (foot). OUT Ė TE Jermichael Finley (Neck), OLB Clay Matthews (thumb)
On Sam Shields:
Yeah, Sam got stepped on yesterday. Frankly, I just held him for precaution. Iím hopeful itís nothing more than that.
On James Jones:
James practiced today. He did a little more than yesterday, so weíll see where he is. Frankly, itís up in the air, but heís doing everything he can.
On sticking with players through injury (Starks, Daniels) and struggles (Crosby):
Well, youíve got to remember the coaching staff, the personnel staff, the players, we spend a lot of time together. So when you do step up and take up for one another, itís obviously because of the substance of our relationships and what weíre trying to accomplish as a football team. Every one of those examples are people that we believe in. Itís as simple as that.
On the teamís ability to effectively replaced injured inside linebackers in recent years:
Well, I think the consistency at the linebacker position, first, I think itís a pretty good credit to the players. But I think Winston Moss does an incredible job. Youíve never seen any dropoff of any those guys. Thereís been a lot of change at that position. Thatís a very demanding position mentally, the communication involved. As we well know, when you play the intermediate positions as I refer to íem, whether itís a linebacker or a tight end or a running back, thereís times where youíre going up against a man thatís 50, 60 pounds bigger than you are. So itís a very physically demanding position, and I think Winston does a great job of getting those guys ready because theyíve been pretty seamless in there.
On not seeing Brian Urlacher this year:
Itís a little different not seeing Brian Urlacher out there. Iím not going to deny that. Brianís been a great player for so many years, and even so now with Lance. Lance is so productive, instinctive, one of the most instinctive, productive football players clearly in our division and let alone the NFL. But thatís really the challenge of what our offense has to go through, you have to get ready for new faces and new tendencies, new mannerisms, how they fit and so forth. And sometimes the unknown can be an advantage. So weíve got to make sure that we really stay true to ourselves as far as the details of what weíre trying to get done.
On Ryan Taylor sitting out:
Ryan Taylor, just obviously being this close to the surgery, just making sure to give him a chance to be ready. So weíll see how it goes.
On James Jonesí play before his injury:
I think James Jones was playing very well. If you look at that whole group coming out of training camp, that perimeter group, that is in sync as an offensive perimeter group that I think Iíve ever been a part of. I really felt coming into the season we were going to have a huge year with all of those guys and then the running-back group was going to add another dimension to us. Jermichael, Randall, James and Jordy, I donít know if Iíve ever had a group that was that in sync with the quarterback in all of my time here.