McCarthy optimistic about Rodgers, Lang

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Monday following his teams' 44-23 loss to New Orleans Sunday night. Here are some highlights:

Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang uses crutches as he walks the sidelines during Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Opening comments:

Disappointing loss. As you look through all three phases, we didn't have many opportunities. I don't think I've been a part of a game where there were zero returns. We didn't take advantage of our onside kicks. Defensively, I think it comes down to the run defense. We knew they were going to be a tough offense throwing the football. They made some excellent plays. The run defense was our Achilles' heel. The missed tackles led to a lot of that production. It was clearly not our best effort. Offensively, we did some good things. Turnovers and field goals hurt us. Knew they needed to win the game. Loved the opportunity. We needed it. We didn't take advantage of that. We had a couple injuries coming out of that game, I have confidence those guys will be able to play against Chicago.

On Aaron Rodgers:

Just based on the reports I have, Aaron and I missed each other today. We still haven't had our staff meeting. So far, so good I would say. That's how we're looking at it. Our medical policy is based off evaluation, finishing the game. They're very confident where Aaron is today.

On next Monday:

We're going to correct the New Orleans game next Monday. I used to like to correct it right after, but I don't think that's the case. Sometimes those lessons get lost, especially coming after a loss. When we get back Monday, we'll do the New Orleans corrections. We're going to do some new self-scout findings. Go over that and then start preparation for Chicago.

On Eddie Lacy's touches:

The ability to run the football. He can run it. Excellent pass protection. You have to focus on touches. I think much too much time spent on stat sheets. Let's not forget who our quarterback is.

On run defense:

The run defense has been our Achilles' heel. Too many missed tackles. We need to improve there. That's happened to us twice now.

On 5-3 start:

I wouldn't say satisfied. I think you have to be realistic. I'm realistic with our strengths and continue to work at the things we need to do better. We need to be more of a football team that just relying on winning the turnover issue.

How do you turn around run defense?

Missed tackles are fundamentals. That's an area of skill development. That's the facts of football. Everyone wants to talk about scheme and personnel. Are there other individuals who deserve opportunities? That's what we talk about as coaches. We need to tackle the damn ball carrier and put him on the ground.

On T.J. Lang's ankle:

He's not doing very good today, but he'll do better as the week goes on. We'll have to see next week.

On goal-line package with Julius Peppers:

On play design, execution not there.

On JC Tretter:

We'll answer the JC Tretter situation this week. We need to talk to him first.

On Morgan Burnett/Sam Shields' availability after the bye:

I hope so. I had a chance to visit with him and Sam. They're definitely getting better. I know their workouts before the game, especially against the Saints. I know our training staff felt they were improving.

On missing Burnett:

We missed Morgan last night. We weren't as smooth with our adjustments as when he's in there. Morgan Burnett is off to a fine season. He's the lead communicator on the back end. It's definitely something that was out of place last night.

On if he thought it was going to be a shootout:

When you game plan, it's where you apply the stress. We worked extensively on the pressure packages. I thought the game from a preparation standpoint, we were looking to be aggressive with them. Designing plays and executing are two different things. That's why when you look at those you have to keep that in mind. They had 11 third downs and nine of them are third-and-4 or less. Now, they're in run/pass mode all the way through.

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