McCarthy: Most consistent team in my 9 years
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Monday. Here are some highlights from his news conference:
On linebacker Jamari Lattimore and cornerback Sam Shields, both injured during Sunday's 26-21 victory over the New England Patriots:
Sam Shields had a concussion, so he'll go through the protocol. Jamari, he felt a little better today than he did yesterday. I don't have any gauge on their practice participation.
On this week's schedule, given a Monday night game:
We're going to treat Thursday like a Wednesday. I wanted players to have an extra day off this week. You look at years past, we've played on Thanksgiving every other year, I like that little break before fourth quarter of season.
On a late-season Monday night game:
Everybody goes through it. It's definitely an honor to play on "Monday Night Football." It's something you plan ahead for. Time of the year, it's probably a little more challenge this year than other years.
On the offense's struggles in the red zone:
Just things we can control. Just really comes down to execution. Give the New England Patriots' red-zone defense credit. We'll practice red zone. It'll definitely be a highlighted this week.
On Sunday's victory:
It's the way you want to go into fourth quarter (of the season). It's definitely something we can build off of. We've had a very good month of November.
On the rookies' play against the Patriots:
It's great anytime players, rookies, second-year players step up when given an opportunities. Three rookies have done a good job of taking advantage of opportunities. (Wide receiver) Davante (Adams) was at the forefront of that Sunday.
On guard Josh Sitton:
Josh is a heck of a football player. I don't think he probably gets the recognition he deserves. I just think what he's dealing with medically, it's a credit to him.
On quarterback Aaron Rodgers' handoffs after injuring his left hand:
That's really conversation on the bench with (quarterback coach) Alex Van Pelt and checking in with him. They made the adjustments they needed.
On staying on an even keel after the win:
I think they were mesmerized getting another day off. A lot went into the game. Probably more tired than anything. I think this is my most consistent team in my nine years here. Just the way they prepare. You don't have a lot of personalities to deal with.
On second-year linebacker Sam Barrington:
I think Sam is starting to hit his stride. At some point for all your young players. the game tends to slow down a little bit. I think that's definitely where Sam is.
On seeing what others could do if receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were taken away:
Davante has continued to improve throughout the year. He's a natural receiver. He's gifted. He has good size, ability to separate.
On using Cobb out of the backfield:
It's just another part of our offense. There's schemes that you do. It was really getting to some things that give you some information. You put together a plan you have primary concepts and secondary. Based off how they reacted, we went with it probably a few more times than we thought. You never get into all your packages.
On getting 70 plays on offense:
You have the ball for 70 plays, it's more opportunities for your players and (running back) Eddie (Lacy) to touch the ball. Passing game-wise, it kind of takes care of itself. The ball goes to the open player. I think that's why you continue to see Aaron go through six, eight, nine targets early on.
On the Patriots keeping a safety down:
That's how they play. They're going to stop the run first. That was pretty much the way they practiced it all week. A lot of adjustments in their fronts and things. They did some things against us we haven't seen this year and be proactive in the adjustments.
On the Patriots' three- and four-man rush:
It's been a while. It was a very disciplined rush plan. For the most part, they kept Aaron in the pocket. Our offensive line was exceptional.
On Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers' game plan:
You go through your plan and offense and defense is the same. We felt they were going to come in here and try to run the football, that was a primary focus of theirs. Run defense calls, we hit the target. We had a few alignment issues that created some bad situations for us, but we'll learn from that.