McCarthy: Rodgers sore but 'wants to work'
Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Monday following his team's 20-3 win over Tampa Bay. Here are highlights from his news conference:
It's our Christmas week schedule. Obviously a very important game with Detroit. Our Monday is really a Tuesday for us. The coaches were in game-planning meetings all day. We met with the players for a reintroduction to the Lions. Players and coaches will be off for Christmas on Thursday and we'll be back on a normal schedule Friday.
On film from Tampa:
Personally, I haven't watched Tampa Bay game yet. Really as a staff we worked on the Lions on the way home and started game planning meetings this morning.
On Aaron Rodgers' calf:
Aaron worked today. He's obviously sore. Tomorrow's practice will be similar to a practice coming off Monday night football. We'll see how he is tomorrow. I know he's sore. Frankly, I'm worried about the whole team. He told me he wants to work. I haven't really talked to the medical staff about his injury.
On first-round bye:
Byes are valuable. That's why you fight like crazy to be a No. 1 seed or No. 2 seed. Anytime you have a chance to get that week off. I think it's very beneficial regardless of the outcome the week after.
On division games:
This has been a different year. If you look at playing the division games early. Obviously a lot of things change, more importantly with the Lions. It's for more film study. Since we didn't play Lions in so long, it was important to spend more time on them. We play a lot of common opponents so it hasn't been like we haven't seen them play.
I think everybody's offense is different today than it was in September. Playing up there early in the dome, we didn't run it as well as we would've liked. I thought we played uphill a bunch on third down. It was clearly not a very good day for us offensively.
On last year against Chicago:
Last year like any year is so different. Everything leading up to the media with Aaron coming back and playing up in Chicago. I think there's always carryover with your past experiences. I don't know how much it's going to help us win the game, but it's something to draw off of.
On playing for something big in Week 17:
I think it's a great thing. This is how you want to go into a bye week. If you look at some of the past experiences, sitting a number of players, you have things happen in the last game where it's so different than the last four before that. The fact we're playing in a playoff-type game is how you want to go into the playoffs. I think it's exactly how you want it. It's how I prefer it.
On Eddie Lacy:
Every indication he's fine. Strength and conditioning said it's one of his best workouts of the year. I have no concerns about Eddie.
On the way Lacy has run lately:
Eddie has been playing very well for a long time. For two months, I think sometimes you people get caught up in statistics. The run-blocking unit is more in sync than it was four, five weeks ago. They've played together each week and improved.
On adversity defense:
Been great. I think the fact we've kept them out of the end zone the last two weeks speaks volumes.
On players-only meeting Saturday night:
It was a team meeting. After about the three-to-five minute point, I excused everybody but the players. I think playoff captain is a big deal. I think that says a lot about individuals who are voted to that position. I thought it was very important to give those players the platform. Obviously when coaches aren't in the room, the conversation is different.
On Clay Matthews not getting a captains selection:
I was in a conversation with Clay a few days before. That was something he brought up. I think Clay sees the big picture. I think it's important to see the dynamics of every locker room. Morgan Burnett is a player who is ascending. It's the way the locker room looks at their leadership. I don't think Clay is taken back. Clay Matthews is a leader. We have more than six leaders on our team, but we can only vote for three.
On Matthews' recent play:
I think Clay has probably had his best year. Four years of 10-plus sacks. What he's done going in to play inside linebacker, I think probably speaks volumes. It was a package we didn't get to early in the season. This is the most we've used him from the targeting. He's been a big factor in our run defense. He's definitely a big part of that.
On Davante Adams' drops:
I think it's important to look at every play, every game, every individual and evaluate it with all the information you have. Rookie wall? I would think with the CBA and the new schedule we're on, it doesn't exist. When you break it down, it's remarkable what a rookie goes through. Goes from college to combine to draft – they really don't get a break. It's only natural you'd think they have the wall. As far as Davante, we all dropped the ball two weeks ago. I don't think that part of it pertains just to him. That one drop I'd say was dislodged from the safety. I think you have to look at each and every one of those and make sure his confidence is where it needs to be. I think Davante is still a very confident young man.