Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and receiver Randall Cobb discuss the progress of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' injured calf. (Jan. 7, 2015)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media following practice on Thursday as the team prepared for Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Here are some highlights:
Did not practice – QB Aaron Rodgers (calf), TE Brandon Bostick (illness), DL Josh Boyd (knee). Limited in practice – CB Davon House (shoulder), G Josh Sitton (toe)
I plan on Aaron playing Sunday. Today's schedule was for him to stay exclusively in the training room. We'll see what tomorrow brings if he'll be able to practice. It's day-to-day but everything points in the direction of him playing.
On Rodgers' medical evaluation:
Aaron is getting better. He's going through the rehab. There's a chance he might practice tomorrow. He's getting stronger.
On Rodgers' mental reps:
He's totally into the game plan. He's taken all the reps in the walk-throughs. Mentally, he's right on top of it.
On turnovers in the postseason:
That's what video is for. We have a lot of respect for Dallas, particularly on defense. We're working on it. We're conscious of it. Part of our drill work.
On staying inside the Don Hutson Center for practice:
It was 22 degrees inside. Didn't go outside because of wind. I was told it was an all-time Green Bay Packers' record (inside the Hutson Center).
On Green Bay's climate affecting warm-weather teams:
Never really analyzed it. Those are circumstances. It's a mindset. It's part of your training. I'm not sure how any of these dome teams go about it. There's an opportunity to train it, but I've never really evaluated it. It think football is football.
On yards after catch for receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb:
If you look at the way the passing game is designed, the ability to get the ball in receivers' hands. I'd say it's the players' ability. We have a system on offense and how the defense plays.
On Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant:
It goes right to the yards after catch. He's a powerful man. Ability to go up and get the football. He's very physical particularly in the bump and run. YAC is a strength of his.
On Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and his offensive line:
If you look at defense's offense. Ability to run wide zone is difficult to prepare for. They fit together. He's an exceptional runner. Ability to run inside and outside, he has all the tools. It's a big challenge.
On Rodgers telling fans to "R-E-L-A-X" early in the season:
Nothing surprises me in this business. I think it was a good message. I think we were all in touch with that. That's his personality. I think that's important. I think that's why you break seasons down in cords. There's things that happen. There's tendencies with what goes on in the first quarter in the NFL.
On his confidence that Rodgers will play Sunday:
I'm being honest. My conversations with Aaron, he plans on playing. I think he's making the progress - it's never enough for Aaron but the training staff feels good about it.
On running back Eddie Lacy's touches:
It's really all of the above. Last year was different from this year. Eddie was injured at the end of the year. He played last four, five games with a bad ankle. He feels better. He's a better football player in my opinion this year than last year. I know he's a three-down player. I know he's definitely in a better place this year than last year.