Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke with media for almost 15 minutes before the team’s practice Wednesday. Here are some brief highlights.
On feeling this week knowing bye is coming next week: Well, I hope it’s not a different week. It’s a different week in that we’re not playing a common opponent. There’s a lot of people in our locker room that have never played against the Chargers. Frankly, I don’t want to hear about the bye week. I don’t want to hear about plane reservations and those things.
On Chargers offense: Philip Rivers is an outstanding quarterback. Really, his command at the line of scrimmage is great. That’s what we have to prepare for, because we’re not going ot sit there and know what he’s audible to. It’s too vast. He does a good job of getting the ball to his key people. Very impressed with the receiving core. This is a big challenge.
On Melvin Gordon: I think he’s doing a good job. We’re just coming out of defensive meetings, he has good tape. He’s playing in a high-powered offense that utilizes a lot of weapons. He’s one of three running backs they use. I think he’s done well.
On being cautious with players’ injuries entering a bye week: My philosophy is if they’re healthy, they’ll play. If they’re not healthy, they shouldn’t play. How do you define health? I’m not going to get into that. But if they’re healthy, they’ll play.
On plan with injured players: I know they’re all going to try to do some things in the pre-practice. I think the furthest one away is Nick Perry.
On Randall Cobb playing through shoulder injury: Randall Cobb, he’s definitely someone who could’ve played in the ‘60s, the ‘90s. he’s a different type that way. I think it’s a real credit to Randall the man for what he’s done so far.
On Dom Capers: Dom Capers’ role is the same that it’s always been. Dom is an outstanding football coach. You won’t find anybody more detailed. Maybe you’d like to think you’re as detailed, but he’s the same guy every day. He’s a true professional, and he’s done it for multiple decades.
On coaching with Capers: Dom is old school in every which way. He’s very systematic in everything he does, very creative, and he’s surrounded by a very creative, talented defensive staff.
On Antonio Gates: He looked like he didn’t lose a step, that’s for sure. He looks like he’s ready to go. He’s still a premier player.
On Aaron Rodgers rebounding from struggles last week: I think he’s a lot like some of the guys on offense. You win a game by 14 points in this league, that’s a decisive victory. But then you break it down and so forth. Monday was a little rough in that room, but we’re getting ready for these guys.
On Packers’ balanced attack: It’s important for us to be a well-balanced football team. For as great as 2011 was, winning 15 regular-season games, it was a big piece of humble pie. When you get in that playoff race, it was different.
On whether McCarthy’s time with defense has helped their improvement: I think you really have to give the players and their defensive staff credit for their fast start. We’re a year older pretty much with our defensive guys. Most of our guys are back from last year. The conversation from across the hall, that helps everybody.
On whether Packers have their best pass rush since McCarthy was coach: I think that’s fair. let’s play the whole year. I thought ’07 was a good group. I think we can definitely have a chance to be the best in 10 years.