Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the media for almost 10 minutes Wednesday morning, four days before his team hosts the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Here are some of the highlights.
On how team practiced after three off days: Practice yesterday was good. Today will be a little bit of an abbreviated Wednesday, and we’ll have pads on tomorrow. Yeah, they looked good. Only player who didn’t practice is (center) Corey (Linsley).
On difficulty of shuffling QBs in and out because of injury like Cowboys have done: When you lose your quarterback on offense, it’s the biggest challenge. The quarterback is obviously the most important position on the football field. It does make you adjust, change and go in different directions. It’s a big challenge.
On whether Packers are better prepared than in past if there’s a QB injury: I think we’re all prepared for it. I don’t think anybody spends any time on it, though. You just do the best you can. Just the way everything is laid out in the game – salary cap and those things – you have to be careful how you frame around the quarterback position.
On Eddie Lacy practice: Yes, Eddie practiced well. He’s off to a good start.
On Jake Ryan: Jake has played good football and special teams. He’s really started to grow at inside linebacker. Sometimes you forget the inside linebacker position is the key communicator taking calls from the sideline. I think his communication, urgency has picked up.
On why Packers always finish strong: I think No. 1 is, every year’s different. I don’t think you can say there’s on common theme that runs through all of them. When you have a process that’s successful or has a continuity to it, a commitment to it, your opportunity for success is higher at the end of it. That probably coincides to be more successful at the end of the year.
On whether lessons from past December success can help down the stretch: Oh, absolutely. I don’t really get too far into the past, because our team changes every year. We’re averaging 20 percent change every year like the rest of the NFL. But I think how we break it down in stages, with the first stage being identity, the second stage being the trials, and that was definitely true for us. We were 2-4. Now, we’re into the final stage, which is the return to the initial commitment to why we’re all here. I think one of the most important things that will factor into the health of this run is the health of our football team.
On whether urgency increases in December: Definitely. It’s December football. I think the whole league recognizes that. Everybody sees what needs to get done to get to where they need to go. Dallas is going to be on high urgency, we’re going to be on high urgency. It’s big-time football, just like the fans like it. The urgency is different this time of year.
On the NFL being a week-to-week league: It’s a week-to-week league really because of the coverage of it. The way people view your team, it’s a week-to-week team. That’s par to the discipline of your job responsibility. The external opinion don’t matter to internal decisions and thought process. I think it’s part of the challenge of a player, it’s part of the challenge for a football team, to go through and not swings at the highs and lows.
On how McCarthy views his team: We’re an 8-4 football team that needs to do better at the little things. We’re not as detailed as we’d like to be right now.