Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media on Wednesday morning. Here are some highlights:
On David Bakhtiari:
Today's practice, No. 1, is cut way back, just the point we are in the season, so Dave will participate in some of it.
On when Brett Goode got hurt:
I don't know exactly when. He said it was early in the game. Frankly, no one was made aware of it until Monday. He played through it, which, you think about that. Then once they did the testing it became apparent what the injury was.
On getting new snapper Rick Lovato ready:
I think the practical matter is you do the best you can in this time frame. No. 1, having Brett here to be part of it, it definitely makes you feel good about that part, the transition. But the relationship obviously between Brett and Mason and Tim is a real strength of our specialist group and something that you never had to worry about here for years. Rick will make the adjustment and he'll be ready for Arizona."
On special teams:
Special teams, yeah, so far I think we've done a lot of good things. Full-season evaluations are really for the off-season, but I thought we played well against Oakland. There's things we made a strong effort on as far as the focal points of special teams, going to back to the spring, going back to rewriting the whole playbook. I think we've definitely been hitting some of those targets.
On Arizona’s speed:
Definitely. Arizona is an excellent football team. Their productivity speaks for itself. I think their talent definitely speaks for itself. If you start with their offense, their perimeter group will be as big or the biggest challenge we've faced all year and their ability to run the ball is equal to that. They're very balanced on offense. Carson Palmer's having a great season. It's a big, big challenge for our defense. And their defense, it's a group that really plays well together. Their ability to take the football away jumps out at you on the video. They're scheme-aggressive, particularly in situations. That's always a challenging part of your preparation. And they play good special teams."
On Jared Abbrederis:
That’d be great. Really, the way the week goes and the way the game goes really dictates that. He’s done a lot of good things with his opportunities, but we’ll exercise the plan and how it unfolds in the game is really a product of how we go out about it.
On JC Tretter:
He came out of the game OK, obviously banged up there at the end but I look for JC to practice today.
On whether Davante Adams is battling confidence issues:
Well, I think anytime a group or a phase of your team is not what the expectations may be, you have to take a closer look at it. And Davante’s individual performance, I’m not going to get into detail on any player’s individual performance on the season at this point, but there’s some things that he can do better and he’s working on it. He obviously had the situation earlier in the season with the injury. But this is how these seasons go. These games aren’t played on paper. They ain’t played on draft reports and how opinions of people (are) and how we think they’re going to do. It’s something you have to go out and earn it every week and frankly this business is if you don’t do something well one week, you’re going to be challenged in that particularly area every single week until you change it. And we’re having some of that. To me, those are normal challenges of any NFL season whether it’s on offense, defense, special teams, receiver, defensive line, whatever.
On importance of confidence:
I think confidence and momentum – I’m stating the obvious in agreeing with your point – is a big part of winning. It’s a key element of winning. I don’t know in individual sports or team sports, it’d be pretty difficult to win at the professional level with a lack of confidence. I’m not saying there is a lack of confidence but real confidence is what’s important. False confidence will get you in a tough spot. That’s why you just keep working at it each and every day.
On what sets Jared Abbrederis apart:
Jared, very instinctive player. I think we all recognized that from Day 1. He has natural route-running instincts. For a young guy, he has a very in-tune time clock with the passing game, particularly with Aaron Rodgers. I think that speaks volumes for anybody that hasn’t played a lot of live action. I think his biggest asset is his instincts, his route-running and his ability to separate. He’s a fine young football player.
On B.J. Raji’s use of yoga:
Well, he’s definitely different today than he was three or four or five years ago. So that’s definitely part of it. I think there’s nutrition and the other aspect of it is part of it but, yes, I think B.J.’s clearly a different – I don’t want to say athlete but his conditioning is definitely different than it was four or five years ago.
On winning different ways:
Well I mean I think you have to look at the definition of different, you know. I mean is it, are we talking different personnel? I think the majority of our offense will be a similar personnel than we've been in the past. I mean they're different schemes. I think everybody around the league, I know we have always, you hang your hat on base concepts and things you can believe in. I think especially in the run game, there's things that we do very well there, that we need to stay true to, make sure we get the first down, get the attempts where you want them each and every week in the run game. And even more so in the passing game. Aaron Rodgers is at the point in his career where there's concepts that he can do in his sleep, so it's important to stay true to that but also protect those and give him the opportunity for adjustment at the line of scrimmage to take advantage of what he sees from the opposing defense. So, I hope that answers your question.
On direction team is headed:
Well from my viewpoint, I know what direction we're going each and every week with the football team and clearly now calling the offensive game plan.
On Aaron Rodgers being dissatisfied with performance Sunday:
I think you could say that _ I mean I didn't talk to every player. I mean went around the locker room with every guy and there was a sense of we really didn't play as well as we're capable of playing. You appreciate that but also, you have to stay in tune with reality. We all understand the things that didn't go right. But we do understand the things that did go right. That's why we won the game. We all understand the things that didn’t go right. But we do understand the things that did go right and that’s why we won the game. So, I think our players have a tremendous amount of pride. Obviously, Aaron is at definitely at the forefront of that being our quarterback and what he’s accomplished in the past. So, my understanding is he didn’t feel very good about the way the game went, but I think to a man we all kind of felt that way. The fact is winning is very difficult in this league. I’m never going to apologize for it. Everybody celebrates it differently. I think the staff even had kind of a hangover after coming in here late at night. You know, we’ve had some late, late nights because of the schedule and so forth and there has been a little bit of a hangover from that experience. I think you just look at the way some things have gone on the road to rain games and all these different combinations, I think that’s just part of a normal tough season. This is the toughest part of the season. The expectations around here are what they are. We all understand that. We’ve had a lot of success around here. It’s become the norm, but that’s why you have to be on top of … the bottom line is you have to win. Now, if you’re into style points, fine. I will just stay true to the video. That’s why you have to come in and take the emotion out of professional decisions and keep plowing forward. This is a tough gig, especially in December.