Mike McCarthy will call plays going forward

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after the Packers tied the game up against the Arizona Cardinals at the end of the fourth quarter during their NFC divisional playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy conducted his season-ending news conference Monday evening. Here are some highlights:

On Randall Cobb:

I have not spoken to Randall. My understanding is he’s coming back to Green Bay. … Anytime you have a player transported to the hospital, I’d put it in category of high concern. … The fact he’s able to be transported today is a very good sign.

On upcoming days:

We’re still in the exit interview process. Today we had opportunity to speak to 25 of the veterans. Tomorrow we’ll complete the rest of the team. Wednesday, we’ll start with our coaching staff.

On possibly going for two-point conversion:

It was an option, but definitely not the right option. You look at the game. I understand how analytics play into game management. You look at the numbers, but you also take in the flow of the game. To be more specific, I had great confidence in stopping Arizona’s offense with the way our defense was playing.

On offensive play-calling:

Those are conversations that will start Wednesday. I’ll tell you I will be calling the plays from here on in. How we structure our staff that’s really what lies ahead.

On giving up the play-calling duties before:

I think anytime you make change, you look at it every year. The things you change and adjust, that obviously was a big change. It was a big type of change with the structure we put forth offensively. What I was trying to accomplish with being a balanced team, I felt that was accomplished with defense and special teams. Obviously, we didn’t get it done on offense. The structure was obviously a part of the failure on offense. That will be closely evaluated.

On Tom Clements’ future:

Without going into total details … it wasn’t about Tom or Tom calling plays. Tom is a valued assistant coach and has been my whole time here. I fully anticipate him being back. We have a staff structure that’s under total evaluation.

On Ron Zook coaching special teams:

I thought Ron Zook did a great job. Jason Simmons also was outstanding. Getting in during the spring and going through the entire playbook, and throwing out as much as we could. I enjoyed that process and they did a great job coaching. Ron has a ton of energy. The fact of the matter is we’re units are always going to be very young. I thought we did a really good job of staying true to the fundamentals. Ron did a great job with the scheme to make sure we were challenging our opponents schematically. We needed to have an emphasis on coverage teams and we did that.

On not making the last play in the playoffs:

Each one of these seasons are different. The 2015 football team is much different than 2014 regardless of how the game ended. We put ourselves in position to win games. I thought our team was really prepared for this team and I thought we played to that. It’s about opportunities. It’s about big plays. You have to make big plays in this league to be successful.

On moving on from close losses:

I don’t understand why I have to answer those questions. I think it’s human nature when you don’t reach the level you’re striving for. That’s the way this way is. That’s the beauty of this game. It’s the most competitive environment I’ve been exposed to. That’s why I love doing what I do.

On Eddie Lacy:

Well, I mean Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do. I think I’m stating the obvious. His offseason last year was not good enough and he never recovered from it. I had a chance to talk to Eddie today and that was pretty much the majority of our whole conversation. So he has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.

On any offensive changes:

I think you have to look at everything. We will change. There will be changes. I don’t have them here today. There definitely will be a lot of adjustments whether it’s offense, defense, special teams, the way we practice. The nutrition in the training room. We can improve in a number of different areas.

On the core:

I like where we are as far as the people under contract. I can’t sit here and go through that. I’m not ready to sit here and talk about the personnel position that we’re in. This week my focus in on players. Frankly, Ted and I won’t sit down and go through the whole board for another two weeks.

On not having Jordy Nelson:

I thought we did a lot of good things from a coaching standpoint. I thought there were a lot of things you can feel good about. If I was to be critical, we didn’t handle the injuries. Jordy, the left tackle, you have to help people at times in each and every season. It’s part of your game-planning and strategic makeup. When we had uphill matches, we didn’t do a good job helping that individual. I don’t put Jordy in that category because he was lost in Pittsburgh in the preseason.

On Jeff Janis:

I think Jeff Janis is one of those examples you look for. You look for players to take a jump in their second year and some guys do it at a different point in the season. Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis need to earn their opportunities. I thought Jeff struggled in the preseason. I had him in my office for a film session and I thought he picked it up on special teams. He did some big-time things for us. Really as a receiver, he was inconsistent. He had some chances, up-and-down. What’s really impressive performance about Jeff as a receiver in Arizona is we didn’t take him off special teams.

On Clay Matthews’ use:

My goal with Clay is to play outside linebacker. I think it shows the type of player Clay is to go inside and play as much as he did really full time there. The matchup part of it was really always my goal. There’s things he does at that position that he’ll continue to do. He’s an outside linebacker and we need to get back to him playing there and just playing inside when needed.

On the lack of a deep threat:

Everybody wants to talk about passing game, speedy receivers. To have a successful passing game, you have to have big targets that can move through the middle of the field. You look at the production of Jordy and Jermichael inside. When you don’t have that element, you see what we saw this year. Our run game was clearly better in 2013 and 2014 than in my time here, our front. It was probably the best potential for a defense to load up against our run. If they don’t feel the big-time threat on the outsides, you’re going to see three deep, three-shell coverage. We’re going to add a person to the box very quickly.

On Jordy Nelson getting back to top shape:

I think Jordy will come back better than ever. I had a chance to sit down and talk with him. He’s so far ahead with the rehab. He looks great. There’s no reason to think he won’t be as good as new.

On Aaron Rodgers:

I’ll tell you this is the most adversity he had to play through since 08. I thought in the big picture of things, I thought he did a heck of a job dealing with that. Aaron is that great player who plays at such a high level that the competition is usually with himself. I think he was really challenged this year more than ever with what he had to pick up with Jordy. The way we came together at the end of the season, I felt we were going to be really strong.

On Richard Rodgers/Davante Adams:

I think both of those guys need to definitely make a jump. What happens in our coaching side of this, when the season is over, you rank your players and we’ll go back through all the cut ups. You’ll go through all the cut-ups. Coaches are human. When you take the emotion out of it. Today I would say those two guys need to step up.

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