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Conference Call: Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy

Posted Dec 19, 2012

PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY

(on what he’s seen from the Titans’ defense this season)

I like their defense. They’ve got a number of good young players. Kamerion Wimbley is kind of their old guy on the front but they fly around, they have excellent length. Their secondary, also, is making plays. I thought they played very well on Monday night against the Jets. It’s an uncommon defense for us, for the fact that we haven’t played against most of these guys from a personnel matchup and it’s a coordinator that we’ve never competed against, so we’re spending a lot more time in the film room.

(on comparing Randall Cobb to Giants WR Victor Cruz and Patriots WR Wes Welker)

Well, I think all three of those guys are different players. Randall (Cobb) brings unique skills, as far as the punt return and the kickoff and just the ability to not only play the slot and be a good route runner but his in-line running skill is unique, as far as catching the ball and playing in tight areas and not just open spaces, so he’s a tough guy, a smart guy, and he’s definitely made an impact for our football team both last year and this year.

(on if he thinks Jordy Nelson will be back in the lineup this week)

It would be great, you know. He had a long workout here yesterday and he wasn’t ready to go today, so we’ll see what the rest of the week brings us.

(on if he thinks Charles Woodson will be back in the lineup this week)

Uh, you know, he’s going to be pressed to make it back this week, but he’s practicing, so we’ll see how it goes.

(on trying to build momentum and get players healthy for the playoffs)

That would be great. You want all your players healthy but frankly, we’re really focused on Tennessee. It’s our last home game of the regular season, a chance to get to 11 wins and try to climb higher into this playoff tournament, as far as the seeds, and you know, we haven’t played these guys in four years, so we’re all about this game. We want to obviously win the game, but we want to improve the quality of play and make sure we’re playing our best football.

(on if he thinks the Packers are building momentum)

I definitely feel like we’re building momentum. We’ve won eight out of nine games. It’s important to keep that going. Everybody is saying the same thing right now. Everybody wants to play their best football this time of year, and everybody’s watching what’s gone on the last couple of years. Everybody wants to be the hot team, but we’re staying focused on ‘How do you accomplish that?’ It starts in your preparation, and this is a great opportunity for us to play against a team with a lot of players that we’ve never played against, that’s doing a little different scheme, and we’re playing here at home so we’re excited about it.

(on what he thinks about Jake Locker from what he’s seen on film)

You’ve got to like his athletic ability, his toughness, his grit and just the way they utilize him. I think he’s playing much better this time of year than earlier in the year from the pocket. He’s very dangerous once he breaks the pocket. He’s also a dynamic runner, you know, the touchdown run down there for the score against the Jets was a huge play in the game.

(on if he’s noticed differences in the Titans’ offense under Dowell Loggains in the past three games since Loggains replaced Chris Palmer)

I know the defensive staff is a lot more in touch with that than I am, as far as the differences between (Dowell) Loggains and (Chris) Palmer, so that’s not really something that I can comment on.

(on if they will try to keep Locker in the pocket)

Well, we don’t ever try to get (quarterbacks) out of the pocket. We try to get after the quarterback preferably when he’s in the pocket, so that’s no different this week. You heighten your awareness with the run ability of Jake (Locker) because he’s an exceptional athlete. We definitely want to keep him in the pocket, but their QB movements and keep gains and things like that, where they move him around and move the protection, those are things that we’ll be challenged with.

(on if he expects Packers rookie CB Casey Hayward to continue to have the impact he’s had thus far)

Absolutely, Casey (Hayward) is playing great ball for us. He came in here in the spring after we drafted him and you could see from day one, the young man was a good football player, very instinctive, always had a smile on his face, great energy, excellent work ethic, and he just keeps getting better and getting his hands on the ball every week.

(on how Packers rookie S Sean Richardson was doing before he got hurt)

Shoot, tough to see Sean (Richardson) get hurt. He was getting better and better every week, you know, clearly a tough guy, love the way he plays, was starting to be an impact player, a core player on our special teams, just a young man with great attitude, a tough kid. We’ve just got to get him healthy.

(on how Packers DB Charles Woodson has helped Hayward’s development)

Oh, Charles (Woodson) has done it all and he’s seen it all. He does a good job of talking with those young guys. Charles plays defense a little like a quarterback plays on offense. He’s definitely someone that all of our young guys can talk to and learn from.

(on if he’s moved Casey Hayward around similar to the way that Charles Woodson has moved around)

Well, Casey (Hayward) has been playing nickel for us, but Casey and Charles (Woodson) have two different skills sets, and we always try to utilize our players to the best of their skill set.

(on if the struggles experienced by Packers K Mason Crosby are because of technique)

It’s always a combination of the physical and mental. Mason (Crosby) is someone that I know very well. He’s doing what everyone else on our team is doing right now. He’s working hard, he’s extremely coachable, and he’s going to trust the process and have a great week of preparation. He got that started today, and he’s getting ready for Tennessee. We’re looking forward. That’s what you have to do in these types of situations.

(on Packers G/T Don Barclay)

Don’s (Barclay) doing a good job. He’s getting better. He’s a tough young man. He needs to continue to improve, but I’ve been real impressed with his battle and his toughness, and he’s been sharp in his assignments. He’s like most young guys, he just needs to keep playing.

(on if the cold weather can be an advantage for the Packers against a team not used to the cold)

You know, that’s really a question for them because we practice in it, we live in it. We’ll be shoveling snow tomorrow, so hopefully we’re not too tired from that — that was a joke, thanks — but I think it is either you can put too much into that when you play a team from the South and it’s cold. The reality is you’re only out there for three-and-a-half hours, it’s a football game. I don’t put a lot of salt into that. I think frankly I classify that as false confidence if you go into a game and hope your opponent is not going to play as well because they’re from the South, but we make it a big point to get out every chance we can, so we had a good practice outdoors today, and we’re doing extensive ball drills and things like that this time of year to make sure we’re handling the football properly.

(on if he has a player from a warmer climate who’s had a tough time adjusting to colder temperatures)

Well, we have a couple of guys that are going to find out real quick what it’s like up here. They’ve been spoiled. We’ve had a mild winter, so I was talking to our young man DuJuan Harris about having a plan to get to work tomorrow. He said, ‘Coach, don’t worry about it. I’ve got a truck.’ I said, ‘You’re going to need more than a truck.’ But, it’s part of living up here, and our community does a great job, obviously, of taking care of the streets and highways, and our organization does a great job of making sure everybody (has help) if they need a hand to get to work.

(on how motivated Packers LB Clay Matthews is by going against an offensive line coached by his uncle Bruce Matthews)

I would think so. We haven’t talked about it yet. Clay (Matthews) is very proud of his family, and rightfully so. They’re a close family. I know his parents are out here quite a bit, so I’m sure he’s really looking forward to it.

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