Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy
McCarthy’s opening statement: I’ll start with just the facts, that we were thoroughly beaten this evening. Congratulations to the New York Giants. We were beaten in every facet really, starting with myself. I feel when your team plays and performs that way, it starts with the head coach. We had mental errors, the penalties and this was out of character for our football team. Very disappointing loss on Sunday Night Football, big NFC battle and I’ll start with your questions.
RE: Not handling the Giants pass-rush as well as desired.
A: The New York Giants have an outstanding defensive line. We knew that coming in. We’ve really known it for the last couple of years. We had a plan and we didn’t execute it very well. We got away from it, went to some spread things, that wasn’t the answer. That was quite poor play selection on my part. But they did a hell of a job tonight. They were dynamic, very talented, very productive.
Q: On the other side, they have been struggling to find some offensive rhythm. Why were they so explosive tonight?
A: Well, you start with the run. They ran the ball very well. They hit us on the screen there on the first series of the game against the fire zone. We did not tackle very well throughout the evening. It started on that particular play and run defense is about staying square, staying in your gaps and make sure to …. tackles. We didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.
Q: It’s not that often that you get beat this thoroughly. Almost never in five years, are there any long-term ramifications here?
A: I don’t think so. I think this is a game that really makes everybody look inside and find out what you’re about. I believe in what we’re about as a football team. I haven’t felt like this since the first game I coached as a Green Bay Packer head coach. So, beaten very thoroughly tonight. Doesn’t taste good, doesn’t feel good. Most important things I stress are responsibility and accountability. I feel we have those kinds of people and we’ll get ready for Minnesota. Everything we want to accomplish is still in front of us and that’ll be our focus.
Q: Could Jennings have played?
A: Greg Jennings was a medical decision, really. It came down to yesterday. We talked, he felt good. Actually looked good, the film looks good. There was no reason to not play him, just for the one fact of fatigue and his ability not to have a full week of full reps. He hasn’t played in so long. So, I fully expect Greg to be a full participant on Wednesday, if the week goes the way it should. I would think he would be ready to go for Minnesota.
Q: Clay Matthews?
A: Clay’s getting close. He’s not as close as Greg. I don’t know how much Clay will practice this week, but that’s the information they’ve given me today.
Q: Are there any positives you can take away from a game like this? Or do you toss this one out?
A: Boy, I’m not seeing them right now. There are positives, but we’ll look at the tape and that’s what your evaluations are for. We’ll grade it like we always do. We’re not going to overreact to it. I think that would not be the best thing to do. Everybody knows how we feel about it. Once again, my focus is on responsibility and accountability, to make sure we go out and perform the way we’re supposed to. We have too many good people, too many talented people, too much in our locker room to perform like that. I did a poor job tonight.
Q: What about the Giants running game?
A: Once again, I thought they have a method of just the way of their huddle and the late break in it. They hit us on some first downs and we didn’t react very well. The tackling was not where it needed to be. As far as the gap control and gap responsibility, that’s what the evaluation of the film is for.
Q: Did you see any difference in the way they attacked you from last January?
A: No. I would say that match-up wise, they tried to do some of the same things. I’ll tell you what I told the team at half-time, I felt that they were a step ahead of us and a step faster than us. I thought they were more physical than we were and that’s something that we need to look at. It’s one game, it’s something that we’re going to have to answer. Everyone’s going to watch the tape.
Q: How concerned are you about the amount of hits that Aaron is taking?
A: I think it was obvious in the way I probably was calling some of the game. When your quarterback is under pressure like that, it affected me tonight. With that, I probably didn’t call the best game I’ve called in my time doing this. You have to protect your quarterback. It’s the number one responsibility of our offense. I mean, you’d be hypocritical to sit here and say that we build our offense around making the quarterback successful, starting with the runs, protection, into the passing game and we’re going to go out and he’s going to take that many hits. That’s not what we’re looking for.
QB Aaron Rodgers
Q: How do you feel physically, you took a lot of hits?
A: I’m alright, I’ll be fine. I’ll go through the usual routine with my recovery, a couple days and I’ll be okay.
Q: Were they marginally doing the same things they did last January or were they playing you differently?
A: They did a lot of things that everyone else has done against us. Two-high most of the game, and we didn’t execute very well.
Q: Why didn’t you throw that Hail Mary at the end of the first half?
A: Well, as I rolled out, Kiwanuka came up on me and I wasn’t going to be able to get the ball to the end zone rolling to the right that hard so instead of taking a big time shot, and not getting the ball to the end zone, (decided to) eat it.
Q: How disappointing is this loss?
A: Yeah, it’s disappointing. It’s one game. Had a good opportunity to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in right now and didn’t do that. It’ll be disappointing watching this film. As we move on, we have five games left, three at home, four against division opponents. Everything is right in front of us. We win out, we win our division and accomplish our first goal: winning our division. That’s what we’re trying to do. We need to regroup and get a couple things shored up. You win five in a row and everybody’s happy, but there’s often things, like I said last year during the run, there’s things that kind of go under the radar that need to be handled. Sometimes it takes a loss to handle those things. That being said, I’ve never been on this side of this kind of loss before, but I know if you play long enough, at some point you will. Hopefully we remember this feeling and not let this kind of embarrassment happen again.
Q: What is different about this loss than a five- or six-point loss?
A: It’s just a lot more embarrassing…National TV, good opportunity, good opponent. They played well tonight, have to give them credit. It was not the way we wanted to play. We’re better than this, we’re going to regroup, and we have Minnesota at home and we’ll be ready for them.
Q: Did you need to do some different things in the second half, or just play better than you were in the first?
A: We talked about doing some different things and we came out and didn’t really do those things. Didn’t really execute, didn’t allow ourselves to do some of the adjustments that we wanted to do and didn’t score any points.
Q: Did the score take you out of your game plan?
A: I don’t think so. We just kind of took ourselves out of the game plan.
Q: Coach McCarthy blamed himself on the play-calling, what ways do you think it went bad?
A: We’ll have to look at the film and look at the execution and learn from it and get better. Teams are going to play us like this, so we need to have answers and execute better than we’ve done most of the season.
Q: What is the answer to playing against two-high safeties?
A: You have to run the ball effectively. You have to throw at a high percentage. I think that moving forward we’ll see, we’ll talk about it and look at the film, and find what to do to score some more points.
Q: Do you think there’s an answer these problems?
A: There’s plenty of answers. We didn’t make them answers. We tried to do some things and they didn’t work out. We didn’t execute very well. We put ourselves in difficult situations and when you score 10 points, you’re not going to win a lot of games. Turning the ball over…you’re not going to win a lot of games.
Q: What happened on the interception?
A: We faked a hand-off, that’s kind of what you’re going to get from Webster. He got beat on a double-move for a touchdown and on the next play he takes a gamble for whatever reason in cover-two, doesn’t really jam the guy, the outside receiver, and I never saw him. Didn’t expect him to be way down in there. If I had, would’ve hit the hole-shot and would’ve had a 20-yard gain.
Q: Did you sense that Osi was that close to you on the strip-sack?
A: I didn’t even see him.
Q: Do you like the fact that you control your own destiny now?
A: Yeah, I mean this is a disappointing loss, but when you look at the last two games, we played two good opponents on the road, but to be able to split those two, we’ve put ourselves in position. In December we have five games, we have to make the most of them. We have three of them at home, four division, it all lays out right in front of us. This team is going to stick together, we’re going to regroup and go back home and hopefully get some home cooking.
S Morgan Burnett
Q: Do you think this will be an easy one to bounce back from? Just need to fix the little things?
A: Yeah, that’s what I said. You give the Giants credit; they did a good job today. They got the victory. We just have to learn and grow from it. Watch the film and see the things we messed up, as far as fundamentals, and just try to apply that to the practice field. Apply that next week going back home vs. Minnesota.
Q: What was Coach McCarthy’s message to the team after the game?
A: He just basically told us to step up and be a man; look at yourself in the mirror, when you watch the film, criticize yourself hard. Get prepared and ready because we have two tough division games coming up. Those are very important games for us.
Q: Do you think all the injury problems you guys have had finally caught up to you guys tonight?
A: No, there’s no excuse. You have to stand up here after a win and feel good about it, and you have to stand up here like a man after a loss like that. You can’t make any excuses; you just accept that, and then try and go back and find ways to fix it and get the job done and do better going into next week.
Q: I don’t think you’ve had a lopsided loss like this since you’ve been in Green Bay, how do you react to that?
A: There’s only one way you can respond, you have to try and use it as motivation. Just try to apply that going into the practice field, and apply that going home to play Minnesota, which is a division game, a big rivalry game. You have to try and use it as motivation and not dwell, beat yourself up, but really criticize yourself when watching film and just try to actually learn from it by watching it and seeing what you did wrong and what you can correct.
WR Randall Cobb
Q: Does the result of this game highlight a real team problem or was it just an aberration?
A:I wouldn’t call it a problem. I just feel like we didn’t play with any emotion. We didn’t make the plays when we had the opportunities to make the plays. They were a quality opponent and they did what they had to do to win and we didn’t match their intensity.
Q: What were the Giants doing defensively that made it so tough for you guys?
A: They have an excellent front four, they were getting pressure on the quarterback, and they made it hard for him to get it out. When you have four guys like they have upfront, it’s a lot easier for their back seven to play zone or man. Just disrupt upfront and cause problems downfield.
Q: What lesson did you learn from tonight’s game?
A: I think the biggest thing is that we have to come out and play with some emotion. I feel like our care-level just wasn’t there tonight. I don’t know how else to put it.
Q: Was it too tough to get the ball on the perimeter with the way they were playing you?
A: They made it hard for Aaron to get the ball out. By the time we looked back for the ball, he’s scrambling so we tried to get open that way. They made it tough. They’re a great team, a great defense. They disrupt plenty of teams. We just have to go back to the drawing board and see exactly what happened.
G Josh Sitton
Q: Was it frustrating how much trouble the Giants defensive line was giving you tonight?
A: Yeah, obviously. Everything wasn’t working tonight. We weren’t doing our job up front. It was everything. They just kicked our ass all around.
Q: What was the problem? Why were they getting to Rodgers so easily?
A: I don’t know. We’ll watch film; I’ll probably watch some on the plane during the ride home, but most of the time it comes down to fundamentals. I know we say that all the time, but hand placement, footwork…small things. That’s what it usually is, but we’ll watch it (film) and see what happened. There’s a lot of things that went wrong out there.
Q: Back to the drawing board? Need to bounce back the next four or five games?
A: It’s obviously no fun, it sucks, and it was kind of an embarrassment, but that’s the thing about this league, you have one day to get over it. Then, it’s back to work. We have everything we want in front of us still. We have four division games, that’s the positive out of all of this. We’re going to learn from it, and grow as a team, and hopefully go on a little run here.
Q: Was it anything their line did differently that caught you guys off guard?
A: There’s nothing in this league that people do that throws you off guard. You see this (stuff) all the time. It’s Week 11, there’s nothing new out there, so no.
NT B.J. Raji
Q: Were you surprised about the way things turned out?
A: Defensively, I didn’t think they’d be able to move the ball down the field on us like that. Previous times, a lot of plays went over our heads. That first screen, good call, but after that, it was just literally moving the ball down the field on us and that’s not like us.
Q: What adjustment needs to be made defensively?
A: It starts up front, it starts with us. We have to do a better job up front, and that trickles back to everyone. When I evaluate the film…I can’t really speak specifics, but I know from watching everyone’s body language, it wasn’t very positive out there. Our play showed that.
TE Jermichael Finley
Q: What did you think of the game?
A: It was one of those games. We didn’t play well, the eleven guys on offense. We couldn’t put anything together.
Q: Their pressure was obviously a problem most of the game wasn’t it?
A: I won’t know until I get to the film tomorrow. I’m running down the field and I see him (Aaron Rodgers) on his back, so I don’t know what happened.
Q: How surprising was it to be beaten that decisively?
A: It was surprising and embarrassing. It was a combination of both. They’re a great team. It was two great teams against each other and one of them didn’t show up and that was us. We’ve got to go back tomorrow and see if we can fix it.
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