(on opening the season at San Francisco)
“Opening day is always exciting. Playing the San Francisco 49ers is obviously a challenge that we look forward to.”
(on not having back-to-back road games)
“I like it. It gives you a chance to get into a routine of playing at home and then on the road, to get into a flow. Winning on the road is so important.”
(on playing on Thanksgiving Day)
“It’s an incredible tradition, playing on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a blessing for everyone involved. We’re fortunate enough to still be home in time to share in the importance of the day.”
(on the long week leading into Week 14 after playing on Thanksgiving)
“That will serve as a second bye week for us, which you appreciate with the early bye we have in Week 4.”
(on the final month of the schedule following Thanksgiving)
“I think we have a really tough finish on paper with the teams we’re playing down the stretch.”
(on the schedule)
“We’ve known since the end of the season who we’re playing, and now we’ve found out where we’re playing them. Frankly, I’ve never looked past the first four weeks, and that will be the same as far as how we prepare our team.”
Tags: mike mccarthy, nfl schedule, schedule
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 23 Comments »
Four Packers — Head Coach Mike McCarthy, QB Aaron Rodgers, LB Clay Matthews and C Jeff Saturday — contributed to the production of a new PSA to raise awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, a disease that afflicts former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason.
You can view the PSA on Gleason’s “Team Gleason” website right here.
Gleason played for the Saints when McCarthy was offensive coordinator there. DB Charles Woodson also is participating in the effort, but he wasn’t featured in this first video release. Woodson is expected to be shown in an upcoming video.
Tags: aaron rodgers, als, charles woodson, clay matthews, mike mccarthy, steve gleason
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 9 Comments »
Head Coach Mike McCarthy spoke rather positively about TE Jermichael Finley in his season-ending press conference on Tuesday, praising the fifth-year tight end for finishing the 2012 season very strongly.
While battling a shoulder injury early in the season, Finley’s production dipped. He started the season with seven receptions in the season opener, but through the first nine games he had 60 yards receiving in a game just once. Following the bye in Week 10, Finley reached or surpassed 60 yards in a game five times over the final seven weeks of the regular season. He had four games with at least five receptions over the final five weeks.
Finley finished the regular season with 61 receptions, a Packers single-season record for a tight end. He gained 667 yards and scored two TDs. He added five catches for 45 yards in the two playoff games.
Amidst some media speculation that Finley, who has one year left on a two-year contract he signed following the 2011 season, might not be back with the Packers next season at his current price tag, McCarthy made it sound as though he has every chance to return. Though McCarthy, as he said repeatedly on Tuesday, wasn’t making any final declarations about anybody.
“I’ve really felt Jermichael Finley was a different man, different player from the bye week on,” McCarthy said. “I had an opportunity to talk to him about that at length in his exit interview.
“I feel very good about the way he finished the year. He did some good things Saturday night. There was a change in that young man. But we also have to look at that first half, too, and make sure that’s part of the evaluation. Because we’re all judged on (18) games.”
Tags: Jermichael Finley, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 47 Comments »
For the second straight year, the Packers coaching staff will coach the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
This year’s game will take place on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii. Last year, the AFC beat the NFC, 59-41, after which Packers QB Aaron Rodgers criticized a lack of effort by players on both sides.
The Packers coaching staff got the assignment by virtue of being the highest-seeded NFC team to lose in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Packers were the No. 3 seed. The top two seeds, Atlanta and San Francisco, are playing next weekend for the NFC Championship. Last year, the Packers were the NFC’s top seed but also lost in the divisional round.
The Broncos were the AFC’s top seed this year but lost in double overtime last weekend, so Denver’s coaching staff, led by John Fox, will coach the AFC squad.
This will be Mike McCarthy’s third time as the head coach of the NFC. He also coached the squad following the 2007 season, after the Packers lost in the NFC Championship. Back then, the Pro Bowl was played one week after the Super Bowl, and the coaching staffs of the teams that lost in the conference title games coached the Pro Bowl. Now, the game is played the week before the Super Bowl.
The Packers have three players on this year’s NFC Pro Bowl roster — QB Aaron Rodgers, who is the starter, plus LB Clay Matthews and C Jeff Saturday. Other Packers still have a chance to make it as alternates because players from the teams participating in the Super Bowl do not go to the Pro Bowl, and others drop out for injuries and various additional reasons.
G Josh Sitton is a first alternate, and San Francisco G Mike Iupati is the NFC starter at the position. If the 49ers reach the Super Bowl, Sitton will be added to the NFC roster. Packers KR Randall Cobb is also a first alternate, though Seattle’s Leon Washington was the NFC selection at that position and the Seahawks were eliminated this past weekend.
Other Packers named alternates were FB John Kuhn, DL B.J. Raji, CB Tramon Williams and DB Charles Woodson.
Tags: coaches, mike mccarthy, pro bowl
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 75 Comments »
Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday discussed the difficulty in leaving veteran WR Donald Driver on the inactive list for what might have been his final game at Lambeau Field. It was the fourth time Driver has been inactive this season, with the three occurrences in the regular season coming in Weeks, 13, 15 and 17.
“Donald Driver is a class act to say the least,” McCarthy said. “He’s a pro’s pro. He does everything you ever ask of him. We’ve had conversations of late here, … and he’s handled it very well. He’s an excellent teammate. Everyone clearly understands what he means to the organization and what he’s done.
“He’s out there preparing every day, getting ready to play. He may have an opportunity this week. We’ll see how it shakes down. Those are very difficult decisions to make, when you have a healthy 53, to get to 46.”
McCarthy pointed out that the final decisions for the gameday active roster often come down to special teams, and rookie LB Terrell Manning was activated for Saturday night’s playoff game against Minnesota. Manning proceeded to earn a game ball on special teams from the coaches as well as the “Big Hit” award, McCarthy said.
“That’s why you have to make those kinds of decisions,” McCarthy said. “That’s part of the way it sorts out in game-planning and obviously special teams plays into it.”
A couple of other notes from McCarthy’s Sunday press conference:
–He mentioned it only in passing, but McCarthy made reference to rookie RT Don Barclay playing his best game to date. Barclay started the last four games of the regular season and was making his playoff debut.
–The only injury reported from the game was a hamstring injury to TE Jermichael Finley. McCarthy said the medical staff has told him it’s “nothing of a serious nature,” but he did not address Finley’s status for this week.
Tags: donald driver, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 135 Comments »
But he admitted it was best for him not to push it on his sore ankle, and he was back at practice on Wednesday feeling pretty good about his chances to play on Sunday in Chicago.
“That was probably the best-case scenario to give me an extra gameday to heal up and not bang it up any more and be close to fully recovered this week,” Lang said. “Those guys who played in the game last week all played well, so it was probably the smartest decision to sit out.”
Mike McCarthy said after practice that Lang took most of his reps on Wednesday at his old spot, left guard, which could indicate the Packers are going to stick with undrafted rookie Don Barclay at right tackle, who made his first start last week. Then again, McCarthy reiterated that Evan Dietrich-Smith, who had been playing Lang’s LG spot while Lang was playing RT in place of Bryan Bulaga, earned an offensive game ball for his performance last week.
McCarthy said he wants to see how Lang looks in practice throughout the week before making a final decision, so the offensive line will be prepared for various scenarios.
“We want to make sure Don Barclay gets as many reps as he can outside (at tackle),” McCarthy said. “We’ll make sure we’re ready to go.”
Lang said he had no trouble moving back to LG after his roughly month-long stint at RT. The best guess for now is if Lang is healthy enough to play, he’ll be back at his old spot.
“Like riding a bike, man,” Lang said. “It’s something I’ve done a lot of and it’s where my comfort level is.”
In other injury news, McCarthy said WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) would be a longshot to play this week. The same goes for DE C.J. Wilson, whose knee injury is more serious than initially thought, though McCarthy still sounded hopeful Wilson could be back by season’s end. He has missed the last two games.
Also on the defensive line, DE Mike Neal (shoulder) practiced on Wednesday somewhat unexpectedly. The Packers signed another D-lineman, Jordan Miller, to the active roster from the practice squad on Tuesday due to the injuries to Wilson and Neal, but Neal is “making progress.”
CB Davon House missed practice due to an illness.
Tags: don barclay, evan dietrich-smith, jordy nelson, mike mccarthy, offensive line, t.j. lang
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 11 Comments »
Mike McCarthy said on Friday that for the second straight week WR Jordy Nelson would be a game-time decision with his hamstring injury. Last week, Nelson tested the hamstring on Sunday morning but was declared inactive. This week, he did not practice at all but rehabbed only.
“Jordy’s work today went well,” McCarthy said. “They pushed him further than they have all week. We’ll see how he is in the morning, and we’ll give him the opportunity to take it to the game.”
Meanwhile, FB John Kuhn also has a hamstring injury but has already been ruled out for the second straight game. Also ruled out are WR Greg Jennings, who had abdominal surgery on Thursday, LB Nick Perry (knee), CB Sam Shields (ankle), CB Charles Woodson (collarbone) and DL Jerel Worthy (concussion).
The addition to the injury report is rookie S Jerron McMillian, who sat out practice on Friday due to tightness in his back. He is listed as questionable.
“I don’t really have a whole lot of information, but I’m hopeful that he can go,” McCarthy said.
DE Mike Neal, who left last week’s game with an ankle injury, practiced on a limited basis on Friday after going harder in the padded practice Thursday and is listed as probable for the game. With Worthy’s absence, that still leaves the Packers with five healthy defensive linemen in Neal, Ryan Pickett, C.J. Wilson, Mike Daniels and B.J. Raji (ankle), who is also listed as probable.
Other comments from McCarthy on Friday:
–He’s “encouraged” by the work of RB James Starks in practice this week, saying he looks like his old self. “He looks like he’s ready to go. He might have some opportunities.” McCarthy indicated Alex Green is still the No. 1 back.
–The week of preparation wasn’t razor sharp, but McCarthy is confident the players sense the importance of getting one more win before the bye week.
“I think the energy has been outstanding,” McCarthy said. “I think they’ve really cranked it up, the sense of urgency to win this football game. It hasn’t been as clean as I would like. There’s been a segment in all three practices that has not been quite where it needs to be, but for the most part it’s been a good week.”
Tags: james starks, jordy nelson, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 16 Comments »
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that the surgery WR Greg Jennings was planning on having on Tuesday in Philadelphia is being delayed due to Hurricane Sandy.
Jennings was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday on a torn abdominal muscle that has kept him out of the last four games and five of the last seven. How long Jennings will have to wait for the surgery now isn’t known. The specialist whom Jennings visited last week and who will be performing the surgery is based in Philadelphia, which is among the major eastern cities bracing for the storm’s pending landfall.
Also, WR Jordy Nelson is “close” to returning to action, McCarthy said, after missing Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Nelson tested the hamstring before the game but was then put on the inactive list. The tricky thing with Nelson is that he hasn’t experienced a hamstring injury before, so the medical staff is in “uncharted territory” with him, according to McCarthy.
McCarthy did not comment on the status of other players who missed Sunday’s game due to injuries, including FB John Kuhn (hamstring), LB Nick Perry (knee) and CB Sam Shields (ankle). He said those players will be rehabbing the next couple of days with the hopes that they’ll be allowed to go through testing later this week.
Tags: greg jennings, jordy nelson, mike mccarthy, nick perry
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 26 Comments »
Tags: kickoff note, mark murphy, mike mccarthy, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 23 Comments »
HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on Graham Harrell) “I think it’s nice for the second- (team) offense to have some success. They need to continue in the second half like we talked about … He knows what he’s doing. He’s had some opportunities. I thought he played well in the first half.”
(on whether players stepping up today make roster decisions easier or harder) “It’s going to be hard either way. Just the fact of where we are as a football team, it’s extremely competitive. I just want to make sure that everybody gets an opportunity here in the second half.”
Tags: halftime quotes, kansas city chiefs, mike mccarthy, preseason
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 1 Comment »