GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY
Tough, tough loss today here in Minnesota. The playoffs are here upon us, that’s the message to the football team. We have the opportunity to play the Vikings again back at Lambeau, so that’s where we’re set in our mindset as far as our performance today. Offensively we didn’t have much there in the first quarter, then I thought once we got going we performed very well. Defensively we have to do a better job of stopping the run. I think that’s obvious. They played good down-and-distance ball against us; give them credit. Special teams, I like what Jeremy Ross did for us today in the return game. Our coverage was a little up and down.
Q: Do you like playing them again this quickly – in the playoffs?
A: Absolutely. We’ll play anybody in the playoffs. I think it’ll be a great contest. It’s an opponent we’re very familiar with, and they’re familiar with us. Everybody has confidence going into the playoffs; most importantly we’ll be at home. We’re excited to play these guys again.
Q: How about facing Adrian Peterson again? Are you looking forward to that? How are you going to stop him?
A: It’s obviously important to take away the focal point there, and we didn’t do that today. We’ll go back, we’ll grade it, and we’ll be ready to go, and I look forward to us having a better performance on defense against Adrian Peterson on Sunday or Saturday.
Q: What was the message to the team afterward?
A: The root of it was we had an opportunity here to take care of business, have a bye week – that opportunity is past, so the playoffs have started for us. It’s official. We got a taste of the environment – what it’s going to be like on the road. Playoff football’s different, it is every year. Today’s opportunity is something we can apply to this upcoming week.
Q: Just defensive lapses today?
A: Football’s a team game. There are going to be some things, when we watch the tape, offensively we wish we would have done better, same thing on special teams, and no different on defense. Adrian Peterson was the focal point, and we didn’t do a good enough job there.
Q: Can you talk about Aaron starting a little slow, and what did it take to kind of get him in a rhythm?
A: It took us a little while with the crowd noise, that usually happens up here. This is a tough place to play, no doubt. We anticipated this being the loudest environment of the year. They pumped it in there pretty good today, it was very loud. I felt, also, we got going, and the mechanics in the huddle were in order. I thought after that we played very well.
Q: You had a very good first drive coming out in the second half, was that your best execution, or did they come with more pressure as the game went on?
A: Not really. I thought in the second half we were able to do a lot of good things. It was important for us to come out in the second half and get that to a one-score game. We were able to do that. That’s actually what we talked about at halftime.
Q: Can you talk about that fourth-down play – the one where Boykin got hurt?
A: It was a quick-snap situation where the offense had two options on it, and it was just a hell of a play by Boykin and Aaron Rodgers.
Q: Was that Aaron’s call on the field or was that called?
A: No, that was called.
Q: Winning would give you a bye and would advance you in the playoffs. You don’t get the bye now, but is that that big of a deal?
A: The opportunity to get the bye does not exist anymore, so the playoffs start now. We’re one of six in the NFC. We know what the bye looks like, we know what this position looks like, so it’s time to kick it forward to playoff football. It’s as simple as that. We’re disappointed we lost today, but at the end of the day there are six NFC teams left, and we’re going to line up and play at Lambeau Field in front of our crowd, and that’s what we’re excited about.
Q: First time playing Minnesota, takeaways were so important, was that a factor today or not?
A: Takeaways are always important. And they did a good job of taking the football today. We had the one opportunity on the fumble. Takeaways factor into every football game.
Q: What did you think of Jeremy Ross in the return game?
A: I thought Jeremy did a hell of a job today, and I’m excited to watch the tape. He broke a lot of tackles; I thought he did a nice job.
Q: What happened on the review with the challenge flag that you threw?
A: Emotional decision by me. I shouldn’t have done it.
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
Q: How big of a disappointment is it not getting the first round bye?
A:It’s disappointing. A lot of us wanted that extra week. I maybe would have helped with injuries with Randall Cobb and Charles Woodson. This was a play-off atmosphere today. We played tough and came back from behind. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We played a team who was desperate. They had an MVP-caliber player running the ball real well on that side. We made some plays down the stretch to get back in it, but they eventually took it from us.
Q: After what happened today, how important will it be to get off to a fast start in the next game?
A:This is a tough place to play. They have some great sports fans who get into it and are loud. You have to absorb the first surge from the crowd and their teams and we did that. We got some points on the board in the first half, scored in the first possession of the second half. It just really came down to turnovers. We didn’t create any and we had one turnover that turned into seven points for them. If you look at the final margin, you see a three point loss and it’s the difference.
Q: What do you credit the slow start to?
A: They’ve got a good team. That’s going to happen from time to time.
Q: You were pretty frustrated when you took that second timeout, did you have to calm yourself down?
A: I’m just passionate about this game and I love it. We had some miscommunication after the timeout a couple of plays before that. It’s frustrating to have two timeouts like that, but that stuff happens from time to time and you just have to move on.
Q: How was it to have Greg Jennings in there?
A: Greg is a big-time player. Not having Randall Cobb out there and being able to move Greg into the slot very easily, he played excellent. He made some big time catches for us, great second reaction play for our second touchdown. I love throwing to him because he gives you a big window. I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks that we need to find more ways to get him the ball and we did that today.
Q: Do you want a rematch with these guys?
A: We’re in the playoffs now and you play who you are seeded against. The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we’ve got a home game and that’s why you win the division. We get to go back home and the game will be different. They won’t have home crowd advantage and hopefully that will make a difference.
Q: Did you give Mike some advice after throwing that flag?
A: I was really frustrated that the call wasn’t a touchdown immediately. James Jones thought it was and, to me, it didn’t look like a turnover in live-speed. I know on the side they were calling it a turnover because you can review the play, but it looked like a touchdown from my point.
Q: A six-play drive coming out of the half, did you make adjustments to carry into the second half?
A: Well again, it wasn’t a ton of adjustments, it was just you have to kind of absorb the surge when you are playing in a loud environment, against a team that is talented on both sides of the ball. They did a good job of getting off the field on third down early in the game, we didn’t, so they were keeping drives going and getting points and we weren’t. We were punting the ball. So we absorbed that surge, we were able to start getting some first downs and moving the ball a little better there in the second quarter, and then started getting things going in the second half and played real well. Unfortunately left a couple points out there.
Q: Was it the loudest it has ever been?
A: No, it was loud, it was definitely loud. Not the loudest that it’s been here. But they were a factor.
Q: What can you say about Adrian Peterson, and the way he played today?
A: He is incredible. I just told him after the game, he’s the best. He is incredible to watch. I obviously don’t like playing against him, but he has had a great season. He has come back from an injury that I also suffered, and I know how difficult that rehab is. I did it at 20 years old, and he was a few years older than that, so I know it must have been a lot of long hours. I give him a lot of credit as a fellow player. You can’t help but watch him play and just be really impressed. I think he probably might have won the MVP today, and hopefully we can win the playoff game next week.
Q: You had big plays today to Greg (Jennings) and Jordy (Nelson) in the second half, and still at times, not having these guys week after week, do you feel out of sync in a tight ballgame like today?
A: No, I don’t think so at all. I think if you look at some of the plays we made, we had guys moving around. We had Jordy (Nelson) catching the ball in the slot for a huge game. We had James (Jones) outside making guys miss and making plays. Jermichael (Finley) played great today, I thought he made some really big time plays. Jarrett Boykin had the one catch that was a big one on fourth down. This was a character game for us, I think we showed a lot of character. And obviously we came up a little short, but we battled, we stuck together, and we made the plays when we had to there. We just came up a little short.
Q: How did that fourth down play work?
A: Yeah, it was kind of a wing-it there. We were thinking about calling a sneak, and then we tried to catch them with 12 guys on the field. And right as the snap was about to come, I saw a bunch of guys rushing the A gap, so I moved it outside. Jarrett (Boykin) was thankfully on the same page as me, and I just tried to take a little off it and give him a ball he could catch, and he made a nice job with the guy kind of hanging all over him.
Q: In the past few weeks we have talked about momentum going into the playoffs, but now is this team going to play a little angry? Does that help too?
A: Well, I don’t know about that. I just think that we have to go back and watch the film, and look at the things that we did well, and realize that when you are playing playoff-type games, and in the playoffs, you have to play a 60 minute game. Offensively we played about 45 really good minutes of football, but we have to make it a 60 minute game, and try to bring it home this week.
Q: Breakout game for (DuJuan) Harris?
A: I think he surprised some people a couple weeks ago when he scored for us, and did some things. He is learning the offense, and the more he understands the offense, the more he is going to get a chance to play.
PACKERS DEFENSIVE END MIKE DANIELS
Q: It was an exciting game to watch, was it that exciting to play in?
A: Those are the type of games you want to play in. Unfortunately we came up on the other end. We just have to regroup and get ready for next week. This was definitely a learning experience. We have to pick up the pieces.
Q: What can you take away from a game like this where you could have secured a first round bye as a team and you play them again next week?
A: I mean you don’t really think about the first round bye. You think about trying to win the game that you are in. It’s not over, we are still in the playoffs, and we have to get ready for next week.
Q: Number 28 (Peterson) gave you everything he had tonight, what do you think about his performance?
A: The guy is blessed, and he works hard. You get guys that are talented, you get guys that work hard, he is talented and he works hard. It is evident in the way he plays. Hats off to him, and best of luck to him.
Q: What do you think about Christian Ponder? He made some mistakes last time, but he really willed them to win.
A: He learned. That is what you grow to respect, when a guy learns from his mistakes. That makes you want to step your game up to the next level. If you are already ahead of him you have to make sure that they don’t close the gap.
PACKERS LINEBACKER A.J. HAWK
Q: Do you anticipate that it will be more difficult to bounce back mentally to physically?
A: Physically I think everyone, with the playoffs you can figure it out; any type of things you have you can figure that out. It is a different world in the playoffs. But mentally, once we come in tomorrow and watch this and figure it out but after we watch it we will have to let it go. It is the true test of being a professional. If you sit here and feel bad for yourself, get mad and point fingers at each other you do not deserve to be in the playoffs anyways. So we feel we are going to be fine. We are excited we have an opportunity to go to Lambeau. I am sure the fans are not very happy with how we finished but we get a home game in the playoffs and we are going to look forward to that.
Q: Are you glad to be playing the same team again in the playoffs to correct your mistakes?
A: Yeah. Anytime a team does that to you today you want to find a way to fix that. I don’t want to call it redemption but we need to, like you said the playoffs are a one game season. You need to win every time you step on the field and we are looking forward to it.
Q: With both teams knowing so much about each other what does it come down to?
A: That is when it is fun. It comes down to toughness and physicality. Today was a battle the whole game to the very end. They got the best of us. You have to give them a lot of credit. That is why I like these type of games and playing these division opponents that are really good because who cares about the little chess moves here and there that people want to make while trying to trick people. There is none of that going on in these games. It is straight physical football. They are good to be apart of.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS
Q: How disappointing is this loss knowing that a win would have given you a first round bye?
A: It’s very disappointing. Obviously you’re playing a division team. If they win, they get in and if we win we get a bye. We definitely could have used the bye but at this point its win or go home now.
Q: You have an opportunity to play them again in the playoffs and knock them out. What’s the feeling to seeing them again?
A: It’s another game. This one was a hard fought game. We have to focus in and execute. They did a great job of executing and Adrian did a great job of running the ball. We just need to find a way to win.
Q: You had your best game of the season. It looked like you and Aaron (Rodgers) were back in sync. How did that feel?
A: I felt good. This was the best I felt coming into a game this year so it’s just a matter of time.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES
Q: Do you feel like you guys could have got off to a quicker start today?
A: We just lost. They made more plays than we did.
Q: How hard will it be to bounce back from this one?
A: We’ll have to see. Every time our teams back is against the wall and every time we need to get a win, we win the game. We need to continue to stay together and go out there and give another hard fought game on Sunday. They are going to come in, a division opponent, they know us we know them, and it’s going to be tough.
Q: Did you have to state your case on the ball crossing the plane of end zone?
A: No, it was a touchdown so it’s automatically reviewed. I didn’t need to go yell to challenge the play because it’s automatically reviewed.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JORDY NELSON
Q: How emotionally difficult is this loss?
A: It’s tough. We wanted a week off and didn’t get it. Now we have to face them again in 6 days. We’ve got to move on and be ready to roll. They will be on an emotional high and we’ll have to bounce back.
Q: Is it tougher to bounce back physically or emotionally?
A: Both. Anytime you’re on a short break it can be tough, but they’re going to be in the same situation as us. They’re going to be beat up and we’re going to be beat up. It was a tough, physical game. We just need to be able to come back because it’s win or go home now. They survived one and they are going to try to do it to us.
Q: Are you guys even going to be standing after this game? Everyone seems beat up a little bit?
A: I don’t know how everyone came out. We have great depth on this team. All year, guys have stepped up and made plays. That’s what we expect.
Q: You did hurt your knee. Was there a point you were concerned about it after you came back into the game?
A: You get bumps and bruises. In the situation we were in we’re going to the playoffs no matter what so the doctor wanted to be cautious and smart about it but after Jarrett Boykin went down there was no choice. I knew I could get through it and was able to.
Q: Did you say you were going back in? You guys do have other wide receivers, correct?
A: I told them I was going back in. We were down to Jeremy Ross who has only been here for 2 months so I told them if they needed a receiver down in the red zone I’d be able to do it.
Q: Jody, you picked up that red flag pretty quickly what did Mike (McCarthy) say to you?
A: (Laughter) …Thank you.
Q: You obviously knew the rule then?
A: Yeah, I knew the rule. I think their might have been some miscommunication on whether they called him down or a turnover. Once I heard it was a turnover, I knew it was automatically reviewed. Everyone saw the Detroit play like that so luckily we were able to prevent that.
Q: Did you feel like it was difficult to get some momentum going at the beginning of the game?
A: Yeah, we ran into some tough breaks. The first third down we flipped and on the second third down they batted down the ball. We had guys open; we just weren’t able to make the play. Once we got threw that we were able to move the ball and put points up on the board. We just didn’t make enough.
PACKERS DEFENSE TACKLE B.J. RAJI
Q: Talk about this loss, are you eager to get another crack at those guys?
A: Good news is, that we have another shot at them next week. I think I speak for everybody when I say, yes. Anytime you let a tough game like this go it is going to bring up some bad feelings, but you have to move on.
Q: With all the emotions out there, is it going to be a tough turnaround?
A: We have done it before, but it is definitely going to be challenging. I think with the guys in this room we can definitely regroup.
Q: How tough was Adrian to stop today? Any different than any other day?
A: He’s going to be tough any day, no matter where you play. We have to find a way to get it done. Today we didn’t do that.
Q: Is it going to be physically or mentally tougher to bounce back from this loss going into next week?
A: Who knows. It is going to be a challenge, but I think we have what it takes to get it done.
Q: Do you think that Adrian won the league MVP today?
A: Who knows, I’m not concerned with that. Whoever gets it, they will deserve it.
Q: Are you disappointed in the run defense? He had 199 yards, and in two games he has had over 400 plus. How disappointing is that?
A: Considering who it is, you obviously never want to give up that kind of yardage, but when you look at the numbers there is a reason why he is where he is at. He’s an all-timer, and sometimes you have to live with that.
Q: What can you do differently to stop him next week?
A: We’ll go back and look at the film, and we will come with a game plan that we can hopefully execute.
PACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS
Q: What did you expect the Vikings offense to do and what was the game plan?
A: You have to know your responsibilities, know your keys and know what they wanted to do. We knew that they wanted to give the ball to A.P. But then again you had to watch the pass.
Q: Is it going to be hard to get things turned around for next week or being in the playoffs, does that make it easier?
A: We have been in this position before. Playoffs are one and done, so we have to go back and watch film and regroup on the downs that we missed out on and keep moving forward.
Q: Guys rarely run by you, did you bite on that? (Wright long pass)
A: He got behind me. I was supposed to cover deep, cover 3, and he got behind me. He made a play.
Tags: #GBvsMIN, minnesota vikings, post-game quotes
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GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
“Excellent win today, to say the least. Really this was the first step for us, a division championship here in Chicago. This game always means so much to our players, our organization and our fans and we did not disappoint today. I was pleased with the victory.
To go through the three segments, I thought our offense was able to retain some balance; we were committed to the run. We had a couple of chances for us to go out of the gate; I thought we did a good job of getting the ball out on the perimeter. I thought Aaron [Rodgers] played extremely well, against a tough defense down here. Defensively, I thought that after the first series, I thought our defense really took over the football game. Our third down defense was outstanding. We put them in tough situations there in the fourth quarter. Special teams, it was consistent. As far as the field position battle, I haven’t seen how that shook out yet. Obviously, we had the fake punt which is my responsibility and clearly not the highlight of my coaching career. With that, it was an excellent win and excellent team win and that is what is exciting about this group. We feel that this 2012 group has a chance to continue to get better. We have a lot more to offer in all three phases and we will be able to take that back home against Tennessee next week. I am thrilled to win a division championship, we now know that we are in the tournament, in the playoffs and now we fight for a seed.”
On whether the fake punt would have been called if the defense wasn’t playing so well
“Well, really, the reason behind the fake punt is that Aaron [Rodgers] had come off with an ankle [injury]. We had a couple injuries on the sideline, had guys that were getting ready for the next series. I thought the potential for the big play on special teams was there. It was a play that we have been working on, you look for a certain part of the field, with the wind, all of the factors involved and that’s what it equated to. Now, in the end, it’s not a very good decision. I wish I had that back.”
On how well it worked to use quick slants to the receivers today
“Well, the slant play is really the starting point of our offense. That is one of the first routes we put in. They played a lot of two-high in the game and then went to some three-deep and came after us with some pressure on some important downs in the game. We are going to throw them, they are going to defend them. It is clearly one of Aaron’s better balls and our receivers did a good job running the routes.”
On matching up well with the Bears offense
“Their offense, as far as the way they started the game, I though they did a really good job. They were running the ball on second down. The emphasis of our defense was to be patient, be patient with the four-man rush and then we grew into the pressure as the game went on. I thought Dom [Capers]’s coverage calls and the players sticking to their guns in the perimeter and playing tight coverage. I have to give the officials credit. You don’t usually get three calls in one game and I obviously thought they were all good calls. It is the way we play defense.”
On whether Crosby is testing the coaching staff’s patience
“Mason needs to make those kicks. We are at that time of the year. We had a spot. We left points on the field today with two missed field goals, and two make-able field goals. Also you factor in some of the decisions you make after that, so it is time for him to step up.”
On the importance of responding quickly to the Bears’ first score
“It was very important. There was a lot of emotion going into the game and I think the first series says a lot about the preparation and mind set of your football team. They did a very good job, what was it, six minutes or so on that first drive, so, for us to respond was very important. That is Bears-Packers football. There are going to be momentum swings, we talk about it all week just keep punching away, there are going to be times where we need to counter-punch and our guys did a great job out there today.”
On the performance of James Jones
“Well, he just catches touchdowns. That is a nice job and responsibility to have. It is just the way it falls sometimes. James is having an excellent year and I can’t say enough about him and the ability to make the big catch, just a back-shoulder fade there. He is playing very well, we ran our offense. We went exclusively no-huddle there for the first two and a half quarters there and that is the way we want to play it. We want to play as fast as we can and get as many attempts at the plate. I thought Aaron did a great job managing it and was extremely productive today.”
On having contributions from so many people on offense
“We are a much better football team when we have everyone on the field and we will take another step when Jordy [Nelson] comes back too. We have very good playmakers and it is the responsibility of the offensive playcaller, the run-blocking unit and the pass-protection unit, we need to get those guys involved. We have been committing to the run, it’s been good, it’s been productive, which is what we needed. But we need to be balanced, because when we are balanced, our playmakers get into the secondary and it is a different ballgame.”
On the lift Clay Matthews provided
“You can see it in practice. When Clay Matthews is on the field, we are a different defense. He is an impact player, he made an impact today. He is clearly one of the best defensive players in the league and I think that says it all.”
On the third-down defense
“I thought Dom did a great job. I thought he was patient with the plan and that our players picked their spots. This was about the four-man rush going into the game and being aware of where Brandon Marshall was. I just really like the patience of our defense and the discipline of it and just trying to make the quarterback beat you and today I thought we were outstanding.”
On the possible added significance of the win with all of the obstacles they have overcome this season.
“I am not a drama-queen, but it is great that we won a championship today. I feel good about it, not to diminish anything here, but we are just getting started. We feel that way as a football team, not trying to be arrogant, we feel a lot better football in front of us. It was an extremely important game for everybody involved today, but we fully expected to come in here and win this thing. We have the division championship and now we will be focused on getting to 11 wins next week at home against Tennessee.”
On the play of Casey Hayward
“Casey is a dynamic young player. He is very instinctive, if the ball is in the air, watch out. He has offensive, not to insult the defensive players, but he has offensive ball skills and I just can’t say enough about our young guys.”
On the confidence in the kicking game
“We are going in to work tomorrow and watch the tape and we are going to swing at it. We are not changing our kicker, so you can write that down right now. He is our guy. He needs to make those kicks, he knows that. We are at the time of the year. We have been taking the long 50-yard opportunities, preparing him to make the game-winner. I have all the confidence that when we line up at home that we are going to go out there, have our spot, have a field position plan and go out there and kick them when the opportunity comes and he has to do his part.”
On the officiating
“I give the officials a lot of credit. I thought they did a good job of letting the teams play today and calling the obvious penalties. It is competitive on the sidelines and sometimes you only hear about the officials when they don’t do a good job. I am not always going to agree with every call they make, but I thought there was balance out there today. I thought the calls that they did make, they didn’t let it affect the outcome of the game, and those are tough calls. To get three PI’s in one game, I am glad it happened today.”
On how improved the offense can be if Finley plays the way he did today
“I thought Jermichael was a major factor today, it just goes back to my thought earlier. We need to threaten these secodaries more and more and when we have all of our guys rolling like that, it definitely helps. I am very pleased with Jermichael’s effort and production today.”
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
On importance of winning in Chicago
“It’s really important, it’s a big game for us. It can put us in a great position the next two weeks to win the division and now we’re looking at improving our seed. Big win, good team. Big team win. Crazy things happen in Chicago, we can never seem to put them away. A lot credit to their coaching staff, they were under-manned today. They fought hard. Did a good job on defense, gave me some different looks. We were able to make just a few more.
On McCarthy saying it is just getting started
We’ve been going for awhile. It’s been a grind. This season more than last year, even 2010, this has been a grind. We’ve dealt with a lot of adversity; we had ups and downs a lot of guys hurt. To get a win like this means a lot to our organization, our fans, the guys in the locker room are excited about get Charles back, hopefully soon, having Clay back out there, Mike Neal those guys are impact players. We’ve had a lot of guys step-up and play. James Jones 3 touchdowns, Randall [Cobb] has been as consistent as anybody. Cobb, Don Barclay DuJuan Harris, we’ve had a lot of guys playing some unusual roles and doing well.
On being able to score right away after the Bears first score
That was important. That was really important to keep the crowd at bay a little bit. Chicago fans are excellent sports fans; they know when to cheer and when to get loud. We’ve played here and it’s been very difficult to hear, today at points it’s was the same, we couldn’t let them get up a couple of scores and get into what they wanted to do. It looked like they wanted to run Forte a lot. Getting ahead of them took them out of that stuff.
On avoiding the pressure later in the game
I think, just personally, I was thinking about moving around a little bit more. Just being aware of where I was in the pocket, stepping up when I had to, keeping plays alive. In general, we wanted to give Don [Barclay] some help on right tackle, we wanted to keep John around. They made a couple of nice adjustments, its tough when you play a team twice a year and you know each other so well, they had some really good stuff, some adjustments when we made some checks, every time we checked protection, they checked it too. They did some delayed blitzing. It was just about getting us some clean plays. Helping Don [Barclay], and their protection was excellent second half. There were multiple times I had the ball in my hands 4-5 seconds and that gives our guys some second reaction plays which kept the plays going.
On how much credit goes to receivers
I think, first you have to give credit to the personal department for the kind of guys we’ve drafted. Second, Edgar Bennett has done a great job. He’s a Packer Hall of Fame running back who is coaching receivers. He’s done a great job of getting those guys ready. Third, is the guys. They have just a great approach to the game, they are very well prepared. We’ve spent a lot of time in meetings and on the practice field just making the most of those reps and trying to be on the same page all the time. Those guys care about being successful, they care about putting the extra time in. I’m not surprised about James Jones success, he just needs more opportunities. I’m not surprised at Randall Cobb’s success, because he’s special. It’ll be nice to get Jordy back at some point, but we have a lot of weapons.
On why the slants were so effective today
“Maybe it’s because we haven’t thrown them much all year. I think we got a lot of questions last week about what happened to the slant pattern, I kept saying we haven’t seen a lot of cover two. Today, Chicago tried to pressure us a little more, they tried to drop down one eye stuff which they’ve done over the past and some of these late season games and just had to make the most of them. Jermichael [Finley] had a big catch on the slant, Greg [Jennings]had a couple and slowly but surely you may see it pop up every now and then, you got to give credit to the way we’ve ran the ball the last couple of weeks. It’s made defenses play a little more one high. We’ll see what happens as we move forward, the more one high you see, you might see more slants.
On wire to wire league
It’s been all about who’s hot at the right time. You saw it with the Giants last year and us, Pittsburgh when they made their run a few years back. It’s all about how you’re playing late December and what your team’s health is like. I think, often it goes back to some of the adversity that your team faces during the season, how battle tested are you. We went on a run last year, won 13 in a row, at times it seemed easy, especially from the outside the way we were winning. This year we’ve had to find a way to win games more. We’ve turned the ball over at times, inopportune times, we had to run the ball more different we’ve had to adjust protections, adjust routes. Kind of had some crazy half time adjustments to try and make things happen. We’ve dealt with a lot of adversity. I think this team is playing the right way the way right now. We have 2 games left in regular season, we want to be peaking at the right times because those are the teams that make the deep runs.
On Grinding out victories is there any more satisfaction in this
I like them all to be blow outs to be honest with you. This one had a chance too, we were up 21-7, we double them up there at the end of the first half. Beginning of the second half, we got the ball back, we were driving, we turned the ball over. You just can’t turn the ball over against these guys. They put a drive together, our defense held. It’s tough to put this team away. I think it says a lot about the kind of coach they have, and really coaching staff. They keep their guys focused, they never feel like they are out of the game. For some reason, every time they play us, they are never out of the game.
On Green Bay defense
Yeah, I think they did a good job. They are playing consistent, it’s nice having Clay out there, it gives us an elite pass rusher again. I think Mike Neal, you see how active he is he really helps the interior push, which is a quarterbacks worst enemy at times. I’ll be able to step up in the pocket. The second day we had a lot guys a lot to catch the ball and make plays. Casey Hayward had a big time season, Tramon (Williams) has been a lock down corner. Sam Shields is back, Morgan (Burnett) has been very, very consistent. Those guys are playing the right way and when they hold teams to 13 points we should win all those games.
On 3rd & 4th & long conversions
“It was huge. We talk a lot about situational football, red zone, 3rd down, we did the better job today of cashing in on those drives. We had 4th down conversions, Jermichael had a big catch, he’s been playing really well lately, he’s dialed in, he’s been making some big, big plays for us. 3rd down is the money down; we have to be able to make some plays, especially when the pocket breaks down. Randall (Cobb) had a big time catch down the side lines. Those are the fun ones when you are converting those 3rd and longs.”
On early loses in the season
“Yeah, I think Houston and immediately thereafter was a wake-up for us. I think what Houston did for us was just remind us that we were a team with special players. As an older player on this team, and someone that has been around on different types of teams, you got to try and remind the guys this is a special opportunity is and how you don’t’ want to let it slip away. I think that is the thing we learned from last year, it’s so exciting and thrilling to get to the Super Bowl and you go on a run of 15-1 you forget how difficult it was at times. We’re all reminded of how special those moments are, getting to the Championship game and wining big time games this team is dealt with a lot more adversity and is a tight knit group and knows how to win.
On hurt ankle from Peppers play
“I was teasing Pep (Julius Peppers) almost every time we play, you’re hitting me in the head and which he retorted back “it wasn’t a penalty” which Pep and I have a great relationship and I felt like it was a big time hit. I don’t know what happened to him on the play, I don’t’ know if I have that specially hard helmet. I’m okay, just kind of got my ankle fallen on on that 3rd down and got hit a couple of times. Overall, the protection was good; they brought some pressures we haven’t seen in a long time – got to give them credit for their game plan.
Is James Jones surprising you?
“If he drops a ball, it surprises me. It doesn’t happen a lot, but he’s been very consistent for us. His attitude has been great, he’s been dialed in every week, his preparation has been very good, he practices the right way he’s just been making plays. He get a lot of opportunities and 3 touchdowns today, he catches a fade down the side line with a very good release. He catches an underneath route and he kind aught kind of a high difficult pass and is able to get into the endzone. He catches a back shoulder fade on one of the top corners in the league so you got to give him a lot of credit, those are big time plays and he’s a go-to guy.
PACKERS CORNERBACK JARRETT BUSH
On whether they practiced the lateral special teams play
“Yeah. Yeah, we’ll never just throw things in at game time. We practiced it numerous times, weeks before this week. It wasn’t executed exactly how we wanted to, but we made do with it and we just kept playing. Defense had to back on the field and we made them kick a field-goal.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB
On the win
“This is big. To come into a rival’s house and win, clinch your division, and be able to celebrate in their locker room, that’s a great feeling to have. You know, we found a way tonight. We had some ups and downs, but in the end, we found a way to win.”
On Aaron Rodgers
“He’s just finding the open man. I just happen to be the open man at that time. I’m just trying to make the plays and keep the sticks moving and stay on the field and give the offense more first downs each week.”
On the punt/lateral play
“We’ve got to execute it. In the end, we had it called. We’ve been practicing it for a few weeks. The coaches called it. We have to execute the play. Maybe I can throw a better ball, but in the end, we have to execute that play.”
On how everyone seems to be stepping up
“Yeah, all season, we haven’t had everybody healthy at our position. We’re looking for that game where we have everybody back on the field to go out there and make plays, but we all have to step up. We always talk about stepping up, and that’s definitely been a key factor for us this season.”
On the trash talking
“Yeah, definitely. That’s part of football. There’s going to be a lot of talk on the field, but, in the end, we came out with the win. That’s all we care about. All the talk can be said, but in the end, we made plays, and that’s the only way to win.”
PACKERS KICKER MASON CROSBY
On his first missed field goal
“I just missed it right. It’s just one of those conditions out there. I just didn’t make it.”
On how he’s been kicking lately
“I had a good week of work, and I didn’t make two kicks today, but we won the game, and we won the division. So, this is a team sport, and that’s how we do it.”
On possibly misinterpreting the wind today
“No. I just think the conditions were fairly decent out there. I had to figure out the footing in warm-ups, but I was hitting the ball well with operation. I just hit the ball off of my toe, and it went a little right.”
On how it is trying to move on to the next kick after a miss
“That’s my job. Unfortunately, I didn’t make those two kicks today, but we won the game, and for me, that’s the most important thing.”
PACKERS TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY
On the win
“I feel great. It’s another win for us. We clinched the division. So, we just have to keep it rolling.”
On his involvement in today’s game
“(Aaron) Rodgers looked at me often and got me comfortable. So, once that starts happening, the ball can be pretty much anywhere, and I’m going to go get it for sure.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES
On whether clinching the division has sunk in
“Definitely. Whenever you come in here or they come in there, you know it’s going to be a dog fight. No matter how you look at it, you can put all the schemes and play-calling out the window. It’s man-on-man. They want to win. It was a dog fight, and we got a “W”.
On the coverages he faced
“On two of the touchdowns, it was man-to-man. The second (touchdown) they were in zone coverage and kind of dropped me a little bit. We had a nice little play on for that defense.”
On the importance of wrapping up the division today
“It’s huge. That’s what we came out here for – to get a win and go home division champs and to continue to grow and get better as a team. You know, this was not our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl, so we have a lot of work to do.”
On the importance of everyone getting involved
“We needed everyone today. The offense doesn’t move with one person; our offense moves with everybody, starting with number twelve (Aaron Rodgers). But, we needed everybody to make plays. (Randall) Cobb had a bunch of crucial third down catches. Jermichael (Finley) came up big. Greg (Jennings) made some plays. You know, it was a team win.”
On whether the talk during the week continued on the field
“I don’t get into all of the talk, man. I’m just glad we got a win.”
On how the running game helped him out today
“Definitely. When you’re running the ball well, teams are going to have to switch up some certain coverages. We ran the ball well, and we got them in some man-to-man sometimes, and I was able to make some plays.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS
On his return and it being against the Bears
“Yeah, no, it feels good. Obviously, taking a break, which I have, you never enjoy injuries in this business, but it is what it is, and I was able to come out and have some personal success, team success and clinch the NFC North. So, step-one is done and we just have to continue this thing rolling all the way to the playoffs.”
On how he feels
“I felt good. There’s a room for improvement out there, definitely. But ultimately, I felt I was pretty close to my old self. So, I need to get my wind back. Knock off a little of the rust, but it feels good.”
On winning and clinching the division against the Bears
“I think it means more to the fans then it does us. Our agenda is what we control it didn’t matter where it was at, but it was great we were able to do it here, for the fans, for us. A big divisional rival game, we’re happy about it.”
On whether the Bears were talking during the game
“Not so much. I’m sure a few players had some words, but ultimately it’s always a great match-up when we play the Bears.”
On the play of the defense
“That’s what great defenses do, they respond to adversity. I think that’s twice now with the botched special teams play and the turn-over – excuse me, the pass interference that put them all the way to the one, definitely helped us out in that regard, minimizing them to three points apiece and ultimately coming away with the victory.”
On his new sack dance
“I just had to let something else out there, just to have some fun. We talked about it over my four week hiatus and that’s what it was going to be today.”
On what was the key to stopping the Bears on third down
“Nothing different than any other third down. Obviously, you have to try and minimize their runs on first and second down. Try to hold them instead of three or four yards to one or two.”
On the offensive pass interference calls against the Bears
“That’s how it goes. You have to play by the rules. It’s the same with me out there. We’re fortunate to have benefited from that, but it was blatant. It was obvious. So we’ll take it.”
PACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS
On whether emotions were running higher today
“Oh yeah. There was a lot of heat out there. We were calm about it. We did what…we game planed and went in and did what we had to do against [Brandon] Marshall and you see the results.”
On the non call of offensive pass interference in the endzone
“Body slammed. I was out of breath for a minute. I had to get out of the next play. Like I said, they didn’t call that either; it just went on to the next down.
On whether it was extra physical today
“Oh yeah, it was way more physical. Like I said, they probably game-planned and said we need to go in more physical. And I guess that’s what they did.”
On how he responded to the more physical play
“You know, just get more physical. I’m a little guy. I’m, like 180 [pounds], he’s a big guy [Alshon Jeffery]. I just try to stand my ground. Keep covering him. Sometimes I played off, just to avoid the pushing off and things like that.”
On how the team keeps winning despite injuries and playing rookies
“We just keep our cool. Like you said, we have a lot of young guys in and the veterans talk to them, ‘hey this is a rivalry game, we need you to step-up. The rookie situation is out the window’. Casey [Hayward] made a perfect play that we needed.”
Tags: #GBvsCHI, chicago bears, post-game quotes
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 20 Comments »
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.
Tags: #GBvsNYG, new york giants, post-game quotes
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 42 Comments »
PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY
“This was a very good win for our football team. We knew that it would be a tough game coming down her to St. Louis with the Rams being undefeated (at home) coming into the contest today. I have a lot of respect for the team and the improvement that they have made since last year. That was something very evident throughout our preparations, so we knew this was going to be a tough match up. I have a lot of respect for Jeff Fisher and his staff and the way he goes about his business and getting a football team ready. I was very proud of how the team responded at halftime. I felt the Rams pep level was a little higher than ours and we were able to make some adjustments with that. To come in here and not turn the ball over, I think the team played smart today. They played very good situational football. We were pleased to win back to back, that was our message all week, stacking successes. You have to stack success as you do every single year. Being on the road is tough, but we are looking forward to getting back to Lambeau field next week. It seems like we have been gone for forever, but this was a big one. This was a very important game for us today and I thought our football team responded.”
(On the offense’s third down efficiency)
“I thought it was huge, because our run game efficiency was not where it needed to be. I thought it was important to maintain some balance especially when you are on the road. I thought our pass protection, once we settled down after the first quarter, was really good. I thought that Aaron (Rodgers) played exceptional again today. Third downs helped in our success in our performance last week. You have to play good situational football, especially when you are on the road. We took care of the football today and on the defensive end we got the turnovers. We won the turnover ratio and that is something we focus on every single week.”
(On the play of QB Aaron Rodgers)
“It is more than Aaron being dialed in. I think it is also staying in clean plays because that makes his job easier. We started the game with no huddle and we had some communication with the referees about the mechanics of our no-huddle and substitutions and them standing over the ball much longer than we experienced in the past. We were a little disjointed at the start of the game so we went back to the standard huddle in the second half and that worked more effectively. We are all about getting in as many punches as possible, that is the way we like to play offense. We don’t want to play slowed down. I think it helps everybody especially the quarterback.”
(On the Packers fan presence)
“Our fans are unbelievable. To drive in from the airport yesterday and to see Packer fans everywhere, it was like walking down Oneida Street. This is every week, every week that we are on the road. You can never get tired of hearing, ‘Go Pack! Go!’ especially in St. Louis. It is a great tribute to our fans. I can’t say enough about them. They are the best, second to none. When opposing coaches are talking about keeping your fans out of the building, I think that says it all. So, thank you fans, they were outstanding today.”
(On the emergence of WR Randall Cobb)
“Randall is a unique player. He can play the 1-2-3 spot in the wide receiver position and he can play out of the backfield. Obviously, we know what he can do as a returner. We are focused on trying to make sure that he gets some opportunities each game. I think we did a good job with that and getting him the ball in those particular situations. I think that he was exceptional in a couple of those third down plays in the second half to keep the sticks moving. He is a young dynamic player.”
(On Rodgers’ touchdown to Cobb)
“It was very difficult. It was a free play. It is something that we practice all the time. He is very good with his cadence to create that, and our older players do a great job in responding to it. I don’t know if there is a throw that I haven’t seen him make, to his left or to his right. He is a very gifted player.”
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS
(On what it’s like to be over .500 heading into the bye week)
“It’s still early, but we’ve won two in a row now. We’ve played better offensively the last couple of games, we’ve played two really good teams. St. Louis is a good team, they’re on the upswing, for sure. They’ve got a real good defense, a real good young quarterback and some young receivers who are improving, so it’s a good win for us. We needed this one, going home, hopefully get back on the right track before the bye knowing what we’ve got afterwards. But we’ve got nine games left it’s a long season and games like this are important.”
(On how key the third quarter was in terms of time of possession)
“That was huge. We had one of our best drives of the season, for sure, starting the second half. It wasn’t the prettiest drive, but we converted a lot of third downs and we held the ball for seven minutes, so that helped our defense out I think. Obviously, (that) got it back to a two score game for us. That was a very key drive for us and a good one to look back on as we watch this film tomorrow.”
(On the fan support they had at the Edward Jones Dome today)
“Yeah this is one of the shorter trips I think for some of our fans, which is still a jaunt. I think it’s probably about eight hours maybe driving if you’re pressing the speed limit a little bit. So we love our fans. We got to see a couple of them yesterday in the carriage and it’s been fun to have such great support. The chants are incredible. The boos that we had today on one of those calls from our fans was incredible. It was louder than the cheers for the Rams. Special connection between the players and the fans and we just love our fans. We’ve had some amazing experiences on the road hearing that, ‘Go Pack Go,’ chant leaving games.”
(On the offsides play)
“It’s pretty good. (C) Jeff (Saturday) did a great job of snapping that one early there and from there it’s just kind of ad-libbing a little bit. To be honest with you I saw the left side collapsing a little bit and I was thinking I might be able to run and get some yards and keep the play clock going. Randall (Cobb) put his hand up and felt good about the throw. He made a big catch in the end zone. That’s a big time play for us and we’ve made some big ones at times when we draw them offsides.”
(On if he would have thrown the ball if it wasn’t a free play)
“Oh for sure, yeah. To be honest with you, as I moved to my left I couldn’t quite tell when Jeff snapped it if he was offside’s or not. Usually, maybe it’s different at home, but I feel like I can kind of see the flag a little better out of my peripheral. As I caught the snap, I saw the guy on my right jump a little bit, I couldn’t tell if he was across the line. That gets you in that grey area where Jeff (Saturday) is aggressive to snap it, but forcing the ball there when it’s not offsides would not be a good thing, so it was a roll to my left. I did feel like it was either us or nobody on that throw, so he made a great catch.”
(On WR Randall Cobb)
“He’s a star in the making. He’s a big time player. He has the right approach for being a professional. He takes his job very seriously. He sees the game through the eyes of a quarterback. He’s played quarterback before, but he asks the right questions. He wants to be on the same page with me, he kind of wants to know what I’m thinking. He’s always in tune to second reaction plays. Those are some big time plays. The first one really got us going and he broke a tackle and kept that drive going. He’s a lot of fun to play with and he’s a good human being, which makes it even easier.”
(On how important it was to have another good game after scoring six touchdowns last week)
“That wasn’t really on my mind. My mind is usually focused on doing what I can do to put ourselves in good situations at the line of scrimmage. I’m expected to be consistent week in and week out. There’s been times where that hasn’t been the case, but I’m happy with the way the offense is progressing and obviously I wanted to come out and play really well. Missed a couple throws I probably could have hit, but other than that I thought it was a good performance by our offense.”
(On finishing wins on the road)
“Yeah that’s what we’ve done around here in the past. We’ve been up maybe a score or less than a touchdown and had to come up with a big drive and we’ve been able to, so we’re proud of that. We had to convert some tough third downs today, I’m not sure what the percentages were, but I’d like to think that we converted a number of third downs and kept drives going and flipped the time of possession. Gave our defense a little bone there and were able to finish off that drive with a touchdown and put it back to two scores and gave us a good chance to win the game.”
RAMS HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
“When you play a team as good as they are offensively, in order to have a chance to win, you need to get turnovers. You need to get the ball back or you need to get off the field on third down. That’s obviously what we did not do today defensively and that’s really the difference in the game. (Green Bay QB) Aaron (Rodgers), we knew he was coming off a hot hand last weekend and feeling pretty good and he’s got a lot of weapons and that’s certainly the difference. We kept it close for a while, but we couldn’t get the ball back the second half and that was the difference in the game.”
(On what Rodgers did best during the game such as changing the plays at the line of scrimmage)
“Yes. He’s just throwing with great accuracy and then putting themselves in position. They’ll change things after the snap. They’ll recognize things and change it after the snap. We had some oppourtunities. He took advantage of our defensive mistakes, our defensive offsides. Both those two long balls would probably not have been thrown had we not jumped in the neutral zone. So, ‘Let’s just take a shot,’ and he’s really smart. You can’t do that. But that’s what he does and they run it to keep you honest, but he’s a very accurate passer. You’ve got to make tackles on third down. You get third-and-eight and you make a tackle and get off the field, create fourth downs, and we just didn’t do that.”
(On if there were things that he conceded to Rodgers when he was gameplanning)
“Well, you like to keep him underneath and not give up the big shots. ‘Jenks’ (CB Janoris Jenkins) is watching flags fly on the first touchdown pass and he should’ve been playing defense and got caught out of there. He’ll learn from that. You’ve got to make him try to take his stuff underneath and then get into third down and then make a play on third down and get off the field. And then also know that field goals, at times, are wins for your defense. Then of course, you’ve got to score more points, we’re not scoring points, not enough points to beat a team like this on offense.”
(On if the loss is an opportunity to perform better in London or if it’s frustrating to have to change the schedule)
“No, we’re looking forward to the opportunity, but reality is, maybe you should’ve asked me that question a couple days from now, not 30 minutes after a loss. But we have a lot to do. Obviously, we go back to the office and players come in. We’ve got a lot to do to get ready to get on this airplane tomorrow afternoon.”
(On what made Packers WR Jordy Nelson so effective)
“Jordy’s a big target that runs bettter than, I think, people think and he’s outstanding out of frame. He can make the tough catch. He doesn’t drop balls. He gets open and they’re really on the same page most of the time.”
(On Rodger’s rolling left and throwing across his body for a touchdown)
“He did that a couple weeks ago. He did it against the Bears, I think. He rolled left and threw across his body and put that in there. He’s pretty good at it.”
(On if he had experience coaching in games where the opponent’s fans traveled so well)
“Yes. I’ve expereinced that before. That’s just a tribute to the Packer organization – the tradition and history of the Packers. They travel well. They do that wherever they go. We’d like to get our organization to that point, so we travel well as well.”
(On how T Joe Barksdale and G Shelley Smith performed)
“I thought they played pretty well considering. Joe battled. He had a pretty good pass rusher out there and he battled. It’s easier to watch in person live, the tackle than it is the guard because, of course, we’re concerned about the matchup. We ran the ball well over them, away from them and I thought both of them played pretty well.”
(On what the key was for Green Bay in eliminating the Rams’ sacks)
“Yes, we got some pressure on them. Well, they made some adjustments. They started banging the ends. They started chipping ends because that’s where we were getting our pressure in. We nearly had him down three or four more times. We just couldn’t because his mobility’s extraordinary.”
(On not getting in the endzone)
“That’s right. We’ve got to keep working on it. That’s it. Worked on it this week. We make a fourth-and-two catch and we might have another opportunity at it, but we didn’t.”
(On if the ball had to be caught on the fourth-and-two play)
“Yes. You’ve got to make that catch and then we get three or four more shots at it.”
(On if he tried to get a replay on the onside kick because he wasn’t sure if the ball went 10 yards)
“No. I wanted to confirm who touched it first because if they touched the ball inside of the 10-yard restraining line, then I can challenge that, but I never got a look. I went and asked ‘Tru’ (CB Trumaine Johnson) and he didn’t know.”
(On if WR Brian Quick got hurt at the end of the game)
“No, he’ll be OK. The only thing we’ve got to concern ourselves with is (DE) Eugene (Sims), so we’ll see how he is.”
RAMS QB SAM BRADFORD
(On today’s game)
“It’s a tough one. I thought we did a fairly decent job in the first half. We probably would’ve liked to come away with a few more points, especially the possession where we got stopped on fourth down down there. It would’ve been nice to convert that and put seven on the board. We came out cold in the third quarter, just didn’t really get anything going. We’ve just got to do a better job of overcoming.”
(On if he can put his finger on what happened in the third quarter)
“Seven points. They controlled the ball. When we had an opportunity to control the ball, we didn’t. We had a quick series, then the turnover, just things you can’t do when you’re playing a team like that.”
(On what contributed to his interception)
“I should have checked it down. My body just wasn’t in a great position. I think I was trying to step up and tried to get it out there and just wasn’t in good position to throw it downfield like that.”
(On if he was fearing a sack on the play)
“I don’t think I was fearing a sack. I just felt the edges kind of collapsing and wanted to get it out there and give (WR Chris) Givens a chance, but when I’m not in a good position to throw it downfield I just can’t do that.”
(On if he has to always be aware of the threat of a sack given the state of the offensive line)
“No. I trust those guys. I think they did a great job today. I think everyone who’s had to step up all year has done a great job. Those guys were put in a tough position. Green Bay led the league in sacks coming into today, and with that being said, I think those guys did a great job.”
(On what positives he takes from the game)
“It’s hard to say right now. I think we’ll have to look at the film to really draw the positives, but just another frustrating loss.”
(On if the team felt they were back in the game when RB Steven Jackson scored)
“We knew the whole time that being down 14 if we could score and cut it to a one possession game, we had a shot. When we did that, I think our sideline was really excited. We thought our defense was going to go out there and get a stop, get us the ball back, and then we were going to go score again. Unfortunately it didn’t work like that, but any time you’re able to cut into a lead late in the game, you feel good about yourself.”
(On if the Packer fans took the home field advantage away)
“I wouldn’t say that. Obviously we knew that they were a team that was going to travel well. They sure did, but it really didn’t change anything from our perspective.”
(On being able to play with New England next week)
“We’ll come in and look at film tomorrow, see what things we can take from this game, both the positive and the things we need to correct, but our mentality as a football team is that we can play with anyone on any Sunday and we’re going to take that same mentality into the game next week.”
(On who he trusts the most in the red zone)
“I think all those guys down there. It’s hard to pick one guy. I think they’ve all done a great job. Gibby (WR Brandon Gibson) has really stepped up since (WR) Danny (Amendola) went down and I think he’s played exceptionally well the past couple weeks. I feel very comfortable with him, but with that being said, I think you look at it…we threw the ball to a lot of different guys down there today. I’m comfortable with everyone down there.”
RAMS RB STEVEN JACKSON
(On today’s game)
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’re slowly coming together as an offense, a unit. But, we’ve still got to continue to get better, continue to help our defense out by putting points on the board.”
(On if he wanted the ball more in today’s game)
“I’m called to do whatever the coaching staff here feels is best for this team and for the offense. So, whenever I get my opportunities, I’ve got to make sure I take advantage of them.”
(On what went wrong today)
“We’ve just got to take advantage of every opportunity. They surprised us with an onside kick, but when you face a team that’s a potent offense, we’ve got to do our job as an offensive unit and that’s to keep up and help our defense out.”
(On if they needed to score touchdowns instead of field goals against Green Bay)
“They’re red hot right now. They have one of the best quarterbacks in football. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We have to continue to get better at that.”
(On if Green Bay controlled the ball in the second half)
“Yes. They did a good job. At halftime, I’m pretty sure they went in and made adjustments, saw what we were doing effectively and tried to take it away from us.”
(On if this was the best they’ve run the ball this season)
“We’re getting better. This unit continues to gel week in and week out. The guys up front did a good job for me creating some lanes.”
(On if today’s game felt like a road game)
“No. We know that Green Bay travels. It didn’t stop us from doing what we wanted to do. We were able to use a snap count because we knew that they’re pretty fast off the ball. We mixed it up.”
(On if he has mixed emotions from scoring a touchdown but losing the game)
“Personal stats are not what I’m focused on anymore. Winning games.”
(On how he will handle the quick turnaround before flying to London tomorrow)
“We have a long flight ahead of us, so we have to make sure we get our rest. I’ll be in the cold tub tonight.”
RAMS DE CHRIS LONG
(On how the Packers played)
“This was par for the course for them. They threw the ball around the yard and played a really good game. You’ve got to take your hat off to them.”
(On if the crowd disparity was disappointing)
“I wouldn’t say disappointing, but I expected that they’d be well represented here. We just never got the chance to quiet them down. It wasn’t a factor, but not disappointing, no.”
(On trying to keep the game close)
“We had our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them. We were close there for a while, but we weren’t playing our best game, myself included. We can play a lot better. Hats off to them. They’re a very good football team. There’s a reason they’ve won so many games.”
(On the Rams’ play in the third quarter)
“They came out with a really good game plan in the second half and executed it and we couldn’t get off the field. That was just a really disappointing stretch.”
(On if the game changed on the free play where he was called offside)
“Absolutely. That was a hundred percent on me. All week I knew that he was going to take a shot if we got offsides or jumped offsides and then lined up and got back. What you need to do is keep rushing because that’s what he does. That’s his M.O., so that’s completely on me. I hung our coverage out to dry.”
RAMS DE ROBERT QUINN
(On trying to get to Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers)
“He’s definitely an elusive quarterback. I don’t know if he gets credit enough for being elusive. It’s hard to take the quarterback down and get sacks, so we just have to keep grinding every week and hit them as many times as possible, really try to rattle them. You’re not going to get sacks every play, but at least try to rattle them.”
(On if it was frustrating to be close to sacking Rodgers on multiple occasions)
“You just keep grinding. If this game was simple and not frustrating, it wouldn’t be as fun. You’ve just got to keep grinding away, chipping away, doing whatever you can to help your team win.”
(On being near the top of the league in sacks)
“I’m just trying to play hard every snap I’m out there, doing anything that’s possible to try to help us win. If I’ve got to go to the three technique or whatever it might be, just doing everything I can to try to help the team win. I’m really not paying attention to the stats. I’m just trying to chip away each game, get better, and try to get a W at the end of each game.”
RAMS LB JAMES LAURINAITIS
(On what Packers QB Aaron Rodgers does well)
“I think what he does the best is that he’s good at improv. He escapes to make the deep throws and maneuvers in the pocket. That’s something that he does really well. He did that today a couple of times. (He) maneuvered around guys was able to break out of the pocket and chuck it deep. He’s going to make throws that other quarterbacks won’t.”
(On Rodgers making adjustments at the line of scrimmage)
“He’ll make a lot of adjustments. I don’t think he goes to the extent that (Denver Broncos QB) Peyton (Manning) does where you have no idea if he’s actually checking something or if he’s bluffing. He’s going to put his offense in the best play possible and when you’re a defense, you just have to react to it. When you play a team that’s truly a west coast (offense) team like this, you know you’re going to get a lot of different stuff out of multiple looks. You just have to play your fundamentals well and tackle well in space. Looking back, we’ll look at the film tomorrow, I don’t think we really tackled well enough to win this game at the end.”
(On what separates the Rams from the Packers)
“I don’t know about the whole ‘how close are we.’ I just think they made more plays in this game to win. We had a chance on multiple third downs to get off the field at the end, and we didn’t do it. They made plays and we didn’t. That’s the reality of it. These games in the NFL come down to who’s going to step up and make plays at the end. Today, Green Bay’s offense did it.”
Tags: post-game quotes, st. louis rams
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PACKERS FALL TO 49ERS IN SEASON OPENER
– Green Bay lost to San Francisco, 30-22, on Sunday at Lambeau Field. It marks the first time since 2006 that the Packers lost their season opener.
– Sunday’s loss snapped the Packers’ 13-game regular-season home winning streak. That is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak at home in franchise history.
– The Packers will host the division-rival Chicago Bears on Thursday night at Lambeau Field at 7:20 p.m. (CDT).
OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
– Today’s paid attendance was 70,523. It was the 303rd consecutive sellout (286 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– WR Randall Cobb’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was the third kick return for a score in his career (two punts, one kickoff). That ties him with six other players for the second most in franchise history (Travis Williams, six).
– Cobb posted career highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (77). His previous single-game highs in the respective categories were four catches (at Kansas City, Dec. 18, 2011) and 75 yards (vs. Denver, Oct. 2, 2011).
– QB Aaron Rodgers threw a TD pass in his 30th consecutive regular-season game at home, further extending his franchise record. It is also the longest current streak in the league.
– With 303 yards passing on Sunday, Rodgers registered his 23rd career regular-season game with 300-plus passing yards.
– DB Charles Woodson registered 1.5 sacks, his second-best single-game performance behind a two-sack outing vs. Seattle (Sept. 30, 2001) when he was with the Oakland Raiders.
– Woodson appeared in his 200th career regular-season game on Sunday.
– LB Clay Matthews posted 2.5 sacks, the seventh time in his career (regular season) that he posted two-plus sacks. It was his most in a single game since he recorded three sacks vs. Buffalo on Sept. 19, 2010.
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on what slowed down the offense, particularly in the first half) “Well, when you look at the first half, the one glaring statistic next to the punts were the penalties. Nine penalties in the first half, very difficult to overcome that. So that was part of our struggles. The 49ers defense is a very good defense. We knew that going into today. We knew they were going to be a challenge. The game went a little differently than we would have liked it to. I’d like to have more production in the run game. I thought the 49ers defense played with favorable sticks more than we did, as far as the down and distance. But with that, I thought Aaron did a good job of handling the distortion, particularly in the first half.”
(on failing to establish RB Cedric Benson and the running game) “We didn’t run it very well. Give credit to their run defense. We wanted to get into a run-play mix there early with the no huddle offense. I thought Aaron did a good job with that. But yes, the production definitely wasn’t there. A 2.0 (average), that’s not good enough. That’s not what we’re looking for.”
(on whether the 49ers were able to mix run and pass to keep the defense off balance) “It wasn’t a surprise. That’s something that both teams had a chance to evaluate in the offseason. I think some people thought San Francisco would be more spread out, more vertical. That wasn’t the case. They did a good job with their ball-control passing game underneath with the completion throws. Frankly, it comes down to execution. We’ll take a look at their play call versus our defensive call, our play call against their defensive play call. That’s all part of the game evaluation. But it goes on through the game. You make adjustments. They did a good job on offense.”
(on whether he was disappointed in the inability to stop the 49ers on key running plays) “Definitely. I mean, we didn’t win the down enough in the run game. I thought they did a good job with the toss-crack scheme, getting the ball to the perimeter. As far as our support and our fits, I thought both running backs did a very good job of being patient, sorting it out. I thought there was some very good running on those particular plays when we did have the chance to turn it back and they got back inside and back outside. They were well executed. But hey, we’re going to see it again. I’m sure we’ll see it Thursday night.”
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on his thoughts on the game) “Disappointed. Two plays in particular that I made. You don’t expect them to make a 63-yard field goal, but if I just slide there (and) keep the clock running, they’ve got to use a timeout and probably don’t get a field goal off. I’m disappointed about that. I’m mad about the interception…Greg (Jennings) thought he was wide open. That jolted me and I made a snap decision, which I usually don’t do.”
(on their lack of ability to run the ball) “They’re tough up front. They’ve got a great front seven. We had some good looks to run the ball on the first couple drives, but didn’t get a whole lot done. Then we went with some of our four wide receiver personnel trying to get (Randall) Cobb matched up in a positive situation. That was the direction we went after that.”
(on whether it seemed like it wasn’t their day with the penalties and mistakes) “I still feel good about what we had going there in the second half. We had a few mistakes, but some of the penalties were definitely a little bizarre.”
(on what contributed to their offensive struggles) “They’ve got a great defense, you’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got some of the top guys in the league at their position. They made some good plays, good adjustments, disguised some coverages. We didn’t have the opportunity to take a lot of shots downfield, but when we did, they made some plays on it and we missed a couple third downs there we probably should have had to keep drives going.”
(on the left side of the Packers offensive line) “They played great. Justin (Smith) had one tackle, I think, in the stats. Aldon (Smith) was active, but the sack he got was when I was outside the pocket, so Marshall (Newhouse) did a great job, T.J. (Lang), the whole line did a good job. To be in the shotgun that many times and to play a defensive front like that with four big-time pass rushers…and then they bring in (Patrick) Willis or (NaVorro) Bowman at times, I thought they held up really good.”
(on how frustrating the officiating was) “I think there were calls on both sides that were interesting. A couple of the plays were either no calls that should have been calls or not the correct call.”
(on WR Randall Cobb’s expanded role) “That’s what we’ve been talking a lot about. He’s a big-time player, a great punt returner obviously. We’re going to try to find ways to get him matched up on positive mismatches for him out there. The more opportunities we can give him in space, there’s a lot of good plays out there he had.”
(on whether he’s glad to have a short week after a game like this) “Yeah, hopefully everybody’s healthy and we come out of this without anybody missing a lot of time. It definitely helps (to have a) short week with, Chicago, common opponent, another home game. We’ve got to play better next week.”
(on if this is a sobering loss given the high expectations) “It’s one game. This is a team that was in the NFC Championship last year. It’s a good team. Hopefully we see them down the road in the playoffs.”
PACKERS TACKLE BRYAN BULAGA:
(on the 49ers defense) “That’s a good defense. They fly around, they do different things, and we just didn’t play well enough to beat them.”
(on starting the season with a loss) “Obviously we don’t want to start it out with a loss here, but we’ve got to turn around and play in four days on Thursday. Learn from this one, move on, and get ready to go Thursday.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB:
(on the slow start on offense) “I don’t know. We didn’t start off as fast as we planned and we didn’t do some of the things we planned to do. We were playing against a great defense. They got some turnovers and made it tough for the offense to move the ball.”
(on his punt return for a touchdown) “I just saw the field open up to the wide side and just tried racing to the sidelines. I got three good blocks on the way. I saw the flag and I was hoping they didn’t call it, and luckily they didn’t.”
(on when he knew he was going to score) “When I (saw) the kicker I knew I had chance if I could set the kicker up and beat the kicker. You’re taught as a returner that if you get tackled by the kicker then you’ve got some problems, so I was just trying to do everything I could to get to the end zone.”
(on being more involved on offense) “Like I’ve always said, whenever I get the opportunity, I’m going to try and take advantage of those opportunities and hopefully continue to do that and continue to have success.”
(on the 49ers defense) “They’re a great defense. They got pressure on the quarterback, they played a lot of man coverage and didn’t leave us much space to work.”
(on not protecting Lambeau Field) “It’s tough. You want to win all your games, regardless if it’s home or away, but definitely at home you want to come out and start the season out fast and protect your home turf. We didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t do the things we need to do to win.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER AJ HAWK:
(on starting the season with a loss) “We’ve been working for a while now leading up to this game and for it to turn out like this wasn’t in our game plan. Give (the 49ers) credit – they’re a good team and they played really well today.”
(on the defense’s performance) “At times I think we did a good job getting to the quarterback, getting off the field on third down and we stopped the run a few times. But for the most part when they really needed it they found a way to run the ball on us, and any coach from any level will tell you that to win a game you’ve got to stop the run first. We didn’t get that done today.”
(on having to play from behind) “I never felt like we were out of it. With how good our offense is, you’re always in the game. We were never down, we never felt like, ‘Hey this thing’s over.’”
(on the penalties) “I don’t know how the numbers stacked up, but there were a lot on both sides of the ball. Regardless of refs, (the 49ers) beat us. I think early in the season most games seem to have more penalties than they do later in the year for whatever reason.”
(on the quick turnaround) “This is good for us that after a game like this we get to get right back on the field Thursday night. Definitely not what we wanted today, but I think as a team when you lose you want to get back out on the field and take it to them. So we’re ready for Thursday. I’d go play tomorrow. I feel good, and I think everyone on this team feels the same way.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS
(on the defense’s performance) “There were a lot of bright spots, but at the same time there were some mistakes that we need to improve on. Obviously the penalties, the big plays, we’re always trying to improve upon that. I think you saw us get after the quarterback a little more and improve upon some things from last year. As with any opening game there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
(on trying to make a statement after how last season ended) “It’s a fresh slate. Obviously last year we didn’t end the way in which we wanted to, but this was a good team coming in here to our backyard so we knew it would be a big win for us and unfortunately we came up short.”
PACKERS DEFENSIVE BACK CHARLES WOODSON
(on how he feels about the defense after this game) “They put up 30 points, but I thought overall as a defense we made strides from where we were last year. We flew around. We got sacks today. We got to the quarterback. There were a couple plays here and there where we missed some assignments, but I come away from this game feeling really good about our team.”
(on playing the Bears on Thursday) “It’s going to be another tough game. That’s a team that’s gotten better over the offseason. They had a tough game today and they won. They’ll come in feeling good about what they’ve accomplished the first game of the season.”
(on losing the first game of the season) “It’s a loss. It’s the first game of the season and that’s really all it is. We’re 0-1, but I’m going to continue to say I’m encouraged about what we went out there and did today. We had some adversity out there and defensively, I feel good about our defense, I really do.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH:
(on LB Patrick Willis sitting out in the dime package) “He’s a great football player, no doubt, and so is NaVorro (Bowman), they’re both tremendous, but that was a game-planning decision.”
(on QB Alex Smith’s patience today) “I thought he was great. All game he used his legs, his arm, his mind, his toughness. He was really efficient tonight, and he had a heck of a ball game.”
(on the run from QB Colin Kaepernick to set up Aker’s 63-yard field goal) “We put that play in for ‘Kaep’ with the quarterback draw. Kyle (Williams) set it up with the punt return, so a lot of good things had to happen, and then David Akers finished it off with that 63-yard field goal.”
(on his team’s fight) “The fight for 60 minutes was there, and it was probably our best game with our minds. Everything that those young men were called on to do out there today, they were just tremendously on it.”
(on WR Randy Moss) “He had a lot of juice, he blocked well and got open, and he was a great big target in there a couple times.”
(on if this game was an upset) “I consider it a great victory for us, and we’ll get back to preparing in what we believe in and that is preparing and working.”
49ERS KICKER DAVID AKERS:
(on his NFL record tying 63-yard field goal) “It was kind of one of those miracles, I think to be a part of. I didn’t think I hit it great enough. I made 61 in pregame and it felt pretty good if I could just get it there and strike it right. But, when I hit it I felt like I missed it. It was tracking alright, and as a kicker when you hit the goalpost it usually makes that horrific noise and then usually bounces back. This time it got the sweet bounce. I think this was definitely a once in a lifetime type of deal. It is one of those things that you will never forget.”
49ERS LINEBACKER NaVORRO BOWMAN
(on the interception) “I was just playing my coverage, knowing that I was protected over the top, I could bite on the run and I got back in Aaron’s window and he threw me one and it helped our offense convert on that quick touchdown that we got.”
(on the difficulty for he and Willis sitting out in different packages) “You put the work in week in and week out, me and Pat are in this thing together. It doesn’t matter who’s on the field, we are rooting for each other, and whenever he needs a breather and whenever I need a breather we’re there to help each other out.”
49ERS TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS:
(on his touchdown catch) “I didn’t make it happen on my own. It was all about the rest of the guys out there on the field. Delanie Walker is one of the key guys that people haven’t seen a lot of yet. People know he is explosive, he’s fast, just as fast as me. They have to respect him on certain plays. He had the post and came through. I came underneath the rest of the receivers and it was wide open.”
(on the offense) “We came into the game with the will to win attitude. We ran the ball well and we passed when we needed to. We made the plays. We made it happen.”
(on beating Green Bay) “Green Bay is phenomenal. They are a powerful team offensively. They have some things on defense to be really good. Charles Woodson is a good cover guy. This win shows the type of character that we have and what we wanted to accomplish today. We made a statement today.”
(on quarterback Alex Smith) “I think he went out and played with a lot of confidence. He didn’t back down. He was Alex Smith today. He did the same thing that he did last year to help us win.”
49ERS RUNNING BACK FRANK GORE:
(on his touchdown run) “The offensive line did a great job. Bruce Miller did a great job of screening me out. I am happy about the play. It was a good play call and I just read my blocks.”
(on the offense) “We have great coaches. They do a great job of game planning week to week. We are just going to keep working to get better. I am happy about the win, but we are going to keep working.”
49ERS QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
(on the game today) “I think we played good team football for 60 minutes. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but everyone was helping each other and executing. It’s tough to come in here on the road on opening day in a loud place, a lot of things against you and we were able to come out with the win.”
(On Coach Harbaugh talking about Alex using his mind well) “For me, just making good decisions and being smart with the football. It starts with that, and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
(on the touchdown pass to WR Randy Moss) “We got what we were looking for and he blew open, I think his eyes lighted up bigger than mine and he made a great catch. I’m happy for him to get that touchdown out of the way now so he doesn’t have to deal with that.”
(on Aaron Rodgers’ support of him this week) “It’s humbling; you know he is arguably playing the quarterback position as well as it has ever been played. You look at last year, what he did numbers aside, just his play on the field and as good as he was last year, it’s humbling when a guy like that gives you a compliment.”
49ERS LINEBACKER PATRICK WILLIS:
(on linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s interception) “It was an amazing play. We had worked on that call all week. We hadn’t called it the whole game. We made a check on the play and it was thrown right to him. I felt like I got the interception myself because I was so excited. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Tags: post-game notes, post-game quotes, san francisco 49ers
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GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on breathing easier after QB Graham Harrell’s performance tonight) “Well, I’ve said it all along, I was really cheering for that second- (team) offense. I thought it was a group that had some tough sledding the first two preseason games. Part of it was they were affected the most by injuries in training camp. I thought they got better in Cincinnati. And I thought they performed very well tonight. Graham specifically, I don’t know if we’ve had a backup quarterback, a nonstarter play that well. So, it’s a credit to him. I think he’s handled this path through the preseason. And I’ve been more impressed with what he’s done off the field than on the field. So, yes, I was very pleased with Graham Harrell tonight.”
(on if it’s difficult to make cuts after tonight) “Well, it really is. Look at the body of work, we talked about it yesterday or the last time I was up here, two days ago. There are a number of positions, and when you look at our roster horizontally, you’re going to have a tough time picking a player based on another player at another position. So, I thought a lot of guys made a strong case. You talk about, what did you want to see out of your players? I wanted to see those statements. There were statements throughout that game tonight. And that’s impressive. That says a lot about the men in that locker room. It says a lot about the whole process. You’re talking about a talented group of people that came together, worked their butts off, had a tough training camp, an adverse training camp because of injuries, and started to grow at the right time. It’s a great lesson that we can point back to. Hopefully when the playoffs do come around, if we’re blessed to be in it, we can look back at the preseason and we played the best football when it counted. That was one of our offseason objectives and I was very pleased with the process. Once again, I cannot say it enough, it’s going to be a long 24 to 48 hours.”
(on if he’s OK with the way the No. 1 groups did tonight) “I think the ones we’re ready to play. Obviously, I wasn’t very pleased with the way the game started. I thought they (the Chiefs) were moving a little quicker than we were. With that, handling the ball, we had the five penalties in the first half. I really thought we cleaned it up as the game went on and it’s about scoring points and holding them out of the end zone. I thought our team did a very good job of that.”
(on his level of concern with DT B.J. Raji’s ankle) “I don’t have a high level of concern about B.J. Raji’s ankle right now based off the information I was given and also talking with B.J. First play of the game, that’s not a good feeling. Obviously, we did not put him back in.”
Tags: kansas city chiefs, post-game quotes, preseason
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