GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY
“Frank Zombo left the game with a hamstring injury. He did not return.”
On the San Diego Chargers comeback toward the end of the game:
“It was a good effort by the San Diego Chargers at the end of the game. I thought it was probably a very entertaining game to watch. There was a lot of offense, no question about that. We need to clean some things up communication wise, but we’re ecstatic to be 5-0 on the road this year. We got an extra day to clean things up as we move forward onto Minnesota. Big victory for us; we are very pleased at where we are.”
On QB Aaron Rodgers’ playing efficiency:
“I think Aaron (Rodgers) has a lot of strengths obviously. His decision-making is clearly at the highest level that I personally have been a part of, just his command of the offense and going away from the defense. If the defense tilts one way, he goes away from it. We have the fire power to give them options, and he has just been very disciplined with the ball placement. I think his decision-making is top notch right now.”
On the turnover game and do the defenders or coaching get the credit for it:
“The credit always goes to the player. We have much instinctive players on defense and they know what to do when they get the ball in their hands. It’s something that is emphasized, and it’s something we work on all the time. It’s a part of our training and the takeaways really determined the game today. Being plus 3 in the turnover ratio was clearly the outcome of this game.”
Do you think you lean on Aaron Rodgers too much at this point?
“Offensively, we run a structured offense. On how much responsibility you give players, the first part is they have to earn it. Aaron Rodgers has earned the opportunity to run this offense as far as the decision-making. I look at Aaron (Rodgers) playing at a very high level when he’s running the offense.”
On whether he has concerns on how the defense is playing:
“Absolutely, we’re not going to turn a blind eye to the negatives that went on today. We’re 8-0, that’s the facts. 5-0 on the road, that’s huge. We’re excited about that. The defense gave up too many big plays and the offense scored points.”
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS
On getting into a rhythm in the first half:
“I felt like we had to answer the third touchdown with our first drive. That was a choppy game. I think we had three possessions in the first half and scored on two of them. There was not a lot of rhythm out there in the second half. It was just some of the same stuff. They had three more possessions than us. It was a little bit of a struggle at times, but we scored when we needed to.”
On getting hit and the Chargers coverage:
“They dropped a lot of guys, tried to get pressure on our front four and they did at times. With the type of man coverage that they were playing, I had to hold the ball more than I wanted to. A couple of times, I got sacked. A couple of times, we made some first downs.”
On his back-shoulder throw:
“I don’t think it’s a very high percentage pass, but it’s one that we’ve been having some success with. In a game where they’re going to play a lot of press-man coverage, you’re going to have to take some shots down the field.”
On being satisfied with 8-0:
“No, I don’t think we’re ever satisfied. We’ve got a coaching staff that is definitely going to pick out the mistakes we’ve made. Not being able to finish the game with the ball is something that we’re frustrated with. At 3rd and two, we’d like to convert there. They get paid too. They’re defense did some nice things out there.”
On having to play flawless football:
“Not necessarily. I think I’d like to play flawless football. We look at each week the ways we can improve. The things that we talk about: not turning the ball over, being good on third down, being good in the red zone… We did a nice job of that today. When we’re not turning the ball over, we’re going to have a good chance to win every week.”
On the way he has played during the first half of the season:
“Definitely blessed with ability. Consistency has been kind of a hot-button word for me over the past couple of years. I want to play consistenly this season. I’m doing some good things. I’m throwing the ball the way I want to. I’m not turning the ball over. When you’re doing that you should have a good chance to win.”
On playing back home in California:
“It’s great. I had a lot of friends and family at this game. I got to spend some time with them last night. I love coming back to San Diego. When you look at the schedule and you see a November/San Diego game, you’re excited about the weather. A little surprised by the rain today, but we were able to manage the conditions pretty well.”
“The crowd was incredible. When we ran on the field the first time, the crowd was going crazy. When you’re on the road, you’re up by seven, it’s late in the game and they have to go on a silent count… That’s pretty impressive. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to our fans and the way they travel. That say a lot about the kind of fans that we have.”
On the focus of being undefeated:
“Honestly, that’s not something that we’re going to think about or talk about. We’re trying to be 1-0 every week and we’ve done that for eight straight weeks, so that’s going to be our focus.”
On his ability to convert third downs:
“That’s not really something I like doing a whole lot. It’s kind of a necessaity at times. When you’re out there and trying to make reaction plays and they’re going to rush four and play a lot of man-coverage, then nobody’s on me. I like to extend plays and I like to pass first when I’m outside the pocket, but at times today I needed to run the ball and we made some big plays.”
On the pressure to maintain his current level of play:
“I’d like to think I can keep it up. There’s really no pressure from the outside that can match the pressure that I put on myself to play well each week. I have a great quarterback coach who is going to dissect this game and give me at least three or four ways I can improve and play better next week and that’s going to be our focus.”
On keeping his number of interceptions low:
“I just don’t throw it to the other team. I don’t like to and I never have. I don’t think I’m coming very close either and that’s because of the kind of guys that we have to throw it to and also the preparation that we put in.”
PACKERS CB TRAMON WILLIAMS
On your interception, had you seen that play before and how ready were you for it?
“I was just playing the down and distance. It was 3rd & 4 and I was playing a soft coverage. I saw the receiver going out to the flat but I was off like I was playing man to man. I saw it the whole time and it worked out perfectly.”
On having an interception opportunity like that in the past:
“I’ve never had one like that. To have a pick with nobody in front of you is a rare opportunity and I’m glad it happened today.”
PACKERS S CHARLIE PEPRAH
How do you feel the defense is playing overall?
“We’re doing whatever it takes to win but statistically we could be a lot better and that’s what we need to address and get corrected. The story this year is just win the game and it’s a different year with different challenges.”
How does it feel to get out of here 8-0?
“It feels great. I wouldn’t trade a perfect defensive game for a win so I’ll take the W and clean all the other stuff up later.”
What did you see on your first interception?
“On the first one Desmond Bishop played the ball and was underneath it. He tried to go for the ball and I was in position when he tipped it to me. I had to work for my own on the touchdown but I told him I appreciate the assist.”
On his second interception:
“He just kinda floated the ball, I think he was trying to throw a seven route but he threw it a little too high so I just went and got it.”
PACKERS WR GREG JENNINGS
On the Game?
“Every Sunday is a fun day. Obviously, we are afforded the opportunity to go out there and compete. Great team. Great opposition. Obviously, we were able to prevail, which shows again our resiliency. It wasn’t the prettiest thing. Anytime you can get a win on the road is huge.”
Can Aaron Rodgers play any better than he did today?
“He is an outstanding individual and a player. You can’t say enough about him. He is a special, special, special, special player. “
Was this like a home game for you with all the Packer fans in the stadium?
“It was. I figured everyone came to see #12 (Aaron Rodgers) and Clay (Matthews) and all the California guys we got. They definitely pulled the fans in here. Man, what a showing.”
Was Aaron Rodgers excited about playing his first California game out here?
“I am sure he was. You always get the jitters and butterflies when you are playing in front of hometown people. It is almost best when they are not around, but he definitely performed. He did not let anyone down today.”
PACKERS WR JORDY NELSON
On the touchdown right before halftime?
“It was a fade route. He threw me back shoulder. The ball was low and I tried to go down and get it. As I caught it I tried to roll into the end zone before he touched me. I didn’t know when they went to the review. I thought he might have tapped my foot.”
On the mishap with the onside kick recovery?
“The ball got a good bounce. The ball was rolling on the ground the whole way, all the way to me. I was trying to stay low. Right before it got to me it took a high bounce. It was so quick I tried to bat it somewhere out of bounds or somewhere I could recover it. They (Chargers) made a good play.”
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS HEAD COACH NORV TURNER
“Green Bay is an outstanding football team. Obviously, very talented in all three phases. You are playing a team that you can’t give them a couple of scores, give their defense a chance to make plays and make a couple scores. Our guys did a great job of fighting back, competing and giving us a chance in all three phases. You spot them like that and you’re playing that good of a team I think it’s real difficult.”
Does getting close at the end make it better or hurt worse?
“The biggest thing is we have to find a way to eliminate the turnovers so we’re not in that situation. You’re fighting to go try to win a game and I guess the biggest thing is the effort that our guys put forth. There’s a group of young guys that play a lot of football and give themselves a chance to go win. We didn’t win it but they fought hard to give us a chance to go win it at the end. As I said, we just made it hard on ourselves.”
Aside from the turnovers was Aaron Rodgers scrambling the turning point?
“His ability to run is a factor in every game. It’s something you have to deal with. You have to handle. They spread the field. They got outstanding receivers. There are times where he gets a chance to run when there’s lots of space.”
Were you ok with what Philip Rivers was trying to do on the last throw?
“I think he was trying to throw it over the top of the safety and make it a jump ball. I don’t think he was able to get on it everything he wanted to get on it.”
What has changed with Rivers decision-making compared to last year?
“The second interception was the corner played it as good as you can. He started to turn deep and then it was a trap defense and Philip never saw him. The first one he tried to fit the ball into Gates and it was real tight coverage. He shouldn’t have tried to get it in there. Again, I think we’re in Indianapolis and stood there on the sideline and watched Peyton Manning throw two that were returned for touchdowns. I didn’t think I would ever see that. Unfortunately, it happens and we’ve got to work through this.”
Can you talk about why Antoine Cason came in for Marcus Gilchrist?
“I’m not going to answer about anything permanent right now. As I said, all during the week this group throws a lot of guys at you, a lot of different receiver combinations and we were going play everybody. Obviously, Marcus was having a tough time and we put Cason in.”
On Green Bay making some excellent catches:
“There were unbelievable throws and catches on both sides of the ball. That’s a talented, talented group. They fit throws in there and their guys catch it. Aaron (Rodgers) is awfully accurate. He’s very confident throwing to those guys. As was mentioned when you do get them covered, he finds a way to buy some time and rush for yards or keep plays alive and then that whole scramble thing comes to play.”
Was that the best separation Vincent Jackson was able to get?
“I don’t know. Every week I think he’s gotten good separation. Sometimes you get him the ball sometimes you don’t. We were in a situation where we were throwing it every down and obviously he stepped up and made a bunch of big plays.”
On Vincent Brown’s performance:
“Again, it’s an opportunity to get in the game and play. He got some balls thrown his way and I thought he responded.”
On how the front seven dealt with Rodger’s mobility:
“It’s a challenge to stop him and it really ends up being four guys if you’re in coverage. I thought there were sometimes that we did some real good things against him. Obviously, there were a couple times he got loose.”
What was your message to the players after a game like this?
“We have a quick turnaround. We’re going to be back in tomorrow…11, 12 o’clock with starting our week for Thursday night. We got to go.”
How is the morale at this point?
“I think if you watched the way they played in terms of their competitiveness and their fight to get back in the game down a couple times obviously by two touchdowns and look at the effort and watch Michael Tolbert and watch everyone fighting, clawing and scratching, we have the right kind of guys. We just got to eliminate some things that our keeping us from winning.”
Is there anything technical you need to work with Philip Rivers on?
“Again, it’s hard to explain because obviously you go through a stretch and there are so many good throws and good decisions and all that. We just got to eliminate the negative plays.”
What is your message to the frustrated Chargers fans?
“I get asked that and what message do you want me to say? I know this: our guys are doing everything they can. They’re doing their best. They are fighting. I know they’re going to do everything they can to get ready to play their best on Thursday night and we have to control that in terms of what we’re doing and we got to turn into wins.”
What was your concern with Ryan Mathews before the game?
“I wasn’t concerned about watching Ryan. I knew he wasn’t playing. I’ll get with our training staff in the morning and find out who is available on Thursday.”
On the red zone success:
“It’s the same thing we’ve talked about. It’s making a run. It’s making a throw. It’s making a catch. It’s getting in the best position to make a play. Our guys made a bunch of plays today.”
On the success regarding third down and the comeback:
“Obviously, you play an entire game there are going to be stretches where they convert and stretches when they don’t. That’s the way it is. They’re like us. They’re one of the top two or four teams on third down. They’re about 50% and the times you get them off the field you have a chance to get the ball and go doing something with it.”
How big is the gap between this team and the World Champions?
“I think that’s what you guys do. I think what we do is play a game and get ready to go play it and play the best we can and go play the next week. The one thing you guys don’t understand about this league is that most of the games end up being one score, less than one score and you win those games and you’re measured as a better team than if you lose those games.”
Did the weather have an effect?
“I thought it was a little bit of an effect. The ball he (Rivers) threw down to Antonio Gates down the middle was one of those he threw when it was windy and rainy and I don’t think that was best throw he can make. I don’t think it was a factor.”
CHARGERS QB PHILIP RIVERS
Norv said Monday you were pressing, was that a factor in the first quarter interceptions?
“No, not at all, I tried to give (Antonio) Gates a chance. The guy makes a great play and had a great run after and the other one they just fooled me. It happens sometimes, not very often, but it did today.”
Are you hurt?
“No, I appreciate everybody trying to come up with a theory and a reason but I’m not hurt. I’ve thrown a handful of picks that I normally don’t throw and I’ll probably throw some more throughout my career and there won’t always be a reason why. I prepare, I give everything I’ve got, give our guys everything I’ve got, and they fooled me once today and the other one got tipped. The one at the end, I wish I would’ve thrown it up high and deep and given Vincent a chance but I didn’t. Health is not an issue, it’s never been an issue on any interception I’ve ever thrown in eighteen years of football.”
Scoring thirty-eight points today, was that a product of the Chargers offense or the Packers pass defense?
“That team’s won fourteen in a row. Everybody talks about their pass defense, but that team has won fourteen games in a row and they’ve intercepted the ball more than any team in the league, so that’s a good pass defense. We know what yards get you, they get you 9-7. We found that out last year. That team’s won fourteen in a row; we spotted them fourteen and had a chance to win it. We fell short. They’re a great team and we gave them all we had. We gave ourselves a chance. When we give that quarterback and that offense fourteen points, it’s going to be tough to win, and yet we ended up having a chance.”
On the attitude on the sideline:
“We’ve been in that position before over the last few years and the years before that where we’ve been down 21-7 or 21-10 and found ways to win it. We knew we just had to keep playing and when we got down twenty-one with nine minutes left, most of those guys out there, especially on that offensive huddle have been in that position before. We just say, ‘let’s go play and see what happens, let’s not quit,’ and obviously we never would. It was a lot like that New England game last year where we scored, got the onside kick and had a chance to win and we didn’t get it done. We’re fighting through a rough time right now. It isn’t the first rough time we’ve been in and probably won’t be the last, but we have a game Thursday night and there’s three teams deadlocked at 4-4. That’s the bottom line. We can try to dissect this whole thing, but when we started the season everybody was even and now we’re eight games in and everybody’s even.”
On Thursday’s game:
“It’s going to be all that you can imagine. They’re one of the teams that’s tied at the top of the division right now. We can’t think about this game for too long, we have to get ready for that one. It will be a tough one.”
On grounding penalty:
“They got us on a blitz, so it was either a sack and I was trying to find somewhere to throw it away. You’ve got two guys on in routes to the right side. Obviously maybe I had a chance to throw it away to the left, but it was happening fast out there, I was trying to settle it over Vincent’s head and hopefully that would give us that. The whole rule is if you’re under pressure, but if you’re not under pressure you can do that. Last week they did it in Kansas City; they took the snap and threw it into the bleachers. If you’re not under pressure I guess you can do that, but either was either that or the sack.”
On Mike Tolbert:
“Tolbert is a good runner out in the street; he’s a good runner anywhere. You’re asking a back to not really take any rests. There’s a bunch of backs in this league that would like to hold up that hand and come out after every good run. He stood in there and played every play. Guys like him, we have a lot of guys like him, they’re the reason we haven’t faltered in these tough times. These tough times, you find out a lot about guys, about yourself. Sometimes the most trying times are the most gratifying in the long run.”
On Vincent Jackson:
“Vincent was great. He had a handful of touchdown catches. He played great and got off to a great start right off the bat and really kept going. All of our receivers did. Vincent Brown stepped up big, I got him the ball a couple of times to get him going. He had some setbacks during training camp, so he didn’t really get to be a part of it and games like this get you going. They get you another guy that can help you when Malcolm (Floyd) can’t go. I thought he was really good as well.”
Is there anything different between you now and you a year ago?
“Well other than statistically, there’s nothing different. I’m a year older and I have one more child, that’s about it. There’s nothing different. There are no injuries. Those guys up front, I wouldn’t trade anybody that’s protecting for me ever. They’re unbelievable. The blitzes they pick up, they’re ‘unpickupable’ on paper. Statistically there are some things different, but you just go play. We are where we are right now. We’d love to be 8-0, but we’re not.”
How frustrated are you?
“I’m not frustrated one bit; I’m excited about the next challenge. When you prepare, and you study, and you go and play as hard as you can, you can be disappointed, you just never can be satisfied. It’s okay to be disappointed but you’ve got to move on to the next day.”
CHARGERS LB ANTWAN BARNES
On what to take away from a tough loss:
“Really nothing. I guess if we had to do it all again we would do the same thing that we’ve been doing; and that’s fighting. We were never out of the game. We never thought we were out of the game. Shout out to my team. Any guys to go to war with it would be the guys in that (locker) room over there. I just love them so much and how we finished the game.”
On switching to a 4-3 defense from the 3-4:
“We knew watching film that they had a couple weak spots at their O-line. So we knew we could get at them, we just didn’t get at them enough like we wanted to. They’re not 7-0, or 8-0 now, for no reason. You give a team like that opportunities and they’re going to take advantage of them.”
On bouncing back from this three-game slide:
“We just have to look past it after tonight. It’s a short week and a short turnaround. We got to get rid of it by the end of tonight and come in Monday and get ready to play the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football.”
CHARGERS K NICK NOVAK
On the technique of the onside kick:
“There’s two types (of kicks): the high bouncer or the low, hot, squib type of kick. Since it was a wet surface, I decided to let it run across and see what happens. The ground was kind of soft so I wasn’t too confident I’d get a high bounce that I normally get. So we thought it’d be smarter to go with a hot squib and it worked.”
On his career-long 52-yard field goal:
“It felt thin right away and came off towards the end of my foot. But I knew it was straight, I didn’t know if it was long enough but knew it had a chance. I don’t care how far it goes through; as long as it goes through. It was good to come back after missing the 52-yarder last week. I want to make all of them, but getting the opportunity to make one of the same distance is a good test.”
CHARGERS S DARRELL STUCKEY
On recovering the onside kick:
“It’s something we practice every week. It was fun to get it called tonight. One thing coach Bissacia tells us is that we are all going after the ball. We all have an opportunity to get the ball, and I got there. I (avoided) the guy trying to block me, saw (the ball) go between their legs, bounce of Jordy Nelson, and I got it. It was a great opportunity to make a play for our team and the give the (offensive) another opportunity.”
On Special Teams coverage playing consistent the last three weeks:
“The thing that drives us is that we are playing for each other. We are playing as a unit. We enjoy giving our team good field position and keeping our (opponent) from getting great field position.”
CHARGERS C NICK HARDWICK
On playing again after a short week, Thursday is a fast turn around:
“We have a lot of professionals on this team who know how to work and get their assignments down in a short amount of time. We will be ready to go.”
On substitutions within the offensive line and communication:
“Communication was good. Everyone is trained the same exact way. That’s how it has to be playing a physical position. Guys go down all the time and the next guy has to be ready to come in and take his place. Everything has to go off without and hitch. No excuses are allowed. You just have to step in and get your job done.”
On the character of the team:
“We have good guys are this team. Good, solid professionals who want to work and love to work. It’s that consistent work on a daily basis that will carry us through this tough time and hopefully produce a win this Thursday.”
Can you carry momentum from today’s game into Thursday?
“Sure we can and we have to. We have to use this to propel us forward. They are the Super Bowl Champions. They are playing better than anyone in the league right now and we are right them with.”
CHARGERS LB TAKEO SPIKES
On coming back after giving them two interceptions for touchdowns:
“Any given Sunday. You never know. That’s why you play the game. I’m proud of the guys and the character of this team. Adversity is what we are going through right now and we fought hard. They are no moral wins, but you have to take something from this game and we will.”
CHARGERS WR VINCENT BROWN
What was it like out there with a tough opponent and a roller coaster type of a game?
“It was a tough game for us. We knew we had a big opponent with Green Bay coming in and we were going to have our hands full. We just had to take care of our assignments and take what we could from them.
After a big game like this, where is your confidence level after not being able to come away with the win?
“I rather have a “W” over anything but we are just trying to go to work and try and help this team win.”
This team showed a lot by being able to rally back in the game, what can you guys take away from this?
“We know that we have a good team and that we can contend with anyone. We’re not a team that will give up or back down from anyone. We know what we have to do to get better so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and try and fix those areas.”
Can you talk about the great effort that you and your teammates put up today and how tough is it not being able to come away with the victory?
“It was a tough loss for us with a big opponent in Green Bay coming in. We have a lot to learn from this week. We’re not going to back down from anyone and we’re not going to stop. We’re a team that’s going to drive until the end and that’s what happened today.”
After the Kansas City game, the team was really devastated but tonight you guys showed a lot of pride. How is the confidence of the team as a group?
“It’s still up. We have a lot of confidence because we have a lot of guys that are going to go to work no matter what happens. We know what we have to do and we know what we have to fix, and I think that going into this next week that we will get all of that worked out.”
How was it for you personally to have your best game as a pro?
“It was a big out there for me. We had some guys injured so I had to step out there and try and fill their shoes. Everyone said that I had a breakout game but personally I rather have a win than a big individual day.”
How different will the preparation be on a short week against a division opponent like the Raiders?
“It will be the same. We just need to go back and look at what we need to fix. We start back at work tomorrow so we know what we’re playing for this week and everyone knows that we have to work hard on this short week for Thursday’s game.”
CHARGERS FB MIKE TOLBERT
Can you talk about your first touchdown of the game being down 21-7?
“I just read the play and the good blocks from the line and just hit the hole hard. We have to just keep fighting. That’s the main thing, to just keep fighting and we fought our butts off today.”
How do feel being back out on the field after being out for a couple of weeks?
“I feel pretty good. My teammates joked around with me calling me ‘fresh legs’ because I didn’t come out of the game but I feel pretty good.”
What did it feel like after going back down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter?
“We don’t give up man. Until that clock hits triple zero, we’re going to be getting it in.”
CHARGERS WR VINCENT JACKSON
On what kind of honor it is to pass an All-time Charger great like WR Tony Martin:
“Much respect to the history of the Chargers organization, all the great receivers and players that have been here. I’m definitely proud, working every day with (Wide Receivers Coach) Charlie Joiner in my meeting room, so it’s definitely an honor to be a part of that elite group. But again, right now the taste in my mouth is about the loss. We fought back. I’m very proud of everybody in this locker room but it is an honor to be mentioned among those great guys.”
On scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and what kind of resiliency it shows of this team going forward:
“If anything you take away from this game, it will show that when we have to go and press on the gas, we can go. We have players on this team all over the field. We have young guys, Vincent Brown stepping up, Patrick Crayton, (Antonio) Gates, all of the running backs we have catching balls out of the backfield. When we really (need) to put some numbers up on the board, we can do that. I think it is a confidence builder in some parts of the game, as far as the way we were able to be more aggressive in the passing game, put some points up, score, strike quickly. It definitely is something for us to build on.”
On the rhythm he developed with QB Philip Rivers during the first drive:
“It was great rhythm. It was something I’m glad our coaches were able to come in this week and say, ‘you know what, this is our plan of attack, every week.’ That’s the way they decided they wanted to attack this game when we had meetings last night. I was excited about it, because with inclement weather and running, sometimes you think you won’t be as aggressive passing the ball. They had faith in us as receivers and quarterback that we were going to go out there and still execute our passing game. I think it was a large confidence builder with Philip, myself, and our entire offense to come down and put together a drive like that and to finally get some points, touchdowns on the board, without field goals.
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