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17 December 2014

Week 16 Conference Call Transcripts: vs. Green Bay (12/21/14)

HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY
 
(On the team’s mentality after a loss and if it makes them focus more for Sunday’s game)
“It’s important to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish each and every week as a football team and always see the big picture. This is a game we have to win. It’s a road game and you have to stay true to the video. Lovie Smith has his team playing with a lot of energy and he’s had a lot of change with his personnel, injuries and things like that we’re looking for this to be a tough game and we’re taking a playoff approach because this is the time of year where you have to shift gears and make sure the awareness and urgency is heightened in your preparation and trusting the process leading up to the performance.”
 
(On how Tampa Bay resembles a Lovie Smith team)
“I think the thing that always jumps off the film with Lovie is the defense and special teams. His teams are always very much disciplined as far as their alignment, their energy and schematically what they’re trying to do. I thought that was something he’s always done a very good job with it every place he’s been. I’ve had a chance to personally compete against him in St. Louis, Chicago and now Tampa. That’s still a very strong characteristic of his football teams.”
 
(On linebacker Sam Barrington)
“Sam is a talented and tough young man. It’s something that we feel is a big part of our program, it’s a creed that we follow each and every year and hold the young guys accountable to and that’s where the fact that the young players have to take a big jump from year one to year two and I think that’s clearly what you’re seeing in Sam Barrington. He had a chance to go through last year and was inactive and was up-and-down a little bit on special teams and now he’s done a good job of establishing himself as a core special teams player and now that he’s been given his opportunities on defense, he’s played very well.”
 
(On what he sees from Tampa Bay’s defense on film)
“They’re better at the scheme. Any time you have a chance to install a new system it takes time and I think it’s clear in the last four weeks they’re very much disciplined as far as their alignments and stunts and their coverage and how they go about it. They’re playing with excellent vision to the football and it’s a very active defense.”
 
(On why quarterback Aaron Rodgers struggles playing in Tampa)
“Heck when is the last time we’ve played in Tampa? 2009? Wow. I don’t really have anything for you. I’ll you he’s probably a different quarterback than he was in ‘09. He was a pretty good quarterback in ’09 too.”
 
(On how Rodgers remains calm and cool at all times)
“It’s extremely important. I think for anybody to be successful you have to have consistency and almost every year of your professional process, whether it’s the way you’re playing or the way you’re trained and really just the way you behave each and every day. He’s a very consistent individual, the way he goes about preparation, he’s extremely competitive in everything that he does and I think it’s definitely a personality trait that I personally prefer in a quarterback.”
 
(On the benefits of sitting a quarterback for a couple of years)
“It definitely helped [Rodgers]. He sat for three years, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and I think it was a great experience for him to learn the system, learn from a great quarterback in Brett Favre and it’s definitely I think the preferred way if you’re trying to give a young quarterback the greatest percentage of success. Obviously there’s a lot of other factors around it, it’s what kind of football team do you have around the young quarterback? I always thought that was the biggest part of the equation you need to look at.”
 
(On what he remembers about former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman)
“I thought Josh played well that day. He made a couple of big-time throws and obviously it was a close game that came down to some tough calls and things like that, but that was a good day for the Bucs.”
 
(On if he is surprised that Freeman is out of the NFL now)
“I thought Josh that day, he played really well, especially in his first start. I remember him breaking some tackles and making plays. I thought he did a heck of a job.”
 
(On having a fan base that travels very well)
“I think it says a lot about our fans. We have the most passionate fans in the world and we travel very well, especially in the warm weather and I think anybody that’s been up here, you could see why we’re going to have so many people down there. Tampa’s is a beautiful area and it’s a great game day environment and I think this will be a great environment come Sunday.”
 
(On if he feels he has to protect the Green Bay legacy)
“Absolutely, I agree with everything you just said. It’s all about the standard that’s been set here in Green Bay. It’s about representing the ‘G’ that our players wear on their helmets and is obviously up on the stadium. We feel like we have incredible history and tradition and the standards that have been set here and the character of not only going out and winning – the importance of winning - but winning and doing it the right way. That’s something I would like to think our whole program is very conscious of.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER JORDY NELSON
 
(On why the offense struggled against the Buffalo Bills last week)
“We just weren’t in rhythm and we didn’t execute at a very high-level and missed some big opportunities to make plays for whatever reason. We had good work today and we’ve got another couple of days before we head down to Tampa. We just have to get back in rhythm and get back to the way we were playing a couple of weeks ago and execute. We hold ourselves to a very high standard and last week obviously wasn’t close to it.”
 
(On what stands out about Tampa Bay’s defense on film)
“I think just how aggressive they are and the way they attack the ball. We know Coach Lovie Smith and the way he runs his defense from Chicago over the years. They’re aggressive towards the ball, they get after the ball whether it’s in the air or if they try to strip it out from you. Very fast defense and very physical.”
 
(On how important it is to not have a letdown game this week)
“I think we’ll be pretty focused after last week. We know that going on the road is very hard no matter how many wins a team has. Tampa has a very explosive offense with some of the guys that they can throw out there and a defense that can play just as well. We have to make sure that we are focused, we take care of work this week before we head down there and make sure that we go out and execute. No matter who it is, you want to start playing your best football this late in the year and we need to start getting into that rhythm and through these last two games hopefully into the playoffs.”
 
(On what he expects from Green Bay fans that will be in attendance on Sunday)
“We expect a lot of Packers fans. We get a big piece of that everywhere we go and we know there’s a big chunk of them down in Miami when we came to Florida and so we know there’s a lot Packers fans that are down in the Florida area especially this time of year. I think half of Wisconsin and throughout head south. They’ll be there and hopefully we can put on a good show for them and we can hear them in the crowd.”
 
(On what it’s like to almost have a home-field advantage on the road)
“It’s great, when you have that many fans there, you want to play well in order to ‘take over the stadium.’ We’ve had some opportunities where – I remember San Diego a couple of years ago where San Diego was having to use their silent count at their own stadium. It’s great to have those fans that will travel with us and give us that support and cheer us on.”
 
(On what he’s been able to see from Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans)
“I haven’t been able to watch him too much, but I’ve seen some of his highlights on T.V. He’s obviously a big guy that can make plays. He’s got a huge catch radius and what he can do after the catch as well, that’s something that I know our defense will be focused on is maintaining him and Vincent [Jackson] and making sure they can try and contain him a little bit to keep them out of the end zone.”
 
(On how difficult it is to be a rookie wide receiver)
“I think it’s very hard. I think history has shown that it’s difficult for a receiver to be consistent throughout the whole year. I think every rookie receiver, especially drafted early, they’ll have their splash games and you’ll the talent and the ability that’s there, but to grasp an offense and get that chemistry down with a quarterback and sustain it in a season and like you said get that 1,000 yards and double digit touchdowns, it’s impressive. You can tell that he’s put a lot of work into it and he’s got a bright future.”
 
(On if he feels that he still has something to prove in the NFL)
“Not necessarily, I think if you’re worried about what everyone else thinks about you, then you’re going to waste your time because no matter how good you are, someone is always going to be able to criticize you or critique you and not make you happy. I’m just worried about being the best that I can be, make sure that I am on the same page with Aaron [Rodgers] and doing what this team asks me to do week in and week out, year in and year out. I think if I worried about that then I will be successful and our team will be successful.”
 
(On how much it means to have a calming presence at quarterback in Aaron Rodgers)
“I think that he leads by example and by what he says. Obviously it’s great to have a franchise quarterback because obviously that’s what every franchise wants is to have that stability and Green Bay is fortunate with their last two over 20-some years now of top-notch quarterbacks in the league. It makes it easy for that just from a stability standpoint, you can grow with it and build around that quarterback and have that chemistry over a long time with him and he’s grown as a player at least in the seven years that I’ve been here and since he’s started playing. He’ll lead us vocally, by actions and we know he has the talent and we just sometimes have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and executing at a high-level.”
 
(On what it’s like to play with Rodgers)
“He makes our job extremely easy. We try and do our best to create separation and make his job easy too, but the way he can throw the ball, the way he can move around with his feet allows to get first and second options. We can get it in rhythm and if not he’ll scramble a little bit and we’ve been around long enough and worked long enough with him that we’re in rhythm in the scramble drill and understand what he wants and where to go and that’s where we can get some big plays. That helps us out a lot and it keeps the defense on its toes.”
 
(On what he thinks of Buffalo’s defense after last week’s game)
“They’ve got a very good defense, that over the last two weeks if you look at what they did to Denver and how they kind of played out there and kept Peyton [Manning] out of the end zone and kept that game close. It’s tough to go into Buffalo, it’s a rowdy crowd, great atmosphere for them to play in. They’ve got a defense they’re building and they’ve got some top-notch guys up front some guys in the back that can make plays.”
 
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