Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t mince any words when asked today whether there was a sense of urgency among his team as they head into their NFC North Division showdown with the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.
“Hell yes!” McCarthy exclaimed when asked.
He then regrouped and went into an explanation, saying that there is always a sense of urgency with the team, that a lot goes into the planning for every game, but that the most important thing is to stay focused on what they can control and not get caught up in things they can’t control.
In concluding, he said, “there’s a real sense of urgency to clean our own house … we have to go out and play our best football game [against the Vikings].”
That was the highlight of today’s presser with coach McCarthy who looked a bit disheveled as he took the podium for today’s session with the press.
Another area of concern – injuries – was address at the outset. When the team PR man announced the rather long list of injured players and their status, one of the reporters was overheard asking if there were any players NOT on the list.
When asked, McCarthy admitted the list was long, but also said that it’s not unusual that at this time in the season the list grows.
In particular, he was asked about Sam Shields, Don Barclay, Randall Cobb, and Aaron Rodgers. On Shields and Barclay, McCarthy said they were still in the rehab process and that they weren’t ready to hit the field. As for Cobb, McCarthy said that he wasn’t sure exactly how far along the receiver was, but did say that he was “getting around better” and was “getting better.”
He didn’t have much to say about Rodgers either, except to mention that it’s a “medical decision” on when he comes back and that “when we’re in a spot … to talk about it, we’ll talk about it.”
On quarterback Scott Tolzien, McCarthy said that his quarterback’s mid and short passing game was satisfactory, though he didn’t have any statistics to back up his comment. He did say he was happy with his overall accuracy, but that the interceptions were things that needed to continue to be addressed. He said the “decision” interceptions was where Tolzien was getting himself in trouble. He said there would always be “competitive” interceptions that occur. “I feel good about where he is,” McCarthy concluded.
Eddie Lacy hasn’t hit the wall, according to McCarthy, though he had his worst week against the Giants. He does want to have the opportunity to get more touches for James Starks and especially Johnathan Franklin, a player that McCarthy said he’s neglected over the past few weeks.
McCarthy was also asked about coaching receiver Jordy Nelson – an opportunity he used to praise his best receiver. “He’s an outstanding football player who is always professional.” He went on to say that he admires Nelson’s leadership in not only excelling on the football field, but in his personal life. “He’s exerting himself … and is representative of what a professional football player should be.”
And with that, McCarthy left the room to go back to work.