Mike McCarthy on NFC Championship Game Win

Mike McCarthy obviously had a lot to talk about after the Green Bay Packers won the NFC Championship game. But I noted a few items in particular. The complete transcript is at Packers.com.

"Rodgers' big tackle - you would hope that wouldn't be in the "big play" category." I had thought about that play at the time, but I really kept thinking back on the interception. If QB Aaron Rodgers hadn't tripped up LB Brian Urlacher, he was on his way to the end zone. The Bears did nothing after the turnover, it was one of QB Todd Collins's failed drives, but at least the Packers kept a 14-0 lead at the time.

"We lost Chad Clifton on the touchdown, and we really didn't get back into the balance and rhythm that we had on the first drive." I'd agree at least as far as the second possession, when LT T.J. Lang had some obvious trouble stopping DE Julius Peppers. I wouldn't have blamed it any further during the game, and Clifton returned by the second quarter.

"[Rodgers] took a good hit. He's fine. I was talking to him afterwards and in the locker room. He feels pretty good right now." This was my biggest concern. Rodgers didn't do anything after he took that helmet-to-helmet hit from Peppers with about 11 minutes to go. He should have been taken out if he had a concussion, but apparently he didn't have one.

"Sam [Shields], for a rookie - and I told a couple other rookies this - you have no idea what you've accomplished here in your first year." There is a question mark over this rookie class until DE Mike Neal and S Morgan Burnett return from their injuries next season. But Shields has been amazing as a rookie. Sometimes undrafted players like CB Tramon Williams emerge after a couple seasons, but not immediately. Especially a project like Shields who barely played cornerback in college.

"I guess now we have to throw [B.J. Raji] the ball, since he's shown he can catch and score." He played again on offense this week, and he came in as an eligible receiver. Maybe he can surprise us in the Super Bowl. 

"LB Erik Walden had an ankle and did not return." LB Robert Francois did little as his replacement, but he was the only healthy linebacker left. I thought Walden might have aggravated his previous injury, but this is a new one. Now he's got a sore shoulder and ankle.

(On how it would feel to win against the Steelers). "Well......we will get into that tonight, maybe. We will discuss that when it comes." Mike McCarthy was born in Pittsburgh.

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