Mike McCarthy Press Conference: Packers Coach Discusses Scouting Combine and More

USA TODAY Sports

Mike McCarthy spoke Friday morning at the NFL Combine and discussed the defensive line, Brian Bulaga's rehab and more.

Mike McCarthy addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday morning. Below is the transcript of some of the things he had to say.

Regarding this week…

The interviews from my perspective are the most important part, if you look at how the interview process has grown over the years, just the implementation of video, the players and prospects are more prepared than they were probably 10-15 years ago so there’s a lot more interaction. I think the biggest thing that I’ve noticed in the last 5-10 years particularly with the NFL Network and the atmosphere they’ve created here at the Indianapolis combine. There’s a lot to gain from coming down here.

On the new coaching staffs on teams in the division:

Well with the changes in our division we’ll go about it as we normally do in the offseason. I think the way the league has gone with the scheduling, division games do come a little later, so I’m hopeful that’ll hold true and I think it helps you a little bit. Once these teams get four or five games under their belt, their identity is shown in how they play and it gives you a better idea of how you’re going to stack up against them.

On increased Thursday night games on the NFL schedule...

"I prefer to play the Thanksgiving Thursday game. I think it’s a great game to be a part of. It serves as a mini bye week late in the year right before the run in December. I think the Thursday games are good for football."

The team’s evaluation of Jonathan Franklin and how he expects his role to change next season...

"Jonathan really did some very good things. I think the game that stands out is his performance against Cincinnati. He’s a great fit for us and it’s unfortunate when he did get hurt, hopefully he’ll be ready to go next year. He fits into our program, he’s a great teammate, a hard worker. He definitely has impact play ability and we’re probably going to do a better job of getting him involved on Sundays.

On Brian Bulaga’s rehab...

"Brian Bulaga is in Florida currently in his rehab. Everything’s on schedule, he’s on time and he has hit his targets, but as I told Bryan when he left in the exit interview, I will be in touch with him to let him know what our plan is whether it’s the left or right side and that decision will really be made once we get a little further into the cut-ups. With our coaching staff changes, we’re probably about five days behind than we’d like to be right now. So once we get through the protections we’ll make the final decision on right or left and at that time I will communicate with Bryan.

On the defensive line…

We want to continue our process as far as evaluating d-linemen, we will be a little different on defense as far as how we utilize our defensive players particularly our front players. We do have a number of players that can play both the rush outside position and make some impact from the inside position. But our evaluation as far as what we’re going to do bringing in defensive linemen into our program, if anything, you always want to get bigger, stronger, faster, longer and things like that. We’re definitely not going to be smaller.

On Matt Flynn…

We’d like to sign our own guys back and Matt is definitely apart of that conversation. I thought Matt came in and did a number of good things, there’s a lot of stability he brings to the quarterback room. Matt is obviously is a good fit our program and I thought he definitely gave us a shot when we needed it, but free agency is upon us and we’ll see what happens.

On struggles against Colin Kaepernick…

We’ve got to do a better job in utilizing our personnel. We’ve had a situation with our defense were there’s a lot of change, a lot of moving parts and we’ve got to do better job planning for that starting in April. Datone Jones needs to be on the field. We have a lot of creativity in our defense, a lot of scheme, but the reality is we didn’t get to a lot of it this year. We’re taking too much home with us after we’re playing games. We have to make sure that we're emptying our guns every week. Giving players more than one role.

On evaluation of Datone Jones…

Datone is a very talented young man. His injury in training camp set him back. There’s a number of packages he was a big part of and frankly we really didn’t get to a lot of them just because of the season went with our injuries. I’m looking forward to getting him back in the offseason, I feel strongly that Datone will be one of those second-year players that takes a huge jump and that’ll be my expectation for him.

On where Eddie Lacy can get better…

Well Eddie Lacy obviously had a heck of a year. Eddie’s focus will be to be a three-down player. He has to player all three downs throughout the game and I think with that we can get even a better rotation than we had this year with our running back group. I thought our group rotation wise has been as good as it’s been in my time in Green Bay.

On the most important thing with quarterbacks at the combine…

The way that they communicate with what’s on film. Can they tell you what the play's called, the defense. I’m always impressed with prospects every year when you come here. They really know football, and that perspective has really improved.

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