Mike McCarthy spoke this afternoon after yesterday's tough 21-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Below is a transcript of what he had to say regarding the special teams unit, his team's execution and the balance of running/passing the football.
Our performance clearly wasn't what it's been over the last month and a half. Really our whole football team was consistent all the way through. We had way too many mental errors. As a team our mental errors haven't been this high since the first quarter of the season. Obviously the handling of the football was poor, particularly in the passing game.
I thought the run blocking was excellent, I thought the pass protection was excellent. Defensively we did a good job keeping them out of the end zone. I thought that was clearly a strength. Pressure on the quarterback, the sacks, but way too many missed tackles,
Special teams had the critical plays, obviously the punt return which was a big play in the game. The field goal protection. We haven't really handled the transition from having T.J. (Lang) and Josh (Sitton) not playing in there so, we're continuing to work different players in there and our plan will continue to challenge us. That was also a negative factor.
Execution was not clearly what we thought it would be. I thought we matched up pretty well with Buffalo yesterday, I thought we were poised for a big day, it didn't happen. It was not our day.
On pass/run balance:
I thought we had good balance, running and throwing. I thought we ran it very well, It's a game you clearly look at and at the end of the day, play calls today were different than three years ago. I thought reviewing the game there were one or two calls that I wished I had back, but I thought we put our guys in position to make plays.
On if the focus and concentration wasn't in the game early on and if it was hard getting it back:
Not at all. I think the way the game started, I thought we were going to win the game defensively. That's what I felt on the sideline. I thought the punt return changed it. I was confident going into the game. Thought we had a good plan, good preparation, but clearly our performance ... we haven't had a performance like that in a while for four quarters. I think this is something that can make us better in the end. I don't like the timing of it, but it was not a good day for us.
McCarthy was asked if he was concerned with special teams week in and week out:
Well it's definitely a focus not only of ours, but it's a focus for our opponent. Our special teams are going to be stressed down the stretch. We need to learn how to combat that, but we didn't go out and make plays ourselves. Our field goal protection unit has been an issue. This is our last week of padded practice, so we'll take advantage of that to make sure we work on the fundamentals of the things that we're doing there.
McCarthy was asked if it's hard to switch game plans when the running game is going very well:
I'm very comfortable with how the game was called. I think we have a very flexible game plan each and every week. I thought we created some good scenarios, and Aaron (Rodgers) deserves a lot of credit for that. I think it's important to run the football, I think we wanted to run it, we ran it very well, particularly when we we're in run/pass mode, we ran it extremely well.
McCarthy said that he was told cornerback Davon House's shoulder is "progressing very well", and that he's made a lot of progress. He did not have an update on right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who suffered a concussion yesterday.