If you are thinking that Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy might start pulling some of his offense away from quarterback Aaron Rodgers given his team’s struggles through two weeks, think again.
In his press conference on Wednesday, McCarthy was clear about his relationship with Rodgers, saying that “I’ve never trusted a quarterback or an individual as a player more than Aaron Rodgers,” while praising number 12’s work ethic and attention to detail. Does Rodgers need to work on his fundamentals? Absolutely, and McCarthy acknowledged that, but he also appears confident that any issues there will be ironed out and that his team will get back to playing effective offense this week against the Detroit Lions.
Meanwhile, the team changed up their typical practice schedule on Wednesday to allow for some more rehab and conditioning work this morning. This was a direct response to the number of injured players on the roster, which limited certain units last Sunday in Minnesota. McCarthy discussed that, the upcoming game with Detroit, and much more in his presser, and you can find a snapshot of his most notable comments below.
- (Explaining a change in practice schedule this week) I think as you look at our inactive list last week, the players coming out of the game don’t really have a sense of who’s going to make it or not ... I really don’t have all the medical information and that will obviously affect how we move forward ... I think it reflects the state of our football team as far as where we are coming out of these first two weeks. We spent more time in the strength & conditioning phase this morning, did some things in the training room to help these guys back ... it’s really what we’ve encountered, the challenges we’ve faced these first two weeks.
- (Impressions of the Lions’ offense without Calvin Johnson) They’re spreading the ball around more. When you have a featured player as talented and dominant as Calvin was... the attention paid by a defense ... now you’re seeing more one-on-one matchups and I think they’re doing a great job of exploiting that. Definitely, you see how the ball is distributed throughout their perimeter, it’s a bit of a different approach.
- (Thoughts on the Hail Mary in Detroit) Really, on all pass plays, in particular the last eight plays you look for the protection and the time clock. When you have to make that throw, there’s a longer time clock. And really the launch of the ball. When Aaron had the protection, the angle he threw the ball at gave us a chance.
- (Thoughts on Matthew Stafford) He’s gone through changes in scheme. I think this is the scheme that he’s most comfortable with, the one-back and the ball distribution. He’s playing very well and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. I’m impressed with the way he’s played these first two games.
- (How are you trying to use your linebackers?) If you look at the way we did rep them, the outside linebackers and the elephants, our reps definitely different from week 1 to week 2. Obviously Clay’s injury affected that some. Not having Jayrone Elliott affected that some. Kyler Fackrell has looked pretty good ... it’s two games and the injury and the inactive list and frankly who you’re playing and how you’ll play them will affect that.
- (Attacking the middle of the field) I think you need to threaten all the quadrants of the field. I think the basic evaluation of the passing game is the hit chart ... after two games, definitely can use more opportunities down the middle of the field.
- (Evaluating Aaron Rodgers after two games) It’s two games. It’s a process. He’s no different from every other player. Fundamentals is a thing you’re always chasing as a football team and that’s no different at the quarterback position ... I have great confidence in Aaron. I’ve never trusted a quarterback or an individual as a player more than Aaron Rodgers ... it’s a process, we’ll all stick to the process, and from that we’ll have success.
- (On what factors mean more than just scoring) Field position is a critical factor to winning on the road ... especially when you go into a hostile environment. It’s particularly important to win it early in the game ... I don’t do cartwheels over being number 1 in the league in scoring because there’s a lot more that goes into playing offense than leading the league in scoring.
- (Thoughts on Nick Perry playing so well to start) I think Nick Perry’s playing the best football of his career and you have to point to his health. This was the first offseason when he wasn’t coming off surgery ... spent his time February through March, he was here. He just needed to get healthy and get his full amount of reps ... (What about Mike Daniels?) Mike’s off to a great start, he’s off to a dominant start. I thought he played exceptional in Minnesota. He’s growing as a leader, which is what you want of your veterans on the football team. He demonstrates the passion, the toughness.
- (What have you seen from Kenny Clark so far?) Kenny, improvement. Definitely made a big jump from week 1 to week 2 and he has to take another step this week.