Packers Maven

McCarthy: ‘Tough one to swallow’

Head Coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media after the Packers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

(Opening remarks)

“That was a tough loss, hard-fought loss. Coming out here, I thought the team had a really good week of preparation, very clearly our best week leading into it. We started the game as we would like running the football, our defense was outstanding there throughout the first half and then you could see that both teams were wearing down. I thought our guys fought. The Rams, congratulations. I thought they put on a tremendous effort, but the big plays, the back-and-forth, it’s a tough one to swallow. It really came down to critical plays at the end of the game that we couldn’t overcome, so tough one. We improved in some areas today, but self-improvement was for Monday, so expected to win, didn’t play well enough down the stretch.”

(On the energy that the Packers came out with and if it is reasonable for the team to continue that energy throughout the game)

“It was a great atmosphere. I can’t say enough about the Packer fans here today. It was outstanding. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like it. Obviously, I haven’t been to a game here in decades, but it was a great atmosphere. I thought our guys prepared, coming off of the bye week, we had extra time to prepare for the Rams. We were ready to play and frankly, probably the first time in a while we’ve been healthy. We were a healthy football team, we had healthy guys that were inactive and I think that was really a product of all those things.”

(On whether Packers RB Ty Montgomery was instructed to take the touchback on the kick return at the end of the game, which he fumbled)

“Well, you look at the last situation, the plan there is to stay in the end zone. Two-minute, we actually talked about it as a team, clearly part of that situation that both sides of the ball handle right now. That’s what those games come down to is your decisions and (Packers RB) Ty (Montgomery) is in that decision situation and I’m sure Ty was trying to make a play. I don’t know exactly how deep he was, if it was close, but I think we all realized that the management of the clock and where we wanted to be there, we wanted to be north of two minutes with the one time-out and put the ball in (Packers QB) Aaron (Rodgers)’s hands. But also, you trust your players, tough decisions, close decisions, and like I said, I think Ty was just trying to make a play.”

(On if Montgomery should have been told to take the touchback, no matter what)

“There’s periods to that and like I said, I answered that in the beginning. The plan was to stay in and give the ball to Aaron Rodgers.”

(On if game planning against a tough defense like this brings out more creativity in his offense)

“No, I mean the starting point is, number one, we were healthy. The fact that we had everybody there for the whole week of preparation, so you’re able to get in and out of your different personnel groups, but we start always entirely based on who we think is going to line up in the 46, then you can prepare for the other teams, so that’s really the product of that. The creativity aspect of it, that’s what the offseason is for. We got a lot of scheme, all three phases left, but once again, you want to fit to make sure you give your players a chance to be successful, so that’s why we move those guys around. That’s really a product of who is healthy and what you think they’re going to do.”

(On his assessment of his defense’s performance against the Rams offense)

"I thought that (Packers Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Pettine), the defensive coaches and players had a hell of a plan and a great start. You’re talking about the top offense as far as statistically and we felt strong going against their defense, too. We knew this was going to be a heavyweight type football game. That’s the way we approached it. That’s the way we talked about it all week. I think that Mike Pettine and our defensive guys did a hell of a job. Critical plays at the end of the game, that’s what it comes down to and we didn’t make them.”

(On his assessment of Packers RB Aaron Jones’ performance)

“I thought (Packers RB) Aaron (Jones) played well first and second down. There are some things on third down we’ll continue to work through, but the focus was trying to get him some more touches today and I thought he was really productive.”