McCarthy: We Have A Big Challenge This Week

Packers coach Mike McCarthy participated in a conference call with the Indianapolis media earlier in the week. See what the Green Bay coach had to say about Aaron Rodgers' development, parity in the NFL, how to defend against Peyton Manning, preparing for the Colts' pass rushers, and more!

On QB-Aaron Rodgers responding to and handling everything fairly well this year:

"He's handled everything very well. He obviously had a different situation to go through at training camp, probably uncharted territory, and I thought he did a great job with that. Now he's fighting through an injury and has really been impressive with the way he's played the last two weeks with this injury. So we're pleased with Aaron's performance and the way he goes about his profession."

On having confidence in Aaron Rodgers:

"We have great confidence in Aaron Rodgers and he's prepared himself, number one, for this opportunity and now he's attacking it, he's taking full advantage of it. You have to admire and respect that because we're all given an opportunity in this league and the most important thing is to take advantage of it, and so far, he has."

On the parity in the NFL, and it being so back-and-forth this season:

"I really think it's been consistent with the way the league has gone. It's parity, and it's been going on in the National Football League for some time now. There's a lot more attention media-wise than there was 10 years ago, and everybody's trying to figure out who the hot team is. In this league, it doesn't last more than a week or two it seems so far. I just think it shows you how competitive and how tough it is to win a football game. It's hard to win a game in this league. There are so many other factors involved—the health of your team, playing on the road. It's a competitive league and we know we have a big challenge this week in the Colts."

n WR-Greg Jennings:

"He's off to an excellent start and Greg has done a great job. He has a complete understanding of our offense. We can put him at any position. He's always been a natural route runner, and now you're seeing Greg and Aaron Rodgers getting on the same page on a number of different routes, so that just keeps coming with reps and playing in games together. So I'm very pleased with the way he's playing."

On DB-Charles Woodson having a good start:

"Yes, Charles is off to a great start. He was NFC Defensive Player-of-the-Month last month. I think that tells you a lot about the start that he's had. He's playing through a broken toe, and he has been on limited practice time the whole year. I just can't say enough about his toughness and his ability to make big plays in games."

On what he has seen of QB-Peyton Manning on tape and how he has responded to the knee surgery:

"I think he's responded very well. I think that was very evident in the Baltimore game, just the way he's coming off his back foot and throwing the ball and the comfort and timing. You just see the timing back that you always expect when Peyton and the Colts take the field."

On the Colts defense improving the last two games:

"I like their defense. I think they have an excellent group of players. You have to be real impressed with their pass rushers. You talk about (Raheem) Brock, (Robert) Mathis and Dwight Freeney, that's a terrific group. They do a great job of creating penetration and havoc up front. They all fly to the ball. I really like their corners. I have competed against (Kelvin) Hayden and (Marlin) Jackson and those guys before. That's a group that has been very impressive on film. We spend most of our time going over the latest schemes just to see where they're at as far as their rhythm and timing that they're playing with right now. They were very impressive against Baltimore."

On DEs Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney doing stunts last week where they moved around all the way to the other side, and if that is unusual:

"They're unique in what they do, but it's just impressive with the quickness and athletic ability that they have and the challenge that they give for your pass protection unit. That's a very impressive group, very impressive."

On Freeney and Mathis stripping the ball and if he talks to Aaron Rodgers about that:

"It's really something we practice every day, and they do a great job of taking the football away. That's always been pretty much a staple of a Tony Dungy defense. We have a period every day that's designated to ball security and ball extraction. So it's something we practice and it will definitely be put to test this week."


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