McCarthy on Monday: Packers at the Bye

Packers coach Mike McCarthy just finished addressing the media after Sunday's 33-27 victory at Minnesota kept them undefeated heading into this week's bye. Among the updates is the health of receiver Greg Jennings.

Coach Mike McCarthy says Greg Jenning sustained a bruised hand and should be fine for the San Diego game, but running back Alex Green sustained a season-ending knee injury on Sunday at Minnesota.

Green will need surgery, but the extent won't be known for between seven and 10 days, McCarthy said.

- The bye week schedule: Similar to last year. Team is working on Monday and can work on Tuesday but "earned" that day off. That will allow the players an extended time with families who don't live in Green Bay.

- Players will be back Sunday, work on Monday morning, get Tuesday off, and then back to the normal Wednesday through Friday schedule.

- Two priorities: Spend time with family and get rest.

- Four-minute offense came down to fundamentals. Called it "phone-booth football." Players get the credit.

- Short-yardage, goal line, between tackles equals "phone-booth football."

- Would have tried 58-yard field goal last year? "That's really based on how he's kicking the ball," and the environment. McCarthy and Slocum meet before every game after Crosby's pregame workout. The max was the ball on the 40 but McCarthy stretched it a bit further after Rodgers was sacked near 41. Liked how defense was playing, too, in case of a miss that would have given Vikings good field position. "Mason has earned those opportunities."

- First half of season: "Frankly, based on the way we graded, we played a little bit above average game." ... "I think that's very exciting ... think our best football is in front of us." 7-0 but a lot of room for improvement.

- Tough part of schedule coming up, so what does that mean for defense: "It's an area of emphasis. ... Little things we need to improve on throughout our football team." Coaches will self-scout during bye to plot direction. No big changes. In tune with what needs to be done. Too many big plays this season ... three run and three pass vs. Vikings. Doing a great job of taking the ball away "so there's a lot of positives about our defense."

- Sam Shields has been cleared after his concussion last week. Thought Jarrett Bush played well vs. Vikings.

- Rodgers 80 percent vs. Sunday: Decision-making is Rodgers' top strength ... called Rodgers and Joe Montana "the best" decision-maker he's worked with. Has arm strength and anticipation but does great job of staying disciplined.

- Push the envelope because of Rodgers: "I think that's good conversation but the reality is, we're pretty aggressive. We line up with a lot of receivers. I don't know if there's a formation we haven't used yet." Stretches field vertically as good as any team in league. Not a "take what defense gives us" type of offense.

- Didn't change game plan with Vikings' secondary issues. Planned on being aggressive anyway.

- Newhouse: "Solid" vs. Jared Allen, who McCarthy called a "great player ... best season in my time in Green Bay." The noise, Allen's early success but Newhouse adjusted. Helped him some.

- Staff plans: Staff will get some days off at end of week. Group work done Tuesday and some on Sunday. Individual projects on their own time.

- Clifton and Neal are "making progress."

- Grading of team is consistent. Hasn't changed or bar hasn't been raised due to Super Bowl. "You can't let emotion play into it."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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