Mike's Remarks

Post-game comments from Packers head coach Mike McCarthy

Q: Quite a game by Donald Driver?
Mike McCarthy:
Donald (Driver) had an excellent performance. I think it was his career high, and especially the play right before the half. That gave us some momentum going into halftime. It was a huge play.

Q: Does this win validate the progress you guys have made as a team after playing well in Buffalo but not coming out with a win?
MM:
We talked as a football team about playing our best football. I think we did that today as far as all three phases, particularly on special teams with Mike Stock and Shawn Slocum. They did an excellent job as we had a number of guys go down during the course of the football game. With substitutions and moving people around I thought they did a great job because it was important for us to win the field position battle and we did that today. I thought our defense was outstanding in the second half shutting them down to a field goal. Offensively we wanted to run the ball a little more but I think the run game was a direct reflection of how well our pass protection…our pass protection was outstanding today. Brett had a ton of time to throw, so I am very happy with how well we played in all three phases. I thought we put our best foot forward playing our best football of the season.

Q: Did you think you would have to pass more because of Minnesota's run defense?
MM:
Obviously there is a reason why they are number one in the league against the run. We like to run the ball more because that is who we are, but it is important to be able to run and pass the ball, and that is what we were able to do today. The yards are not what you would like, but every time you run it it is helping with the pass protection. I was very pleased with the pass protection and the performance we got from the passing game as a whole.

Q: Why were you so good on 3rd & long today?
MM:
Once again it starts with the pass protection, and giving the receivers time to get down field, work the route concepts, and I thought Brett did a good job of being patient and stepping up in the pocket.

Q: Are you happy with your linebacker play and how they have developed?
MM:
I just think over the last couple of weeks we are getting them more involved in pressure packages. I think those guys are really finding their groove. Once again our pass rush was excellent. It gets better and better each week.

Q: How do you think Favre played today?
MM:
I think he played very well today. Once again when you are throwing the ball 40-plus times then it is tough for a quarterback to like it but you are putting a lot on his shoulders. I thought he made clean decisions and had a good performance.

Q: Talk about the special connection Favre and Driver have with each other?
MM:
Absolutely. You are looking at two players on the same page. Brett has a very good feel for Donald. They anticipate so well. That is really the strength of that group. They see it the same way. That is the importance of doing the same passing concepts over and over again because of all of the adjustments you are able to make in the same passing concepts. For example the touchdown play is one of our base passes that goes in day one. They are definitely on the same page.

Q: Talk about the decision to pass when you were backed to your own goal line.
MM:
We were on the two-yard line but my concern was that we lost the momentum at that point of the game. Minnesota was going to have the ball to start the second half, and I really didn't want to go back-to-back series potentially giving them good field position right before the first half and then them coming out in the second half with the ball. It was an aggressive move on our part. I thought Brett handled it exceptionally, especially being in the end zone taking a five-step drop on first down. That was really the big play to get the drive started to get us out of the hole.

Q: Was there a miscommunication on that one touchdown pass?
MM:
Yes. They went from one coverage to another, so big play for the Vikings.

Q: Does it seem like you are getting one more thing fixed each game?
MM:
I think if you look at the course of our season you see different phases playing better than others. That is why you want to start playing your best football in week one as you play for 16 weeks, but that has not been our case. But this week was the start of all three phases playing well. We have to play our best football, and we have a big challenge coming in next week at Lambeau. We thought this three-game stretch was huge for us. We need to be playing our best football.

Q: Do you feel like you are in the postseason mix right now?
MM:
These seasons are so long you really have to take them one week at a time. You have to try and stay off that roller coaster that you people try to put us on every week. That's the part of the journey of playing in the NFL.

Q: With the success you had throwing the ball, how much of that was in your game plan and how much was adjusted?
MM:
Mostly game plan. We adjusted a few things on the sideline, and sometimes when you make adjustments those things don't always work because you have not practiced them. That was our base passing game. Just guys doing very well and changing up the formation. William Henderson I thought had an outstanding day. We would like to be running passes as much as possible, but you have to have the ability to push it one way or the other.


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