Opening remarks: "I went in and told the team the first
thing this morning that 'because we're playing back there we're going to
practice outside today. We have to get used to it', and then there was dead
silence. (Laughter) Then I said 'I'm just kidding, relax a little bit'.
What can you tell them about playing in the cold?
Mike: "It's cold. In this league, wherever you play, whatever city you play in, part of playing and winning is dealing with the elements; whether it's Arizona in September, Miami in September, New York in December, and Seattle perhaps in December. You just kind of get used to it and play the game. You just have to know players on each team are playing in the same situation. I've always thought extreme heat might be harder because I think you get acclimated to the cold a little better. Having been in a cold weather city for a number of years I must admit I never got used to it. It's always cold, but players and teams learn to block out the elements. You can never use that as an excuse. Never. They've been there once and we played in cold places before and we've played in wet places. It's just part of the business and part of the game, so you play."
Is the novelty of playing in Green Bay gone now?
Mike: "I think the first time you go back there's always more to it. Then if you go back again again and again it changes. As many coaches that move from city to city and players from city to city there might be something going back. Bill Parcells, as an example, has been very successful in a number of places. You go back and then it dies down rather quickly. I think what sets apart Green Bay and always will, whoever you talk to from other cities and teams in the league, is the uniqueness of the situation there. The fact that the town owns the team. It's very different there. The atmosphere is different from any place you'll play. I just think it's wonderful as a member of that organization or as a team that goes there. It's part of what makes this league great. It will always be fun for me to go back there and play. I know it's going to be tough. There's no misunderstanding there, but it will always be a special place for me. I'm looking forward to it. It will be great."
What have you learned looking at the first game's film?
Mike: "Well, we played a couple of things. We played on a long field and they played on a short film, so our special teams, kicking game, return game and stuff allowed that to be an advantage clearly to Green Bay. We turned the ball over, creating some short fields for them. We did not tackle very well in the game. We were not very good in the red zone. Those are some specific areas that I would hope we can improve upon. Just handling the travel and things like that, which I think we're getting better at. Those are some specific things that you got off the film and you don't have to be a real student of the game to look at the film and figure that stuff out. Usually it's not anymore complicated then that."
How are you going to get better in the red zone?
Mike: "I'm not going to elaborate on the red zone, but I expect to do better when we get down there. We're top three or four in the league in the red zone and we pride ourselves in what we do in the red zone. Part of that is you give the other team credit. They did a nice job also, that's part of it, but I expect a little more from our guys in certain areas."
Mike: "I really don't think you can approach it that way. I think Green Bay, obviously, is handling that situation how they have to handle it. While a lot of people on my staff are very close and knew the principles very well there, I certainly grieved with the family at that time. Part of the playoffs is dealing with what we have to do as a football team to win the game and try and block out a lot of the stuff around the edges and around the fringes. Things like family tragedies happen to a lot of people during the course of the season. This became a very visual thing because of Brett and what he's done, but we as a team have to try and just deal with what we can try and deal with. Control what we can kind of control. The emotion and the motivation the Packers have is what they have, and I've got to get my team to match that somehow and play the game. We just have to try and control the things we can control."