Quotes from Head Coach Mike McCarthy and WR Jordy Nelson
Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Q: Can you give us an update on Aaron Rodgers and is there any chance that he’ll be ready for the weekend?
A: He did not participate in practice. He actually did some throwing today for the first time on the field. We’ll stay with that status.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the running game and how it’s helped, especially with the injuries at quarterback?
A: Definitely. We were running the ball well with Aaron in and it’s something that, based on our offseason studies and where we thought our team was going to be, we always try to tailor our primary schemes to our players. The secondary schemes kind of cover up the primary schemes and make sure you’ve got enough ammunition for the defense you’re getting ready to play. That’s really part of the process of how we went about setting the run game this year and our players have done a great job. It was just trying to get more production out of the run game to compliment our passing game. Everybody talks about balance and you want to be able to run it when you need to run it and you want to be able to throw it when you need to throw it.
Q: Did you know what you had when you put Scott Tolzien on the field on Sunday?
A: I think everybody in the building feels really good about Scott prior to the game. This young man’s work ethic is second to none. He puts a lot of time in and really our whole practice squad group as a whole has really bonded and they do a lot of extra work and you can definitely see the promise in Scott.
Q: When you looked at the Giants’ tape from last week what did you see when you saw Andre Brown?
A: I’ll say this about their whole football team. I think their whole football team is playing very good right now. I didn’t specifically study Andre, I was spending more time on the Giants defense. We have a lot of respect for him. It’s a veteran, experienced group and we know this is going to be a tough contest. It always is when we get together.
Q: What have you seen from Tolzien in this week?
A: Scott Tolzien had a good day at practice today. Today’s an install day. It’s always a lot of walkthroughs and things like that, a lot of checks and balances. and I think he did a good job of handling that.
Q: Is it a little different dynamic when a guy is sort of thrown into the fire off the bench, as opposed to having a whole week to start and prepare?
A: Oh yeah, no doubt. I think it definitely helps. There’s pros and cons to both. When you’re thrown into the game, you really don’t have a whole lot of thinking, you just have to get in there and go. The play caller has to make sure he keeps you in plenty of plays, but also he allows the offensive personnel into the game. Now you have a chance to go through a game plan and spend some time on concepts and familiarity and (…) experience and each concept. I think it helps you put together a better plan and the chance to rep it with your teammates definitely gives you a better chance of preparation, which leads to a better performance.
Q: In the past few games these two teams have played, it seems like the Giants have done a good job of beating your defense over the top with some long passes. Would you agree with that assessment and if so, how damaging has that been?
A: Any play over the top is damaging. Just look at our game last week against the Eagles. They made three big plays in the game for 21 points and it definitely factored in the outcome. The Giants have been able to get behind us in the past. It’s definitely something we’re aware of and we have to do a better job.
Q: Two weeks ago you guys looked like you were heading towards a playoff berth and now it doesn’t look the same. Is there concern now?
A: Concern? I don’t go about it that way. This is a long year. I think your question answered itself. Two weeks ago, things looked different than they do today. It’s important to stay focused on who you are each and every week and what you need to do to get it done. That’s our plan when we come up to New York.
WR Jordy Nelson
Q: What have you seen from Tolzien and what do you expect of him making his first NFL start, on the road, against the Giants?
A: I expect to see a lot of what he did last week. He’s a very confident kid. He’s a smart kid. He’s a guy who puts a lot of time and work into his craft. Even being on practice squad a couple of weeks ago, he’d taken the mental rep to a whole other level. He was back there taking the drops on air, even if it was a show team card, he would go through the steps, go through the drop. He worked very hard, so it was great to see him out there and have it pay off, all the work that he had put in. I expect him to do well, probably a little bit better now that he’s had a week of practice with us and knowing that he’s going to be the starter that we’ll be game planning for his skills.
Q: After so many years with Aaron Rodgers, what kind of adjustments have you had to make to work with different quarterbacks, or has your team had to make?
A: As receivers, we haven’t had to make many adjustments at all. We’re going to run our routes the same, if it’s Aaron back there or if it was going to be Seneca or Scott, we’re going to run our routes to get open. We always try to get as much separation as possible and get open as possible. That’s not going to change. I think it’s just being on the same page within our communication, making sure the offensive line and our protections are sound, even if it’s not maybe the correct one, that they’re all on the same page and everyone’s on the same page. Scott’s done a great job of communicating and making sure everyone’s prepared for that snap.
Q: What does it do to a team when you have to scramble for a healthy quarterback?
A: It makes it a little hectic. These guys have been here a couple of months, which is even a little bit more crazy. They came in and worked hard. It’s something that you can’t control. The last couple of weeks we’re sitting there and after the first possession, we lose our starting quarterback. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system, but you have no choice. We have the whole game to go play and we’re going to ride with whoever is out there with us. We talked a little bit to make sure everyone’s on the same page and is prepared to go make some plays.
Q: After losing two in a row at home and with Aaron’s situation uncertain, is there concern about making the playoffs?
A: To be honest with you, we’re not worried about the playoffs right now. It’s something that is obviously the goal down the road, but we need to play football. We have enough problems going on. If it’s getting off the field, to our fourth quarter as a team, scoring points and preventing points, as an offense we just need to get into the end zone more and capitalize on our drives. Last week we were able to move the ball up and down the field, we just weren’t able to score touchdowns. That’s what we need to work on and let the playoff situation take care of itself. We just need to go get a win.
Q: What do you see in the Giants’ defense?
A: A lot of the same guys we’ve seen year in and year out. Obviously the front four do a great job of getting after the quarterback. The secondary is the same guys with Prince and those guys back there and Antrel. They’re aggressive, they play well, they’re physical, their DBs like to come up and press. It’s something that we’ve seen and will be a little different than what we faced a couple of years in the secondary. They’ve played a lot of cover 2 and everything versus us the last couple of years, protecting against the pass. We’re pretty sure they’ll bring an extra guy in the box and expect us to run the ball and that will allow us to get our one-on-one matchups that we want.