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Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy - 11/21

Q:  What's it like game planning for a front four like the one that the Giants possess?A: I think that the Giants' defensive line as a whole is extremely talented. They have a lot of experience. They have a lot of play-making ability. We have a lot of respect for those guys. It's going to be a tough challenge for us.

Q:  What's it been like this year for Jermichael Findlay, and why have his numbers been down this season?A: When I look at Jermichael or any of our individual statistics, I think it's more about what we're doing as a group. Our numbers are not the same as last season. I think last year was an exceptional year for offensive production. We're really kind of focused on making sure we're playing at a high level coming down the stretch here. This is about one week, getting ready for the Giants. Jermichael's individual situation…he's overcome a significant shoulder injury that he played with going into the Houston game. I really appreciate the way he's been battling. Being a perimeter player is about opportunities, he hasn't had as many opportunities as he may have had in the past, but when he's had them, he's definitely been very productive, like this past week in Detroit.

Q:  Do you see the Giants as a team that's not playing as well as they should or are they like a wounded animal that you worry about? How do you look at them?A: I think like all of us, the regular season is a long year. There's going to be some ups and downs. That's part of the ride in the NFL. I've been very impressed with what the Giants have put on film. That's what we're preparing for. I don't spend a whole lot of time personally on statistics and records and stats. I stay more focused on the players on video and what they're doing schematically, fundamentally, and technically, and the matchups that we're getting ready to play against. This is a very physical and impressive football team.

Q:  Have you ever had a guy like Randall Cobb before, and why is he able to be so effective for your team?A: Randall is one of those special players that has the ability to play on all four downs. You start with special teams with his ability to return both kickoffs and punts. He's very natural at it. Now, he's progressed as a very good slot receiver for us. His route running has improved, his ability to play out of the backfield and move around. He's a very bright young man, his former training in college as a quarterback, hardworking. He's everything you look for, and Aaron Rodgers and Randall have kind of developed that relationship that they're on the same page. He's been outstanding for us.

Q:  Can you talk about how Aaron Rodgers has played? He's seen some rough streaks, but has turned it around.A: I feel Aaron is having a very good season. He's what makes us go on offense. That's how our offensive system is built; it's built around the quarterback. He carries a lot of responsibility. I'm very pleased with his performance to date.

Q:  You guys are among the league leaders in red zone offense. Has that been a product of Aaron pulling the ball down more and running or is that a schematic thing?A: Ultimately, when you have success, the credit needs to go to the players. We feel like we do a good job in the red zone schematically, and have for the last couple years. If I was going to be critical of my red zone production, we're not getting down there enough. It is a situation that we have a lot invested in as far as time, and obviously playing to the strength of our quarterback. The thing we're really focused on is trying to get down there more.

Q:  The Giants rank toward the bottom in red zone efficiency. What do they need to do differently to get that going?A: I understand what the rankings are, but I think they do a very good job with their ability to put pressure on you with their defensive linemen. We're going to run our plan. Heck, we didn't even get in the red zone last week in Detroit. We have a pretty standard plan that we stick to and that won't change this week when we come up to New York.

Q:  Does losing to the Giants in the playoffs have anything to do with this year?A: I don't think so. It's part of our preparation. I think it's only natural when you play a team the prior year, and obviously we played the Giants twice last year, it's part of our video study. That's really about as far as it goes. We've had the offseason to deal with how our season ended and we're really just focused on the video study and what they've done to date. We're going to come out and play our game.

Q:  What's it like game planning without Charles Woodson or Clay Matthews on the field?A: They're obviously two of our best players on defense and two of the better players on our whole football team, but that's the game of football. That's why it takes a team. They're both playmakers, impact players, and it's important for us to try and create other opportunities for the other guys on our defense. I've been very pleased with the last four weeks with the way our defense has responded to those guys being out.

Q:  How much impact did last year's playoff loss to the Giants have on the decision to revamp the defense this season?A: I think it was definitely something that went on all of last year. Our defense…we wanted to change some things personnel-wise and I feel like we were able to do that. More importantly, we felt that we needed to play our younger players earlier in the season. We've been able to do that. Then, with the injuries, we've had to do it. We're clearly a better defense from a personnel standpoint than we were last year.

Q:  We saw today that Greg Jennings was running some routes. Is there any chance that he or Clay Matthews will play on Sunday night?A:  That's really what the week is for. Greg is chomping at the bit, but you obviously have the procedure. I would say Clay is doubtful.


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