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Week 6: Green Bay Packers Conference Calls

Posted Oct 9, 2013

Head Coach Mike McCarthy

On the challenge of playing the Ravens’ defense: “It’s a very good defense, and it’s been a very good defense for decades. Terrell Suggs is a big part of that. He’s a premier pass rusher; I like all their pass rushers. They’ve got Suggs, [Elvis] Dumervil and [Courtney] Upshaw; they have very good depth there. It’s a big, physical defensive line [and] an athletic back end. This will be a big challenge for our offense.”

On if he motivates his team by referring to the Ravens as the “defending champions”: “You definitely have to respect the Baltimore Ravens and the fact that they are the defending world champion. It’s evident when you turn on the film. That’s the most important part of our opinion; how we view them and how we prepare for them. “

On if he noticed teams approaching the Packers differently after their most recent Super Bowl win: “Definitely. You get everybody’s best shot. That’s part of taking the Lombardi Trophy home.”

On the Packers’ rushing offense: “Anytime you can improve from one area to the next, it’s definitely a positive. That’s definitely the case with us running the football better on offense. We’ve always taken it as the primary focus. Production is way up and it gives us a chance to be more balanced. At the end of the day, I think it’s really helped our football team.”

On what stands out this year about WR Torrey Smith: “Explosion. His ability to generate yards … He’s off to a great year. If my memory serves me, I think he’s leading the AFC in yards. He’s an excellent football player.”

On struggling to win in road games: “We’re focused on playing Baltimore in a great environment in their stadium. Their crowd does a great job of getting behind their team. There are certain things that you focus on, on the road. Our players actually enjoy the road trips, the continuity, and the opportunity to go try to win a game in that kind of environment. It’s something that we’ve always put a little extra emphasis on and our guys have responded very well over the year. This is one specific opportunity and challenge going to Baltimore.”

On WR Randall Cobb’s importance to their passing game: “Randall [Cobb] is a playmaker for our offense, so it’s important to get him the football. [He’s] productive, very instinctive, smart, and can play other positions. He has a very good understanding of what we’re asking him to do in all phases of our offense.”

On preparing for a team when you’re not quite sure what personnel will be healthy or not: “That’s all a part of your preparation. You look at the opponent – no different than what we’ve done – and you have to study every player on their 53-man roster, because you have to be ready for anything. At the end of the day, it’s about setting your plan and executing your plan.”

 

QB Aaron Rodgers

On Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs: “I think he’s one of the premier guys in the league at his position, and he proves it every year. He’s a guy you’ve got to account for in the run game, [and] you’ve got to account for in the pass game. You’ve got to make sure that you don’t let him get off, but that’s obviously easier said than done. He’s had a great start to the season, and he’s playing like he has played for the last many years.”

On the Ravens’ pass defense since the Broncos game: “I think Peyton [Manning] has been pretty razor-sharp against everybody. I think they’ve been solid in the back-end. Obviously, that was a big game for Peyton to start the season. But we’re here at Week 6, and teams are still trying to figure out their identity at this point. They’re starting to have some things they can count on, and I think they’ve done a real nice job on the back-end.”

On the importance of getting rid of the ball quickly: “It’s about limiting the number of hits you take and trying to get the ball in our playmakers’ hands with space. It’s about accuracy and about timing. That’s what the West Coast offense has always been about. But it just depends on the way the defense is going to play us. That will dictate when the ball is going to come out.”

On the dynamic RB Eddie Lacy has added to the team: “Well, I think this year we’re changing some of those preconceptions about us. We’re in the Top Five in the league in rushing yards per game. Eddie [Lacy] was a yard away from being our third different 100-yard back this year, where we had 40-plus games before that without a guy who rushed for 100 yards. So, that says a lot about our offensive line and the way they’re blocking in the running game. Obviously, teams are playing us a little more to pass because we have here in the past, but I think we can do some good things in the running game, and Eddie gives us a different dimension than we’ve had back there in a while.”

On his opinion of Ravens QB Joe Flacco: “I’ve met him a few times and been around him, and I enjoy his personality. I think he’s a great player. I enjoy watching him throw when we’re watching film of a team that we’re playing and it’s the Ravens’ offense. He does a number of things really, really well, and he’s a Super Bowl champ. So, you’ve got to give him the respect … He’s had my respect, but I think people in general need to give him the respect he deserves as a Super Bowl MVP. I was there to watch that game firsthand, and he made some incredible plays.”

On QB Joe Flacco saying he enjoys Rodgers’ commercials better than his own: “I don’t know. I think he’s definitely getting up there and getting himself out there. It’s good to see. I think he’s got a real good sense of humor. It will be fun to go up against him.”

On game planning for OLB Terrell Suggs: “We’re fortunate – well, it depends on how you look at it. In our division, we’ve got some big-time pass rushers as well. I’ve played against Julius Peppers for a long time, and obviously Jared Allen. And when you’re playing against a guy like that – Terrell Suggs – you have to make sure you’re aware of where that guy is at. They can flip sides. Occasionally, we’ve seen different teams put their premier guy inside from time to time to get them a favorable matchup. You have to account for him on every play, and that’s the respect that he commands because of what he’s done in his career and obviously what he’s done this year.”

On what he’s seen from Ravens S Matt Elam: “He’s had four starts in the league, so I think you have to expect a guy like that to just continue to get better each week. It’s about experience when you’re a young player. It’s about seeing different looks, being able to store those away in your memory bank and being able to recall those very quickly. It’s about making sure you’ve got your guys lined up and the checks that you have our ready. I think he’s a young player who has got a bright future. It’s about experience and reps for a young player.”

On where he’s seen the Ravens’ secondary improve since Week 1: “I think it’s a real good secondary in general, but they gave up a couple plays against Peyton [Manning] in the opener and have just been tightening up since then.”

On the difficulty they’ve had winning on the road: “Obviously, it’s more difficult to win on the road. It’s a hostile environment. Obviously, you’re not able to stay in the city that you’re from. You’ve got to expect crowd noise, and you’ve got to overcome those things. We lost two games against two good opponents – San Francisco and Cincinnati. But we turned the ball over a bunch of times – four times against Cincinnati and I think at least two against San Francisco. It’s tough to win home or on the road when you turn the ball over that much, but it just makes it that much more tough when you’re in a hostile environment and you’re giving them the football on short fields.”

On if the turnovers were caused by crowd noise: “No. I think the two can occasionally help each other out, but it was just a lack of focus and a lack of execution.”

On if he’s been impressed with the way the Ravens’ defense has come together in the absence of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed: “I think that’s the impressive thing about what the front office and coaching staff have done over there, much like we’ve done here. When you have to replace players, it’s great when you have a guy behind them who’s itching to play, especially young players who have had maybe a little taste of it. Or, you can bring in a veteran guy like [Daryl] Smith, who’s playing well. The Ravens are a team who are very well coached. When you have a team whose coaching staff has been together for a while and the focus and the detail is there, there are times when you feel like you can put a guy in that spot who is talented and expected to make some plays.”

On replacing LB Clay Matthews: “I think the first two guys you think about are Nick Perry and Mike Neal, and they had three sacks combined in the game on Sunday, so I’m really happy for those guys. Nick dealt with a significant hand injury last year, [and] didn’t really have a chance to be healthy. And when you’re playing that position, being able to have healthy hands is important to swat the offensive linemen and get into your moves. Mike Neal is a guy who dropped a bunch of weight in the offseason to become an outside linebacker, and he’s really taken off with the experience he gets. Much like a young player at a new position, the more reps he gets, the more experience he gets, he’s just going to keep on getting better, and we’re really happy for him the way he played. Behind them is an undrafted guy named Andy Mulumba, who’s raw, but played very well in the game on Sunday according to his grades. And then, [there is] Nate Palmer, who we drafted, who has a big upside and has just been itching to get on that game-day active [roster]. Those guys are going to get more opportunities, and we expect them to step in and make some plays.”


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