GREEN BAY PACKERS POSTGAME QUOTES
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2012
Head Coach Mike McCarthy:
(opening statement) "I'll first start off with the fact that it was a big win at home against a very good football team. We expected a highly contested game today, two teams coming in here with some extra emotion to add to the football game. I'm very proud of our football team, especially with the week we endured. We talked a lot about integrity and character and I thought today's game had plenty of those types of situations where it showed up big. There was adversity throughout the football game, which there is in every football game. I understand that, but I'm very proud of the way our players responded to the challenge today and responded throughout the game. I thought it was a game where all three phases contributed. I thought special teams did a good job against a dynamic returner in (Darren) Sproles, and the big play with the fake punt to extend the drive that ended in a touchdown for us. I thought our defense was really put in some tough situations. I know they had a lot of yards and production against us, but I thought they stepped up in adverse times. We had some plays that didn't go our way, we just hung in there and battled. Offensively, we probably had two plays we wished we had back, but I thought that was our best performance of the year as far as generating first downs, putting points on the board, playing with the lead and putting the game away in the four-minute [situation]. I'm proud of the victory, but more importantly I'm proud of the character of our locker room. I thought we put that on display today against a team that obviously had their backs against the wall and we knew we were going to get their best effort."
(on the fake punt) "We had a punt earlier where they gave us a look where they played heavy to the protection to the box. Based on that particular down and distance, we were able to take advantage. I'm not going to get into specifics, but it was a well-executed play by our punt team. John Kuhn in third and one or less, that's definitely someone I have a lot of confidence in that situation. Based on the pre-snap, I thought it was going to be an even bigger play. That was a big play in the game. We wanted to create momentum plays early in the game. It was something we talked about as a football team. Get a fast start, get the lead and that was definitely part of it."
(on the performance of WR James Jones) "Very happy with the way James played. James has been very consistent this year and he's clearly off to his most consistent year in his time here, in my opinion. The catch he made to seal the game, that's two plays where we were on the same page. There's no X's and O's gratification in that particular throw and catch. That's a great job. Greg's (Jennings) groin was bothering him so we played it safe. I think it tells you how well our receiving corps works. It's an interchangeable group. It's the only group I've ever had, and it's been like that my entire time here, every receiver plays every position. They're all interchangeable, so you're able to move them all over the place and create opportunities for everybody. It also gives you the flexibility of matchups. James has definitely taken advantage of that with his opportunity. We're very happy with the way he played."
(on if he considered keeping QB Aaron Rodgers in the game after he was poked in the eye) "That was the discussion on the field when Aaron was poked in the eye. He could not refocus with his right eye. With that, the medical staff wanted to get him to the sideline. I don't know if they put the eye drops in, but that was the discussion on the field. That's why we took him out at that point. He wanted to stay in and he was able to stay in because the injury occurred on a penalty. But, we took the high side of caution and unfortunately it resulted in a fumble."
(on scoring touchdowns in the red zone compared with the Saints having to kick field goals) "It's all about touchdowns. We felt coming off of last week's game that our red zone production wasn't where it needed to be. We kicked field goals last week. It's nice as a coaching staff, and even for the players, when we emphasize something throughout the week and it shows up on Sunday. That's what it's all about. We're in the business of winning. We discussed that. We're paid to win games, but as a coaching staff we believe in winning and growing. When you emphasize things throughout the week and spend a little extra time on certain fundamentals or certain situations, it's important for that to show up on Sundays. "
(on how big it was to get a goal line stop of the Saints when they had a first-and-goal on the one-yard line) "Well, it was big. I think the point was made earlier. When you're scoring touchdowns and they're kicking field goals, obviously you've got a chance. That's for sure. We were minus-two in the turnover ratio. We've never won a game in that situation in my time here. That's huge for your football team. That's adversity. That's overcoming negative situations that went on throughout the 60 minutes, and when you're able to overcome that, that is a huge confidence builder for our football team. It's nice when you're out there rolling, you're ahead and everything is going good and hunky dory, but that's a front-runner attitude. We don't work that way, we don't believe that way. There are a lot of good things that come out of this win to overcome that. That minus-two turnover ratio and to win the football game, fumble the ball on the one-yard line, that's big stuff."
Wide Receiver James Jones:
(on the win) "Big win. Our goal coming into this game was to come out 2-2, however we had to get it done. It was a team effort out there today. We made plays when we had to make plays on offense and defense and we came out on top."
(on his final catch of the game) "Thank God; the Lord was with me. I saw the ball thrown inside and I stuck one hand down there. Sometimes you get lucky in football, and that's what that was. I caught it under his elbow on the other side of his body and pulled it in. The biggest thing about it is that it was a first down. We could run the clock out and get out of there with a victory."
(on his personal performance) "We're all about making the most of our opportunities. Aaron (Rodgers) has a lot of weapons. If you ask the receivers everybody is open on every play, but when the ball comes your way just make a play. You never know when you're going to get it – if it's going to come in the first quarter or the fourth quarter. Make the most of your chances, and that's what I did today."
(on his touchdown catch in the first quarter) "Yeah I stole one from (TE Jermichael Finley). The play broke down and Aaron (Rodgers) scrambled. On the scramble, I saw Jermichael inside of me, so I had turned outside and he turned outside with me. I just saw the ball when I looked up and grabbed it from him, so I owe him one. He said he would have done the same thing. The biggest thing is we got seven on the board."
(on how penalties impacted the momentum of the game) "You've just got to keep punching. We always know it's not going to be pretty. You're not going to get all the calls, even though we want to. You've just got to keep swinging, keep fighting, and the biggest thing is at the end of the game it was in our hands to make a play to win the ball game, and we can't ask for anything better than that."
Running Back Cedric Benson:
(on keeping up with the Saints' offense) "No question, they're an explosive offense. That's a good team over there. It's tough to believe that they're 0-4. That's a very explosive offense, but our defense got the stops for us when we needed them in very crucial moments there at the end of the game."
(on his role in the offense) "I can't express enough how much I yearn for not only the ball, but for guys to be like, 'We need you right here.' I work for it all week in practice, prepare for it all the time, and look forward to it on Sundays."
(on his progression from week one to now) "Game one I wasn't too sure on all the pass plays. I wasn't too sure on the protections. I wasn't too sure on exactly where the runs out of the shotgun were designed to hit. I wasn't sure of anything. I was out there playing football. Even week two, even week three, I was just out there playing football. But things are starting to really come together now."
Defensive Tackle B.J. Raji:
(on when quarterback Aaron Rodgers had to leave the game with an injury) "Obviously the reigning MVP of the league, if he's not in the game I'm not thrilled about it. I don't know if he took a shot in the head, I don't know what it was, but obviously in that case you've got to come out and let them at least check you out. Aaron did the right thing."
(on Saints running back Darren Sproles being ruled down by contact before fumbling) "I was in disbelief. Everyone immediately turns their attention to the jumbotron, and we all saw the same thing. For the call to be what it was is pretty crazy. I guess everyone deserves a pass. It's been a while since (the referees) have been here, so I'm not going to get on them too tough."
(on his personal foul penalty on the goal line) "That was all on me. Being a leader on this defense there's no place for that. Thank God my team rallied around me and we were able to make some plays. That was a big stand right there. I'll just use it as a learning experience."
Linebacker Clay Matthews:
(on bouncing back after the result last Monday night) "I think a lot of the country, and ourselves, were wondering how we'd bounce back. It was a point of emphasis not to allow last week's missed call to get in the way of what we were trying to accomplish here today, and fortunately we were able to come away with a big victory. We're 2-2 after the first quarter of the season. Obviously we'd like to have a better record, but it's where we are and we'll move forward.
It was a short week obviously, so we had to deal with that mentally, but obviously throw in the emotional distress of losing a game on the last play like that. But fortunately I think we aired everything that we wanted to in the initial meeting back after the game. Some things were said, and I think we truly focused on this game and didn't let last week affect us at all tonight."
(on playing against the Saints' offense) "As I've said throughout this week they're a top offense. I know they're 0-4 right now, but they clearly showed it. Drew Brees is an MVP-caliber quarterback. They're doing things right over there, but fortunately we came away with the win."
(on the defense's performance) "We made the stops when we needed to. It seemed like at times they were moving the ball well, especially on third down we need to do a better job getting off the field, but ultimately we came up with the stops when we needed to."
(on Saints running back Darren Sproles being ruled down by contact before fumbling) "It was almost a 'not again' moment. Fortunately I think that ended with the missed field goal. We were able to make the plays when we needed to."