Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
What have you seen out of the Saints defense?
"The Saints defense, I think number one, are playing very well. Just particularly the thing that you look for pressure versus coverage, so (they) really challenge us schematically with the different pressure schemes. They're doing a great job with the area of takeaways. Their (defensive) line's exceptional, tipping the balls and things like that. This is a big challenge for us."
How do you think Jahri Evans has been playing?
"Jahri Evans is playing excellent. He's a great fit here. He's a true vet, an old school pro. We love having him here."
What made you guys want to pursue him when you did?
"He's a quality veteran player. He had great years down there in New Orleans. I think he's a great fit for our locker room, that's always important. He brings a toughness and an old school approach every day. Once again he's plays the game the way you're supposed to."
Do you have a soft spot for when you play the Saints, given that you were here for so long?
"A soft spot? Definitely, New Orleans is a great place to live, really the people down there I can't say enough about them. I really enjoyed my time there. It's a blue collar, soul of the Earth type city. But I keep an eye on what they're doing. I think Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis) have done a fantastic job down there for the last decade or so. But yes, it's a place that I had a great experience there and more importantly they treated my family and I very well."
Obviously, rolling out this week with a new quarterback, how much does it help to have a guy like Jordy Nelson in the huddle to be a calming presence?
"That's a great question. Jordy is a calming presence. It's more probably during the course of the week when you're able to work through the different things and the gameplan. Well really all of the guys will be an excellent asset to Brett (Hundley) as we prepare for the Saints because we haven't played the Saints in a while. We classify these guys as an uncommon opponent. There's a lot more video to be watched and a lot more conversations between positions and things like that. Jordy does a great job."
How has he been able to sustain his performance all of these years?
"Jordy Nelson, he's an excellent pro. He's hard-working, very diligent. He's had some tough injuries in the past couple of years. He's a guy that during the offseason, you see him in here each and every day. In all these programs, they put so much into getting ready for every season. But Jordy has a tremendous work ethic. He's very detailed in what he does and it shows up on Sundays."
What have you thought about the way Davante Adams has bounced back from his gruesome injury?
"Davante is playing excellent football for us. The injury was unfortunate and most importantly it's great to see him bounce right back. But he's coming into his own, you could see that last year. I think he's having one heck of a year for us."
With Brett (Hundley), obviously he's knows the system but what are the challenges getting him prepared to start now?
"It's like any normal week here. You sit there and grind away on what the opponent's going to do or what you think they're going to do and how they do it. You get into that but by the end of it you have to focus on how you're going to play the game and that's the reality of it too. This is a big challenge. The Saints are a hot football team. They are playing extremely well each and every week, you can see it building over the last three weeks so we understand that. Just the way Drew (Brees) and the offense is rolling. I like the way they're playing on special teams too. We're just focusing on what this opportunity is and at the end of the day we feel like we have go out there and play our best football to win the game."
On Brett (Hundley), how might his skillset be similar or different from (Aaron) Rodgers?
"I think it's fair and realistic to not compare guys to Aaron (Rodgers). Aaron has the, in my opinion, complete skillset. He can similar play in the pocket, out of the pocket. There isn't a throw in football he doesn't make. He plays the game cerebrally on a high level. It's important for Brett to run the offense and play it to our strengths. It's really to the plan we have in place for this week."
What were the things that you guys liked about Taysom Hill?
"He's a heck of a young man. Obviously mature coming out of college with his path there, BYU. But he had a great preseason for us. I hope he's doing well down there. Obviously we enjoyed our short time together. We obviously tried to keep him. But the Saints did an excellent job on recognizing his talents there and putting him on the 53-(man roster). But I think he has a very bright future. (He's) a good young quarterback you have there."
The fans here will remember 2000 when Jeff Blake went down and you did such a good job of getting Aaron (Brooks) ready to play. Can you pinpoint any ways maybe you're better able to handle a sudden change at quarterback that you might have been way back when you were figuring some things out?
"Well that was an exciting time in 2000. We went through some similarities where we had so many injuries through the course of the year. Aaron (Brooks) game in there and played really well for us and we were able to win the division and win that first playoff game. I think all of your experiences in the past, you apply them forward. This situation is different. This team is different. You apply it. It's good to talk about it because you do have a reference point. Brett needs to go out there and just play his game and not try to do too much, because I think anytime young players get in games, particularly when you replace someone with the magnitude of Aaron Rodgers, you just have to make sure you stay within yourself."