PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
MM: Questions, please.
Q: Mike, can you just talk about how the momentum shifted so much on the fumble there on the first play of the fourth quarter?
MM: Well, it was obviously a big play in the game. Really that was a turning point. They made the key plays at the end there and we obviously didn’t in the fourth quarter, so we need to be better.
Q: Coach, you seem to lose a defensive starter on just about every single drive. Can you talk about the challenges it presents up against an offense like this, losing so many starters.
MM: Well, I thought our guys did a good job, you know, the communication. It’s a challenge, but you know, it’s the NFL. You know, they had some guys down, too, on their inactive list. But I thought some of our young players did a lot of good things, but we weren’t as clean as we needed to be in the fourth quarter.
Q: The goal line stand, Mike, can you just talk about what that did for your team?
MM: It was excellent, it was good football there. I mean, you got the reversable on the touchdown. Josh [Jones] transmitted a heck of a play there and I thought the moving parts of the personnel. So that was a great stand for us to keep them out of the end zone.
Q: The last touchdown on that long pass, what did you see there in the defense?
MM: Well, I mean, it was a tempo play and we weren’t set. Tom [Brady] hit the hole and, you know, we missed the tackle.
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
Q: In the second half, Tom Brady broke the record for most yards all-time in the regular season and postseason combined. As a quarterback, can you talk about your appreciation for what kind of an achievement that is?
AR: If you play long enough and you have the sustained greatness that Tom has had, there’s going to be a lot of records that go down. He’s had an incredible career, been the gold standard at quarterback for the better part of two decades and he’s a great player.
Q: What was the Patriots defense able to do to contain you guys?
AR: They just adjusted really well. We got some things going and then they adjusted. We had some momentum there in the third quarter and the fourth and then obviously the unfortunate fumble and then we just didn’t – I missed a couple opportunities there in the fourth quarter to get the ball to ‘Te [Davante Adams], probably would have given us a better chance.
Q: Do you think anything’s missing with the offense right now?
AR: Yes, the consistency. We’re not hitting on all cylinders, we’re hurting ourselves with negative yardage plays and missed throws and turnovers at the wrong time, not being on the same page too many times. Whether I’m missing a throw or we’re not in the spot I think we’re going to be at, it’s happening in the worst times. When we have to play our best in those crunch times, we haven’t been playing our best.
Q: Frustrations like Equanimeous St. Brown not in the right spot, you have to take a timeout – those types of things bothering you?
AR: Well, that’s a little thing. We’ve got to be better on the sideline there, let him know exactly what the personnel is so there’s not any questions for him. I’m not pissed about the lineman calling timeout. He’s a great kid and he’s done some nice things for us, I’m not upset about that. I’m upset that I haven’t been as consistent and we haven’t been clicking the way we expect to click.
Q: What happened on the delay on the first possession inside the 10 and was the quarterback keeper the call or something that you did?
AR: Yes, that was just an adjustment that I made based on – the other end was crashing pretty hard a bunch, [Adrian] Clayborn kind of stayed home on that one. So that was just a poor decision by myself. The delay, I thought we had time. There was a lot of communication after the motion on who we were going to up front, it was a run play and they were trying to sort things out and we were trying to speed that up and get it in and we didn’t get it in.
Q: What do you think the difference is going to be to get things going more consistently? You came out in the second half and looked like you were rolling a little bit.
AR: Yes, we had a couple of good drives there. I need to keep feeding Davante [Adams] in those clutch situations, that’s what I’m most disappointed in myself about is having him a couple times. The one time I threw it to EQ [Equanimeous St. Brown] because he’s coming open right now, little quicker than I thought he would, maybe hold on to that and try to hit Davante down the field. He’s a tough cover and I’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the football.
Q: What’s the frustration like when you’ve played two of the best teams in the league in the Rams and the Patriots the last two weeks and in both games, it looked like you had a chance to win but didn’t?
AR: Yes, it’s frustrating. 27-26 against the Rams, we had a chance to go down the field again and put the game away. And 17-17 switching ends there inside their 40, already in field goal range to take the lead – and you know Jonesy’s [Aaron Jones] had a really nice year for us so that one play obviously doesn’t lose the game but it’s plays like that, by all of us, myself included, that have just hindered us from finishing games out. I say it all the time, every year you have to learn how to win again and we have to learn how to win on the road. We’ve lost four road games. We haven’t lost at home, you know, we’ve tied, but we haven’t lost at home. We’ve played two great teams who could be considered – although the Rams lost today – two of the top teams in the NFL in their respective conferences and we had a chance to win both games.
Q: Is the flip side to your frustration the fact that you were so close and a few plays away from winning?
AR: Yes, 100 percent. It’s very frustrating because there’s plays in every game that would put us in a better situation if we can get that play off and maybe we get seven instead of three early in the game and it sets a different tone. If we don’t fumble the ball there, if I hit Davante [Adams] down 24-17 on second down there, who knows? We made some good plays, Marquez [Valdes-Scantling] had three nice catches for us, Jimmy [Graham] made some plays. But we’ve all got to play better, myself included.
Q: What do you think of all the stuff the Patriots do on offense – the flea-flicker, the Julian Edelman pass, the super-fast tempo that they use?
AR: Yes, I mean it seemed to work pretty good for them.
Q: You mentioned Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Do you feel like that’s a relationship that’s continuing to build and becoming something great for you?
AR: Yes, I mean he made two great catches back-to-back plays. An adjustment on the third-and-1 to take it down the sidelines and when the ball left my hand, I thought it was not a great throw and he came down with it, both feet in-bounds, fantastic, moving to the number two spot on the left side. And he made a fingertip catch in tight coverage the next play. So those are plays that you love and you know, he dropped one early. But I told him at halftime, ‘I’m going to come back to you.’ And sure enough, on that first drive, they brought empty pressure, we picked it up and hit him for a big play that kind of got us back in the game, went on to score a touchdown. But again, to your point, the frustrating thing is that it’s like great drive, sputter, spin our wheels, great drive, three-and-out. No consistency.
Q: Are you guys too reliant on you and Davante Adams having to play off-the-charts to be successful?
AR: Well, I mean, we need to. We expect to. Davante’s a tough cover and I expect to play great every week. We’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball and got to keep moving him around. We did a good job at night at moving him around outside, number two, number three. But I’ve got to keep looking his way.
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Davante Adams, WR
(On another road loss)
“Yeah, it’s a quality opponent and it’s tough to win on the road. You have to find a way to get it done and we just have not been doing that.”
(On how hard it was to overcome the fumble)
“Obviously, the timing of it wasn’t great, but it’s just like any other game, there is a million other times to make plays. If you look at just one play, obviously, it didn’t help us, but it wasn’t something that cost us the game.”
(On whether the Patriots defense did anything different at the end of the game)
“It’s tough to make them respect the run when we are down two scores late in the game. It limits what we were able to do based on how much time and the situation at the end of the game.”
Jaire Alexander, CB
(On the loss)
“It was kind of disappointing. We just need to dive into the films and see what we did wrong.”
(On trying to find a flow when there are so many injuries)
“We’ve got a bunch of guy who can go. You just rely on those guys to come in and make plays. It’s just next man up.”
(On the momentum shift)
“It was a little momentum shift. They [New England] had the momentum; they flourish off of that for sure.”
David Bakhtiari, T
(On how the Packers seem to keep beating themselves)
“Yeah, we have to capitalize on our opportunities. I feel like we moved the ball well, but when we get across the 50 [yard-line], we have to come away with points. We have to take seven over three.”
(On the fumble stopping their momentum)
“I wouldn’t say that’s the reason we lost. But definitely there was a momentum shift on that one.”
(On whether he thought the Patriots defense did anything different at the end of the game)
“I think it all comes down to situational football. Given the time left on the clock, there’s certain things we have to go to. I’d have to watch film and break that down to get a better idea though.”
Mike Daniels, DL
(On the trick play by the Patriots)
“That’s New England. They are going to do stuff like that. We just have to be where we are supposed to be. They just got the better of us. We saw that type of stuff on film. That’s what they do, they know that we are prepared for it and then they lull us to sleep just playing regular football. Then all of a sudden they throw one out on us and we got caught.”
(On playing with so many injured players)
“We’re into the middle of the season here and everybody is banged up. They had some players that didn’t play. Everybody is banged up; you’re going to see it across the league. So it’s no different over here.”
(On the team)
“We did a lot of really good things. We just have to do them more consistently. It’s kind of been our M.O. all year, and we just have to be on top of things better. We’re definitely not where we want to be. There are a lot of teams that will tell you the exact same thing. Moving forward we just have to correct the film, and move on to the next one. I think we learned to respond to a lot of adverse situations, and the thing is you don’t want to put yourselves in those situations.”
Aaron Jones, RB
(On what happened on the fumble)
“Just a good defensive play. He punched the ball out. It’s my mistake.”
(On how hard it is to overcome penalties, injuries and turnovers when you play on the road)
“It’s always hard to overcome adversity, but our guys in the locker room have done a good job of sticking together and fighting through it.”
(On how much the fumble bothers him after having a good game)
“It means nothing what I did. The fumble is going to eat at me until I get another chance to carry the ball. When I ran off the field, everyone was trying to pick me up. They were being great teammates.”
Antonio Morrison, LB
(On his sack)
“It was pressure. There was coverage but the gap was wide open and I just came right through. I just want to win. I wanted to win the game so I am kind of disappointed. It’s not a ‘bucket list’ thing, I just want to win.”
(On the game getting away from them)
“We have got to close and we have got to stay consistent with our energy. We have to stay thorough but we dropped off. We had ups and downs but we have to stay up. We have a good team, a talented team. We are going to put this together.”
(On the Packers fans at the game tonight)
“This fan base, man! Even the Los Angeles game last week, it felt like a spring game, it felt like a high school playoff game. This fan base is tremendous. Every week is tremendous.”
Lane Taylor, G
(On the running game)
“I think we stayed steady. I think we got a good amount of attempts and we were able to make hay with them. We just have to execute. When we get down to the red zone we have just got to score, every time. We have to score touchdowns, especially when you play a good team.”
(On if the Patriots defense surprised him)
“I don’t think anything was too crazy or out of the ordinary, what they did out there.”
(On the Packers fans at the game tonight)
“I didn’t realize there were that many until we scored. They kind of went crazy. I’m glad they came out.”
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR
(On the impact of the fumble)
“Turnovers are tough against a football team like that. But one play doesn’t lose a game. You play a game for four quarters. One play isn’t going to be the determining factor in a win or a loss.”
(On having a good statistical game)
“I could care less about the stats. We lost, that’s the biggest thing. The most important thing is the win and we didn’t get it. So I could care less if I put up zero yards or 1,000 yards. It doesn’t matter. The win is the most important for this team. It’s not about myself. We just didn’t capitalize and we had some key mistakes at the wrong times. That’s a good football team and they are not going to beat themselves. That’s just what it was. It’s deflating to lose in general. One play isn’t going to win or lose a game. We have got to be better all the way around.”
Tramon Williams, CB
(On the defense)
“We just need to clean up some of the discipline. That’s all I really see I think that was the difference in this game. We were more undisciplined than them, that why they got extra scores.”
(On the last two losses)
“Everyone is still encouraged, but to lose one when we felt we played so well, we were still in the game. We got a lot of stops, but the ones we needed to get, we gave away. We made the plays but then we gave it away and that’s what hurts the most.”
(On the Patriots trick plays)
“The one thing about New England, they are going to empty out their tank. They are here to win, they are going to empty out their tank. They are going to run whatever they have on their play sheet, whatever time it is in the game. I respect them for that because you’re up two touchdowns. You also know that you are going against another great quarterback.”