Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy addresses the New England media during his conference call, on Wednesday, December 15, 2010.
Q: What's the latest on Aaron Rodgers?
MM: Aaron Rodgers did not practice today. He's going through the normal protocol that you go through with the concussions, procedures. I don't anticipate him practicing tomorrow. I think it'd be a slim chance for him to practice on Friday. We'll probably make a decision Saturday if he is cleared by the medical staff.
Q: Does he go through tests every day or do you just wait until the last minute and see what happens?
MM: There are a series of tests that every player goes through. As he clears each hurdle and then he's able to practice and that's really the final stage, [once it's deemed] he can practice and everything is clear. We're obviously not close to that step yet. I probably don't see him practicing tomorrow for sure and there is a very slim chance he'll practice on Friday.
Q: I think you said earlier that you didn't let him take part in meetings or look at film yet. When's the earliest he can do that?
MM: That's a medical decision. Doctor John Gray really controls the process of when they're able to participate in meetings and then obviously the next step from that is the physical conditioning and then after that is the participation with the on the field activity. He was held out of meetings today.
Q: How concerned are you about his participation? Once he clears all these tests and then it gets to the end of the week and he's yet to practice, are you concerned about putting him in there without having any practice time?
MM: That's a better question for me to probably answer at the end of the week because really the first thing I'm looking at is No. 1 is he healthy enough to go through the mental preparation. Once we get to that point, we'll probably have a better feel where he stands. The conversations that you have normally with your quarterback throughout the week, he's played a lot of football for us. I know it's only his third season as a starter. He played against Atlanta in his first year without practicing all week, so we do have some history there.
Q: You've been around a lot of quarterbacks as a coach. Can you talk about the level at which Tom Brady is playing right now?
MM: He's playing at an incredible level. I can't say enough about Tom's performance. He's No. 1. As we all know, he's a proven champion. Their offense is so in sync. As you watch them play, you can see the coordination between Tom and the offensive line as far as the adjustments that are made, particularly the protection adjustments. Whether they're in their empty sets or with the reloading, protection calls based on the initial look of the defense and so forth, [he] gets the ball out of his hand so quick at a burst of pressure. You can see the timing between him and the receivers. Everybody is on the same page. They're obviously functioning at a very high level.
Q: The way he's so classic over the top and the way he follows through, just as a pure thrower, does he remind you of anybody that you have either coached or watched?
MM: Very strong mechanically. He's definitely someone you want to video tape and study because you always look for flexibility in the shoulders and the elbows. He definitely has that. I think it speaks to his pinpoint accuracy, his ability to make all the throws. Especially this time of year, you only need to watch the Chicago game to see his ability to still throw the ball with velocity and accuracy down in Chicago last week. I don't really have someone I'd compare him to. I don't think it would be fair to the other quarterback.
Q: I was just going to ask you because you were around Joe Montana in Kansas City. Any glints of Joe in him?
MM: No doubt about it. Joe was probably the most fundamental quarterback that I had the opportunity to be around. I would say definitely Tom is in that category. Just his fundamentals are outstanding as far as placement with his front foot and everything with his throwing motion. I feel very strongly about Aaron Rodgers' fundamentals. He's definitely in the upper-category of the ability to throw the ball and doing all the fundamental things necessary to be accurate on a consistent basis.
Q: If Matt Flynn has to play, how much does that change what you do in the passing game?
MM: It's important for us to come to New England and be able to go against this defense. I think their defense is playing extremely well. I know that they've gotten better as the year has gone on. We've been very impressed. Really the last two games against the Jets and Chicago, because of the score of the game, they weren't challenged as much as you see in prior games. It's important for us to come [to] New England ... We're a quarterback-driven system, so it's important for us to make Matt Flynn successful.
Q: Do you see similarities between the offensive scheme you run in Green Bay and what the Patriots like to do?
MM: Terminology, they're totally a different system, but I'm sure there are some characteristics that you would say are similar. I think they do an outstanding job with the spread offense. That's something that we've gone more to just because of some of the injuries that we've had. We're doing more of it just more out of a necessity because [it's] just how we're built right now.
Q: You lost Cullen Jenkins and Frank Zombo this week and obviously, you had injury problems before that. Is it getting to the tipping point on defense?
MM: Not at all. We feel strong about our plan. We feel strong about our players. We're coming to New England with our best shot.
Q: You probably addressed this already in Green Bay, but what was your reaction to Brett Favre's streak coming to an end?
MM: It's a tremendous streak. I think his numbers speak for themselves. You would've probably liked to see him move on on his own terms, but it's definitely remarkable. On a personal note, having the opportunity to coach the quarterback position and to line up and play that many games, I think it's remarkable.
Q: Can Dom Capers help you at all and give you any insight into the Patriots from his time here?
MM: I know that Dom had a very positive experience there in New England. He has a lot of respect for coach [Bill] Belichick and the way they operate the program up there. We've talked numerous times about how Dom's done at the places that's he been - Houston, Carolina, and the experiences he's had in New England, so I don't think it's going to factor into the outcome of the game. I think you've got to trust your preparation and you trust your process, you trust your training, and that's been our approach.