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January 18, 2015 at 7:46 PM

Packers postgame quotes: Head coach Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Eddie Lacy,

Head coach Mike McCarthy

AP photo

AP photo

COACH MCCARTHY: I’ll just say this, I thought it was an amazing game to be part of. I’m very proud of our football team, the way we came in here, just the preparation, the season long growth as a team, and frankly was very confident we were going to walk out here today with the victory.

So, congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and their organization for advancing to the Super Bowl. But once again I felt our football team was a special group. They’re awesome to coach throughout the year.

And, you know, this is a hard one to swallow. We had opportunities to, particularly at critical times, to make plays, and Seattle made some of those big plays to keep the game alive. So you have to give them credit. With that, I’ll take your questions.

 

Q: Among the losses, where does this sit as far as your career?

COACH MCCARTHY: I don’t know. This is an excellent game to play in. It’s a very fun game to play in. It was competitive. Just everything we thought it would be. So, none of them are easy.

 

Q: Mike, were you upset with Bostick with the onside kick that you felt he should have caught it?

COACH MCCARTHY: Brandon, just like anything, you get in critical spots in the game. It’s important for everybody to do their job. And unfortunately that wasn’t the case on that play. And that’s the result of it.

 

Q: The front line guys are supposed to block on that let the back guy catch that?

COACH MCCARTHY: There’s different ways of doing it. That’s one of them.

 

Q: What did you see on that field goal for the touchdown?

COACH MCCARTHY: Well orchestrated play. It’s actually well executed. So they were having trouble obviously generating point production. And so the awareness there and the execution by them. That was obviously a big play.

The big plays on special teams definitely were a factor.

 

Q: How tough was it to settle for field goals especially early in the game, and why weren’t you able to punch it in for touchdowns?

COACH MCCARTHY: The field goals early in the game, we know that points were at a premium. Frankly, I would have liked to have gone for it there on fourth down based on what we saw on the second and third down.

But I just felt that you had to take points. I didn’t think a lot of points would win this game. I didn’t think it was going to take a lot of points to win this game. Today that was my thinking coming in. I felt great about our defense all week just the way they’d been building here in the last, eight, nine weeks. So that’s why we had to take the field goals.

 

Q: As well as that unit played for 57 minutes basically what did you see in the last three when the Seahawks started to make some plays?

COACH MCCARTHY: Talking about our defense? They went through pretty much exclusively, pretty much their option package. And that’s difficult. It’s difficult to defend. We did a good job most of the day on it.

Hey, they made the big plays when they needed to.

 

Q: Why wasn’t Clay in the game at that time and how was he able to come back for the overtime? Did he get hurt?

COACH MCCARTHY: Not that I’m aware of.

 

Q: You get the ball back, 6:53 left. You go Starks for one, Starks for five and incomplete to Andrew. Get back with 5:04 after Morgan’s pick, Eddie for minus 4, Eddie for minus 2. You guys were awesome for weeks in the four minute offense, was that, A, really disappointing and, B, as a play caller how were you looking at that?

COACH MCCARTHY: We felt good about coming up here to run the football. I mean, I thought Bennett played extremely well for them, Michael Bennett, No. 72. His penetration was a factor.

And, yes, we’ve had done that well in the past. But every week is a new week. And that was definitely the toughest point in the game to run the football. And their run defense was better.

 

Q: Do you wish a different direction there at all? It’s easy to question your play calling now?

COACH MCCARTHY: If you want to question the play calling.

 

Q: I’m asking you. I’m not questioning it.

COACH MCCARTHY: I’m not questioning it. I came in here to run the ball. One statistic I had as far as a target to hit, 20 attempts. 20 rushing attempts in the second half I felt would be a very important target to hit for our offense.

 

Q: What about down the stretch, your defensive approach? I know it’s Dom’s making the calls, but  

COACH MCCARTHY: Dom called a very good game. I thought he called a very good game. Our defense gave us plenty of opportunities with the turnovers. They kept a low scoring   special teams gave up seven points on the fake field goal, and the onside kick was huge, huge momentum swing, critical. Two minutes, five seconds left.

You get the football there and we’re having a different press conference.

 

Q: How are you feeling after as demoralizing that is Aaron gets you back to tie it and send it to overtime?

COACH MCCARTHY: I think it’s a microcosm of our football team. Even in the overtime. I felt very confident given the opportunity we can go down and score. So it’s football. It’s playoff football.

We were on the other side of this last week against the Dallas Cowboys, and unfortunately we’re on the wrong side today.

 

Q: So as a coach, other than the outcome, what do you walk out of here regretting?

COACH MCCARTHY: I have no regrets. I don’t regret anything. Hell, I expected to win the game. We were positioned to win the game. But that’s football. We had opportunities to get that thing done and we came up a little short. But this is an excellent football team I had the privilege of coaching this year and that ain’t going to change. It will never change. But one team moves on. But I’m very proud of the way our team played, the way they prepared and fully expected to win this game today and, hey, we had our chance.

 

QB AARON RODGERS

 

AP photo

AP photo

 

AARON RODGERS: We were trying to do some things and didn’t do it. Moved back. And thinking about it, at times we just weren’t playing   we weren’t playing as aggressive as we usually are.

 

Q: Standing on the sideline, overtime (indiscernible)?

AARON RODGERS: Tough. We had a good drive there. (Indiscernible) put us in overtime. And next thing you know you’re out. It was tough.

 

Q: Can you elaborate what you meant by not as aggressive as we had been?

AARON RODGERS: No, I can’t.

 

Q: After 57 minutes of really solid football, especially from the defense, what did you see especially in the last three minutes there?

AARON RODGERS: From the defense? Gave up a couple of scores.

 

Q: You guys get the ball back, 6:53. Starks for 1, Starks for 5, incomplete. Andrew, get it back, 5:04 left. Eddie for minus 4, Eddie for minus 2, Eddie for 2. How do you look at those two series?

AARON RODGERS: Not very good. When you do that, that’s how you lose games.

 

Q: With all due respect, there’s going to be a lot of reading between the lines here. Is there a bigger issue at play with what Jason is saying and you’re saying you’re not being aggressive; is that an issue with the play calling?

AARON RODGERS: We finished out games before in four minute. We had a chance to do some things. Didn’t do it.

 

Q: How did the calf hold up during the process of the game?

AARON RODGERS: It was okay. Fourth quarter kind of let it go. We need to push it and run a little bit and just kind of let it go.

 

Q: Did you feel it on the scramble before the  

AARON RODGERS: Yeah, I felt it the whole game.

 

Q: Did you feel something when you ran there?

AARON RODGERS: Yeah.

 

Q: Most disappointing part is losing this game in general or losing it the way you did with the lead evaporating in the last  

AARON RODGERS: We have lots to evaluate but the way we lost when we were sitting there with two scores late in the game with the ball you expect to put that thing away.

 

Q: Did you guys see Richard Sherman after the play where James had the long run; looked like he hit his elbow, looked like he was playing with one arm. Were you guys aware of that? Did you feel like you needed to go after him there?

AARON RODGERS: Yeah, I am I think we could have. But we just didn’t execute very well.

 

Q: What did you think your mentality was as a team coming in here, though?

AARON RODGERS: Very confident. Very confident we would win the game and start off and had some good drives, put some things together. Defense played great. Picked them off four times. Forced another turnover on special teams.

But you just can’t have   you can’t let them complete a pass for a touchdown on a fake field goal.

You can’t give up an onside kick and you can’t not get any first downs in the fourth quarter and expect to win. And that’s on top of (indiscernible) in the red zone in the first half. But putting that all together that’s how you lose games. And opportunity, this is a great opportunity. We’re right on the cusp.

 

Q: (Indiscernible) when you put this much effort into starting April 1st, where do you go from here, what do you with your emotions?

AARON RODGERS: You just go home. Think about it. Stick with it and move on. Try to get ready for the offseason program. This one’s going to hurt for a while because of the close proximity, that feeling, the clock hits 0 and you’re ahead. Gave it away.

 

Q: Did you guys think you would be in this position? I know you won the NFC title game in 2010. But what does that say maybe about how the other things are working?

AARON RODGERS: Defense played great. Felt like we would have an offsides on the first interception. Cory snapped it early. Figured it was a free play. And Davante was the only route that was going to the end zone. And Sherm made a good play. And the second one, just a miscommunication between Cobb and I.

 

Q: Was that the first time you thought you had a free play and turned out you didn’t?

AARON RODGERS: No. But I saw the guy (indiscernible).

 

 

RB EDDIE LACY

144349-SeahawksPackers-DR-0051

Dean Rutz/Seattle Times

 

(On the emotions he’s feeling right now…) “Sad. “

(On how he would put this game into words…) “It was a great game. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Both teams battled, both had turnovers. It was a battle. It just didn’t end up the way we wanted it to. ”

(On how the team will bounce back from this… ) “It’s tough. For some guys, it lasts longer than others. Next year, we just use it as motivation, so when we get to this point again, we’ll remember what happened today, and hopefully that will help us out. ”

(On how long it will last for him…)   “That’s a great question; I don’t know. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”

(On Peppers’ talking to the team before the game…) “His message was simple.   We know we’re a good team, and what happened in Week 1 wasn’t going to happen this week. We were prepared. We knew what we had to do. We knew they were going to come out and play physical. You really don’t get these moments year in and year out. It’s tough to get here, and just to capitalize on this moment. ”

(On the roller coaster of this game… ) “A lot of good plays and bad plays tonight, which is the same as any other week, some worse than others. Games like this, that’s expected. ”

(On the offense not being able to seal the game down the stretch…) “There were guys in the backfield a few times. I can’t really pinpoint it. That’s something we’ll have to see when we watch the film on it. Just getting out there and running and trying to break tackles and get as many yards as I could.”

(On whether Seattle was using run blitz at the end…) “I have no idea. I don’t know if that was a linebacker or a lineman.”

(On what Coach McCarthy shared after the game…) “Just to keep our heads held high. We deserved a lot more than what happened today. Just, keep your head up. It hurts, it definitely hurts. The sting is going to sting for a while. We put ourselves in a great position.”

 

 ***

LB CLAY MATTHEWS

(On whether he can put the finish into words…) “I don’t think you can. You come so far during the season, put in so much hard work. You’re that close to getting back to the Super Bowl, and you fall short in an overtime thriller. It’s tough. It’s difficult because you put in so much work through the off season, through the regular season, playoffs, and to come short like that is devastating. We just have to keep our heads up. They’re a helluva team, we are as well. We knew it was going to come down to the last play here, and unfortunately it went in their direction. It’s hard to be optimistic right now. It was a tough loss.“

(On having the game nearly in hand in the first half…) “Yep, up 16-nothing, it’s a pretty hard lead to come back from. They had the fake field goal as well as the onside kick toward the end, which we didn’t do enough to stop, and then making that big play in overtime. We had the opportunity right in front of us, and unfortunately it came short. That’s really how you can define it.”

(On how to move forward after the onside kick… ) “You got to make that play. That’s what it comes down to. It’s always a crap shoot when you onside kick. It’s a tough break. Tough to have it go in their direction. Not only that, but the two-point conversion as well. There’s a lot of plays we’d love to have back.”

(On what to say to the team right now…)   “It’s tough. It’s hard to get here, as you’ve seen. We’ve won a Super Bowl, and come up short a few times and we’re feeling as if we had it at this point, but it just goes to show how difficult this league, how hard it is to not only get to the Super Bowl, but to win one. I don’t think words are really going to solve any problems right now. You just got to keep your head up with what we were able to accomplish this year and ultimately we fell short, but we’ll try to do everything we can to correct that next year.”

(On knowing there is some guys you played with who won’t be here next year…) “It’s always difficult. You always feel like this is your best year, your best team. I felt we were up to something special tonight. Especially to come in here, in a hostile environment, get an early lead, and keep them at bay. But ultimately, they made one more play than we did and that was the difference in the game.”

(On having the lead with six minutes to go, what goes through your mind when things change… ) “We know it’s four quarters of work, especially with a great team like that. That makes it even more difficult, knowing it’s right there in front of us. We had it, and unfortunately we let it go. At first, right now, you’re kind of in a little shock and awe, because of what just took place. Mentally, emotionally, physically drained. This one hurts, and it will for some time, but that’s part of the deal. Only one team can win.”

(On whether this is his toughest loss…) “I think it’s the closest we’ve been to getting back to the Super Bowl, so in that regard it’s a tough loss. Obviously, we came up short, so it really hurts.”

 ***

 

K MASON CROSBY

(On the game-tying field goal…) “I felt really good with how I hit the ball today. It’s amazing how our offense got us down there so quick into field goal range, and we had to have it. The operation was great today—snap, hold, kick—the protection was excellent, so I was really happy to hit it though. Wish we could have gotten the win.”

(On the onside kick…) “(Brandon) Bostick tried to make a play on it—it hit off his hands, it looked like. I thought they made a good play today, but I think obviously we would have liked it a little different.”

(On the loss…) “I definitely don’t like coming to Seattle right now—it’s not one that has good feelings after the game as of late. This one I thought we pulled a really good game together, and we just kind of let it slip there at the end. You have to finish, especially this late in the year, and best of luck to them in the Super Bowl. Obviously, we wish we could have gotten this one.”

 ***

 

TE ANDREW QUARLESS

(On the loss…) “It’s tough—it’s tough to swallow.”

(On not closing it out…) “It takes 60 minutes. We played probably 57, or whatever it was. It’s tough.”

(On Bostick’s attempt to recover the onside…) “Things happen. Things happen. He chose to go to for the ball, he just couldn’t bring it in. I am sure he will learn from it.”

(On the flow of the game…) “It was close. We controlled the whole game.”

(On Bostick choosing to go for the ball…) “The front line—if the ball is in the air, you can get the ball, definitely. He’s got to be decisive. He chose to go for it, he just couldn’t bring it in… You don’t blame anybody. It’s a team game—it’s not just one player. I think he will learn from it.”

 ***

 

WR JORDY NELSON

(On the game…) “I don’t know, we had opportunities; the defense played great, we just didn’t score enough points. We still had plenty of chances to make plays down the stretch and we didn’t make enough of them.”

(On if this was the most painful loss as a Packer…) “Yes.”

(On the defense’s performance…) “The defense played great, they gave us multiple chances, they got turnovers, but we didn’t capitalize.”

(On if the offense was aware of Richard Sherman’s injury…) “No.” 

 

 ***

 

LB JULIUS PEPPERS

(On the loss…) “It’s tough.”

 

 ***

DB MICAH HYDE

(On what happens mentally after the onside kick…) “Obviously, we don’t plan on giving something like that up. I can’t answer that question. We were pretty mad that happened, but you have to move on. We have to move on from that play. “

(On whether Seattle took this game, or Green Bay gave it to them…) “We are a better football team than them. They’re just moving on today.”

(On being confidence that this game would be different from Week 1… ) “Week 1 didn’t mean anything. We knew that going into the game. ”

(On whether he has been through a game like this before…)   “This is the biggest game I’ve ever played in. It’s devastating. Can’t really put it into words. I was just shocked and it’s tough.”

 

 ***

 

LB A.J. HAWK

 

(On whether he’s been through a loss like this before…) “I don’t think so. I’ve been a part of some crazy, wild games, but this is definitely up there, for sure.”

(On the mood in the locker room after the game…) “I think everyone, when the season comes to an end, it comes to a pretty abrupt end. Just like this, it’s over. We felt like we were pretty well in control of the game most of the time. You have to give them credit; they came back and made plays. It’s still pretty fresh. It’s a tough way to go out.”

(On the fake field goal play… ) “It was a good play by them. They called it at the right time and did it right. They kind of had a couple different options with Jon Ryan being able to run for it, or releasing that tight end vertical. Give them credit, they called a good play at the right time.”

(On what was going through his mind in the 44 seconds when Seattle gets 15 points…)   “I don’t know, I think we always felt like we could pull the game. But it got away from us during that stretch for sure. But, we felt like right up until the end that we were going to find a way to overcome and get a win. ”

(On what he can say to the younger guys…) “I don’t think there is anything to say right now. Maybe in the following days, but right now, nothing matters what we say. It’s too fresh, I think.”

 

 

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