With the bye week now in the rear view mirror, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers have shifted their focus to the one team standing in their way of becoming 8-0: the San Diego Chargers.
In his post-bye Monday press conference, McCarthy noted that practice today was full pads—something he plans to do twice this week—and the concentration was on fundamentals and getting ready for the Chargers.
“San Diego is an uncommon opponent,” McCarthy said. “We haven’t traveled out to the West Coast this year. We are taking extra time getting ready for this game.”
There was an obvious respect level from McCarthy when asked about the Chargers and their organization, starting with head coach Norv Turner and extending down to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
“A good football team,” McCarthy said. “Norv Turner has always done an excellent job offensively, the way he challenges your scheme. I have a lot respect for Greg Manusky. He does an excellent job [defensively] and they are very well-coordinated. The Chargers have always been a talented football team and that’s no different this year. This will be a big challenge for us.”
He anticipates watching the Chargers and Chiefs tonight on Monday Night Football. The main scouting will be done with coaches film later in the week, but it will help to gauge the pulse of the team. McCarthy also noted that watching the second divisional game between the Chargers and Chiefs is beneficial, as there’s a lot to learn about a team in divisional games, especially the second time around.
Other highlights from McCarthy’s Monday press conference:
- McCarthy isn’t talking about injuries until Wednesday. He said both Chad Clifton and Mike Neal were “getting better.” Hoping to give a better timeline by Wednesday.
- The team was excited to promote Brandon Saine. He was impressive during training camp and earned the job. It was a no-brainer based on how he’s worked on the opponent squad. He will have the opportunity to make the gameday 46-man roster. It’s the coaching staff’s job to make sure Saine is ready for that opportunity.
- McCarthy said it is nice to have good things said about your football team. It beats the alternative. He likes where his football team is right now, but the focus is on getting better. The Packers have more to offer as a football team. There’s a lot of confidence that if we go in week-in and week-out and play our best football that things will take care of itself. When Sunday rolls around, we need to have our best performance.
- Today’s message to the team was about improvement in the second half. Self-scouting helped highlight areas of improvement.
- McCarthy thought Monday’s practice went well. The players seemed fresh, a lot of chatter and energy. They missed being around each other during the week off. It was a perfect day weather-wise in Green Bay for practice.
- Finally, McCarthy stressed time and commitment to improve. Making sure we applying the time commitment to the things the players need to improve on. If there’s a common mistake, you have to rep it to give the players a chance to improve.
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2