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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 23, 2008 2:44:43 PM(UTC)

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[img_r]http://i.packers.com/images/action/080922grant215.jpg[/img_r]Wins and losses are always the bottom line, but if there's one thing a head coach wants to see regardless of the final score, particularly early in a long season, it's improvement on a week-to-week basis.

But the Packers did not improve from their second game to their third, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday, and fundamentals were the primary culprit.

"The thing that was disappointing from a coaching standpoint, and we have to take accountability for it, was we just weren't as detailed and as clean in some areas as we needed to be," McCarthy said of the 27-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. "I thought our football team played with tremendous energy. There was a lot of positive plays on the field, but the mistakes that were made, they definitely capitalized on them."

One key mistake McCarthy kept referring to was a defensive misalignment that led to Felix Jones' 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that put Dallas ahead for good. Another was missed blitz pickups that led to sacks.

"Most of our problems encountered not doing the little things," McCarthy said. "Not being in the proper leverage, not playing to your help, not finishing a block. Just all the fundamentals, and that's what coaching is about, and we need to do a better job getting it out of our players."

Several times during the course of his coaching tenure, McCarthy has taken additional time out during practice to focus on fundamentals. This week could be one of those times, with four more games (including three against 2007 playoff teams) coming before the bye week.

McCarthy did think his team responded to the adversity it faced in the game, particularly with injuries mounting and players substituting regularly. As for the adversity of the first loss of the season, McCarthy doesn't doubt his team will bounce back, but he's also remaining realistic with 13 regular-season games remaining.

"I don't think that this is the most adverse situation that we're going to encounter this year," he said. "I hope it is, because I think it will be really good days for the Green Bay Packers."

Red zone and third down
[ul]The Packers' two biggest failures offensively against the Cowboys were in the red zone and on third downs, and those elements converged at critical times.

For the game, Green Bay converted just 4-of-14 times on third down, with Aaron Rodgers getting sacked three times on third-down pass plays. Two of those third-down sacks came in the red zone, forcing the Packers to settle for field goals when they had moved inside the Dallas 10-yard line.

"When you get that close to the end zone, you definitely don't want to settle for three points," receiver James Jones said. "We're fixing things, we'll come back strong for Tampa Bay and get them corrected."

The Packers did not make good on a red-zone trip until late in the fourth quarter, when Rodgers scored on a quarterback sneak.

The third-down failures also contributed to just 21 rushing attempts total for the Packers. McCarthy said the goal was to run the ball around 30 times, but the inability to sustain drives took away opportunities for more running.

"We had four yards per carry, but the third-down conversions hurt us," McCarthy said. "We had some favorable third downs that we didn't convert, third-and-2, third-and-4. I thought the running game was effective, I thought it was OK, if you're looking for a grade, but we had zero explosive gains, so that's not what you're looking for there. We thought we'd have some opportunities for the ball to come out."[/ul]

Line may change
[ul]McCarthy didn't commit to returning Scott Wells to his starting center position and shifting Jason Spitz back to guard, but he said the coaching staff would be talking about that possible move during game-planning over the next couple of days.

Wells was inactive the first two games of the season with a pinched nerve in his back. He was healthy and active on Sunday against Dallas but did not play, as the Packers stuck with Spitz at center and Tony Moll at right guard.

McCarthy said in grading the film, Moll had his ups and downs and the coaching staff would begin discussing the offensive line on Monday night.[/ul]

Injury update
[ul]In the secondary, cornerback Al Harris, who had cramping as well as blood in his urine during Sunday's game, was still having tests done at the time of McCarthy's press conference, so there was no update on his status. Fellow cornerback Charles Woodson didn't seem to be any worse off with his toe injury than prior to the game, and safety Nick Collins has a bruised lower back.

Meanwhile Jones sprained the same knee he injured during the preseason and was also having a wrist injury checked out. He didn't know yet if the wrist injury is a fracture or a sprain. Linebacker Nick Barnett also has an elbow strain.

The only new injury McCarthy reported on Monday was a hamstring strain for running back Kregg Lumpkin. McCarthy didn't think it was anywhere near the concern that Ryan Grant's hamstring has been.[/ul]
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uffda udfa (6h) : I knew what you were saying and I loved it! From a production standpoint it was worse than college radio. It had Aaron which made it worth
Zero2Cool (7h) : I wouldn't know good radio if it sat on my face, but I know what I find informational and worthwhile. Tuesday with Aaron, was both.
Zero2Cool (7h) : I am saying my zero experience in radio > your whatever years. :D Bahahahahah
uffda udfa (7h) : Ha! Yeah, I only was involved in making good radio for 8 years. Don't know a thing.
Zero2Cool (8h) : Yeah, I'm not surprised I know good radio better than you. Not a big deal, you have your strengths, radio isn't one.
uffda udfa (16h) : We have very different tastes. I worked in radio for many years. Thought the show was so much worse than it needed to be.
Zero2Cool (17h) : NFL Pick'em v2.0 is here!
Zero2Cool (19h) : Wilde was great choice and if not for Jason's rapport with Aaron, never would have happened.
uffda udfa (20h) : I never caught it live...listened to podcast a few times. Wilde was the wrong guy for that show.
Zero2Cool (20h) : That was poorly worded, my mistake. I was regular, it was great peak into his life. Planned meetings around it lol
uffda udfa (20h) : As for Tuesday's with Aaron I did listen, but I wasn't a regular.
Smokey (22h) : Anyone seen Polargrizzz lately, he's AWOL !
Zero2Cool (26-Aug) : If you listened to them, Aaron urged them to go past the 10 minutes. Jason would be an idiot to cut it off.
uffda udfa (26-Aug) : The contract stated 10 minutes but the show always went longer. Sounds like 540 took advantage and perhaps he got sick of it.
uffda udfa (26-Aug) : As for Aaron's radio show, sounds like he just didn't want to do it and they took too much of his time. Was only supposed to be 10 minutes.
Smokey (26-Aug) : Don't worry, be WR happy !
Zero2Cool (26-Aug) : WR!!
uffda udfa (25-Aug) : LeRoy Butler and Finley want TT to add a WR. Silverstein wrote a piece on it, including Rison mention. Let's get this!
uffda udfa (25-Aug) : The WHY is the big story, but that hasn't come out yet.
Zero2Cool (25-Aug) : noooooooooooooooooooo!
Zero2Cool (25-Aug) : Aaron is done? Why????
uffda udfa (25-Aug) : If you liked "Tuesday's with Aaron" he's not doing it this year. He's done.
Zero2Cool (23-Aug) : Tolzien being evaluated for concussion. What?
hardrocker950 (23-Aug) : wow... what a joke
dhazer (23-Aug) : Cheese heads are everywhere donot be sureprised ifor we are louder
Zero2Cool (23-Aug) : And you're wearing a Ben jersey... sad!
dhazer (23-Aug) : Hello from Heinz field
dhazer (23-Aug) : Anyone else going to be at the big ketchup bottle of Heinz Field
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musccy (23-Aug) : I just read the 1st rd bust thread and then find out it was locked. No bueno!
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