McCarthy pleased with running game production

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Thanks Schaef for pointing this article out.

McCarthy said yesterday that he thought our RBs did well Monday night and were productive. Here is the direct quote:

“You have to look at what’s the definition of the run game. I looked at this particular game, and I felt that our running backs were productive,” McCarthy said. “I thought Brandon and John played well with the opportunities that they were given with the ball in their hands and what was put in front of them. I thought the running back production was a positive in the game.”

I know what he’s saying – that considering the opponent, limited opportunities and the environment etc, they did as well as they could. That’s kind of like saying about your defense “well, we were up against Peyton Manning and while he had 5TDs and 425 yards passing, he’s really good and our guys did what they could with the opportunities they were given.” THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH MM. I realize that MM’s hands may be tied here somewhat w/re to getting a new RB and of course we don’t know if he’s beating down TT’s door telling him to pick someone else up. But my concern is that TT, MM and even Capers (whom I’m guessing weighs in on such matters) are content holding out for the return of James Starks after Week 6 – a guy who hasn’t played football in 2 years because of injuries. I hope Starks can be the guy and that he’s awesome…of course. But I’ll say it again – it’s time for TT to make a splash and pick up someone who can not only carry us this year, but then run with Grant next year.

(Note:  a stat I just noticed an interesting stat looking through the stats from Monday night: John Kuhn had 6 rushes for 31 yards. That’s over 5 yards a carry. Though at first blush this stat may appear to sort of undo my argument above/my lobbying for a new RB, he had 18 of those yards on one incredibly well-designed run play – that one where we spread 3 TEs out to the right and all 3 blocked downfield for him. And, we all know Kuhn is not the answer at RB. If TT doesn’t call Steve Slaton or Lynch or someone, I’m going to start making calls saying I’m with the Packers. I’ll let you know how that goes.)

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13 Responses to “McCarthy pleased with running game production”

  1. Nick Says:

    Yes, hes being a politician here. the Pack need a running back. I like Kuhn a lot as a change of pace FB dive kind of guy, but he is not a RB and Bjack does not get it done.

    To be fair, though, MM is right on one thing. The play action did work on several occasions, so it did do its job in that regard.

    Now, for the most part, the Bears knew we would be passing and had Peppers running downhill all game. That’s what I believe caused most of those O-line penalties – the fact that we had no running game to slow Peppers down at all and make him think about what was coming next.

    Get a running game, eliminate the penalties (on offense, at least).

    I’ll be honest and say I thought Burnett interfered. I think if it were the other way around we would be irate if that call was not made on Jennings, etc. BUT – I do think Collins picked off the first one and fumbled. Where were the refs on that one? That was a blown call.

    As for the Bears – I have a feeling this is another one of those seasons where they get by on luck (pretty much) alone. They seem to get great bounces and the right calls at the right time. I think the Pack will win the division, and I think the Bears will lose in the first round of the playoffs, but they will be just lucky enough to make a 6-10 team look like a 9-7 team.

  2. DaveK Says:

    Translation of coach speak:

    Our RB’s are marginal but we can win with them. Our o-line was horrible last night. They got owned by the Bears. They were beat on every play or were called for a penalty. We had to rely on Rodgers and my passing schemes and check downs to move the ball. We had long sustained drives the entire game. It almost worked if not for a retarded WR who doesn’t tuck away a ball when about to be tackled by two linebackers. Do I want a better RB? Hell yeah! Who wants to go into a game with a marginal 3rd down back and a full back. Why on earth would I give those two guys 25-30 carries a game? Now, go ask TT to do something about it and ask him why we kept only one legit RB on the roster but three FB’s and four TE’s.

  3. Joe Says:

    I think you are misreading MM. What he is saying is,

    “our running backs were productive because they did exactly as we planned for them to do. We never intended to pound the ball. Heck, we never do. The fact that Grant sometimes gets a 30 or 40 yard run is nothing more than a bonus for my scheme. We are, and always will be, a pass first team. I don’t really give a shit who lines up at at RB. I am only gonna run the ball 20 times a game anyway. Why would I do more, I have Rodgers and the best receiving corps in the NFL. I don’t need a 100 yard day from the run game. Its irrelevant. My play action stuff still works with my scheme and I have no intentions of changing my plans.”

  4. Katie Says:

    I agree with the above comments, and I also think it’s possible MM was including the RBs receiving yards when he said “You have to look at what’s the definition of the run game. I looked at this particular game, and I felt that our running backs were productive.” On 6 receptions, they combined for 47 yards, 7.8 yards per catch. I thought that approach was very productive. It’s no substitute for a real running game, but it might be the best we can do without a “real” running back. I dubbed it our “faux running play” by the end of the game.

  5. Nick Says:

    Yeah- but you need the threat of that 30 or 40 yard run to make defenses honest. You will never get that with Kuhn or Bjack.

    A great RB makes the play action work exponentially better.

  6. Joe Says:

    I am not saying I agree with him. I am just saying I think this is what he was really getting at with his comments.

    That said, I think Katie makes a point. Think Montana to Rathman/Craig in the flat. That is now our running game.

  7. awhayes Says:

    good points all. Joe I think you’re probably pretty much right as far as what McCarthy really thinks about this. And I agree that the play action and short passing game essentially acted as our run game. And to some degree it was effective. Katie, you’re right, I think McCarthy does include short pass yards as part of his definition of the run game. Nick, I’d even settle for a RB who could threaten 15-20 yard runs! The concern I have with not having a traditionally defined running game is that defenses just plain won’t respect our run game and like Buff and Chic, shift their personnel around to cover our passing game better. And while we were still able to advance the ball passing against both Buff and Chic, better defensive teams might be able to exploit this lack of offensive balance.

  8. nik Says:

    a little off topic for this post, but i’m getting in late and wanted to state my discontent with what seems to be a trend in MM’s dubious approach to close games as they begin to wind down.

    http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/packers-erred-by-not-allowing-late-score-to-bears/

    • Nick Says:

      My problem with MM is – he has been brilliant on the rules at times (remember the fair catch plus FG kick off the tee a few years back??) – and a complete idiot with basic things at other times.

      Those statistics, while more accurate than what I could guess while screaming at my tv – should come top of mind for a head coach. You have to prepare for that or have it on your little sheet.

      Your best player is ARodg. Put the ball back in his hands.

  9. mark Says:

    this is why i said what i said at the beginning of the season- we need a real running back -i like Khun- hes great for a situation and maybe a surprise play or two but even if Grant was playing there would be no change in production – simple as that we are just gonna have to wait till next year- sorry- that’s just the way it is-draft the best running back available but i said last year that THEY SHOULD FIND A FAST LINEBACKER AND TURN HIM INTO A RUNNING BACK.

  10. cindyvvideo Says:

    This from Pro Football Talk:

    McCarthy further explains his decision to not let the Bears score
    Posted by Mike Florio on September 30, 2010 7:23 PM ET
    Packers coach Mike McCarthy has faced intense scrutiny for his decision not to allow the Bears to score a touchdown late in Monday night’s loss at Soldier Field.

    McCarthy didn’t help himself by initially explaining that he didn’t let the Bears score because he thought Bears kicker Robbie Gould would miss a 19-yard field goal.

    McCarthy elaborated on the situation during a Thursday afternoon interview with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of The Sirius Blitz on Sirius NFL Radio.

    “It was definitely an option,” McCarthy said. “You have two options there and we chose to play defense. And I understand when you make decisions in key situations in games and it doesn’t work out in your favor you are judged accordingly. But you have two options in that particular situation and we chose to play defense.”

    Gannon then offered up what would have been a much better explanation from McCarthy. “Just for your information,” Gannon said, “Coach Madden was on your side. He talked about it. He said everything in your fabric, in your DNA as a coach, tells you to go out and stop them, not let them score.”

    “Well, no question,” McCarthy said, “but I do understand the percentages of your other option, in particular with Aaron Rodgers and our offense. It’s definitely something that you have to consider. . . . If you go back and look at the whole time frame it really falls right in that area. Two timeouts, after the pass interference, and then they take the ball down to the I guess it was the one or two yard line, you make a decision there I think you’d have been close to almost between 50 seconds to a minute left. We were definitely in the time range as far as making that decision.”

    So why wasn’t the decision made? Part of the problem is that, when the events are unfolding in real time, coaches don’t always think as clearly as they otherwise could or should. Fear of criticism also can be a significant factor.

    And we keep coming back to Madden’s rationale for not allowing the other team to score. It cuts against the grain of everything every player or coach ever learns. Even when it’s the right thing to do, there’s still something about it that seems wrong.

    But not nearly as wrong as suggesting with a straight face a coach believes a reliable kicker would miss a 19-yard field goal.

  11. mark Says:

    yeah get a real coach- McCarthy just LOOKS like an idiot -and -well actions speak louder than words.

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