Archive for December, 2010

Check out this great segment on Don Majkowski

December 28, 2010

Click here. jsonline just linked to it. Great stuff. Cool guy – reminds us all that he really started the movement back to respectability for the Packers before Favre and Holmgren – after years of pathetic play.

McCarthy’s odd press conference

December 27, 2010

Now, all of what I’m about to say can be chucked out the window if the Pack lose next week and puke up their playoff chances. But I was listening to part of McCarthy’s press conference today and something seemed to me to be quite a bit different. HE was different. Over time, I have come to know McCarthy by virtue of watching and listening to tons of his press conferences, seeing him be interviewed, reading millions of articles, etc. But something was definitely different about how he answered questions today.

While I realize it’s a heck of a lot easier conducting a press conference after an impressive victory, McCarthy was far less defensive than he usually is and it seemed he wasn’t dreading the whole press conference thing as much as he seems to most of the time. Historically, whenever I’ve listened to the guy, he often starts interactions assuming folks doubt him and doubt his ability to coach. This puts him in somewhat of a defensive posture – sometimes from the first question on. He’s never been one to get nasty with responses or anything, but just a bit defensive – like he needs to justify what he’s done. And he also seems to generally dislike the whole press conference experience – while he’s doing it he just wants it to end. In the press conference today, he seemed very free explaining his take on the game yesterday, his philosophies, his goals etc – like he wasn’t going to limit himself for fear of it opening up the possibility of being second-guessed. Again, it’s easier when you’ve just coached a gem of a game and most questions/answers are positive, but there was a resoluteness, a confidence, a lack of easy cliches and a firmness of tone that I’m not sure I’ve heard from him before. Like he may be starting to trust himself or something.

Like I indicated in my post game post last night, I wonder if McCarthy may be developing that edge that coaches need to have to be good. It’s as though he seems to be realizing that he can’t control what others think so he might as well not worry about it so much anymore. This can be very liberating. (It’s something we see in the counseling world when a person’s self-esteem increases – a fundamentally less debilitating concern about what others think.) In fact, I’m starting to believe that perhaps McCarthy is turning into Peter from Office Space – he is becoming good because he’s not limiting himself and frankly – he’s stopped pressing so much. Wonder if “the Bobs” visited Lambeau recently.

As a final re-face if you will (opposite of preface, a preface made after a statement), I’ll say again that I’m not sold on McCarthy and I’ve had serious concerns about him over time. And I don’t agree with those indicating he should be in the discussion for coach of the year, at least up until this point. But if he can lead us to a big victory next week and then a respectable playoff showing, I’m wondering if he may have just turned a critical corner in his coaching career.

Packer Playoff Picture

December 27, 2010

Here is a good review of the playoff picture for the NFC from PF:

6. Green Bay (9-6): The Packers are in with a win next week against the Bears.  They could also get in with a loss IF the Giants and Bucs lost next week.  The Packers hold strength of victory tiebreaks in the event of a three-way tie.  They beat the Giants Sunday, so obviously have the head-to-head tiebreak. Essentially, the Packers are first in line in the event of tiebreaks.

As noted a loss next week doesn’t necessarily ruin the chances of the Packers going to the playoffs. A Giants loss to Wash (in Wash) and a TB loss to the Saints (in New Orleans) would also put us through. I actually think it’s possible this happens the way things have been going for the Giants lately.

Obviously we don’t want to have to let it come down to what other teams do – we should focus on beating the crap out of the Bears. Problem is that the Bears have plenty to play for. If they beat us next week, Chicago would wrap up the #2 seed and a first round bye. They’d obviously prefer the bye to having to take on the Packers or Giants in the first round of the playoffs as the #3 seed. So, my guess is this game will be an all out affair. If we play like we did yesterday, we should be just fine.

Game Thoughts Packers/Giants

December 26, 2010
  • Very nice game – just a really nice game to watch.
  • Felt we were in control from the start.
  • The team was prepared for a big game and absolutely dominated. Mike McCarthy, as much as we rip on him from time to time, deserves some serious credit for having his team organized and ready to play.
  • Aaron Rodgers was outrageous. He had a QB rating of 139.9. He threw for 404 yards and completed over 67% of his passes. The play calling and the rhythm the offense had was so good that despite our tendency this year to melt in close games, when the Giants were lucky to tie it at 14, I was not really worried. Our offense was in high gear.
  • Our running game continues to be fairly questionable – yet somehow it managed to be reasonably effective today. Maybe it’s just Jackson, the other guys weren’t bad, but we just aren’t scary when we run the ball. Wonder what’s happened to Starks.
  • Kuhn was huge. He really is something – runs with determination you just don’t seem to see anymore. He’s the kind of guy who probably hates running out of bounds – the opposite of 99% of the skill players in the NFL nowadays who often seem to be angling for the boundaries to avoid getting hit.
  • No team would have beaten us today. Not one. The Giants aren’t the greatest but they’re good. No other NFL team would have beaten the Packers today.
  • What is especially amazing about this victory today is that we absolutely stuffed the #3 defense in the NFL. Their vaunted D-Line had 1 sack – yes some pressures, but nothing too difficult for Rodgers to manage. The Giants averaged giving up 290 yards per game coming into this match-up. We finished with 515.
  • Bishop had some quality plays again today. His tap back in of the ball as it was heading out on that fumble play was a savvy veteran kind of thing to do. Really smart and it kept the play alive. He should get an assist for that fumble recovery.
  • Matthews punch-from-behind was amazing. That is sheer football IQ right there. Some players (like Hawk) wouldn’t even think to try something like that. Matthews also had a few other decent plays on run plays – something he often just isn’t too involving with.
  • Woodson totally redeemed himself causing that Bradshaw fumble. That was ridiculous as he reached across his body to poke that out with his left hand. Ridiculous skills.
  • Shocking that we only had 1 sack tonight – Raji. We must have had 50 hurries then because Manning was under lots of pressure. Speaking of Raji – the guy is all over the place lately. He is pushing the pocket just like Suh for Detroit and it causes serious disruption for the opposing team’s passing game – many times tonight it seemed Eli didn’t have much of a pocket to throw out of as Raji busted it up.
  • What I really liked about this game was the fact that it was a game we had to win and we just went out and won it.  It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve had a must win game that we’ve won. We came ready to play, and didn’t let up. One of the concerns I’ve had about the Pack – in fact Brother Steve and I were talking about it during the game – is the Packers apparent lack of a killer instinct in recent years. For most of McCarthy’s time here in fact, it seems we haven’t taken advantage of opportunities to destroy other teams. We often take the foot off the gas and let opponents creep back – sometimes even losing. Today, we kept our foot to the gas and didn’t stop until the end of the game – as best exemplified by AJ Hawk’s disappointment at not getting a pick with a minute left. The whole team kept playing hard through 60 minutes and it was a complete victory.
  • I do think sometimes that a team’s play can match the demeanor of the coach. McCarthy and Mike Sherman both seem/ed like nice guys who don’t/didn’t have a whole lot of nasty in them. Going by this theory, it’s not surprising that McCarthy and Mike Sherman seem to field teams without a killer instinct. Holmgren had it – because he had a nasty streak. Belichick, Parcells, Sean Payton, Todd Haley – these guys have it. But I’m wondering if all the negative talk after losses and all the explaining McCarthy has had to do, has sort of brought out a nastier side in McCarthy that frankly, seems to be paying dividends for the team. We almost (and should have) taken down the Pats in their home, and we just dismantled a quality Giants team. I hope his/our nasty streak continues.
  • We have to come ready to play next week. Even though there is a chance the Bears may not have much to play for – they will come to play. In fact, if they had nothing at all to play for, they would still start their starters and play them most of the game because Lovie Smith is borderline psychotic about this rivalry. They will want to come in and beat up on the Pack next week at Lambeau but there is no reason they should. There is no reason we should lose to the Bears next week – we are the better team overall.

Pack looking awesome

December 26, 2010

Somehow you knew the last Coughlin challenge would haunt the Giants. Still, it’s too bad that there isn’t another way to just make calls like that correctly – Shields was out.

Unreal play by Woodson

December 26, 2010

That was ridiculous. He just made up for his TD errors against Nicks earlier.

When Jacobs forces it like that – we should be stripping the ball

December 26, 2010

Weak call on Tramon there – no, terrible call

December 26, 2010

good stop there

December 26, 2010

Collins should have had that – ugh

December 26, 2010