McCarthy reveals Packers' big play philosophy of winning
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Sometimes, a few words in a news conference reveal a lot.
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy did exactly that during Monday's news conference after the first practice following the Packers' 19-7 win over the St. Louis Rams on Saturday night.
McCarthy was talking about the growth the Packers needed to make in the final two weeks of preseason.
"We improved as a team from Arizona to St. Louis, but we've got a lot of work to do," said McCarthy. "We left a lot of impact plays on the field."
He went into how great teams produce big plays - explosive plays or touchdowns on offense, turnovers on defense, and those are the kind of plays that win championships.
To give a comparison about what McCarthy is talking about, let's compare the win over the Rams Saturday to the game which revealed McCarthy's philosophy more deeply than any other, at the point of its greatest challenge and triumph - Super Bowl XLV vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Against the Rams, the Packers produced:
- One touchdown (versus four field goals, or lost opportunities for touchdowns)
- Three offensive plays of 20 yards or more (by Rodgers in the first 19 minutes)
- Plus-two in the turnover ratio
In Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay created
- Four touchdowns
- Four other offensive plays of 20 yards or more
- Plus-three in the turnover ratio
To compare a Super Bowl to a preseason game is somewhat unfair, but it gives a view of the improvement the Packers must, and certainly can, make in key areas of their on-field operation.
Think about it. This team has the capability to do what no team in NFL history (to our knowledge) has ever accomplished: five players gaining 1,000-plus yards from scrimmage.
Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, James Jones and Jordy Nelson all have that capability at receiver.
Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris aren't out of the question for individually accomplishing that by combining rushing and receiving yards.
Additionally, the presence of a healthy (crossing fingers) and effective Datone Jones could help create more pass rush, stuff the run (read: explosive plays by Colin Kaepernick and Adrian Peterson) and allow Clay Matthews and company to wreak more turnover havoc.
Mike McCarthy's philosophy - a bit of Bill Walsh, a dash of Pro Football Facts and long-held football ideology - wins championships. His 2010 Packers proved it, as have dozens of other Super Bowl winners.
He's right. Green Bay needs to improve in that category.
The good news is that there's plenty of time to do so, especially if the Packers do it when it counts the most - December and later.
Scroll through the media gallery above to see a slideshow of some of the Packers' biggest on-field playmakers.