Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans players scuffle after Green Bay
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hit after scoring a
touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday,
Nov. 13, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.
GREEN BAYŚ The
Green Bay Packers are going through arguably one of the most
challenging periods of coach Mike McCarthy's tenure.
They've lost three
straight games to fall under .500 . The defense has crumbled. Injuries
are mounting on the line in the pass-heavy offense.
McCarthy vowed Monday
that mistakes will be addressed, and plans tweaked. He is confident
that his message is getting through to players, and that the Packers,
in part, must respond better to adversity.
Overall, the Packers
have been a success with a record of 116-67-1 in McCarthy's 11
seasons. They've made the playoffs seven straight seasons, with five
division titles and a Super Bowl victory in the 2010 campaign.
But since winning the
first six games of the 2015 season, Green Bay is 9-12, including the
McCarthy, in part,
referred to his track record when asked what kind of messaging he uses
to make sure that the uncharacteristic losing doesn't affect the
Packers' culture as they prepare for Sunday night's game at
"Well, I mean,
let's just state the facts: I'm a highly successful NFL head coach.
With that, I've never looked at the ride to this point as smooth ...
To me, it's always bumpy and to me that's the joy of it,"
you did last year or 2010, as we know, doesn't factor. ... To me, you
have to stay in tune with the now. Obviously, people outside of our
room don't feel really good about the now. Personally, I enjoy these
type of moments," he added. "This is about our team and I
trust and believe in what we do every day."
Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field
after the Packers were forced to punt against the Tennessee
Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov.
13, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 47-25.
He isn't into
dramatic midseason shake-ups.
"I'm not into
shock and awe, or (a) torch the landscape-type person. I'm a builder,
I'm a developer. I've said that since the first day I arrived
here," McCarthy said. "You build a program, culture is what
makes it go, you have to invest in that culture every single day, and
that's my big picture focus."
A popular pick to
return to the Super Bowl, the Packers remain in the playoff picture,
just a game back of Detroit and Minnesota in the mediocre NFC North.
In the short term,
the Packers are focusing on fixing flaws exposed in the 47-25
loss to Tennessee on Sunday that dropped them to 4-5 and was
likely the low point of the season.
The passing game is
producing after a sluggish start, but the offense is missing physical
running back Eddie Lacy, who is on injured reserve with an ankle
injury. The plan on Sunday was to run the ball more with James Starks
back from a knee injury, but the Titans built up such a big early lead
that Packers were forced to throw more.
Playing catch-up all
day, Aaron Rodgers was 31 of 51 for 371 yards with two touchdowns and
McCarthy had no
prognosis on injuries to starting offensive linemen David Bakhtiari
(knee) and T.J. Lang (ankle). In the locker room, Bakhtiari said he
was taking things day to day with the injury.
everyone has got a lot of confidence in here. We know the guys we have
in this locker room, and we know what we're able to do. It's just
going out and executing," he said.
Packers run defense allowed DeMarco Murray to rush for a 75-yard
touchdown on the Titans' first play from scrimmage, setting the tone
for the afternoon. Pass coverage has been spotty, especially without
injured cornerbacks Sam Shields (concussion) and Damarious Randall
(groin). The pass rush has slowed down with linebacker Clay Matthews
out the last three weeks with a hamstring injury.
Green Bay trailed
Tennessee 21-0 by the end of the first quarter, the kind of start that
the Packers were once known for.
football production is not high enough right now. We need to improve
there. We know it, our players know it. That's really where our focus
is," McCarthy said. "That's the difference in this