Jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.
Guest senior writer jclombardi @ http://lombardiave.com
Packers are 3-1: McCarthy felt he needed to remind the team that it won. “We talk about winning and improving, and we won the game and we’ve got a ton of room for improvement,” McCarthy said. “To me, that’s a positive. It didn’t look good, it was odd at certain points in the game, but we won the football game, we won a division football game. Still, the Packers have been building for five seasons and this may be as talented and deep as they get. The statistics would seem to bear out the notion that the Packers are either not as good as some think or they’re just out of sorts. On offense, the Packers no longer have starting running back Ryan Grant, and from afar it looks as if they’re still trying to figure out how to function without him. It’s likely that Rodgers’ comments Sunday about the offense lacking an identity and needing its best players on the field were spoken out of his frustration with the unit’s struggles since Grant went out with a season-ending ankle injury. McCarthy said the personnel on the field had nothing to do with the Packers’ failure to convert three third-and-short situations or the two interceptions Rodgers threw. “We do a lot with our personnel, we do a lot conceptually, we have a lot on our quarterback’s plate,” McCarthy said. “We (he and Rodgers) talk every day. I’m very confident that we’re on the same page.”
On same page?: After starting Sunday’s game with a perfect first-half passer rating of 158.3 after completing 8 of 9 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns, Rodgers was just 4 of 8 in the second half for 50 yards and threw a pair of interceptions on passes intended for Greg Jennings. Afterward, he questioned whether the offense had found its identity through four games. “It’s a win, so we’re happy about that. (But) offensively, we’ve got to find our identity again,” Rodgers said. “I think we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got our best players on the field at all times and find ways to get them the ball.” What Rodgers likes about spreading the field with five receivers and operating out of the shotgun is that, if he can make quick reads and get rid of the ball, defenses don’t have enough time to pressure him and there’s several one-on-one matchups he can exploit. Mike McCarthy doesn’t see a problem with his quarterback, but the Green Bay Packers coach did respond to Aaron Rodgers’ post-game comments about the offense by reminding everyone of their respective roles Monday.
Nelson losing return job: Packers may be making a change on kickoff returns after Jordy Nelson lost two fumbles on kickoffs during Sunday’s 28-26 win over the Detroit Lions. Coach Mike McCarthy said the coaches would look at their options on kickoff returns going into next Sunday’s game at Washington, but special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum indicated that Nelson will at least return some kickoffs against the Redskins. “I plan on using Jordy against Washington,” Slocum said. “We may use someone else as well.”