The Packers made it official on Thursday by announcing that wide receiver Greg Jennings will not be playing in Sunday’s game at Indianapolis. “I had a conversation with Greg before practice, and we just talked through the history of his injury. And we felt like we were going around in a circle,” McCarthy said at his press conference, as quoted by the Associated Press. “We just felt, `Why take this decision all the way to Sunday?’” Green Bay won in Week 2 without Jennings’ services and can do so again on Sunday. They’ll just need some receivers to step up in Jennings’ absence and that will be a team effort.
Guard T.J. Lang did not practice on Thursday to return to his native Michigan after two family members recently passed away. “During the first week of January, his father Thomas, 55, died of an unspecified ailment that was first diagnosed in November,” writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “On Monday, his grandmother, Elizabeth Lang, Thomas’ mother, passed away in Michigan.” Mike McCarthy said he expected Lang back at practice on Friday.
Special teams been the focus of attention this week after a terrific start to the season. “I think we’ve gotten it to the point now where we have a good group,” special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum is quoted as saying by Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It could go good or it could go bad because large spaces of field are involved and excellent players can make guys miss and make plays, things of that nature. Guys are tuned in. We’re focused. Our challenge is to maintain a high level of productivity.” The Packers now just have to maintain their good start. Kick returns have not done anything of note so far this season, so that’s a unit that could see some uptick in production.
More on special teams comes from the Packers official website.
Examining the process and importance of communicating in loud environments is Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. “When the Packers are in the shotgun, center Jeff Saturday has to look back at quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a visual signal that starts the snap count, and he can’t see which defensive players have moved,” writes Dougherty. “So guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang have to relay protection adjustments to the tackles, which increases the possibility of miscommunication.” Crowd noise appeared to play a factor in Seattle as the Packers played in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, and with the Packers playing on the road the next three weeks, communication is a focus this week.
In another Press-Gazette feature, Wes Hodkiewicz does some research into Mike McCarthy’s choice of assistant coaches and notes that the head coach is the only non-NFL player among them. “According to McCarthy, that coaches meetings are filled by NFL alumni is purely coincidental,” writes Hodkiewicz. “While professional experience is a plus, McCarthy’s coaching requirements are grounded in personality, character background and how an individual fits onto a staff.” Recommended reading, good insight into a story angle that hasn’t been examined in depth before.
Video: Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports previews the Packers-Colts game…
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email email@example.com.