…you have to lose five games.
Took a day away from the blog yesterday and I have to tell you, it did a world of good for my outlook on the rest of the season. Yes, the loss to the Bengals was as demoralizing as it was unexpected, but people need to get a grip on reality. Yes, Daryn Colledge will have his hands full until Clifton gets back – but I share McCarthy’s belief in his ability to get the job done. I went back and watched the Tennessee game from last year again and Colledge does an excellent job. Yes, he was, even in that game, prone to getting put on his heels, as he was against the Bengals on Sunday. But he is not going to be overwhelmed. I guarantee it. The Packers’ offense can function with the offensive line they are planning to send out on Sunday.
On defense, the safety dance is disconcerting to say the least. Thompson’s decision to keep Aaron Rouse over Anthony Smith can not be classified as anything other than a blunder. Yes, there’s no telling how Smith would have played in the regular season, but it was obvious after his time with the Packers and the beginning of training camp, before he got hurt, that the organization was simply treading water with Rouse. I’m glad Thompson at least recognized his mistake, but the pattern of keeping his own draft picks over guys the pro personnel people bring in has once again set the team back. Smith was not Ed Reed or anything, but he could and can play. Rouse was an accident waiting to happen, and they happened repeatedly on Sunday. All that said, Dom Capers and his defensive staff will do what they have to with what they have, be that Jarrett Bush or Derrick Martin.
I found McCarthy’s comments at the end of his press conference yesterday interesting. After watching the video, I’m not sure I completely agree with Bedard about it being a Fassel-type moment if only because McCarthy didn’t seem as confident as Fassel did when he made his playoffs proclamation. I did find it to be more of a “I am sick and tired of answering questions about the offensive line”-type thing that morphed into a statement about his overall approach and football team. What worries me is that…it’s Week Three. A coach getting that defensive after one loss, sitting with a record of 1-1, is not a good sign. And I’m on record as saying that SOMETHING has to change. McCarthy can’t continue to call long developing pass plays with limited numbers of receivers out in the pattern. He needs to flood the field with receivers and work on all sorts of underneath, West Coast Offense stuff all the way down the field, with the occasional deep shot thrown in. (And I literally had this pop-up on my TweetDeck as I was writing this post. I’m glad to see Rodgers agrees with me…)
The bottom line is that the team needs to play better. Period. That is the head coaches’ responsibility. For all his talk of availability and accountability, the time to hold McCarthy accountable is here.