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McCarthy Seems To Have "Cleaned It Up"

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McCarthy Seems To Have "Cleaned It Up"

The Packers could be forgiven for being overly-sensitive about the subject of penalties. After all, they have been one of the most penalized teams in the NFL for several years running. Add to this the fact that not too many weeks ago they committed a franchise-record 18 penalties in front of a national television audience.

Which makes it all the sweeter to see how well they have done in the ensuing weeks in getting that problem area "cleaned up", to borrow a phrase from Mike McCarthy.

And you can tell the organization is thrilled with the development, going almost overboard to emphasize how well the team has done in getting the ship turned around. Head of public relations Jeff Blumb has taken to Twitter to point it out (more than once) while the lead story on the team's website is entitled "Flag Frequency Falling" (On a side note, for someone who is writing for a Pravda-like outlet, Mike Spofford does an excellent job over at

Packer fans can only hope this trend continues. I was guilty of getting ahead of myself two weeks into the season, thinking that McCarthy had the team headed in the right direction on the penalty front. After three weeks of mostly penalty-free football, I will stay cautiously optimistic.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Cuphound's picture

We'll see how long it lasts. But the past two games have been cheesehead heaven. I still wouldn't be shocked if next season, we slow start in just the same way again. But hey, we just got the coaches of the Cowboys and Vikings <I>fired</I>. It's awfully sweet.

Chris's picture

I think we all can agree that it was time for them to clean that up. All doing a nice job on that (coaches and players). But we can pprobably agree on the fact that the last two games were basically blowout wins in the 2nd half, and it's much easier to evade penalties when you are way ahead instead of a close and tight fought game.
So let's see what happens next Sunday at Atlanta, because I expect that game to be close and tight.
Go Pack Go!

Nerdmann's picture

Huge game this week. As big and as challenging as the Jets game. Hope it turns out as well.

some guy's picture

This is an important point and i am glad it got some attention. good post

Its amazing how successful a team can be if they don't turn the ball over and commit penalties.

kudos to the O-line for keeping their hands inside and for holding their mud. Bulaga has done a nice job solidifying the right side. he's had some rough moments like any rookie will but they have been few and far between. he'll be steady for a long time.

MarkinMadison's picture

Finally. Nuf said.

DaveK's picture

Players that are over-matched commit more penalties especially on the o-line and in the secondary. Stabilizing that o-line has cut down on false starts and holding penalties. Woodson, Williams, and Shields are just good cover corners and always seem to be in good position thus not needing to hold or interfere. ST's penalties are a different story and that really seems to have been cleaned up by the players. And, with Jolly gone we don't seem to get the emotional late hit penalty once a game!

Nerdmann's picture

Great point.

packsmack25's picture

You have to like the discipline that McCarthy and the coaching staff has instilled in these maturing young players. They finally aren't the youngest team in the league, and they're finally playing like it. No turnovers, few penalties, and very few mental errors. The fundamental coaching has been phenomenal thus far. And let's face it, in today's NFL, if you can play fundamentally sound, you'll win a LOT of games.

ZeroTolerance's picture

The best was the avoidance of the horse collar. These coaches have not lost their players.

PackerAaron's picture

That was such a great play. Great awareness.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I just can't remember if it was Williams or Shields.

SpiderPack's picture

Williams. 95% sure.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Thanks Spider. That was my recollection.

PackersRS's picture

The backups are more fundamentally sound than the injuried starters?

Cuphound's picture

I wonder why now? Penalties have been a serious problem for our team for several years now. The more I think on it, the reduced penalties are something of a shock.

I almost wonder if this was like the "practicing outside" issue for McCarthy. He initially held the opinion that a certain number of penalties were acceptable, just as he thought that practicing inside during cold weather was ideal, because "practice under the best conditions improved play most."

I really wonder if this is a breakthrough on the part of the players or if it's just taken this long for McCarthy to get past clinging stubbornly to his initial assumption. Dialectical thinking has never struck me as his strong suit.

Either way, I'm really grateful. I can't wait for Sunday to see how we do against the Falcons.

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