Packers Monday Presser: Injuries And Offense

For the Green Bay PackersMike McCarthy on the injuries: 

Johnny Jolly, he will probably miss some practice time this week with his knee sprain. Ryan Pickett will test probably Wednesday, possibly Thursday, to see if he'll go later in the week. Brandon Underwood, he will be limited this week in practice. And B.J. Raji will also be limited this week in practice.

For the second week in a row, a number of defensive lineman are banged up. But he didn't mention DE Cullen Jenkins who was limited in practice last week.

He was also asked why fantasy star QB Aaron Rodgers laid an egg just as the fantasy playoffs started, and McCarthy said there were "two minuses for the offense":

Our two biggest failures were No. 1, giving the ball away, and No. 2, the third-down production. 

The two turnovers, a fumble by TE Jermichael Finley at the end of the first half, and a fumble by Rodgers on the first drive of the second half, were both in Bear territory, and ended potential scoring drives. Obviously turnovers are always bad.

But the third-down production comment was surprising. The Packers were 5 for 13 on 3rd down, plus 1 for 1 on 4th down, against the Bears. That's either a 38% or 43% success rate, if you factor in the 4th down conversion. The Packers have the 5th best 3rd down conversion rate this season at 45.2% (the Colts are No. 1 at 51.6%). I understand a coach will always want push his players to improve, but it was odd for him to mention something that they've been good at this season. Maybe the two failed 3rd down conversions in the red zone during the first half are stuck in his mind.

On the continuing struggles of K Mason Crosby:

(Are you going to bring in any kickers this week or work any out?) 
I'll just say this. I have all the confidence in the world in Mason Crosby. As far as what players, what position, we bring players in here all the time on Tuesday, and I've never commented on it in the past, and I won't today. But I have all the confidence in the world in Mason Crosby

I've got no patience for the lousy special teams performance on kick and punt coverage (and returns...) this season, but I agree with McCarthy on this one. Crosby has a league leading 8 missed FGs, and has only made 75% overall. But it didn't look like QB Matt Flynn did him any big favors holding both of his misses in the last two weeks. He's only made 1 of 5 attempts beyond 50 yards. I wouldn't be expecting many kickers would do well from that distance. Three teams this season haven't even attempted a field goal beyond 50 yards this season. Pull out those 4 misses (and 1 made) and he's an average kicker (85% made). Not a ringing endorsement, but it's not time to find any guy off the street either.

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