Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy took some time out of his day before yesterday's preseason game to do a radio appearance on The Bill Michaels Show on WSSP 1250 AM in Milwaukee. The questions that Michaels asked about preseason in particular aren't particularly worth discussing, but Murphy did say a couple of very interesting things about replacement officials, the new CBA and the team's improvement in general.
All of the quotes are courtesy of Sports Radio Interviews, who transcribed the interview.
On the lack of two-a-days:
"I think we want to practice smarter, not harder. I know, just from my own experience of going through two-a-days for years, it would wear you down. And you'd go into the season beat up. Now it's a completely different approach. I think the downside is, when you don't practice full speed and you don't tackle, when you get to the real games, it's an adjustment. But it's even for every team."
On whether or not the team has improved:
"The reality in the NFL is that if you're not always striving to get better, if you're not getting better, you're getting worse. ... I think we may be better this year, but we might not have a better record. I do think we'll be improved on defense. It'll be hard to be much better on offense, just the reality of it."
And on replacement officials:
"I haven't watched a lot of other games, but our games, I thought it was serviceable. And they're going to get better. The league office and the staff in New York took a lot of time and effort into training them."
Obviously Murphy doesn't want to put the league into a bad position by trashing the replacement officials, so I understand why he said what he did. I don't feel like their performance has been adequate, but let's be honest, I'm going to watch the games anyway. The NFL knows that, and that's why they have the leverage in this situation.
As for his comments on two-a-days and getting better, I can't agree more. The Packers might play the best football in the league and finish 11-5, and there are obviously benefits to not beating the hell out of players in training camp.
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