McCarthy Resting on Playoff Decisions

Talking to reporters at the league meetings on Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy says he wouldn't change decisions to rest some key players in Week 17 before a playoff bye week.

The postseason loss to the New York Giants was a bitter disappointment, but it didn't take long for Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy to move on from a 15-1 season that ended one-and-done in the playoffs.

"The one positive thing about the Super Bowl when you're not playing in it is the day after it's over, a new season's begun, in my viewpoint," McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday at the league owners meetings in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"We've had plenty of time to go through the film. We've actually already started the process of building of offense and defense for next year, so yes, I'm definitely passed the New York Giants game. You really focus on your own performance, and we didn't do the fundamental things necessary to win the game. We had opportunities that we didn't convert and they did. If you look at the big plays in the game, it's a lot like playing football: The team that makes more big plays usually wins the game."

McCarthy said there's "one thing" he would change in his approach – a virtually meaningless Week 17 game, followed by a bye week and a divisional home playoff game. While he will share that idea with his players before detailing it with reporters, there's one big thing he said he will not change.

"As far as sitting players, I wouldn't change that at all," McCarthy said. "A fresh team is the best team because you can accomplish the things you need to accomplish leading up to that game if you go about it the right way. I think there's one component to our training leading up to that game that I will change when we're in that position again. I'll share that with the team. What was disappointing to me was the emphasis on tackling going into the game, the extra week to prepare -- not that we're going to change three extra days of practice how we tackle -- but I'm a big believer in coaching that you get what you emphasize. The fact we were outside so much in prior years (and this year) handling the football, I was just frustrated in the way we handled the football. Not only the turnovers, but when we're catching the ball we're bobbling the ball, it's always so damn loose the whole week."

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn't particularly sharp against the Giants after sitting out the Detroit game and getting the bye, but McCarthy said he wouldn't change that tact, either.

"I thought what we did with Aaron was smart," McCarthy said. "He mentally was able to play the game in the first half (against Detroit) because he basically called the game in the first half. I don't know if there's ever been a football player that's gone through a regular season and played 16 games that probably couldn't use a week off and get his body back. I know that definitely helped Aaron. If you want to talk specifically about Aaron, I thought Aaron played very well in the game. I mean he had, what, seven dropped balls? We dropped the football, we turned it over, we didn't tackle very well. That doesn't lead (to success)."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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