Packers Coach Mike McCarthy Focusing on Game Plan, Not Revenge

Mike McCarthy's focus is on Seattle's personnel and tendencies, not last year's championship game and recent history. Plus, Wednesday's injury reports.

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is juggling multiple challenges this week.

First, he must help create a game plan to attack the Seattle Seahawks.

Second, he must create that plan without starting inside linebacker Sam Barrington.

Third, he must keep his players’ emotions in check in light of the bitter defeat at Seattle in last year’s NFC Championship Game.

Starting with the last item on that three-part list, McCarthy’s focus seems obvious based on his comments from his Wednesday morning press conference. His sole focus is on the 2015 edition of the Seahawks, not the Seahawks teams that beat the Packers in the Fail Mary game in 2012, blew them out in Week 1 of 2014 and shocked the Packers in the NFC Championship Game in January.

“Really haven’t thought much about that part,” McCarthy said of the series history. “But really, just stay focused on the plan. Focused a lot on their game last week and see how some of their new players are playing. Every year is a different challenge. Obviously looked at all their preseason snaps. You do the offseason study for the first three or four games. So just really focused on the information at hand to get ready for this game.”

That likely is McCarthy’s message to his players this week. Sunday’s game is about starting the season 2-0. It’s about winning the home opener. Nothing is going to change what transpired down the stretch of the championship game. The only thing that matters is getting ready for Sunday’s prime-time matchup and the never-ending quest for improvement.

“Every week is a singular focus,” McCarthy said. “We need to improve on some things that happened in the Chicago game. We definitely have a lot to build off of from our Chicago win. And really just stay focused on the opponent that’s coming in here and the things that we need to do and how we need to do them to do whatever we need to do to win the game.”

To beat the Seahawks, the Packers are going to have to find a way to slow down Marshawn Lynch without Barrington, one of their top run defenders and communicators. Barrington was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday after exiting the Chicago game with an ankle injury. Nate Palmer replaced Barrington in the lineup and as the play-caller and played the final 61 defensive snaps. McCarthy, however, wouldn’t say Palmer will be the guy going forward.

“Nate Palmer gives us the ability to play both inside and outside,” McCarthy said. “He had some production in the first game. He’ll be a week better, just having the reps and being able to rep the whole plan. That always helps. We’re going to do some things and do some different things and we’ll see how it works out Sunday.”

Other than Barrington, the Packers are healthy. All 53 players practiced on Wednesday, including safety Morgan Burnett, who missed the Week 1 game with an injured calf.

Packers injury report
Player (injury): Status for Wednesday
S Morgan Burnett (calf): Limited
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Limited
OLB Jayrone Elliott (quad): Limited

Seahawks injury report
Player (injury): Status for Wednesday
LB Mike Morgan (hamstring): Out
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related): DNP
CB Tharold Simon (toe): DNP
DE Michael Bennett (ankle): Limited
FB Will Tukuafu (foot): Limited
LB Bobby Wagner (ankle): Limited

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.

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