"It wasn't good enough," McCarthy said. "We kind of had two things going. Obviously, this is kind of a hump day. It's been a long week. This was a physical practice coming off a physical practice last night. And it was also our first in-season Wednesday scheduled practice, so it was new to them, and it was the first time they were able to look at Atlanta's offense and Atlanta's defense. So, it usually is a little sloppy, but (it was) just too much."
It was a far cry from Tuesday's night practice, in which fisticuffs broke out during a pass-rushing drill. The highlight, or lowlight, was an apparent shove of linebackers coach Winston Moss by veteran fullback William Henderson. Neither Henderson nor Moss would fan those flames on Wednesday, though.
"Well, if he did, I didn't feel it," Moss said. "For me to feel something, he has to knock a tooth out or bloody my lips or something. ... I was fine. If he did, I didn't even realize it.
Henderson, who suggested reporters were trying to make something out of nothing and called it "good, honest competition," also got into a tussle with linebacker Nick Barnett during the drill.
"No blows at all, just yanking on a helmet, Barnett said. "I wasn't going to try to beat him up. I was just out there wrestling with him."
The Moll experiment
Rookie fifth-round pick Tony Moll hasn't exactly wowed the coaching staff with his play since being promoted to starting right guard. Moll, who as recently as his junior year at Nevada was a tight end, earned the promotion because of his play at tackle against San Diego and second-round pick Daryn Colledge's poor performance at guard.
"This was our first time we had a chance to look at Tony in pads. I know he had a couple rough moments in the team drill," McCarthy said.
During one-on-one pass-rushing drills on Tuesday, Moll was beaten so badly by Corey Williams that the coaches made them do it again. Williams won that battle, as well. Moll also lost to rookie defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, and split a pair of reps with NFL Europe defensive tackle Jerome Nichols.
McCarthy, though, likes Moll's attitude.
"He's an assertive young man. One thing we know is he's going to stick his nose in there and compete, and that's part of the reason were giving him the opportunity," McCarthy said.
Packers running backs combined for 14 rushes and 23 yards during Saturday's game. That's not good enough, obviously, and McCarthy took his share of the blame on Wednesday.
"The most important statistic in my opinion in running the football is attempts. I have to do a better job of giving us more opportunities to run the football," McCarthy said.
"Part of that is conversion on third downs, and there's other factors that contribute to that. So to improve our run game, the first thing we've got to do is get our attempts up. It's a four-quarter commitment to the run game, and I think we're going to be fine there. You just got to convert on third down and keep running the ball."
The Packers converted only three of 13 third downs.
One player who won't help the running game on Saturday night against Atlanta is former Pro Bowler Ahman Green. Green, who is coming off a ruptured tendon in his thigh that cost him much of last season, practiced in pads the last two days but is aiming to play in the Aug. 28 preseason game at Cincinnati.
Returning to game action, however, has as much to do with his physical conditioning as the injury.
"I've gotten a little tired here and there, but I've still worked through it," Green said. "It's getting the endurance and new movement down in pads. That's all I'm trying to get. Just get through practice and getting used to getting hit again, hitting the hole and picking up the blitz, catching the ball and getting hit. Things of that nature that I'm used to doing as a running back."
Cornerback Ahmad Carroll was among three players who were injured and left practice Wednesday. His left thigh was heavily wrapped with ice. Two rookies, defensive end Dave Tollefson (chest) and lineman Johnny Jolly (leg), also were injured.
Wide receiver Robert Ferguson practiced after sitting out the last two days with a sore heel.
Starting safety Marquand Manuel, who finally started practicing this week after a groin injury kept him out the first three weeks, isn't sure if he'll play. "That's the coaches call. I'm just trying to get myself ready. I'm doing whatever I can to get ready."
The Packers said there are tickets remaining for Saturday's 7 p.m. game against Atlanta. Call the ticket office at (920) 569-7501.
The Packers will practice at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. The night practice was scheduled to be in full pads, but instead both practices will be conducted in 'shells' and shorts. Thursday night's practice is the final night practice that will be open to fans.
Editor's Note: Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to email@example.com.