Packers notebook

McCarthy uses extra day to prepare for Dolphins; bye weekend plans

The Green Bay Packers are off today through Sunday, and will return to practice on Monday. While many teams do not practice in pads prior to their bye weekend, coach Mike McCarthy had his players wear pads in three practices this week.

"Everything we do is for a reason," McCarthy said. "I think it's important to be aware of how other people have done it. The most important reason is why, and I know why we practiced the way we did this week. It was for a reason, and I think we accomplished what we set out to do."

In recent seasons under former Packers coach Mike Sherman, the team received a four-day weekend. McCarthy opted to go with a three day weekend, giving some of the injured veterans time off from practices, but also to prepare for the Miami Dolphins' 3-4 defense. The Packers faced San Diego's 3-4 in the preseason, but McCarthy says that Miami uses their 3-4 differently, often utilizing a four-man front as well as the 3-4.

"It gives you an extra day, but for us (Miami) is the first 3-4 team that we're going to see," McCarthy said. "It gives you an extra day of preparation. You can overdue it, too, so you have to be conscientious of that. We'll take care of that in the way we practice next week.

Break is welcomed
McCarthy said he plans to visit his daughter, Alexandra, over the weekend. Some players will stay and relax in Green Bay while others will travel during their mini-vacation.

McCarthy said he isn't worried about the possibility of some running into problems off the field.

"My message was simple. I told them to be safe and be smart, be smart and be safe," McCarthy said. "They're men, I think it's important to treat them like men. A number of them are traveling, it is a short break, but I don't have apprehensions about it. That's part of being part of a football team."

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