Packers notebook

McCarthy vows to fix turnovers; Jones learns lesson; Poppinga explains

Coming off little sleep from a Sunday night game that went from dreamy to nightmarish, Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Monday didn't hold back with his assessment of the team's first loss this season.

"We didn't take care of business, and that's why we lost the game," McCarthy said. "We need to clean our own house right now. It's sloppy, and we need to get it cleaned up."

Whether the Packers are worthy of their first-place standing in the NFC North is debatable to some extent. They have become careless holding onto the football of late, following up a four-fumble outing in a Week 4 win at Minnesota with three fumbles in a stunning 27-20 loss to the Bears.

The Packers had five turnovers in the game, including two interceptions charged to Brett Favre.

"Turning the ball over five times, you're fortunate enough to even be in the game," McCarthy said. "If we weren't as productive as we were in the first half on offense (building a 17-7 lead), it's probably a whole different game."

McCarthy is most troubled by the ball handling of his players. Rookie receiver James Jones gave the football back to Chicago in back-to-back series in the first half. Charles Woodson fumbled away a third-quarter punt return, leading to a game-tying field goal by the Bears.

"We practice (ball security) every single day (in practice), and the last two weeks, it hasn't shown up on Sunday. I have a problem with that, and we need to get that fixed," McCarthy said.

Although the Bears forced the issue with those particular turnovers by being aggressive in stripping or punching the football out, McCarthy put the responsibility on his players.

"They're coaching it down there to get the ball out. We're coaching up here to put the thing away. We didn't put it away fast enough," he said.

Jones visits McCarthy's doghouse
Rookie WR James Jones landed in coach Mike McCarthy's doghouse for more than a quarter in the Packers' 27-20 loss to the Bears on Sunday night.

McCarthy kept his No. 3 wideout on the sideline in multiple-receiver formations after Jones fumbled the ball away in consecutive possessions in the first quarter. Both miscues came in Bears territory, the first inside the 10-yard line.

McCarthy has zero tolerance for careless mistakes, and he wasn't about to chalk Jones' errors as coming with the territory of being a young player in the league.

"He needs to hold onto the ball, just like everybody else," McCarthy said. "Once you have the football, you're accountable to the whole football team."

So, Jones was held out of the game until the final minute of the first half, when No. 2 receiver Greg Jennings had to leave the game with a shoulder injury.

"(McCarthy) sat me down for a minute and told me to cool off, and that's what happened," Jones said. "I don't know if you call it a benching, but that's what happened."

Jones accepted blame for both turnovers, neither of which resulted in points for the Bears.

McCarthy believes Jones, who's regarded as a sure-handed pass catcher, will respond favorably after a tough night.

"I think James Jones is a big-time competitor. I'd think he'd definitely grade out very high as far as taking tough coaching and being competitive," McCarthy said. "I fully anticipate that he'll learn from this experience, and hopefully, it won't happen again to him."

Linebacker accepts blame for back-breaking play
LB Brady Poppinga said his slight hesitation in coming off the line of scrimmage enabled TE Desmond Clark to run clear and snare a 34-yard touchdown pass from Brian Griese to decide Sunday's outcome with about two minutes remaining.

Griese ran play-action on third-and-2. The Packers had nine players in the box, with a five-man defensive front, and they had Poppinga and SS Atari Bigby up near the line for a blitz.

Poppinga failed to initially pick up Clark as he shot off the left side of the line on the snap. FS Nick Collins started to drift toward FB Jason McKie in the left flat, where the pass was designed to go, but McKie was picked up by LB A.J. Hawk. With Collins out of position and Poppinga in chase mode, Clark got behind both to make the catch inside the Packers 20 and run free into the end zone.

"I know that I hesitated enough, which would allow him to get over the top of me and make the touchdown," Poppinga said. "I had been on the run, and they got me."

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