On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.
  • Mon., Jul. 13, 2015 7:00 AM CDT Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 13, 2015, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, WI. Those interested in participating in the event can contact Holly Borga (920-965-6986; hollyb@packershalloffame.com) for more information.

  • Sat., Jul. 18, 2015 7:00 PM CDT Brett Favre's Packers HOF Induction Banquet

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. will induct former Packers quarterback Brett Favre at the 45th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. The event will also feature the retirement of Favre’s No. 4. This dual recognition is an honor that is unprecedented in Green Bay Packers history. The banquet will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

News

Print
RSS

Packers cleaning up, clearing out following loss

Posted Jan 6, 2014

Players put season, run to the playoffs in perspective


GREEN BAY—From Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening and into Monday morning, the Packers locker room went from a determined to a despondent to a nearly desolate place.

That’s how quickly the end arrives in the NFL, and how it looks. Large plastic bags filled with belongings and keepsakes. Cardboard bins filling with the unwanted refuse.

In a span of a little over 18 hours, players begin with a resolute commitment to the cause, have to come to grips with heartbreak, and then must start cleaning both their lockers and their minds, not necessarily in that order.

On Monday, the Packers were looking back in a painful but prideful way.

“In December, the way we’d been playing, it was really not about how you start but how you finish,” tight end Andrew Quarless said. “I think besides the loss, we finished pretty strong. We fought hard, man, every game.”

That they did, and sooner rather than later the 2013 season will be remembered for the borderline miraculous run the Packers made to get into the playoffs – winning two dramatic second-half comebacks with backup QB Matt Flynn and then claiming the NFC North title as Aaron Rodgers returned in Chicago and threw his most memorable pass since Super Bowl XLV – rather than for how agonizingly the run failed to continue.

“People can ridicule our team from different aspects, but you go through what we’ve been though, (injuries) worse than 2010, and still come into the playoffs and lose by a field goal with a second on the clock, … ” outside linebacker Mike Neal said. “I don’t care what nobody says, that’s a hell of a football team, and I’m proud of everybody for that.”

Thoughts like that help with the hurt for some. For others, part of the processing is sticking to business, going through the post-mortem checklist, which includes meetings with coaches and a physical with the medical staff, that was printed out and sitting in each locker when the players arrived Monday.

“You just try and do what’s on your sheet right here,” fullback John Kuhn said. “I’ve got a (morning) exit interview with Coach Mike, so I’m going to do that, and then I have an exit interview with my position coach.

“I’m just going to go down my checklist and check them off, so reality won’t set in until tomorrow or the next day probably.”

The reality is the Packers missed opportunities in all phases of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. After taking the lead early in the fourth quarter, they allowed a 37-yard return on a perfectly placed kickoff that pinned the 49ers returner right at the pylon. They had a goal-to-go series later that produced only a game-tying field goal rather than a go-ahead TD. They had two third-and-longs on San Francisco’s final drive, both after a potential interception couldn’t be corralled.

“You feel the same way. I don’t think it changes after, what, 18 hours,” said cornerback Micah Hyde, the rookie who had that interception in his hands in San Francisco territory with just over four minutes left. “It’s a tough loss, as a group.

“As an individual, I feel I should have made that play. Like I said, I’ve made that play a million times. I think if that play happened 100 more times, I think I catch that ball 100 times. That’s going to happen. People make mistakes. I’ll move on from it, and I guarantee I’ll learn from it and I’ll be a much better player because of it.”

Whether the Packers will be a better team in 2014 due to what they endured in 2013, only time will tell. The faces will change, as they always do, and those possibilities will be discussed in the coming weeks and months.

In the immediate aftermath of experiencing the season’s most exhilarating and most excruciating moments in one week’s time, the summation is this: the Packers seized a chance that made the year memorable, but didn’t maximize on that chance to make it special.

“Any opportunity that’s missed is hard to swallow,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. “We had a lot of instances where we can go back and say, ah, we should have had this or we should have had that, and we just didn’t come up with it.

“At the same time, those opportunities are going to present themselves again. The Packers have built a team that’s made for going to the playoffs, that’s made (for) going for championships. We’ll be in this situation again, and we just have to make the plays next time around.”

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Backstage: Rodgers reacts to earning 2nd NFL MVP

    (2:28) Posted 3 hours ago

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sat down with Akbar Gbaja-Biamila after the 4th Annual NFL Honors to discuss what winning 2014 MVP meant to him.

  • NFL Honors: Aaron Rodgers accepts MVP award

    (1:25) Posted 13 hours ago

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wins the award for Most Valuable Player at the 2015 "NFL Honors."

  • Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

    (1:00) Posted 15 hours ago

    Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was named NFL's Most Valuable Player on Saturday, January 31, 2015. The award was presented to Rodgers at the fourth annual "NFL Honors" show.