GREEN BAY—Preseason weeks don’t get more important than this one for the Packers.
That’s the mentality evident in Mike McCarthy’s words and tone of voice as the Packers prepare for their third preseason game of 2013.
Following a helmets-only practice that McCarthy was pleased with on Monday – so much so he lopped off the final period and ended things early – the head coach addressed a number of issues on his agenda for this week.
In a nutshell, he wants to see players get healthy, starting jobs seized and high-impact play from anyone who wants to be on the final roster.
“We’re halfway there,” McCarthy said, referring to two of four preseason games being in the books. “This game is important. We have a (roster) cut coming after this game. We improved as a team from Arizona to St. Louis, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Work started on Monday for cornerback
They were among the 15 players who missed the St. Louis game, a number McCarthy wants reduced for Friday’s game with Seattle.
McCarthy is having the players practice in shells Tuesday. They won’t put the pads on until Wednesday in hopes of giving those who have been banged up a better chance to play on Friday.
“We have two weeks left,” said Quarless, who was out two weeks of camp after sitting out all last year due to injury. “I’ve missed quite a bit. That doesn’t make me feel happy. Nothing is guaranteed. I have to get out there and produce and show them what I can do.”
As for starting jobs, right tackle appears closer to being decided, with
A potential running back duel also awaits between
“I definitely tried to push it today,” Harris said. “I feel a lot better than I did before.
“It’s real important (to play), get those hits out of the way and get back in the groove of things.”
McCarthy lamented big-play opportunities that were missed in St. Louis. Deep seam passes by
“The efficiency of what we’re trying to do – alignment, assignment, technique – we have improved, but this game in the National Football League is about making big plays,” McCarthy said. “Big plays equate to scoring points on offense, and big plays equate to keeping the offense out of the end zone on defense, and that’s the part, we’re just not quite there yet.”
When he sees that, McCarthy will know two things. First, that his team is truly ready for the regular season, and second, which players deserve the final roster spots.
“You get into this third week, don’t be the guy that sits there and had a very high-efficient grade but had opportunities throughout the preseason to make impact plays and don’t do it,” McCarthy said. “That’s what I’m looking for, from our whole football team.”Additional coverage - Aug. 19