GREEN BAY—Any suggestions the Packers would have to wait a bit for their offense to come around in 2013, considering the early shakeup on the offensive line and the injuries at receiver and running back in training camp, were quashed in no uncertain terms on Wednesday.
“As far as being patient, no,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “We’re full-bore ahead.”
Limited in his snaps to begin with, quarterback
But the Packers don’t have the luxury of time to settle in and slowly but surely find their rhythm, and they know it, not with the divisional playoff rematch in San Francisco to open the season on Sunday.
“We’re pros,” Rodgers said. “We’re paid to be professional, paid to play well, so I expect it.
“I’m excited about our entire offense. Everybody has a role that’s starting to get figured out, and we need to embrace those roles and make the most of them.”
Of greatest curiosity is what role the running game will play. Given the opportunity to repeat or expand upon his “big letters” prediction of improvement from OTAs, McCarthy didn’t bite.
Production and commitment will go hand in hand, but both will be a challenge against the 49ers, the league’s No. 4-ranked run defense last year in yards per game (94.2) and third in yards per carry (3.7) after sitting atop the league in both categories in 2011 (77.3, 3.5). If there’s an area where patience might be required, this is it.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to give Mike the confidence to be able to run the ball,” Sitton said. “We need to do it. It makes it a lot better for us up front.
“You can’t just run it a couple of times and not be successful and then we get away from it. It’s got to be something we can keep going to so we can get in a rhythm, but like I said, we have to give him the confidence to be able to do that.”
The following week it was much tougher sledding against a stiffer Seattle unit, but the level of commitment can’t be judged in a preseason setting.
“You just have to understand, you’re not going to get five and 10 yards every carry,” Lacy said. “It’s a process. Sometimes you’re going to get one yard or negative one yard, but you just have to stick with it, and eventually you will get those five or 10 yards.
“I’ll pretty much try to wear them down as much as I can.”
On the other side, the Packers defense was worn out the last time it faced the 49ers, but the mantra is that it’s a “new year” and different unit now.
McCarthy said at the scouting combine that the number 579 – San Francisco’s total yardage in the playoff game – would remain in his team’s focus. Even though the number didn’t come up on Wednesday, it’s a given no one has forgotten it.
“Of the three phases of our football team, our defense is definitely playing the best coming out of training camp,” McCarthy said.
“If I was going to point to who am I leaning on, I’m leaning on our defense, and particularly our defensive line.”
That line has two new faces in first-round draft pick
The nearly eight-month wait for that new year is almost over.
“All we can be is one of 11, accountable to one another, and go out there and play fast and hungry,” Jones said.Additional coverage - Sept. 4