Skip to main content

Day-After Notes: Preparation For Favre, Vikings Begins



With the much-anticipated Week 4 officially upon us, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday he hadn't watched any film of the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Brett Favre so far this season.

So he's genuinely interested in seeing just what Favre has brought to the Vikings' offense as the Packers prepare to take on their division rival and former franchise quarterback next Monday night at the Metrodome.

"I'm curious to see what he's doing, what they're asking him to do, how he's playing with the new skill-position players that he's with," McCarthy said.

As for how much knowledge of Favre's tendencies and thoughts McCarthy might feed to defensive coordinator Dom Capers as he sets the defensive plan for the week, McCarthy downplayed that. He was Favre's quarterbacks coach in 1999 and his head coach for his final two seasons in Green Bay (2006-07), but he doesn't see his knowledge of Favre, or conversely Favre's familiarity with many of the Packers' defensive players, as having a major impact on the game.

"Dom has to set his plan and he needs to call his defense," McCarthy said. "He is not going to be calling defenses based on what my opinion is of how Brett Favre is playing. That is not going to be the focal point."

What will be the focal point for McCarthy in his message to the team this week is to stay in tune with what will happen and needs to happen on the field for the Packers to emerge victorious.

The week will be filled with storylines and questions about Favre's history in Green Bay, his departure in 2008, and his comments about wanting to continue playing so he could "stick it" to his former team.

But aside from dealing with those media obligations throughout the week, this game in the big picture is more about the Packers trying to pull into a tie for first place in the NFC North with the Vikings at the quarter-pole of the season.

"I clearly am in tune with the size of this game outside the building," McCarthy said. "For us to play to our ability, we need to focus on ourselves."

That's because, at 2-1, McCarthy sees a team that hasn't come close to playing to its potential. The offensive line was a liability in the first two games, and its play in St. Louis on Sunday was "not good enough," according to McCarthy. Meanwhile, the defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher each of the last two weeks and now faces arguably the best running back in football in Adrian Peterson.

All of that is plenty to be concerned with aside from the Favre drama. As McCarthy said, it's all part of the business and certainly a big part of this game, but he already was hinting that he's looking forward to getting through the week to just play football again.

"It's going to be a very competitive football game," McCarthy said. "It was definitely that type of game when he was on this side. I think it's going to be a lot of fun when the ball's kicked off."

Clifton battling back?

Last week, it was expected that left tackle Chad Clifton's sprained ankle was going to keep him out at least through the Week 5 bye. But McCarthy said on Monday that Clifton made a lot of progress in his rehab last week and could have a chance to play next Monday night, provided he's healthy enough to get some work in during practice.

Because of the extra day this week, the Packers won't return to the practice field until Thursday for the first of the usual three on-field workouts that will continue Friday and Saturday. The team will travel to Minneapolis on Sunday.

{sportsad300}Clifton injured his ankle early in the third quarter of the Week 2 loss to Cincinnati, and since then Daryn Colledge has shifted over from left guard to take his place, with center Jason Spitz moving to left guard and Scott Wells coming off the bench to play center.

"We're going to give him a shot," McCarthy said. "We'll see how he is at the end of the week. He's going to have to practice if he's going to play."

Having their veteran left tackle back in the lineup against Minnesota could provide a significant boost for the Packers. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is one of the best pass rushers in the game, and he gave Clifton plenty of trouble last year at the Metrodome after Clifton kept him quiet in the season opener at Lambeau Field.

"We're all hoping Chad's back," Colledge said. "I know he's excited for the game. He wants to be here, and we'd like to get the (original starting) five back out there and get something done.

"Chad's excited. I've got a feeling he's going to find a way to be here, and he'll be back this week. It's an important game to him and an important game to our season. He knows that and I would expect to have Chad back."

As for whether Clifton's status might force Colledge to cross-train at two positions this week, the fourth-year lineman wasn't too worried about that.

"It's a normal challenge," he said. "We've done it here before, so I know what's expected. I know how to do my job at left guard, so I'm more confident to have to come back in there with less reps than having to move out to left tackle."

More on injuries

It appears safety Atari Bigby (knee), running back Brandon Jackson (ankle) and linebacker Jeremy Thompson (knee) are all doubtful at best for this week. Bigby was injured in Week 1 and hasn't played since, Jackson has been sidelined all season thus far and had a setback with his ankle in practice last week, and Thompson had some knee inflammation crop up late last week that landed him on the inactive list this past Sunday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content