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Notebook: Jenkins Did What He's Taught


To Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the most frustrating part about the critical roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins in the fourth quarter Monday night in Seattle was that Jenkins was playing exactly the way he's coached.

With Seattle leading 27-24 and facing third-and-9 from midfield, Jenkins was called for roughing Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck with a blow to the head. Replays showed Jenkins actually trying to pull his arms back as he tackled Hasselbeck, who had just released the pass, so as not to cause undue contact. But Jenkins was flagged anyway, giving the Seahawks an automatic first down that they eventually turned into the game-clinching touchdown.

"When something like that happens in the game, what do you tell the player?" McCarthy said at his news conference on Tuesday after having no comment on the call immediately after the game. "When the player does exactly what he's told or taught to do and he's penalized, that's when it's tough. That's kind of the never-ending challenge between coaching, officiating and playing."

McCarthy indicated that play would be part of the team's weekly submission to the league office of officiating decisions to be reviewed. Teams have regular contact with the league that way, as well as about concerns heading into a given game.

"The communication part of it, everybody wants to get it right," McCarthy said. "But it's tough when things like that happen."

Missing link

After an impressive four-game stretch with the ground game, the Packers rushing attack has stalled of late, gaining a total of just 141 yards in the past three games combined.

McCarthy said one of the key factors may be the absence of right tackle Mark Tauscher, who has missed the last 2 1/4 games since injuring his groin in the third quarter against Minnesota on Nov. 12.

Rookie Tony Moll has taken Tauscher's spot in the starting lineup, but prior to Tauscher's injury, all of Moll's game snaps had come at guard, and a seven-year veteran like Tauscher is proving difficult to replace. McCarthy said Tauscher would be doubtful again on this week's injury report.

"I thought Mark was playing extremely well when he got hurt," McCarthy said. "For a couple weeks there he had the best performance up front, so you take that out of the equation, that part factors. And frankly his leadership, and the way he plays the game. He plays the game the right way. He's tough, no-nonsense, does it right. So that's a part of it."

Against Seattle on Monday night, running back Ahman Green did have his first rushing touchdown since Oct. 29 vs. Arizona, but overall McCarthy said the blocking fundamentals weren't there to establish any consistency on the ground.

"We just were not in sync like we should have been," he said. "We had a number of good looks as far as the (defensive) fronts we were getting. In hindsight, I really feel good about the plan and how we went about it, but our execution was not there last night."

{sportsad300}Playing it safe

As he noted on Monday night after the game, McCarthy re-affirmed that he was playing it safe with the weather conditions when he called a basic running play on third-and-goal from the 11-yard line in the second quarter.

McCarthy said he was concerned about ball security because of the snow and with the Packers leading 7-3 was content to take the short field goal to extend the lead.

Unfortunately, the field goal was blocked because of what McCarthy said was a combination of a slightly low kick and penetration by the Seattle defensive front.

"I thought it was lower in the game than when I saw it on film," McCarthy said. "But also our pad level was too high in the protection part of it."

Injury update

The Packers had a number of injuries from the Seattle game as well as some still lingering from previous weeks.

In addition to Tauscher, linebacker Ben Taylor (hamstring) will be doubtful on this week's injury report, which will be released on Wednesday.

A handful of players will be questionable, including safety Nick Collins (hamstring), tight end David Martin (ribs), running backs P.J. Pope (hamstring) and Noah Herron (quad), and linebacker Nick Barnett (hand). Barnett's situation is an upgrade over last week, when he was doubtful coming off the fracture in the New England game.

Three players are probable with very minor injuries - receiver Greg Jennings (knee), safety Marquand Manuel (quad) and center Scott Wells (elbow, hamstring).

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