Notebook: O-Line Eyes Redemption

The Green Bay Packers’ offensive linemen haven’t hidden from the fact that they had their worst game of the season in terms of pass protection last Sunday, and the only way to erase it completely is to get back out there and prove it was just a bad day at the office. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 14


The starting offensive line: (from left to right) Mark Tauscher, Jason Spitz, Scott Wells, Daryn Colledge and Chad Clifton.

The Green Bay Packers' offensive linemen haven't hidden from the fact that they had their worst game of the season in terms of pass protection last Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers was sacked four times and hit on at least a handful of other plays. The linemen weren't pleased with their performance as a whole, and the only way to erase it completely is to get back out there and prove it was just a bad day at the office.

"I think you just have to go back to work," veteran offensive tackle Mark Tauscher said. "It was a tough week. There's no question. We didn't play well as a unit, and we didn't give ourselves a chance to win on the offensive side of the ball.

"So you have to get back to work, not panic and start doubting yourself. You have to play with confidence and you build that confidence throughout the week in your preparation. I think we're really looking forward to getting back out there on Sunday. We want to show some improvement and do things a lot better obviously than we did last week."

Left tackle Chad Clifton was a full participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday this week for the first time this season, which hopefully will add to the continuity of the group.

Center Scott Wells said the breakdowns last week were the result of either execution of techniques or recognition of defensive schemes. The individual periods in practice this week focused on techniques, while film study and the team periods were built around recognizing what the Bears do with their pressure scheme.

"When we gave up pressure, it was technique breakdowns -- hands in the wrong position, bad sets --or not recognizing the stunt they were running and not anticipating being able to pick it up," Wells said.

"Those are areas that we've worked on. I feel that we've improved that, and we'll see on Sunday."

The Bears haven't been overly dynamic rushing the passer this year, posting just 17 sacks and ranking 29th in the league in sacks per pass play.

With the importance of this game in the NFC North Division and playoff races, Tauscher believes the team as a whole needs to take the same approach as the offensive line, which is not to not panic, and not to doubt the methods that have worked in the past.

"You don't start doing things that you're not accustomed to," Tauscher said. "You have to kind of stick to what you're built on, and in the past we've been able to do that. We've went through tough times. I think we started 1-4 (in 2004) and ended up going 10-6 and getting in the playoffs.

"You really need to stick to what you believe in and how you've gotten to be successful, and you have to kind of draw off those experiences."

Harrell questionable

Defensive tackle Justin Harrell sprained a knee during Thursday's practice and was limited in practice on Friday. He is listed as questionable for the game.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he's "leaning more towards that he would play," but it will depend in part on how his rehab session went on Friday. Harrell missed the first seven games of the season on the physically unable to perform list following two back surgeries, and he has played the last two weeks for his first action since last season's playoffs.

{sportsad300}Veterans' Day recognition

In honor of Veterans' Day this week, the Packers are having the national anthem for Sunday's game performed by Army Sergeant First Class Jamie Buckley. The anthem will be accompanied by a Marine helicopter flyover.

At halftime, a group of approximately 75 Oneida Nation veterans will be recognized on-field and approximately 100 new Army enlistees will take their oath. A large American flag then will be unfurled and Buckley will return to the field to sing "American Soldier." The halftime festivities will conclude with a short performance by the Army Drill Team.

The Packers also will have their regular game day program, "Operation Fan Mail,"which salutes a military member and his or her family during the pregame.

Injury/participation update

Five players on Green Bay's injury report are probable for the game. They are cornerback/returner Will Blackmon (quad), linebacker Brandon Chillar (shoulder), Rodgers (shoulder), cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) and Clifton (knees). Clifton was the only one to be limited in practice Friday, and he had been a full participant the previous two days.

Cornerback Jarrett Bush (ankle) was upgraded to full participation and is listed as questionable for the game. Defensive end Jeremy Thompson (groin) did not participate on Friday and is doubtful.

For the Bears, quarterback Kyle Orton (ankle), linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) and cornerback Charles Tillman (shoulder) are all probable. Tackle Fred Miller (shoulder) is doubtful.

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