Packers are 'on to the next'

No lingering in last week, not in this league

QB Aaron Rodgers and the offensive line

GREEN BAY – Count Aaron Rodgers among the unconcerned.

Asked if last Sunday's rough day for the Packers' previously high-flying offense is a sign the league now has a good handle on how to defend Green Bay, Rodgers replied very simply:

"One out of five."

In other words, the Packers aren't going to overreact to the first time in five games things went wrong, nor are they going to dwell on it when they're hopping on a plane for Houston in a few days.

The mindset in the locker room is no one's talking about the loss to the Buccaneers anymore (unless asked about it by the media), because those discussions were had Monday. And the emotions from the loss must be set aside, too, just as they are for wins, in order to prepare effectively for the challenge that awaits.

"By the time we watched that film on Monday, that's in the can," Rodgers said following Wednesday's practice. "We're on to the next opponent. The last two days, we've been watching Houston. We've been talking about Houston. We're on to the next situation.

"The biggest thing that we can do is just focus on what got us here and this opponent."

With 13 players on the injury report, Head Coach Matt LaFleur backed off on the practice regimen a bit Wednesday, conducting more of an "above the neck" workout to mentally install the initial portions of the game plan.

By all accounts, the players' energy and focus was where it needed to be, after multiple comments about poor practices a week ago. For Thursday's lone padded workout, intensity and sharpness will be paramount.

"We all got a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth from this past game," receiver Davante Adams said. "So the attention to detail was there. I think everybody was kind of locked in, helping out one another."

That said, the objective isn't some sort of redemption, regardless of the external talk that the team must prove it isn't beginning to slide. That's how the road can start to get bumpy, full of ups and downs, because energies get misplaced to fuel emotion rather than preparation.

"We're not too concerned with the outside noise," Adams said. "It's not like, 'Oh, we want to shut the critics up so we're going to go out there and play a good game.' That's never been the mentality of this team.

"When you start worrying about the outside, then you mess up during a game and that's where your mind is rather than being about fixing the issue and getting ready for the next play."

For what it's worth, Rodgers has a history of rebounding well from statistically sub-par games, and he's coming off the second-worst passer rating of his career last week (35.4) in a game he did not get hurt.

The Green Bay Packers practiced inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020.

Over the course of his career, Rodgers has had 25 opportunities to play again right away following a sub-80 passer rating, and he's followed up with another sub-80 outing only four times. Fourteen of the other 21 times, his passer rating has been in triple digits (103 or better, to be precise).

But again, that track record is not the result of extra effort or attention, or anything emotional about a less-than-desirable performance. Rodgers doesn't operate that way. He's said over the years he prepares the same way every week and always expects to play well.

"A-Rod is definitely one of those guys, you're really not going to shake who he is as a man, what he believes in and how he goes about his business," veteran tight end and close friend Marcedes Lewis said.

Lingering in last week, good or bad, is never productive in this league. It's too competitive and moves too fast.

"You can't be dwelling on the past game especially (when) we're at Wednesday already," Rodgers said. "We're on to the next opponent and moving on."


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