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Mike McCarthy is a sticker for proper preparation. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Mike McCarthy tweaking Packers training schedule

Mike McCarthy, Packers head coach, is doing everything he can this offseason to make sure his team is ready to hit the practice field with a good plan in place.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

If there’s anyone who knows better, it’s Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. He understands that the teams that are ready in the spring are usually the teams still standing in January.

At his end-of-the-season press conference held after the Packers got smoked by the San Francisco 49ers, McCarthy intimated that he wasn’t happy with his team’s preparation from the get-go of last year – a factor that affected his team from start to finish.

Because of changes brought about by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and instituted prior to the 2012 season, training regimens that had been the norm were changed. McCarthy, a stickler for organization and preparation, was thrown off and because of it admitted this week his team never caught their stride the way he anticipated.

It showed.

The team lost three of its first five games out of the chute and seemed to be fighting an uphill battle throughout the season. When McCarthy wanted his team to catch fire – in the playoffs – it never happened and he pointed to the changes in training and injuries as the reason.

McCarthy told Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette yesterday that he was doing everything within his power to make changes that will benefit his players and the outcome at the end of the 2013 season.

“I wasn’t real happy with the way our offseason program went last year,” McCarthy told Demovsky at the NFL annual meetings in Arizona. “So we’re going to do a much better job of that this year. So that’s really, frankly, what the coaching staff’s been focused on.”

Because he was so pleased with the work and preparation program that he had instituted prior to the new CBA, McCarthy had a tough time adjusting – though he also admitted that all teams had to face the same issues.

Demovsky stated in his piece – “Under the new CBA, the offseason program was shortened by more than a month. It can be only nine weeks, down from 14, and features just 10 days of organized team activity practices, down from 14.”

It might not seem much of a change to most, but for McCarthy, whose precision-minded approach, it’s a world of difference. That’s why he’s taking the offseason to make the adjustments for his team.

Team President Mark Murphy also joined in the discussion on the issue:

“Everybody is adjusting to it. I know Mike really liked the program we had in place in the old collective bargaining agreement, but I think we’ll adjust. It’s really part of the initiatives to make the game safer for the players, give them more time off in the offseason. They don’t start until later and have fewer offseason practices and things of that nature.”

Injuries also played a huge role in the success of the team on the field and anything McCarthy can do to keep his players on the field, he will do so. Time management and preparation this offseason are all tied into how the team is readied once they start hitting the practice field in the coming months leading up to Training Camp.

McCarthy said he’s making sure the building blocks are in place.

He was quoted in Demovsky’s story:

“We’re going to adjust. No different than the way we approach the players. The old adage, you either get better or you get worse, we’ve stayed the same for two years, and that’s unusual. But that’s not the goal. When our players get back, it’s going to be different. We believe in our program. We believe in the way we go about things. But there’s going to be some clear-cut adjustments, and it’s important that we accomplish that and it pushes us to where we want to go to.”

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Tags: Green Bay Packers Mark Murphy Mike McCarthy

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