In his remarks to the media following Tuesday’s shareholders meeting, Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said he has changed his stance on the possibility of the league expanding the regular-season schedule to 18 games.
Murphy said during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the players in 2011, he was in favor of converting two preseason games into regular-season games, making the 20-game season a 2-18 split, rather than the current 4-16. But he’s no longer in favor of such a change.
“I couldn’t support a move to 2-and-18 now,” Murphy said. “With all the focus on player health and safety, it would be really hard to do that.”
Murphy suggested he would support eliminating two preseason games and keeping the regular season at 16, but he acknowledged the challenge there is the lost revenue for the league. He added that it’s debatable whether reducing the preseason by two games would have any impact on player health and safety, because he said a team’s starters might play the same amount of preseason snaps in those two games that they do now in four. Also, that type of reduced preseason might not provide enough time for teams to develop and evaluate their young talent, particularly if starters would then cram their four games of preseason snaps into those two contests.
“But those are the things we have to look at,” Murphy said, “what we can do to make the game as safe as possible for our players.”
Tags: games, mark murphy, preseason, schedule, shareholders
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Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s thoughts on the Packers’ 2012 season schedule:
(on opening the season at home against San Francisco and then having a quick turnaround with a Thursday game in Week 2 vs. Chicago)
“Just like everybody at this time of the year, we are excited when the schedule comes out. It’s always great to play at home. Your home opener is always special and to start the season at home will be great for our football team, our organization and our fans. We have an excellent opponent in the San Francisco 49ers, and I think it is a great way to start the season for both teams.
“Then we go right into a short week, which is a challenge. I think it is definitely going to be a test for our football team from a preparation standpoint. But our guys are up to the challenge. We’re a mature football team, and anytime we play the Bears it is a lot of fun, especially on national television.”
(whether he was pleased to see the last 13 games of the season all fall on Sunday)
“Definitely. I think regularity is important in team dynamics and the ability to grow and perform and recover appropriately. I think it helps your team. I am always in favor of a string of seven- day work weeks.”
(on the challenge of three consecutive road games for the first time since 1998)
“I don’t really get too caught up in who we play and where we play them. I focus more on how many days there are between games, the time of games. That’s really my focus from a scheduling standpoint. We have known since the season ended who we are going to play. Who, what time, how much time we have to prepare is really the key. As far as playing three on the road, I don’t look at that as an extraordinary challenge. It is always challenging, period, when you go on the road. We just happen to have three of them in a row.”
(on the potential for five prime-time games)
“I think that is a reflection of our football team. That’s really a credit to what we have been able to accomplish in the past. As you know, every year is a new year. It’s our responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities to play on national TV, which is an honor. To play in front of the big audience is something our team thrives on.”
(on the late bye in Week 10)
“I don’t mind the late bye. I don’t mind a late bye and I don’t mind a Thursday night game late in the year. I think it gives you a chance to regroup and get ready for the stretch run.”
(on there being only one divisional game in the first nine weeks and then five in the final seven weeks)
“That’s unusual. That’s something that we’ll look at from a planning standpoint because division games are obviously the most important. There is more planning and preparation that goes into those games from the offseason up until the point that you play them, and those games take a lot out of you physically. Those are all the variables that we will look at.”
Tags: 2012 season schedule, games, head coach, mike mccarthy
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