The Broncos rank first in the league in yards allowed, second in points allowed and second in total turnovers, with 17 in six games.
“They’re flying around. Wade Phillips has done it forever in this league,” McCarthy said prior to Wednesday’s practice. Phillips is the Broncos defensive coordinator, against whom McCarthy has gone to battle several times with different teams over the years.
“One thing about Wade, his defenses all play the same, and this one reflects that. They play with a high tempo, they’re very fundamentally sound. This is a big challenge for our offense.”
The challenge is no easier on defense. McCarthy emphasized the Packers aren’t buying into QB Peyton Manning’s statistical decline as a reflection of a diminished player.
“We’re preparing for Peyton as the same player he’s always been,” McCarthy said. “What you’re seeing is a change in philosophy and scheme. They’ve had a bye week, and with that, they’ll do some things different.”
With his own offense, McCarthy stressed he would like to get the play count up. It’s uncertain whether the Packers will have their usual 1-2 punch at running back on Sunday, though, with James Starks sitting out practice on Monday. McCarthy acknowledged Starks has an injury from the San Diego game before the bye, but he didn’t want to disclose it until the injury report comes out later Wednesday.
He did say running back Eddie Lacy, who has been dealing with a bum ankle, looked healthier in Monday’s practice. Asked if Lacy was carrying more weight than in the past and if that could be an issue, McCarthy didn’t get into specifics but said, “Players do get bigger in their career. He’s bigger than he was as a rookie.”
“He looks good, just watching him work out, watching his work Monday,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think the injury is affecting him anymore.”
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