News now! Running game needs consistency

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 7, 2016 – 11:10 am

160107-nn1GREEN BAY — In the aftermath of Josh Sitton’s pleas for the offense to run the ball more, Head Coach Mike McCarthy countered on Thursday that the production needs to be there, and often the work on the practice field has not translated to the games.

Sitton, interviewed by reporters often in recent weeks, has called for a ballpark number of 30 rushing attempts for the offense to be its best, acknowledging that game situations can dictate otherwise.

On Thursday before practice, McCarthy pointed to a frustration with last week’s Minnesota game, in which the Packers ran the ball well on the first series of the game with run-heavy personnel, but when they switched to a personnel group they had practiced extensively throughout the week and was expected to be a staple of the game plan, the run production dried up. Implicit in McCarthy’s explanation was that the Packers weren’t going to live in the run-heavy personnel, which featured a running back, fullback, two tight ends and just one wide receiver, for the bulk of the game.

“It’s my job to call the plays,” McCarthy said. “It’s the players’ job to run the plays.”

McCarthy also clarified that Sitton would remain at left guard this week after filling in at left tackle against the Vikings. McCarthy has hope for starting left tackle David Bakhtiari (ankle) to return, but he said it would take the entire week to know for sure. JC Tretter could be another option at left tackle if needed.

Also, cornerback Sam Shields remains in the concussion protocol, while McCarthy said Datone Jones’ neck injury is not along the lines of those suffered by Jermichael Finley and Sean Richardson, but he did not know how serious it was, explaining that Jones has been out of town, presumably for medical tests and/or evaluation.

As for McCarthy’s comment on Wednesday that the Packers have a chance to “showcase who the hell we are,” McCarthy added: “We’re a focused football team preparing to beat the Washington Redskins. This is a one-week season. That’s what playoff football is.”

Click here for more from following practice and locker room interviews.

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