Sunday, December 8, 2013
Weekend wrap: Cold temps, strong arms
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Emptying out the notebook from the week that was with the Green Bay Packers:
Cold-weather impact: The Atlanta Falcons have played nine games indoors this season. Their three outdoor games have been in Miami, Charlotte, N.C. and Tampa, Fla.
Temperatures are expected to be in the teens and snow is in the forecast for Sunday's game against the Packers at Lambeau Field. In theory, that should be an advantage for the Packers, who have spent all week in those conditions, including half of a practice Friday that was spent outdoors in single-digit temperatures.
"I told our football team, that's a loser's mentality," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're not counting on the weather. We're preparing to play the game in the weather we live in. We're really focused on ourselves. I think if you sit here and try to play that mind game with your opponent, it's a waste of time."
Said Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett: "I don't know about the weather favoring us. I don't buy into the weather and this and that. Everybody from [the] Atlanta [Falcons] is not from Atlanta. There's a lot of them up north who have dealt with the cold before. I don't think that's going to play any part in it."
Armed and dangerous: Whenever quarterback Aaron Rodgers returns from his broken collarbone, the Packers won't have any concerns about his arm strength.
During the portion of practices that were open to reporters this week, Rodgers appeared to have no trouble putting zip on the ball on short and intermediate passes. He didn't throw any deep balls when the media was around.
Those who watched the full practices this past week said Rodgers' velocity returned quickly.
"He can throw it still," quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said. "He can still throw the ball. He looked good."
And then there were two: When McCarthy became the Packers coach in 2006, he was one of 10 hired that offseason. After the Houston Texans fired Gary Kubiak on Friday, only McCarthy and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton remained for that group of hires.
Together, McCarthy and Payton have a record of 160-87-1 including the postseason, and each won a Super Bowl.
The other eight -– Kubiak, Dick Jauron (Buffalo), Herm Edwards (Kansas City), Eric Mangini (New York Jets), Art Shell (Oakland), Rod Marinelli (Detroit), Brad Childress (Minnesota) and Scott Linehan (St. Louis) -- have all been fired.
Hall worthy?: Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene was recently named a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the eighth time.
Perhaps the reason the all-time sacks leader among linebackers, who ranks third on the all-time sacks list with 160, hasn't made it in is that some voters view him as a one-dimensional player.
"I can tell you first of all that I truly have a peace about what I was able to accomplish," Greene said. "I know, really, inside, how I played and the time that I put in, the film that I studied. The countless hours on the field, in the workout room -- all those things. I've got a peace about that. It's not something I regret. Should I have done more? Could I have done more? No. I did everything I possibly could to try to be the best at the position in all three phases of the game. Not just one phase.
"You know this position, there's three phases. To be successful at this position, you've got to be able to do all three. You can't just do one and really suck at playing the run and suck at covering people. It just doesn't jive at this position. If you have success at one of the areas of this position, chances are you're doing a pretty good job in the other two as well. So it is what it is."
Ring ceremony: Former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, will receive his Hall of Fame ring in a ceremony at halftime of the game against the Falcons.