McCarthy will review defense's flaws

January, 13, 2010
1/13/10
4:11
PM ET
It sounds like Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy will address our primary question from Monday’s edition of “Third and one,” where we suggested the Packers’ top offseason priority should be to figure out why they were unable to so much as slow down the elite quarterbacks they faced this season.

[+] EnlargeMike McCarthy
Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesMike McCarthy promises to take a long look at what went wrong defensively in losses to Arizona and Pittsburgh.
Indeed, in four games this year, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner combined for a 140.2 passer rating. They completed 71.7 percent of their passes for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. Speaking to Wisconsin media Wednesday, McCarthy said he considered the Packers’ performance against Favre to be a result of growing pains in their new 3-4 defense. But Roethlisberger and Warner?

“Trust me,” McCarthy said. “We’ll take a long look at Arizona from a defensive standpoint, and Pittsburgh. You’re talking about over 1,000 yards of offensive production in two days. We will take a long look at that, and particularly the quarterbacks.”

As of Wednesday morning, McCarthy said he had not watched the full tape of Sunday’s loss at Arizona. He said he would watch it soon, however, because “[t]here's some things that I'll want answers to questions just over the next couple of days.”

But from his recollection Sunday, McCarthy said the defense’s “biggest issues” were poor fundamentals. He said the Packers busted a coverage on Arizona’s first third-down play of the game and “were a poor tackling unit” all game.

Were those comments directed at defensive coordinator Dom Capers? I don’t think so, although McCarthy did say: “We’ll be very critical of ourselves from a coaching standpoint” when the film is reviewed. But as McCarthy pointed out, the Packers seem to be in a better defensive place than they were last year at this time.

“We definitely improved in the areas we set out to from last year to this year, and the coaching is a big part of that,” he said.

I think it’s pretty clear the Packers need to continue developing their depth in the secondary, where two key reserves -- Pat Lee and Will Blackmon -- ended the season on injured reserve. I’m sure they’ll also examine whether the Steelers and Cardinals might have exposed some schematic flaws that accelerated their production.

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