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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Don't blame Packers for fumble emphasis

By Kevin Seifert

What do NFL teams do during organized team activities (OTAs)?

Playbook installation is a major goal.

So is development and evaluation of young and/or new players.

And occasionally, teams will assign themselves projects based on years of deficiency.

The Green Bay Packers appear to have created one such goal this spring. Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that he has made creating fumbles a point of emphasis. Why?

As the chart shows, in the two years since they won the Super Bowl, the Packers have recovered just 12 fumbles -- tied for the third-fewest in the NFL. In fact, the trend extends throughout McCarthy's tenure with the Packers.

Since his arrival in 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the Packers have recovered 55 fumbles. That total is tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the fewest in the NFL over that stretch.

For context, consider that total is almost half of what the Chicago Bears (107) have recovered during the same time period, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Worth noting is that the top three teams in opponent fumble recoveries since 2006 are the Bears, Detroit Lions (106) and Minnesota Vikings (95).

I'm not prepared to assign blame and explain why the Packers have underperformed to such a degree in this category. With that said, it provides further grist to the crowd that believes the Packers haven't been tough enough, especially on defense, under McCarthy.