This Greg Bedard story, about the Packers' confidence heading into the wild-card round, caught my attention on two fronts:
Green Bay's preseason and Week 17 victories over Arizona were apparently valuable even if they were not particularly meaningful. Bedard: "Factoring in locale and an opponent they've whipped, 71-10, with starters in four-plus quarters this season, the Packers should be -- and are -- oozing with confidence."
Saints fullback Heath Evans said Mike Holmgren, his former coach in Seattle, was more into yelling than coaching, unlike Bill Belichick and Sean Payton. Evans: "Without bashing him, Mike ripped into me for four years and it did no good at all because there was no coaching involved, it was just being ripped."
The Week 17 result between Green Bay and Arizona tells us nothing about how the game might go Sunday, but if the Packers feel added confidence, that's good for them. The Cardinals can also use the game to their advantage if they care about disproving perceptions about the games' meaning.
On the other matter, Holmgren's approach obviously did not resonate with Evans. It's the coach's job to get the most from his players, so that one is ultimately on Holmgren. But it's also probably true that Evans could have done more to realize his potential while in Seattle. He probably matured naturally over the years, making it easier for other coaches to affect him.