McCarthy: First Packers home game 'always special'
Mike McCarthy.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The first tailgate party. The first sign of cheeseheads filling Lambeau in September. The first kickoff. The first Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass. The first scream from 80,000 fans.
The Green Bay Packers home opener brings lots of meaningful firsts of the football season - something Packers coach Mike McCarthy is keenly aware of as his team gets ready for Washington on Sunday.
"Your first opportunity to make a first impression on your home fans...it's always a special thing," said McCarthy on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
McCarthy cited the Packers bringing back dozens of former players on Alumni Weekend. He also cited how the Packers will be playing on the biggest stage, with the biggest crowd that Lambeau Field has ever provided after the completion of the grand facility's newest renovation.
"I can go back to the first conversation when we started talking about the renovation, and what impact it could make for gameday, put more people in our stands and catering to our fans. It's a beautiful renovation, and it should really show up with crowd noise on Sunday," said McCarthy.
It will also show up with changed wind patterns, something McCarthy's kicker and punter, Mason Crosby and Tim Masthay, have been getting used to for a full season.
"That process was enhanced last year when the framework of the south end zone was up. They've had a year to kick in there and have an understanding of how the winds may change. Lambeau's a field where the winds swirl. Your gameday evaluation of the wind is the most important. We get in there during the course of the week. Every time, you learn different wind patterns."