McCarthy: Packers face 'big challenge' in 'well-rounded' Rams
Mike McCarthy. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Next game: Sunday, October 21 at St. Louis
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GREEN BAY - Few people would have predicted the Green Bay Packers would be 3-3 after the NFL's sixth week. Few would have also predicted the St. Louis Rams to have more wins in six weeks than they had in the 16 games of 2011.
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy says that Sunday's game in St. Louis will not be any sort of a shoe-in win.
"It's still going to be a big challenge," said McCarthy in an exclusive interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"They're definitely more talented than when we played them in the past. Jeff Fisher is doing a great job as he always has. He clearly is one of the best coaches in the league, in my opinion, runs a very good program. The way they play defense is in tune with the way they played in Tennessee. They're a little more multiple on offense...this is a well-rounded football team."
The Packers will combat that well-roundedness with a squad that offered a taste last Sunday night that they could still dominate as they did in a 19-game, nearly one-year-long winning streak that included a Super Bowl championship.
"Sunday night is a clear picture of our capability," said McCarthy about the Packers' 42-24 win over the Houston Texans.
"This week is about sustainability, the ability to go back to back, to put two weeks of excellent preparation together and make sure it shows up on Sunday. That's our focus."
Part of what the Packers have focused on is developing their younger guys, and that has paid dividends in younger players like defensive back Casey Hayward (three interceptions in the last two games) making big impacts.
"We're definitely fortunate to have a lot of depth on our roster. Our coaches and players do a great job to make sure everybody's ready. We meet with your younger players half an hour early every Thursday and Friday to make sure we're developing the young guys. It's times like this that it pays off," said McCarthy.
"You're always trying to get the group that works together daily and plays together on Sundays, but that's not the daily reality in the National Football League. You don't play 11 guys on offense or defense. You average close to 16, 17 players that play weekly on your offensive and defensive units. You cannot have enough rotation, enough experience, trying to get the practice reps, training camp, offseason program. It's times like this that go back to those experiences."