McCarthy expects 'loud stadium' and 'up-tempo' showdown with Ravens
Mike McCarthy. Photo: Image by Green Bay Packers/TODAY'S TMJ4.
In Mike McCarthy's eight years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, his team has never traveled before to the land of crabcakes and ball-hawking Ravens.
That will change Sunday when two of the last three Super Bowl champions meet in downtown Baltimore, and McCarthy is prepared for the atmosphere.
"It's definitely a tough place to play," admitted McCarthy on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"It will be a loud stadium. They do a great job with their gameday operations. They have a very active crowd. Crowd noise for the offense was definitely a priority this week. It's field turf, a fast track. It will be an up-tempo game."
The injury-riddled Packers' linebacking corps knows that quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice could challenge them, but the contest is an opportunity for youngsters as well.
"It's about opportunities," said McCarthy.
"Jamari Lattimore has played a lot of football for us. Now it's his chance to step in there in the starting role and play alongside A.J. Hawk. Hawk's done an excellent job of coordinating our defense on the field. Our young guy's are going to get a chance, too, Sam Barrington. I feel good about how they've gone about it this week, and I'm anxious to see them play a primary role."
The last time the Packers played in Baltimore, 2005, was the also the first opportunity for Aaron Rodgers to get NFL snaps. It didn't go so well with Rodgers going 8-15 for 65 yards and an interception.
"It was definitely a game where it got out of hand. His next opportunity was New England, when he broke his foot. His real debut, when he was ready to go, was down in Dallas in '07. He definitely showed what was coming in the future."