Creating a Sense of Urgency
Conventional wisdom says the first step to a solution is identifying the problem. The Green Bay Packers offensive unit apparently took that belated step after Sunday’s loss at Tampa Bay.
The meeting reportedly took place at Monday’s film session evaluating the team’s losing performance against the previously winless Buccaneers. A number of veterans, notably wide receiver Donald Driver, right tackle Mark Tauscher and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, got up to address the team in what was described as a ‘clearing of the air’ about the team’s deficiencies. Tauscher’s contribution was especially interesting considering he’s only been back with the team for a couple of weeks. Given that the problems encountered by the team have been well documented, specifically the high number of QB sacks allowed and penalties incurred, one wonders why it took until the 10th week of a disappointing season for the players to feel a sense of urgency about the situation. And since the maladies have also plagued the special teams and at times the defense, it also begs the question of why the supposed bitch fest was limited to the offensive side of the ball.
Just the fact that the players felt the need to vent indicates just how bad things have gotten at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. That, and the team’s performance itself, suggests a lack of accountability from the coaching staff and among the players themselves. We’ve heard the coaching staff repeatedly lament the Packers’ problems and vow to fix them and yet the same problems remain. That’s often been thought to be a product of the team’s youth but that doesn’t absolve them or the coaching staff of responsibility and it certainly doesn’t help the team win. The Packers simply aren’t talented enough at this point to consistently overcome their own foolish mistakes.
Head coach Mike McCarthy’s attempts to explain his team’s shortcomings at his weekly press conferences already sound like a broken record and have led to a credibility gap among many of the team’s followers. Could it be that lack of credibility extends to at least some of his players? That might be the reason the players felt the need to take matters into their own hands. That it took this long could also be a signal that the veterans were waiting for direction from the coaching staff that they no longer felt was forthcoming. If that’s the case, it doesn’t bode well for McCarthy’s future in Green Bay.
Now that the players have admitted their problems, it remains to be seen if it leads to a solution. For whatever reason, McCarthy’s message to his team didn’t seem to be getting through. Hopefully, the players themselves can succeed where he’s failed. One way or another, we’ll find out this Sunday against Dallas.