The Pittsburgh Steelers began practice Wednesday and have two workouts under their belt this week.
The Green Bay Packers won’t have their first practice until Friday.
More like creatures of habit.
The team has played five weeks in a row and coach Mike McCarthy wanted to give his team as much time to recover as possible. He also wanted all of the personal stuff — arranging tickets and hotel rooms — out of the way.
“I basically moved it back as far as I could and with good reason,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy, who is adamant about keeping a consistent schedule, basically moved the regular Monday of the work week to Wednesday. Thursday was an off day, like a normal Tuesday — and so on.
The team will practice today and Saturday and in pads at some point next week in Dallas.
“I think it’s very important to group continuity, regularity,” McCarthy said. “We talk about culture, we talk about environment, and scheduling is a big part of it. It will be good to go through a normal flow of game preparation because when we do go to Dallas, it’s going to be different.
“Had a meeting with the captains on a couple things and so forth. It’s just important to paint the picture any time you go into a new environment, what the expectations and the responsibilities are, and with that, and when you go into a new environment, there are going to be adjustments.”
A delicate balance
McCarthy said he expects to have 90 percent of the game plan installed by the time the team leaves for Dallas. He also talked about volume control and not over-thinking themselves with an extra week to prepare.
“The biggest mistake is … you watch too much film and you have too much volume,” McCarthy said. “But we are not going to do that. We have volume-control components in our game-planning and we will stick to those like we do every week.
“So our volume will be exactly the same for this game as it has been.”
The team has more time to prepare for the game, McCarthy added, and there’s no concerns about being under-prepared.
“We’ll take this week and go through the normal week, but as far as trying new things, if something doesn’t look right, you throw it out, and you still have the ability to add it Wednesday, Thursday, Friday down there, because it’s going to be similar to how we operate up here,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want a sprint to get everything ready before we get on that plane Monday. That’s not what I’m looking for.
“We’d be prepared to play a game by Monday if we needed to but we don’t need to.”
It’s no secret that Super Bowl week presents distractions and temptations that aren’t usually present. Special events, including nightlife options, will take place on a daily basis.
McCarthy said he’ll sit his team down for a talk Monday.
“I’ll go through the whole week, day by day, hour by hour, so they know exactly what is expected of them,” McCarthy said. “It’s important for them to manage it, because it’s about winning this game. I understand the parties and everything that goes on, but they can go to those parties the rest of their lives.
“This is about preparation and preparation will be the prize, as we go into the game, because obviously the Lombardi Trophy is the goal. We’ll be as organized as we possibly can. Something is going to be screwed up. I’ve been told that by a number of coaches. So you have to be able to let it roll off your back and somebody else is going to get their feelings hurt”
Bears defensive end Julius Peppers was fined $10,000 for a hit on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship game, ESPN reported.
Peppers was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet personal foul after his facemask smashed into Rodgers’ ear-hole in the fourth quarter.