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Clifton will start at left tackle for playoffs

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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†† Packers coach Mike McCarthy didnít waste any time naming his starting left tackle for the playoffs. †† During his Monday morning press conference McCarthy said veteran Chad Clifton would be his starter at left tackle. †† Clifton missed two months of the season with hamstring and back injuries and returned for the first time on Sunday against the Lions for 25 plays. †† McCarthy said Marshall Newhouse did an excellent job in place of Clifton at left tackle, but the coach is leaning on Cliftonís experience and talent for the playoffs. †† McCarthy said Clifton is going to be happy watching the film of his performance on Sunday. He said Clifton has things he needs to work on but is confident he will get where he needs to be for the Packersí divisional playoff game on Jan. 15. Other highlights from McCarthyís presser: *He doesnít like that the Packers have given up so many yards on defense (the Packers rank No. 32 in the NFL in yards allowed). But keeping opponents out of the end zone and taking the ball away are more important. *Vic Soíoto is definitely part of the conversation in terms of contributing during the playoffs at outside linebacker. Special teams will also factor in to who is activated for the post-season. The decision on who plays at outside linebacker will sort itself out. Thatís why you practice. † *Itís encouraging how well the offense has played without Greg Jennings the past two games. It shows how much depth the team has. Jennings was in the training room this morning and looks good. †*All along last week the plan was to not play Aaron Rodgers against the Lions. He determined last Monday that Rodgers would call plays in the no-huddle offense and Rodgers was excited about it. He did a nice job calling plays. It was good to keep him in the rhythm of the game. † *One advantage the Packers have over four years ago when they had a first-round playoff bye: They can practice outside which they couldn't do in 2007 because of their heated practice field. He has kept notes from 2007 in preparation for the playoffs. The biggest thing is how much time you spend on fundamentals. †*The Packers will not practice next Monday but will be in meetings. This week they will practice in pads on Thursday. They also have a practice scheduled Wednesday. The players will be off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. ††*All the injured players should be ready for the playoffs, including Jennings, James Starks and Bryan Bulaga. Itís where you want to be in terms of health, according to McCarty. Itís going to be tough making inactive list for divisional playoff game. † *The one injury from Sundayís game: Ryan Taylor has a bruised ankle and his practice status is uncertain.

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