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McCarthy disappointed in Packers' tackling

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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   Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the biggest disappointment he had over the performance of the defense this season is tackling and big play opportunities.   At his end-of-the-season press conference this afternoon, McCarthy said the Packers’ tackling was not acceptable and was the biggest fundamental flaw of his football team.    McCarthy had his annual season-ending meeting with defensive coordinator Dom Capers today and discussed the tackling of the team. McCarthy said it wasn’t good enough this season, even though the team practiced it every day.    It wasn't just fundamentals that hurt tackling. He said effort and attitude are things that must be present every single time in terms of tackling.   He said he wouldn't blame new league rules, which limit the number of padded practices a team can have, on the Packers' poor tackling. "We need to be better tacklers," he said. In other highlights from McCarthy’s presser: * Talk of moving cornerback Charles Woodson to safety is very premarture. We’re just getting started on the evaluation process, according to McCarthy, and not making any position changes today. *He told center Scott Wells he hopes to work with him next season, an indication McCarthy wants the soon to be unrestricted free agent back next season. He called Wells a heck of a football player. *He said he won’t sit down with General Manager Ted Thompson to evaluate the roster until after the Super Bowl. *He said this was the most accountable team from top to bottom that he’s coached. In past years during exit interviews with players, there might have been 4, 5, or six sessions that involved conflicting conversations. That was not the case this year. *McCarthy discussed the defense and coaching staff with Capers today, and will do the same with Shawn Slocum tomorrow regarding special teams. McCarthy is scheduled to talk with Joe Philbin about the offense on Friday. He won’t sit down with the other assistant coaches until after the Pro Bowl. *McCarthy hasn’t watched the film of the Giants game yet. He said he wasn’t avoiding it, but rather his schedule didn’t allow it because he’s been talking with players for two days since the game, and with Capers today. *He called Philbin a special human with very high character who would make an excellent head coach. McCarthy said he didn’t have words to express what Philbin coming back meant to the team after his son drowned last week. The way everyone rallied around Philbin is something everyone can learn from, he said. *Safety Nick Collins, who suffered a season-ending neck injury, has a big exam in March and a lot will be riding on that in terms of his future. He said Collins is very optimistic about his future, and so is McCarthy. * He was proud of his team in the regular season, but the reality is you put yourself in position to make a run in the playoffs, but we did not play to our identity against the Giants. A 15-1 record means we took care of Step 1, but unfortunately Step 2 is most important. *A long layoff between games for some players was not a factor against the Giants, according to McCarthy. He said that's a convenient excuse but he doesn’t question the schedule that saw key players like Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson sit out the final week of the regular season to rest for the playoffs. *The late-season drops by receivers was disappointing, especially on uncontested balls. The Packers did not play to their identity on Sunday. *As for the fumbles, McCarthy is asking himself why they didn’t handle the football properly in the Giants game. He said he looks at himself. Although ball security was emphasized all season, there was a reason for the three fumbles, which matched the total for the entire regular season by the offense.

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