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Packers prepare for cold weather

Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 AM
 
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The Packers are preparing to play four of their final five regular-season games in cold-weather conditions, including three games at Lambeau Field starting Sunday against San Francisco. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said at  his press conference today tat it’s exciting to get back home. McCarthy said it’s important to win home games, especially at this time of year, when the Packers can claim a cold-weather home-field edge. That should especially be the case against the San Francisco 49ers, who will get a blast of cold air on Sunday. The Green Bay forecast calls for a high of 29 on game day with a 30% chance of snow. McCarthy said bad weather isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the passing game. In fact, he argued it could be an advantage because if the footing is poor offensive players know where they’re going. Wind is the biggest challenge in operating the passing game, he said. McCarthy said not to expect the Packers to run five-receiver sets 20 times per game in cold weather. The Packers did that against the Falcons last week because the game was held indoors and suited the Packers’ spread offense. McCarthy talked about a variety of topics during his presser: *Donald Lee, who was healthy but inactive last week, will be on the active roster this week ready to go, said the coach. *He credits quarterback Troy Smith with helping turn around the 49ers, who have won three of their last four games. *Tight end Vernon Davis is a powerful and speedy player who can stretch defenses vertically and make receivers on the outside better. He cited Davis as being a catalyst for the 49ers rallying from a 23-3 halftime deficit against the Packers last season and pulling within a final score of 30-24. *He did not feel good about the run-blocking performance by the offensive line against Atlanta. However, he said the pass protection was outstanding.  *When asked whether the Packers’ margin for error is shrinking in the NFC, McCarthy said he doesn’t address what other teams are doing but maintains his focus on improving his own team. *He noted the most important stat, besides wins and losses, is points scored and points allowed. The Packers rank No. 1 in points allowed and No. 8 in points scored. *He said Tramon Williams is a testament to hard work paying off and is glad the cornerback was rewarded with  a new contract. When Williams was on the practice squad he could see his ability. McCarthy said Williams took notes and spent entire off-seasons in Green Bay working out. Coming off last season tackling was Williams’ No. 1 goal to improve and he's definitely done that. *As an undrafted free agent, Williams can serve as a good role model for other undrafted players on the roster like Frank Zombo, Sam Shields and Nick McDonald. *The Packers’ special teams has been challenged by injuries this season. As an example, McCarthy said in the upcoming 12th game of the season the Packers will feature their 12th different punt unit. *McCarthy said he has been impressed with rookie tight end Andrew Quarless’ progress, and believes he has picked up the offense quickly. *Cornerback Josh Gordy, who was elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster this week, has speed and will get an opportunity to make the active roster as a special teams player. *Brandon Chillar will get a second opinion on his shoulder before  undergoing surgery. McCarthy praised Chillar for battling through the injury, first suffered in Week 3 against the Bears and aggravated significantly against the Falcons. *Dimitri Nance (concussion) is getting better and might be cleared to practice Thursday. 

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.
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