McCarthy: No 'Remember Seattle' slogans needed
PHOENIX -- The images linger: T.J. Lang, head in hands, sitting stunned on the Green Bay Packers' bench. Julius Peppers, on one knee, staring into the distance. Aaron Rodgers, head down, walking off the field.
That's how many remember the 2014 season after the Packers blew a 16-point halftime lead in the NFC championship game in Seattle, eventually losing 28-22 in overtime.
But it's not something Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said he'll use as a motivator for this season's team.
"I don't look at it as – I don't think you need to coach against it," the 10th-year coach said Sunday at the NFL's annual meeting. "I think the only time really we'll deal with it is more on a personal basis, whether it's in an interview, whether a player has to answer a question.
"But hell or high water, we're not going to run out there and come up with some slogan, 'Remember Seattle.' I'm not going to do that."
In the postgame locker room, players used words like "devastating" and talked about squandered opportunities.
Said Rodgers: "(It's) a missed opportunity that we'll probably think about for the rest of my career."
Now, it's up to McCarthy and the rest of the organization to make sure the distaste of that loss doesn't permeate the 2015 locker room.
"I've been impressed," Packers president Mark Murphy said. "I think everybody, I think Mike has handled it well. I mean you can't dwell on the past, and really put the focus on the future. And I think with some of the changes that have been made, that Mike's done, done a really good job with it."
McCarthy knows that you can't ignore the past, but instead of trying to use the defeat as an emotional tool, he said it's been fodder for how to get better.
"We've had a chance to evaluate the game," McCarthy said. "The coaches have been through the scheme evaluations. We've seen all the good plays three or four times. We've seen the not-so-good plays probably too many times. We'll evaluate that.
"We have evaluated it and we're starting to build our installs for next year."