The Green Bay Packers have to be feeling pretty good about themselves heading into this week’s battle versus the San Diego Chargers. They boast one of the most undeniably potent offenses in the league. Their grossly underpaid star players are so drop-dead in love with the franchise that they tell every media outlet who’ll listen that they trust a deal will be worked out.
And, you know, they’re still the defending champs.
With so much positivity flowing around Green Bay, it’s no wonder that various personnel have been feeling particularly giddy over the last week. During this week’s press conference, head coach Mike McCarthy delved into everything from injuries, to the team’s mentality in practice to how much he respects the opposition with certain sunny outlook that you don't from a lot of other coaches.
On the topic of how Mike Neal and Chad Clifton were doing, he kept it short and sweet
"They're getting better," McCarthy said.
And thanks to the team’s week off, on players of getting a chance to get healthy, they also had a chance to step it up a notch in practices. In fact, McCarthy was able to institute two full-padded practices per day since his squad had a little extra time to spare.
"You're always looking for opportunities throughout the season to emphasize fundamentals more than you do in a normal week. So this was a practice that was targeted at the beginning of the season for an extensive use of fundamental drills," McCarthy lamented.
On the topic of the opposition, the head coach had nothing but good things to say.
"Norv Turner has always done an excellent job offensively with the way he challenges your scheme," McCarthy said. "That will be a challenge for us. I was just visiting Dom (Capers) this morning on some of the things they're doing. (Defensive coordinator) Greg Manusky, I've always had a lot of respect for. He does an excellent job. They're very well-coordinated. They're always a talented football team and that's no different this year."
McCarthy did acknowledge that the team was hearing the whispers about their undefeated season thus far – and it what it meant for the foreseeable future. Did it affect them any? Not especially.
"It's nice when people say nice things about your football team," McCarthy said. "That definitely beats the alternative. But as we talked about as a team today, we're getting ready to hit the halfway point of our season. We like where we are but we are really focused on getting better."
Packers vs. Chargers kicks off at 1:15 eastern time on Sunday.