Mike McCarthy still believes resting players is right way to go

The Green Bay Packers went 15-1 in the regular season last year and, after clinching the top seed in the NFC, sat many of their starters for Week 17’s contest against the Lions. That meant many of the Packers players, including Aaron Rodgers, went two weeks between playing games thanks to their first-round bye. The Packers were sloppy in their Divisional Round playoff loss to the Giants committing four turnovers and dropping around seven passes. Though many people believe the time off affected their play, Packers coach Mike McCarthy says he would do the same thing over again.

“I’ll share this with the team first, there is something I’ll change if we’re in that position again from my perspective. But as far as sitting players, I wouldn’t change that at all,” McCarthy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “A fresh team is the best team because you can accomplish the things you need to accomplish leading up to that game if you go about it the right way.”

McCarthy also doesn’t think quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who wasn’t as brilliant as usual, was the problem.

“If you want to talk specifically about Aaron, I thought Aaron played very well in the game,” McCarthy said. “I mean he had what, seven dropped balls? We dropped the football, we turned it over, we didn’t tackle very well.”

McCarthy also told the Press-Gazette that the defense was disappointing last season. He said the team needs to improve its pass rush, pass coverage, and tackling. Few people would disagree with that assessment of the defense, but I’m starting to believe that having players play all their games is the right way to go. Even though playing presents an injury risk — think Wes Welker injuring his knee Week 17 against the Texans in the 2009 season — it seems to keep teams hungrier and sharper headed into the postseason.

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  • Gene

    There is no right or wrong way to finish up a season when you are unbeaten.  New England went all out in 2007 and came within a dropped  Samuels  interception and a once in a lifetime helmet catch of being perfect.  Would rest have helped?  Who knows?  The Colts, several times, rested players near the end of the season and did not win the Super Bowl.  The Broncos, during the Elway era, eased up at the end of the regular season and won the Super Bowl. 

    This is one issue that is strictly opinion, since we cannot simulate the other side of the issue under the same circumstances. There is no right or worng.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I think recent examples have shown teams that play hard throughout the season do well in the playoffs. Maybe that’s the best way to go.