Thursday, September 25, 2014

McCarthy's Packers Will be Ready to Play Bear Football

The Bears and Packers are getting ready for their  pivotal contest on Sunday.  Green Bay has started a little slow, not unusual for them, but they are poised to make improvements this week.  The Packers' offense just has not played up to their usual standard and Coach McCarthy is not happy with his own performance as the person most responsible for the group. McCarthy says that the offense needs to get going.  "Offensively, we are not playing very well." For McCarthy and for the Packers, there is no better game than this Sunday Bears game to get the team directed to make a run for the Division.  The Packers have been practicing fundamentals this week.  Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is looking improved and that's good news for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Linebacker Clay Matthews condition seems to be somewhat guarded.  McCarthy is happy with ex-Bear defensive end/linebacker Julius Peppers. 

In Lake Forest, much of the discussion has been on the young players, who are seeing plenty of action this season due to injuries to veterans.  Because Chicago is tied with Detroit for the Division lead, there is less pain in their discussions.  There is not a come-from-behind type mindset, it is more of an optimism that they can keep things going positively in the big rivalry game on Sunday.  The rookie Bears who have seen much playing time in the last few weeks will be better scouted come this Sunday and future games as well. 

Trestman somewhat quietly goes about his business around Halas Hall, while McCarthy seems more defensive with the media at the Packers facilities.  McCarthy, who is from Pittsburgh, has a Mike Ditka kind of intensity, that he painfully controls in the press room.  Trestman prides himself in maintaining  his calm and confidence, although he can get frustrated after a loss when the media send barbs his way rather than legitimate questions.  Trestman has a chatty group of athletes in the Bears.  Green Bay has more serious athletes who express themselves more in insurance commercials than in media chats.

The Bears biggest concern may or may not be the running game, which has been nothing short of woeful, although coaches and analysts are quick to point out that the Bears have played three games against teams that are tops in run defense.    

I think the only thing you can say about this Sunday's Bears-Packers game is "anything goes."  I can only expect to be surprised.  

Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships--a book every NFL fan should own.