Mike McCarthy was Listening

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Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

Not long after the demise of the 2013 season, we decided to take a long and close look at the post-2010 Green Bay Packers. It actually didn’t take long for the biggest factor in the repeated disappointment of the past three seasons to leap off the page. The Packers have been the most injured team in the NFL over the past two seasons, leading the league in games lost to injury in both years. Considering they also led the league in games lost to injury in 2010, this suggests an obvious and disturbing trend that is not likely to be explained by simple bad luck.

As everyone knows, the Packers overcame their mountain of injuries in 2010. However, the last couple of seasons have shown just how rare a feat that is. Since one cannot count on overcoming a long list of injuries, the solution is obvious: reduce your injuries.

Our call to Mike McCarthy was simple — address the problem. Well, it is far too early to talk about results, but we can say this — message received.

Before the season even started, McCarthy was already in action. In April, he brought in the Australian GPS technology firm Catapult Sports for research and recommendations on injury prevention. Their recommendations, in part, led to several changes to how the OTAs and now training camp has been run.

In the past, practices started with a jog through as a warm-up period. That has been moved to the end of practice to serve as more of a cool down period. The most dangerous periods of practice, the 11-on-11 and the new 9-on-11, have been moved to the middle of practice to guarantee less fatigue and wear on the body going in. There also have been changes to the breaks and what the players eat and drink.

Lastly, as we are seeing for the first time this weekend, the 48 hours prior to a game have been changed. In the past, Friday saw a light practice and final film review and Saturday was mostly a day off with some assignment review. That essentially has been flopped. Friday, or two days before the game, will be the day off, while Saturday, or the day prior to the game, will be half film study and half training room work.

Obviously, the thought here is that heavy exertion is safer when following light exertion versus following idle time.

Again, it is much too early to be declaring anything a success. Despite suffering two season-ending injuries in the last two weeks, the Packers are definitely healthier right now than they were going into the preseason last year. On top of that, Letroy Guion, who apparently injured himself on the plane ride into Green Bay, remains the only player missing time at present due to a hamstring injury.

Now, let’s hope I didn’t just entirely jinx the entire thing.

About The Author

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

10 Comments on "Mike McCarthy was Listening"

  1. James Bennett

    Your article is right on target. The Packers have sustained more serious injuries to starters and quality back-ups than any other NFL team in recent years. If you want to know the reason we only won 8 regular season games last year, look no further. No team can stand up to such astonishing loss of players week by week.

    • Chad Lundberg

      Agreed, Yoga ought to be mandatory. Same with kick-boxing in my opinion. Kick boxing strengthens muscles in your back that aren’t strengthened during normal practice, and are desperately strained during game day which is players get tired so quickly.

  2. Levi's Dickhole Jeans

    The article is dead on, as are the two posts just above mine. Glad McCarthy is taking a serious look at it, and yes, yoga has a big part to play. Flexibility is incredibly important and it develops balanced musculature. I hope this year will be different that the last 3 out of 4 (the only injury free year being the lockout year without offseason conditioning).

  3. E. Wolf

    I have to admit I started to push the panic button when we suffered THREE acl injuries one top of the other. Jason Wilde indicates that injuries are down this year, so I am trusting the process, FOR NOW.
    Reading up on acl tears, it seems that ground and playing surface can also be a factor. I think only a couple other teams use the same surfaces. That might be something else to look into.

  4. DocRon

    This sounds exceptionally simple and stupid…however it works. Chiropractors know how to adjust knees so they can better withstand the physical nature of football. Unfortunately one chiropractor cannot adaquately service 90 players, so what to do. Teach the players how to protect their knees using a simple self adjustment technique. While sitting in a chair with the knees bent at 90 degrees the athlete slaps the inside and the outside of the knee (medial and lateral aspects) 10 times then proceeds to the other knee. This is best done with the heal of the hand. After slapping both knees he stands and gently flexes his knees. If the knee was slightly out of alignment it will move to its proper and stronger position. This takes 30 seconds. I do not have an acl and both cartilages in my left knee were surgically removed. It goes out of alignment all the time, gets very sore and very painful. This simple technique puts it back in place and totally reduces the pain and inflammation in minutes. It has also kept me from having a knee replacement…yes I am a chiropractor.

    • The Money MIke

      He was hurt all the time…he just literally “took” the pain lol. Injury regulations have changed so much since before he got old and didn’t abuse his body anymore (and when he did he had to quit)

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