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Mike McCarthy doesn’t want to hear that the Packers are soft


Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked at the Scouting Combine if his team has grown soft. He didn’t care for the suggestion.

“To me, we’re a physical, tough football team,” McCarthy said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I totally disagree. I don’t know how you can put the tape on and say the Green Bay Packers aren’t physical.”

McCarthy was asked what it says that the Packers are more of a passing team than a running team offensively, and that they’ve struggled at times to stop the run defensively. McCarthy answered that it doesn’t say anything different about his team now than two years ago, when they won the Super Bowl.

“How do we play any different from the approach, the identity today that we did in 2010?” he said. “How do you swing that far? You don’t go from here to here.”

Allowing 579 yards and 45 points in a postseason loss to the 49ers has raised questions about the Packers’ defense, and McCarthy acknowledged that they have work to do. But he won’t accept that they’re not tough enough.

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68 Responses to “Mike McCarthy doesn’t want to hear that the Packers are soft”
  1. stigman2012 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:38 AM

    Ear plugs? iPhone ear buds? Busting eardrums out with an ice pick?

    Several different ways for McCarthy to achieve the headline goal.

  2. thefox61 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:38 AM

    Packers are Marshmallows

  3. thesmartestmanever says: Feb 27, 2013 10:39 AM

    I like the Packers but, everyone knows they are a soft, finesse team. as are most west coast style offenses. they can win but they can’t punch you in the mouth

  4. glac1 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:40 AM

    Our teams success rate against tough physical football teams prove otherwise. I still think we’re living off the press clippings from two years ago. We’re good…. but not great. A mentally tough, physical approach could take us to the next level. Instead, at times we stand around and just hope and pray that someone makes a great play..

  5. kingpel says: Feb 27, 2013 10:40 AM

    Your just a tough football team that cant run the ball or play defense.

  6. landof10000lakes says: Feb 27, 2013 10:43 AM

    I think it might have to do with how Kaep ran through your defense like they were a Pop Warner team….

  7. purplepillager says: Feb 27, 2013 10:43 AM

    If he doesn’t want to hear it, then he should bury his head in the sand because they are soft. Peterson rushed for 409 yards in two games against the Packer defense in 2012.

  8. krenshaws says: Feb 27, 2013 10:44 AM

    He may not want to hear it, however he knows it’s true. They are afraid to tackle and are not aggressive off the ball. If anything these carebears will probably continue to short arm tackles all next season.

  9. munny10 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:48 AM

    As a life-long Packer fan, to me soft teams are those that lose the battle at the line of scrimmage. Pack struggled mightly on both sides of the ball. They could not generate a pass rush, and the O-line struggled with the run and passing game. It was a good year, but expectations are high in GB. They may not be soft, but they need to get tougher and more skilled on both lines and at LB (besides Clay).

  10. 13forgbp says: Feb 27, 2013 10:48 AM

    As a Packer fan, I have to say I disagree with coach. They had no one that physically scared anyone last year. I think that changes when Bishop comes back and Barclay is a mean SOB so with him on the field all year it will help.

    I hope everyone keeps talking about because it will tick McCarthy off and they will make it a point of emphasis for 2013. Then teams expecting the soft team of 2012 won’t know what hit em in 2013.

  11. folkcrusader says: Feb 27, 2013 10:50 AM

    The packers are soft.

  12. contra74 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:51 AM

    Well they ARE soft! What next? You don’t want to hear that you’re fat either?

  13. riverace19 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:52 AM

    Well the Packers are soft and MM can grab his buddy Capers and not let the door hit them on the way out. 2010 is long gone and as long as he keeps referencing that team the Pack won’t get better…
    Very disappointing to hear more BS from the HC

  14. gopackgo520 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:52 AM

    Well McCarthy when Clay is the only guy that acts like he wants to tackle anybody it is what it is. Sorry. Go Pack!

  15. djohnson11882 says: Feb 27, 2013 10:53 AM

    Same defense with basically the same players from 2010, it’s just that opposing teams figured out a way to slow down the offense. The 2010 defense was a little bit more opportunistic than 2012, but not tougher or much better.

  16. gnarlswoodson says: Feb 27, 2013 10:55 AM

    The Packers ARE soft, until they decide they wanna tackle or block somebody.

    A Diehard Packers Fan

  17. curlypacker says: Feb 27, 2013 10:56 AM

    I am a huge fan of the Packers but have to say the defense is full of holes. There needs to be a recognition that Capers is not the guy to run the defense.

  18. skittlesareyum says: Feb 27, 2013 10:57 AM

    It’s going to sound like excuses, but I’d really like the defense to not be ravaged by injuries. That, and I don’t really trust Capers as a DC anymore. They could have had Willis and Ray Lewis circa 2000 and they still would have given up all those rushing yards to Kapernick. Capers seemed totally unconcerned with Kap rushing, and half of the time there was no one in the middle of the field to even make him change direction.

  19. kash71 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:00 AM

    Ok instead of soft, how bout just fluffy?

  20. whiterock49er says: Feb 27, 2013 11:02 AM

    Unfortunately for Mike McCarthy, his team has gone soft. Too bad. I respect the organization.

  21. daringanttsux says: Feb 27, 2013 11:05 AM

    I’m a Packer fan. They’re soft. Pathetic, pathetic defence led by incompetent Dinosaur Dom

  22. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 27, 2013 11:06 AM

    “I don’t mind looking like I eat 22 donuts a day, but how dare you say my team is soft!”

  23. larryboodry says: Feb 27, 2013 11:07 AM

    When GB visits Soldier Field this year, every fan should bring a sign that reads ‘Packers Are Soft!’ in honor of Mike McCarthy.

    And then, just to stir things up, the Bears will reverse recent history with a win.

    Go Bears!

  24. tdubdizzle says: Feb 27, 2013 11:08 AM

    Anyone else notice that when a coach or player stands up for themselves on this site the writers don’t have their usual paragraph long annotation about why the coach or player is wrong? Seems to me like once a high profiled football figure speaks on the same topic you’re trying to spin, you do the smart thing and shut your mouth. Well, the last paragraph is kind of a side swipe at Mccarthy and what he just said. Man up and say something with dignity and respect, directly, instead of passively and cowardly.

  25. fredsingleton says: Feb 27, 2013 11:08 AM

    The only reason why the Packers are relevant is because of Rodgers. Without him, McCarthy is a terrible coach, they have a terrible DC, and defense. Packers would be lucky to go 4-12 if Rodgers got injured for a season.

  26. 28purple4mvp says: Feb 27, 2013 11:11 AM

    They are soft just ask AD

  27. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:12 AM

    These are the kinds of questions that you have to answer when you don’t win the Superbowl every year.

  28. purpblooded says: Feb 27, 2013 11:13 AM

    Their running game and defense are soft, but their passing game and special teams win for them.

  29. threedeep1998 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:14 AM

    “We’re not soft. We’re just afraid to tackle Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick. Also, we didn’t get the right officials all year long. Stars will align for us soon with the referees”.

  30. Ponder This says: Feb 27, 2013 11:16 AM

    But he had to admit that his belly is soft.

  31. packhater1 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:20 AM

    Packers are soft…did I just say that?

  32. golforepar says: Feb 27, 2013 11:23 AM

    In the past 41 games, the Packers are 33 and 8. Is that soft?

  33. purplehaze12 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:25 AM

    He also added, The Packers are as hard as my belly..

  34. pillowporkers says: Feb 27, 2013 11:37 AM

    2 200 yard games to Adrian Peterson, 579 yards of offense given up to Kap and the 49ers (mostly on the ground)…It looks like the best way to beat this team is to smash them in the mouth over and over again. It seems to work. GB secondary members were literally jumping out of the way of Kap and AD (look at the tape). That is, by definition, soft Mike.

  35. The Prophet says: Feb 27, 2013 11:42 AM

    “How do we play any different from the approach, the identity today that we did in 2010?” he said. “How do you swing that far? You don’t go from here to here.”

    I’m glad to hear Mike McCarthy admit that his 10-6 team winning the SB was a fluke after all!

  36. gsomatt says: Feb 27, 2013 11:45 AM

    Packers D is average at being physical. But they lack confidence and the mean streak that makes defenses elite.

    Wow you guys need to work on journalism skills and come up with something fresh instead of beating on one game when the Packer D whiffed bad.

    Well…. perhaps “forum moderators” is a more appropriate term since you guys certainly are not journalists. But hey… the site keeps getting plenty of traffic so who cares if NBC doesn’t take your work seriously… long as the checks keep clearing.

  37. cobaltdriver says: Feb 27, 2013 11:48 AM

    So if the Packers are soft it sure doesn’t t say much for the NFC north does it? Probably should keep your chirping on the dl .

  38. roastbeefsandwich says: Feb 27, 2013 11:52 AM

    Packers only SB during that time came when the defense held teams to an avg 19 pts a game. Other than that, they got gashed by the Cards, by the Giants, and the Niners. They have the benefit of a fairly soft division to aid that record over that period.

    Name one other player besides Clay that is a physical, pound your face in beast. The closest was Woodson circa three years ago.

  39. glac1 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:55 AM

    We don’t have any legit pro-bowlers on defense. Until we get some of those and develop a tougher attitude it will be hard to take that “next step”….

  40. jessethegreat says: Feb 27, 2013 11:56 AM

    I think they’re being hindered by less than stellar defensive play calling. It is time for a young fresh mind calling plays on that side of the ball.

  41. jimbo75025 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:59 AM

    “To me, we’re a physical, tough football team” and to McCarthy 2 Whoppers and a King Size fries is just a snack……

  42. vikescry1 says: Feb 27, 2013 12:01 PM

    as a packers fan i wouldn’t call them soft, but they sure have a lot of work to put in if they want to be called tough, hard nosed or anything above… they have some good young talent, but other than cm3 who on the defense scare’s you? a healthy bishop ok, but we still don’t know how he’s gonna come back. nick collins is gone and we don’t have that hard hitting safety? kuhn can be a bruiser but he’s not an every down back. IMO I can’t call the packers tough, not saying there a bad team, just somewhere in the middle.

  43. vikescry1 says: Feb 27, 2013 12:05 PM

    and to the vikings fans talking about A.P. having 409 yards on us this year, A.P. is a beast and he put your team on his shoulders and did that to most teams. pretty sure he put up good numbers against the hawks and niners D. you keep hanging your hat on him, but you still don’t have any lombardi’s to talk about.

  44. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 27, 2013 12:12 PM

    In the past 41 games, the Packers are 33 and 8. Is that soft?
    Depends. How many of those 33 wins came against sub-.500, non-playoff teams.

    I’m on an 18-game winning streak against my son in Wii bowling, and I’m as soft as they come.

  45. packerbackernj says: Feb 27, 2013 12:13 PM

    The difference between Capers top 5 ranked defense his first two years and now is DL. Our secondary is stacked, not to mention they are ball hawks. They just haven’t figured out a way to generate a consistent pass rush besides clay matthews. Allowing Cullen Jenkins to walk away without his heir apparent is the biggest mistake TT has made to date. Do i say go back and get him? Idk. Its hard to say. 2 years removed is a long time in NFL years. But without his type of play, stuffing the run and absorbing 2 linemen, the defense has been a joke. The SF game was the perfect example. Those 50 yard runs werent designed for kaep, the dline played undisciplined and ugly football, having hawk and walden spy kaep was also a giant brain fart. In 2008-2010 ten this was a hungry, talented, scraping team. All i see now is complacency.

  46. golforepar says: Feb 27, 2013 12:20 PM

    I wonder how the parade was in Minnesota? Making the playoffs is a reason right?

  47. justafanofitall says: Feb 27, 2013 12:27 PM

    At what point in time does TT change coaches. McCarthy (rotten play calling) and Capers soft defense. They win..sometimes barely against average teams. Post Season record is nothing to brag about. Other coaches have been canned for less. Rodgers is not the elite QB he should be…changing QB coach or is it the play calling or Rodgers himself? Just Saying….

  48. fwippel says: Feb 27, 2013 12:33 PM

    The Packer offense is carrying the team over the past couple of years. The defense is soft and has been exposed several times, including two monster games by AP and an impressive drubbing by the 49ers.

    I’m not a Packer fan, but if I’m Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy, I’m loading up on defense this offseason.

  49. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 27, 2013 12:52 PM

    Why did the soft Packers beat each of their division rivals twice again this season?

  50. shaggytoodle says: Feb 27, 2013 1:15 PM

    If you want to call the Packers soft so be it but for a team that has gone 37-11 since OCT 20th 2010 with Superbowl title. You can also call them Winners.

  51. landof10000lakes says: Feb 27, 2013 1:21 PM


    Ah, I believe you split against my Vikes.

  52. scottishpacker says: Feb 27, 2013 1:32 PM

    We’ll see exactly how hard or soft MM thinks his team is at the draft. I’m hoping for a few big nasty linemen.

  53. dukeeddy says: Feb 27, 2013 1:34 PM

    I have been a Packer fan for more than 50 years. I have seen their good teams and their not so good teams as well. The fact that the current team dominates its division or that it has a pretty good record over the last few years is true. However, it is not sufficient to win championships, and when we go up against physical teams (49ers and Giants for example), we get whipped. Both of those teams have dominated us in the last two games that we have had with them, and if we are going to get past them in the regular season or more importantly in the playoffs, something has to change. The rhetoric of saying they are not soft is trumped by the actual on field results against quality teams. Actions speak louder than words, and what we need is some hard nosed aggressive players to overcome our obvious weaknesses.

  54. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Feb 27, 2013 1:41 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Feb 27, 2013 12:52 PM
    Why did the soft Packers beat each of their division rivals twice again this season?

    Ummmm they didn’t.

  55. what da says: Feb 27, 2013 1:42 PM

    filthymcnasty1 – Why did the soft Packers beat each of their division rivals twice again this season?

    Why did the packers also beat themselves 6 times this season. LOL.

  56. cobaltdriver says: Feb 27, 2013 1:45 PM

    @landof they did beat you twice..playoffs?

  57. chris6523 says: Feb 27, 2013 1:46 PM

    I see more of a lack of athleticism being the packers biggest problem. The front 7 with the exception of Clay can’t cover much ground. As far as I’m concerned, most of the o-line, the tight ends as a whole and their running backs are below average as far as athleticism is concerned as well. I don’t think anyone would objectively argue that the packs d-secondary is physical by any means.

  58. chris6523 says: Feb 27, 2013 1:47 PM

    Ah, I believe you split against my Vikes.


    2 out of 3 if I recall correctly.

  59. citizenstrange says: Feb 27, 2013 1:52 PM

    The Packers are a good team but they were never that physical. Don’t forget that in their Super Bowl win against the Steelers the Packers had the benefit of playing against Ben “Pick Six” Roethlisberger who early in the game pump faked to, drawing in the coverage — and then THREW to — the same receiver for a pick six and then seconds later threw another pick giving the Packers an easy short field touchdown and a 21-3.

  60. killface4prez says: Feb 27, 2013 2:01 PM

    Oh come on, what’s he supposed to say? What good does it do to belittle your players publicly by saying “yeah, we’re a bunch of powder puffs along the offensive and defensive lines.”

    Watch what they do, not what they say. They’ll publicly say “we like our guys, we think we are a tough football team,” and then they will go out and draft a raft of defensive players to get tougher. Both actions are statements of belief. They only actually believe one of them.

  61. thestatsishere says: Feb 27, 2013 2:01 PM

    They are not soft. Certainly not soft on the offense. They are committed to keeping a balanced attack with run and pass. They need to get better on run defense, but this is not a soft team. They are tough.

  62. yooperman says: Feb 27, 2013 2:04 PM

    landof10000lakes says:
    Feb 27, 2013 1:21 PM

    Ah, I believe you split against my Vikes.

    Ah, I believe flthymcnast was right, they beat your Vikings twice last year. But, it did take three tries to do it.

  63. tangysizzl says: Feb 27, 2013 2:25 PM

    The team is soft and denying or avoiding that reality isn’t the way to fix it. They need to start drafting tougher football players on both sides of the ball and maybe start looking at some top tier FAs every once in a while, instead of always shopping in the clearance section.

    Im not saying they should change their whole philosophy about building a team but they need to get rid of the stupid zone blocking on offense and start playing some smash mouth football in the trenches.

    A good place to start getting more physical IMO would be to fire and hire a new strength and conditioning staff. MM hired this staff to focus on training the team in football movement drills and conditioning over building strength and that has proven to be ineffective. Im sure it was done to improve team health but obviously it isn’t working with 10 or more guys ending up on IR the last 3 years or so.

    To fix a problem, first you have to acknowledge that you have a problem and by the looks of it, things won’t be changing anytime soon.

  64. larryboodry says: Feb 27, 2013 2:46 PM

    golforepar says: Feb 27, 2013 11:23 AM

    “In the past 41 games, the Packers are 33 and 8. Is that soft?”

    No, that is not soft, but in that stretch you started out 21-1 with a SB win included…But since finishing the 2011 regular season 15-1, you have gone 12-7, including 1-2 in the playoffs. So maybe some of the swagger has faded, but soft? No.

    That said, I will look forward to seeing what changes both our teams make this off-season, and hope our new coaching staff has more of a clue against the Pack than the previous one did.

    Go Bears!

  65. larryboodry says: Feb 27, 2013 3:06 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Feb 27, 2013 12:52 PM

    “Why did the soft Packers beat each of their division rivals twice again this season?”

    It’s the one you lost that made all the difference for both our teams.

  66. judsonjr says: Feb 27, 2013 3:29 PM

    It’s not about tough, is about being able to do your job and out play the guys on the other side. It’s also the coaches coming up with a gameplan for success, and that seemed to be a major failure in the SF game.

    If you tackle a RB short of the first down it doesn’t matter if you blew him up or barely tripped him up.

    Many of the “Physical” teams in the NFL could be spun off as over conservative. They milk the clock, call draws on 3rd down , etc. Then on defense they make you grind out long drives. It’s not so much physical as it is playing the football version of 4 corners in basketball.

  67. deltaoracle says: Feb 27, 2013 3:52 PM

    No one has really answered how a “soft, finesse” team was able to win the Super Bowl two years ago – something that “tough, smashmouth” teams like the Steelers and 49ers haven’t been able to do lately. This chatter is just people spouting “conventional wisdom”, which is likely to change next year when the Pack gets their three injured LBs back along with some other players. Until then, whatever.

  68. whatjusthapped says: Feb 28, 2013 10:07 AM

    The Packers definitely have some “soft” players on defense. Tramon Williams thinks he is Dion Sanders, he can cover but has zero interest in tackling. AJ Hawk makes a ton of tackles but the vast majority of them are 5 to 10 yards downfield. And the run defense, which is mostly the DL, is among the bottom 5 in the NFL. I think calling them soft is spot on.

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