The Green Bay Packers once again enter the season with high expectations. When you have one of the best quarterbacks in football, why would you think anything different? Of course, to facilitate those expectations, head coach Mike McCarthy must continue to challenge his group and set high goals for them. Among those goals is a lofty one for the offense: 75 plays per game.
“I’ve always been of the belief of getting as many shots as you can, so we’ve always emphasized playing as fast as you can,” McCarthy told reporters per ESPN.com. “When you have as many three-down players as you can possibly have, obviously your substitution patterns are cleaner. You’re not subbing because you have to, you’re subbing just when you need to.”
This has been the plan for more than a minute, as McCarthy made his intentions clear early in the offseason, when he talked about making all of his running back three down players to limit the need for substitutions. Fewer substitutions mean fewer breaks mean more plays. More plays can potentially be the different between a close loss and a close win, something the Packers could have used last season.
As the ESPN piece notes, “The Packers ranked 11th with 1,074 total plays (67.125 per game) — their second-highest total in McCarthy’s eight seasons as head coach — but averaged nearly 69 plays in the games Rodgers finished last season.” Still, that’s not enough for McCarthy. If he can get six more plays per game out of the offense when its led by Rodgers, the team can eat up more yards, more clock and even score more points.
While 75 plays per game may seem like a lofty goal, it’s just a matter of trimming the fat for an offense that believes in speed and fluidity. If the Packers can just get six more plays per game, they’ll meet their goal. From there, they can address their next goal: another Super Bowl victory with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Tags: Green Bay Packers