GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy’s outlook hasn’t changed. Neither has his self-awareness.
The Green Bay Packers coach has always said he wants to run the football. He’s also more than once smiled and self-deprecatingly pointed out he understands why people don’t believe him when he says that — given the quarterback he has running his offense (two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers) and how often the Packers actually do run the football (according to ESPN Stats & Information, no team in the NFL dropped back to pass on a higher percentage of their offensive plays last season than the Packers, at 69 percent).
Nonetheless, there McCarthy was again during the first week of training camp, trying to convince a handful of reporters — no, really! — he remains committed to the running game. Even with a converted wide receiver as his starter (Ty Montgomery) and no other halfback on the roster with a single NFL carry (five rookies, including three draft picks).
“I’ll just say this, and I’m not joking: Running the football is A-No. 1 important in offensive football,” McCarthy said.
Last season, McCarthy quickly argued, was an anomaly. Starter Eddie Lacy’s season-ending ankle injury and backup James Starks’ injuries and inconsistent play left the Packers without “a running back on our squad that played running back in training camp” for much of the season, McCarthy said. Indeed, McCarthy’s options at one point included Montgomery,…
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