Packers' McCarthy 'not concerned' with offensive line issues

CREATED Dec. 23, 2011

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Next game: Christmas Night vs. Chicago
Packers Gameday at 5:00 p.m. on Newsradio 620 WTMJ and 6:00 p.m. on TODAY'S TMJ4 with a live blog here

GREEN BAY - As the defending world champion Green Bay Packers head into their Christmas Night matchup with the archrival Chicago Bears, the coach of the Packers has an optimistic attitude about an injury-depleted offensive line that will face one of its greatest challenges so far this year.

"I'm not concerned," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy in an exclusive interview with Voice of the Packers Wayne Larrivee on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"It is the position that has been hit hardest this year.  I think our men have stepped in this year and done a good job.  The offense is still producing a lot of points.  We had one goal on the offense this year, which is to lead the league in scoring.  We still have the opportunity to accomplish that goal."

The offense's worst performance of 2011 came in the first loss of the year, a 19-14 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.

Both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod fell to injury, and the reshuffled line allowed Kansas City defensive linemen to spend a lot more opportunities to reach, hit and sack Aaron Rodgers than the Packers normally give up.

But McCarthy believes a week of preparation together with the lineup as it stands now will leave Green Bay's line more prepared to handle Julius Peppers and company.

"The opportunity to practice a full week together, to play the position you're going to play in the game, to practice the techniques that are required to play against your opponent's scheme and the individual you're getting ready to play against is so important.  It's such a technical position.  Things happen so fast.  It's right there at the line of scrimmage.  I think we'll have more continuity this week with the week of preparation."

McCarthy also addressed the fact that Kansas City, in many experts' minds, gave other NFL teams a blueprint for how to defeat the previously undefeated, now 13-1 Packers.

"The most important thing, things don't change around here.  It's about emphasizing and problem solving.  That's what coaches do.  We have a blueprint.  We have a plan that we follow every single week.  You lose one game in one year and you have to answer a barrage of questions, which is the way this week has gone, and that's fine.