GB Linebackers Coach: Barnett Must Make More Big Plays
Next game: Sunday, November 2nd at Tennessee
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss wants to see more big plays out of middle linebacker Nick Barnett.
"He's been adequate," Moss said. "He has not been impactful. And he needs to get back to being impactful. He's just been adequate."
Moss has told Barnett that simply making the plays he's expected to within the Packers' defensive scheme isn't enough for a player of his talent -- because he knows Barnett can do more.
"He's making the majority of the plays he's supposed to make," Moss said.
Barnett agreed, but added that he would like coaches to give him more chances.
"I may have missed a tackle here and there -- probably three total in the seven games we've played," Barnett said. "Mental errors are not up. They're just not really providing many impactful chances. I've gotten to the quarterback where someone's busted their responsibility and I missed out on a sack. I don't know. The only thing I can do is keep continuing to play and make some impactful plays."
Moss said he's confident Barnett can improve his play in the second half of the season.
"Nick is one of the most prideful and professional guys I've ever had to deal with," Moss said. "He wants to get it right, he wants to be accountable, it bothers him deeply if something that's his responsibility doesn't go right. He wants to execute, he wants to be impactful, that's what he lives for. When it doesn't happen, it bothers him."
AIRING IT OUT: Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy increased Aaron Rodgers' "pitch count" in practice Thursday, an indication that his ailing right shoulder continues to improve.
"He threw more today," McCarthy said. "I thought he threw the ball very well. Had some big-time throws down there today. I thought he practiced well and threw the ball as well as he's thrown it during the course of the week since his injury. This was clearly his best day."
Rodgers has gutted out three straight games since spraining his right shoulder in the Packers' Sept. 28 loss to Tampa Bay, but hasn't practiced much for the past month.
Rodgers did practice Wednesday after resting during the bye week, but McCarthy limited his throws to make sure his shoulder got enough rest.
McCarthy said the team's medical staff would examine Rodgers' shoulder on Friday before determining how much he'll practice -- but either way, it won't be much.
"It will be light," McCarthy said. "It's going to be light work because the more rest prior to the game is the target they want to hit as much as possible."
CLASS OUTSIDE: McCarthy took the Packers outside for practice Thursday, only to find windier conditions than he expected after watching a weather report on television. The Packers went inside about halfway through practice to work in a more controlled environment -- and practice with simulated crowd noise.
"It was gorgeous, if you watched the news this morning. It was absolutely gorgeous," McCarthy joked. "A little more than 10 to 15 mile-an-hour wind, I would say. We went inside actually because of the wind."
NOTES: DT Ryan Pickett was removed from the Packers' injury report Thursday after being limited in practice Wednesday. ... LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. ... LB Danny Lansanah (hamstring) and DE Jason Hunter (hamstring) both fully participated in practice Thursday. ... LT Chad Clifton (knees) and CB Charles Woodson (toe) both were limited in practice Thursday.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)