McCarthy: We have to move on from Monday nightWisconsin Sports
-- Coach Mike McCarthy says the Green Bay Packers need to move on, and get ready for Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints.
GREEN BAY - Coach Mike McCarthy says the Green Bay Packers need to move on, and get ready for Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints.
They’ll start practicing for it today. McCarthy said he feels for his players in the wake of Monday night’s 14-12 loss at Seattle – a game decided by referee Wayne Elliott’s call of a touchdown on a Hail Mary pass that appeared to be intercepted by Packers’ safety M.D. Jennings. McCarthy said he thought Jennings pulled off the interception – and many of his NFL coaching colleagues agreed. He said he received more text messages and e-mails yesterday than he did after winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago. And McCarthy said he appreciated the fans who showed up at Lambeau Field yesterday to protest the call. But McCarthy says he doesn’t want it to derail the season for the 1-2 Packers. And while he can’t pretend the controversy doesn’t exist, he says he’ll get his players focused on facing the 0-3 Saints this weekend.
Meanwhile, Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers used his weekly Milwaukee radio show to slam the NFL’s statement yesterday which backed up the replacement officials on the Hail Mary call. Rodgers said he feels bad for the fans and quote, “They pay good money, and the game is being tarnished by an NFL who obviously cares more about saving a little money than having the integrity of the game diminish a little bit.” But Seattle coach Pete Carroll made no apologies yesterday. He said the league backed up the call and quote, “game over, we win.”
The league said the officials should have called pass interference on Seattle receiver Golden Tate when he pushed Packers’ corner Sam Shields just before the touchdown catch. But the NFL Network said interference has never been called in almost 90 similar Hail Mary pass plays since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
Packers’ guard T.J. Lang told a Detroit radio station that his teammates talked about either going on strike, or taking a knee on every play, if the labor dispute involving the NFL’s referees is not resolved. Instead, Lang and several other Packers fired off a series of expletive-filled tweets which slammed Monday night’s touchdown call on the final play that gave Seattle its two-point victory. A day later, Lang stood by his comments – although he admits he could have done without the expletives. Lang said he and some of his teammates expect to be fined. He tweeted that the money should be used to pay the regular officials – who remain locked out by the NFL in a dispute over pensions and the league’s efforts to make them more accountable. The players’ union called the use of the replacement officials an issue of player safety. Various media reports said Commissioner Roger Goodell resumed talks with the officials’ union yesterday – but ESPN said they were scheduled before Monday night’s debacle in Seattle. In any event, there was no word that the two sides were close to an agreement.
Former Packers’ running back Ryan Grant will try to help an injury-depleted backfield in Washington. The Redskins are expected to announce today that they’ve signed the 29-year-old Grant. He tweeted last night that he’s looking forward to helping the Redskins win. Washington does not have a healthy running back except for starter Alfred Morris. Roy Helu Junior has a left foot injury, and Evan Royster has a strained knee tendon. Grant left the Packers this past spring when he was not offered a new contract. He spent five years in Green Bay. And his best season with in 2009, when he ran for 1,253 yards.