Afternoon State Sports Briefs: McCarthy says Pack needs to play better defense in big gamesWisconsin Sports
-- Head Coach Mike McCarthy says the Green Bay Packers must play better defense in big games. That means containing Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, and stopping San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick from racking up rushing yards.
PHOENIX - Head Coach Mike McCarthy says the Green Bay Packers must play better defense in big games. That means containing Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, and stopping San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick from racking up rushing yards.
At the NFL owners’ meeting in Phoenix, McCarthy said the Packers had “two black eyes” in 2012. They were Peterson, who ran for 409 yards in two regular season games – and the San Francisco playoff loss in which Kaepernick scrambled past Green Bay’s defenders for 181 rushing yards. Among other things, defensive coordinator Dom Capers was dispatched to Texas A&M, where he talked with the Aggies’ coaches about the read-option offense that Kaepernick employed – and will become more prevalent in the NFL this fall. McCarthy said the entire defensive coaching staff benefited from the experience of having Aggies’ coach Kevin Sumlin go over the fine points of the read-option. The Packers will see it plenty of it this season when they play San Francisco, Washington, and Philadelphia.
University of Wisconsin senior forward Mike Bruesewitz expects a “wild” NCAA Tournament – and he says no team can afford to look ahead beyond its next game. For Wisconsin, that’s a second-round West Regional matchup tomorrow against Mississippi in Kansas City. Bruesewitz says quote, “We’ve got to knock guys down systematically, one team at a time.” He said he likes the Badgers’ draw as the Number-five seed, playing a 12th-seed in Ole Miss. And as Bruesewitz put it, “We’ve got a good shot at making some noise.” He says he’s glad not to be playing any more Big Ten teams for a while. He said they beat themselves up during the conference schedule. In Wisconsin’s last 19 games, 11 opponents were nationally-ranked teams. The Badgers are ranked themselves, 18th by the AP and 17th by the coaches. Mississippi received votes in both polls, but did not make the Top-25 in either. Tomorrow’s winner will play either Kansas State or LaSalle in the third round on Sunday.
Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke has almost penciled in his normal regular season lineup. He says only two spots remain undecided, with Opening Day just 11 days away. You can expect Norichika Aoki to lead off and play right field, with second baseman Rickie Weeks batting second. Left-fielder Ryan Braun will be in his familiar third spot, followed by third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the cleanup position. Roenicke has catcher Jonathan Lucroy batting fifth, and first baseman Alex Gonzalez sixth. Center-fielder Carlos Gomez and shortstop Jean Segura will bat seventh-and-eighth, but the skipper says he’s not sure about the order of those two yet. Roenicke says he’ll re-examine his base lineup when Corey Hart returns from knee surgery in May. He batted fifth for most of last season. This afternoon, the Brewers are playing the Chicago White Sox in a Cactus League exhibition in Arizona. Right-hander Mike Fiers had the start against Chicago’s Chris Sale.