Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy wouldn’t go into detail, but he said changes are coming on the teams special teams unit this week.
McCarthy knows when you struggle on special teams, allowing a long punt return for touchdown and then have a 53-yard field goal attempt blocked, it sets off the radar of future teams on the schedule.
“Our special teams are going to be stressed down the stretch,” McCarthy said. “We need to not only combat that but we need to go out and make plays ourselves.”
“I think anytime you get in these kinds of games, you get down to Week 15, your identity and your performance has been evaluated. Everybody feels you’re strong in one area and not so strong in another and how they’re going to attack you.”
The Packers were off to a good start this season, but now their special teams rank among the worst in the NFL in a number of categories.
They’ve allowed a punt and kickoff return for touchdowns, a pair of blocked field goals, extra points and punts.
McCarthy was asked at his Monday press conference if he would consider using Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang on the special teams blocking units. While changes in personnel could come, Sitton and Lang may not the direction the Packers go. Both have had trouble practicing because of injuries and that is a concern for the coach. McCarthy said he has to weigh their value on the offensive line against the risk he might overuse them by putting them back on special teams.
McCarthy said, “Competition isn’t just for Sunday. You have players that are competing during the course of the week to be part of the 46, and that’s an every week deal.”
McCarthy refused to call out special teams coach Shawn Slocum, but special teams has been average at best under Slocum since he took over in Green Bay. If the Packers don’t show immediate improvement, Slocum’s job could be in jeopardy.