At his weekly Monday press conference, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear what the main factor in his defense’s inability to stop Philip Rivers and the Chargers was on Sunday.
It’s very simple: A lack of communication.
“The big plays made on our defense were obvious,” McCarthy said. “The breakdowns in pass coverage all go back to communication. A number of the communication errors we had put our guys in bad situations on the big plays.”
In the Packers 45-38 win over the Chargers, Rivers threw for 385 yards and four scores, including two in the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter that pulled San Diego within seven points. McCarthy also said that you can’t “quantify the errors with one player’s absence,” in reference to the Packers losing Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins in Week 2 against the Panthers. Collins is out for the season with a neck injury and Charlie Peprah has been starting in his place. Morgan Burnett, a second-year player who missed most of 2010 with a knee injury, starts along with Peprah at the back.
McCarthy also gave a brief timeline on injured defensive end Mike Neal, who hasn’t played a game yet in 2011 after suffering a non-contact knee injury during training camp that required surgery. The initial plan this week is for the Packers to get Neal on the practice field by Thursday. There is a “progression” plan in place to get Neal back, and the team is going to take his recovery slow.