Packers look to keep defences on their toes

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy it's important to keep defences guessing as teams continue to...

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy it's important to keep defences guessing as teams continue to learn and study quarterback Aaron Rodgers. (DARREN HAUCK/Reuters file photo)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:23 PM ET

PALM BEACH, FLA. - The Green Bay Packers' offence last season was one of the most prolific in NFL history.

Under league MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay was only the third NFL team to score at least 35 points in nine games and had one of the best passing attacks the ever seen.

So, of course, they're going to change things up.

Now why would they go and do that? Packers head coach Mike McCarthy explained Wednesday morning at the NFL annual meeting.

"The biggest thing for Aaron and, really, for any quarterback that has reached that level is we've got to continue to challenge him and give him the opportunities to play at the level that he's playing at," McCarthy told me during the NFC coaches' breakfast with the media.

"As we sit here, particularly our divisional opponents, the defences are studying him and our system — and we've got to be pro-active in how we attack the defences as we move forward. I mean, we're gonna change some. We're going to be a little different this year than we have been in the past.

"We had 47 new things we put in the offence last year. And it will probably be that or even a little bit more this year. So I think it's important to keep challenging Aaron and give him the tools to be successful. And our offensive staff, we've done a good of that that last five or six years. I'm excited about some of the things we're going to do this year."

COUGHLIN ON TEBOW

If the acquisition of Tim Tebow does nothing else for the Jets from here on out, it at least inflamed their Big Apple rivalry with the Giants.

The Jets stole a big chunk of the Giants' post-Super Bowl thunder by bringing in His Worship. The Giants, it seems, are a bit touchy about the subject.

Tom Coughlin, head coach of the Giants, was asked what he thought of the Jets' big move.

"It's none of my business what they've done. That's their business," Coughlin said.

After barking that out, Coughlin proceeded to give an honest appraisal of Tebow — and he actually summed up all of his positives and negatives as succinctly as anything I've heard or read.

"I can tell you this — that Tim Tebow was 7-4," Coughlin said. "People talk about how he does things (wrong), but he has won. From afar, just observing him as a college player and as a rookie in the National Football League, he's physically tough. You know, he obviously has ability as a runner. He's continued to work on the throwing game, and there are things that he does in that aspect that are better than others.

"But you've got a guy who's going to be a force in the locker room, a very positive guy ... I think when you look at the player, you certainly can think of the ways in which you would use him."

IN LIKE FLYNN?

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was asked probably many times at breakfast if free-agent signee Matt Flynn will be his starter, supplanting last year's quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

Carroll's answer:

"It's really clear how we're going to do this," he said. "Our whole program is built on competition. It's the central theme in all things we do, and so this is a classic. We're going to bring him in and he's going to go nose-to-nose with Tarvaris and see how it goes.

"Tarvaris will take the first snap, because he's been with us and worked hard for that. But from that point forward, it's going to be as even as you can get, and we'll see what happens ... We're going to let them fight it out.

"We think he's been through a great quarterback school (at Green Bay)."

Flynn, of course, backed up Rodgers the past couple of seasons and famously played spectacularly in two backup starts, throwing for nine touchdowns and 734 yards. Does that lack of NFL experience concern Carroll?

"Of course it's a factor, because playing time is so huge," he said. "But I go back to the system and upbringing that Matt has had — and, really, I can only give credit to Mike McCarthy and his staff and all those guys that worked him. He's ready. He's ready to go.

"There are still those growing pains that we're going to have to see as they unveil themselves. But he's such a sharp kid, he's so well-versed, physically fit and beautifully prepared for this time, that he's ready to go for it."

RAMS TRADING BACK UP?

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that the team is open to maybe trading back up in the draft, perhaps swapping picks with the Browns.

The Rams now pick sixth, the Browns fourth.

Earlier this month the Rams traded down from No. 2 when the Washington Redskins gave them their No. 6 pick plus their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014, and a second-rounder this year.

The Browns, who had coveted the Rams' No. 2 pick just as desperately as the Redskins, were reportedly livid that the Rams took the Redskins' offer instead.

At the time of the "mega-trade," it appeared that the top wide receiver in next month's draft, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, would be available at No. 6. Now? Probably not. His stock has risen. That's presumably why the Rams would want to move up — to get Blackmon for the 2010 No. 1 overall pick, QB Sam Bradford.


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