The Pro Football Notebook

February 4, 2011 6:50 AM

Green Bay Media Day

GreenBayMediaDay.jpgThe Notebook's tour of the local media reactions to Super Bowl XLV continues today with a look through the Wisconsin markets...

Bob McGinn of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a very good look at both Charles Woodson and Troy Polamulu, the "high-rollers" of the Packer and Steeler defenses. It's been a while since I lived in Wisconsin, but I do recall McGinn as a knowledgeable football observer and while Woodson and Polamulu might not be "under the radar", McGinn's piece at least focuses on something else besides the quarterbacks. It also focuses on players that aren't just good defensively, but are true game-changers.

McGinn's colleague, Bob Wolfley, recalls that even some of Ted Thompson's peers thought he could have done better than Mike McCarthy when he made his head coaching hire. The Packer coach is a very good offensive strategist and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with two weeks to prepare. McCarthy calls the plays for Green Bay and will match wits with Pittsburgh's veteran defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

Playing in a dome is a clear advantage for Green Bay. So says Tom Oates of The Wisconsin State-Journal. A cold-weather team being built to play indoors seems a little unusual, but I think Oates is correct. Green Bay's offense is much more of a rhythm one than Pittsburgh's. The Pack relies on Aaron Rodgers to get dialed in and from there he looks like a machine. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is more of an improviser who can look bad and great within the same play...a style Packer fans are eminently familiar with from Rodgers' predecessor. Green Bay's suitability for this venue is ironic in another sense--Dallas is the one place Brett Favre could never win at. Is there is more appropriate place for Green Bay to win their first Super Bowl of the new era?

Finally we go right to the heart of Packerland and The Green Bay Press-Gazette. Rob Demvoy asks whether the team's success defensively means there will be departures on the staff and he notes the historical parallel to the offensive coaches who left Mike Holmgren's staff after the 1996 Super Bowl win. I'm sure there will be departures, but as long as coordinator Dom Capers is in the house, the Pack is going to be playing good defense. Capers was hired by McCarthy prior to the 2009 season and was as big an addition to the NFC North as Favre or Jay Cutler that same offseason. Capers is 60 and I don't believe his ambitious to be a head coach again, nor is he in demand as young coaches are all the rage right now. With Capers running the defense and Rodgers running the offense, the Packers have a very nice 5-7 year window to operate right now. 

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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary on the NFL playoffs and coverage of college basketball. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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