Packers try to get over a case of the drops

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Receivers, running backs and tight ends lined up in front of the JUGS machines at practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week and waited for footballs to fly at them.

It wasn't because the Green Bay Packers had passes bouncing off their hands like Super Balls in Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills.

"That's something we do every week," Packers receivers coach Edgar Bennett said Thursday.

Surely, after seven drops – the most by one team in an NFL game since 2008 – that has to be a great emphasis this week.

"That's something we emphasize every week," Bennett said.

Clearly, it’s not something the Packers wanted to spend much time talking about this week. In fact, several players said they have been instructed not to talk about the Bills' game at all but rather speak only about Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.

Dropped passes must not have been on the list of approved topics for Bennett.

“I’m going to defer all of that to coach Mike [McCarthy],” Bennett said.

So how do the players react after a case of the drops?

"Move on," said receiver Jordy Nelson, when asked about his drop that would have been a 94-yard touchdown. "That's all you can do."

And that's all he was willing to say.

The Packers haven't had to address the matter much this season. Before Sunday's game, they had the fifth-lowest drop percentage in the NFL at 3.1 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information, which had charged them with just 13 drops through the first 13 games. Only five teams had fewer to that point.

After Sunday's game, they ranked tied for 20th in drop percentage (4.4) and only 11 teams had more drops than their 20.

"We'll stay the course," McCarthy said. "We're really focused on the things, really the same every week, in the areas of fundamentals, and definitely handling the ball is an emphasis this week."