GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The energy debate rages on at Lambeau Field.
First, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, apparently taking his cue from coach Mike McCarthy’s postgame speech after Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, ripped the team for “uncharacteristically low energy” on the sideline.
Then, McCarthy backtracked after he watched the film, saying the energy wasn’t so bad after all.
Either way, Rodgers and his teammates won’t take any chances. After Mike Daniels said the team needed to play “like somebody pissed in their Cheerios,” Rodgers said he would ensure they would be in the right frame of mind for Sunday’s game at Tennessee.
“I expect everybody to come ready to play and prepared and excited about it,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “You know, we just need to weather some of the ups and downs a little bit better. Obviously not the way you want to start a game with the kickoff return for a touchdown, but we need to weather that a little bit better this week -- all of us -- and it’ll start with me.
“I’ll make sure that our guys are ready to play and we’re enthusiastic about it and fired up to be out there, because it’s a great opportunity and a great privilege to do what we do, and we’re not going to take it for granted.”
McCarthy said he doesn't believe energy would be a problem going forward.
“That’s not even a concern of mine,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “I think like all of us, you make a statement and talk about energy and that gets carried over as a blanket statement over the course of the game. That’s not accurate. That’s not what any of us, I know myself included, was trying to communicate in the correction period after the last game, so we’ll play with great energy Sunday. That’s not a concern of mine. It’s a road game, so we have that challenge. Our guys will bring it. We've just got to get detailed. That's really what our focus is on. We're just paying attention to what matters and it's about improvement.”
This game begins what could be a critical stretch for the Packers. It’s the first of three straight road games; the Packers don’t play at home again until Dec. 4. The loss to the Colts was their third in the past four games. They are 4-4 at the midway point of the season for the first time since 2009.
When asked if Sunday’s game is a must-win, Rodgers said, “I’ve never liked that term. World War II was a must-win. Football is football. It’s an important one, but it’s just the next one.”