GREEN BAY, Wis. – We'll see if Mike McCarthy feels the same way in a week, but after Thursday night's preseason finale – a 34-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field – the Green Bay Packers coach made a bold statement to his team that he later repeated to the media.
"I don't know if I've felt this good coming out of the preseason as I do tonight," McCarthy said.
With the regular-season opener next Thursday at the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, McCarthy wasn't willing to look any further than where his team stood coming out of the preseason.
"I don't jump out and make statements, but our goal is simply the same every year: We're here to win championships," McCarthy said. "That's what we're working for. That will never change. That's a part of being a Green Bay Packer, but with that, we're not ignorant to the fact that you play 16 games, and we've got a game coming up here next Thursday."
If McCarthy was giddy about his team's preseason, which included a 3-1 record, it's probably because he felt just the opposite coming out of camp the past two summers.
"I haven't felt that way in," McCarthy said, "it's been awhile."
Rookie center Corey Linsley does not know the recent history of training camps past, but McCarthy's statement still resonated with him.
"I feel that when a head coach like Coach McCarthy says something like that, it's for real," Linsley said.