Packers taking off early for Seattle

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you know Mike McCarthy, you know how fanatical he is about his schedules. Practice schedules. Meeting schedules. Travel schedules. The Green Bay Packers coaches spends plenty of time working on them.

So when he said Monday that he will take the Packers to the West Coast on Friday this week -- two days before the NFC Championship Game at the Seattle Seahawks -- it was no wonder it caused something of a stir in Lambeau Field media auditorium.

"A lot of typing going on, you see that?" McCarthy said to public relations director Jason Wahlers. "[About the] schedule. Unbelievable. … I didn't think it was impact news."

For McCarthy, it was.

Never in his nine seasons as the Packers head coach has he left more than one day before game, other than for Super Bowl XLV.

"These are things that we've been looking at for quite some time," McCarthy said. "It's our involvement in some of the new sports science themes and all those things. Our training staff, [strength coach] Mark Lovat, and just the fact that we’re trying to get better at everything we're doing. This is something we've had planned and had [been] looking [at] in advance."

Earlier this season, the Packers left two hours earlier than usual the day before their Week 16 game at Tampa Bay to help get acclimated with the warmer Florida weather, and that seemed drastic for a team that typically leaves at the same time whether they're flying to Detroit or Dallas.

"This is more about the flight, and all the components that you feel like you can gain by being out there," McCarthy said. "There's a number of different things. I don't want to get into all that."

McCarthy's predecessor, Mike Sherman, began leaving two days early for long trips and liked it so much he started doing for most road games, regardless of the locale.

Under the new practice schedule that McCarthy employed at the start of this season, the Packers do not practice on Fridays but instead hold their final workout of the week on Saturday. That practice will take place in the Seattle area this week.

"We're looking at an indoor facility to do our Saturday work," McCarthy said. "And then we'll be out there and kind of be on a normal schedule on Saturday night and get ready for the noon [Seattle time] game."